A Gay Traveler’s Guide to Cape Town

Gay Cape Town
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Cape Town, a city celebrated for its diversity and inclusivity, is a treasure trove of experiences for the gay traveler. Here’s a comprehensive guide to making the most of your visit to this stunning city, often referred to as the Gay Capital of Africa.

The Vibrant Neighborhoods

Green Point & Mouille Point

These areas are favorites among gay travelers for their proximity to beaches, restaurants, and local gay bars. They are among the safest in Cape Town, with Green Point offering more hotel options and Mouille Point boasting beautiful waterfront views​​.

De Waterkant

Known as Cape Town’s gay neighborhood, De Waterkant is comfortably urban, walkable, and is the hub of most gay bars. It features a range of boutique hotels, guesthouses, and loft-style accommodations​​.

Must-Visit Attractions

Table Mountain

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Table Mountain. You can ascend via the Aerial Cableway or hike up. The mountain is a biodiversity hotspot, home to a plethora of flora and fauna​​.

Cape Town CBD

The city center is vibrant with museums, galleries, markets, and gardens. The Bo-Kaap neighborhood, with its rainbow-colored houses and Cape Malay cuisine, is a cultural feast​​.

Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront

This bustling area offers over 80 eateries, 450 shops, and attractions like the Two Oceans Aquarium. The Silo District within the Waterfront is a cultural hotspot, housing the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa​​​​.

Cape Point and Boulders Beach

Cape Point offers dramatic ocean views and cliffs, while Boulders Beach is famous for its colony of African penguins, a delightful sight for any visitor​​.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

This world-renowned garden, set against Table Mountain, is a must-see for nature lovers. It hosts the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts from November to April​​.

Cape Town

The Beach Life

Cape Town boasts a 300km coastline with numerous beaches. Clifton 3rd Beach is popular with the gay community, offering a wind-sheltered spot ideal for relaxation and swimming. Sandy Bay, a nudist beach, is cherished for its natural beauty​​.

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Epicurean Delights


Located in Mouille Point, Sotano offers a Mediterranean menu that is satisfying yet not overly greasy – a perfect brunch spot​​.

Diverse Dining Scene

Cape Town’s outdoor restaurants are a culinary delight. The city offers a grand food scene with various African cuisines, perfect for foodies​​.

Nightlife and Social Scene

Café Manhattan

Located in De Waterkant, Café Manhattan is a must-visit for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious food​​​​.


Situated in Green Point, Beefcakes combines delicious food with sensational drag and cabaret performances​​.

Zer021 Social Club

This LGBTQ+-friendly bar in the city center offers themed parties, drag shows, and karaoke nights​​.

The Pink Candy Night Club

A vibrant nightclub that celebrates self-expression and inclusivity with a fusion of music to dance the night away​​.

Honey & Dora

This café is a social hub hosting quiz nights, drag brunches, and live entertainment, focusing on community support​​.


Cape Town offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every preference and budget for LGBTQ+ travelers. Here’s a closer look at some of the best places to stay (contains sponsored links):

Luxury Accommodations

  1. 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa: Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this luxurious hotel offers stunning views, exceptional dining experiences, and a world-class spa.
  2. The Silo Hotel: Situated in the V&A Waterfront, this hotel is known for its unique architecture and contemporary art collections, offering a sophisticated stay.

Boutique Hotels

  1. The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa: Located in Sea Point, this gay-owned boutique hotel offers a personalized experience with luxurious amenities, including a spa and outdoor pool.
  2. Kensington Place: Nestled on the slopes of Table Mountain, this boutique hotel combines privacy with chic urban design.

Mid-Range Hotels

  1. Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott: This hotel in Tamboerskloof is known for its quirky design and vibrant atmosphere, close to the city center and gay nightlife.
  2. The Commodore Hotel: Offering panoramic views of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront, this hotel is a comfortable and convenient choice.

Budget-Friendly Options

  1. Once in Cape Town: A vibrant hostel located on Kloof Street, known for its social atmosphere and convenient location.
  2. The Backpack: South Africa’s original backpacker and a fair trade hostel, The Backpack is centrally located and offers a range of room options.

Gay-Friendly Guesthouses

  1. Pink Rose Guesthouse & Spa: Located in Somerset West, this gay-owned guesthouse provides a relaxing retreat with spa services.
  2. Maartens Guesthouse: Situated in Fresnaye, it’s known for its friendly service and beautiful views of the Atlantic Seaboard.

Self-Catering Apartments

  1. De Waterkant Cottages: Offering a range of stylishly furnished self-catering cottages in the vibrant De Waterkant area.
  2. Lawhill Luxury Apartments: Located at the V&A Waterfront, these apartments offer the convenience of home with the luxury of a top-tier hotel.

Each of these options provides a comfortable and welcoming experience for LGBTQ+ travelers, ensuring a memorable stay in Cape Town. Whether you’re looking for luxury, comfort, or a budget-friendly option, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city.

Adventure and Thrills

For the adventurous at heart, Cape Town offers paragliding, jet skiing, ziplining, and snorkeling alongside seals, providing an adrenaline rush like no other​​.

Annual Pride Celebrations

Cape Town Pride, held in late February/early March, is a vibrant celebration of love and inclusivity, featuring street performances and a kaleidoscope of color​​.

Practical Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers

Safety in Cape Town, as in any major city, requires vigilance. Keep emergency numbers handy, protect your valuables, and exercise caution when exploring online dating​​.


Cape Town, with its embracing of diversity, stunning landscapes, and vibrant gay scene, is a paradise for LGBTQ+ travelers. Whether it’s the allure of natural beauty, the thrill of adventure, the richness of cultural experiences, or the warmth of the local community, Cape Town promises an unforgettable journey for every gay traveler.

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