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5 of the Best Hostels in Johannesburg for Backpackers

View of Johannesburg from 50th floor of Carlton Centre

View from 50th floor of Carlton Centre (photo: Chris Eason)

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and an extremely popular place for backpackers from all over the world to visit.

Most backpackers say that it’s the low prices and many sights on offer that ignites a spark of interest in them to visit Johannesburg.

Thankfully, there are some great places to stay in the city if you’re planning a backpacking trip to South Africa. In this post, we’re detailing some popular choices.

1. Urban Backpackers

Urban Backpackers is located in the center of Johannesburg and is situated within walking distance from the hugely popular Carlton Centre.

Although lacking in luxury, this hostel is still rated one of the best and cheapest hostels in all of Johannesburg.

There are a number of shared dorms, as well as private dorms to choose from. Each room has a shared bathroom, and some even have a communal area to relax and watch TV.

As well, you can mingle and get to know other backpackers at the bar and cafe located on the ground floor.

And, despite the low prices, the staff offer an extremely high standard of customer service to their guests.

2. Lakeview Backpackers

Lakeview Backpackers, the name derived from the fact that is overlooks the stunning Blaaupan Lake, is ideal for those on a shoestring budget still wanting to experience an element of luxury to their stay.

This hostel really sets itself apart from the rest by offering an outdoor swimming pool and barbeque on the rooftop.

You can mingle with like-minded people, as well as make the most of the stunning weather.

This hostel is available for all ages, it is even welcoming to families traveling with young children.

There area number of room types available, including shared, twin and private rooms to suit your preferences.

3. Curiocity Backpackers

This one is for those who are looking for something a little different and want to explore all that Johannesburg has to offer.

As the name suggests, Curiocity Backpackers is aimed at those who are in town to socialize, meet new people and experience new things.

It encourages its guests to get out and explore the city’s arts and historical sites and take in the culture.

Located in the thick of the liveliest part of the city, Maboneng, there is free wifi, private dorms and a great rooftop communal area to enjoy.

4. Johannesburg Backpackers

Calling all party backpackers, Johannesburg Backpackers is the place to be.

Complete with its very own bar and pool, this is one party hostel that won’t break the bank, nor disappoint.

The hostel itself is located in a recently renovated house in the suburb of Emmarentia.

The staff at Johannesburg Backpackers truly go above and beyond for their guests, always willing to share their knowledge and help their guests book activities in the city on-site.

5. Brown Sugar Backpackers

Brown Sugar Backpackers has been a top backpacking hostel in Johannesburg since 1999 and has a wealth of history behind it.

Located just a short distance from the Tambo airport, it was once an ex-Mafia mansion – seriously – and when the Mafia moved out, the backpackers moved in.

The current hostel owner frequently backpacks across the world too, so her first-hand experience means she can provide her guests with exactly what they need.


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