Cape Town Nightlife
Balmy evenings, excellent wines and that special Afro-Euro mix collide to make Cape Town a year-round party place, especially in the summer. Nightlife in Cape Town offers something for everyone. Locals and backpackers cruise the string of bars, restaurants and music clubs in Long Street, the rest of the CBD and Green Point. The V&A Waterfront is awash with restaurants and nightlife for a generally older, more affluent crowd and Camps Bay is a hugely popular spot, thanks to Victoria Road’s ‘sunset strip’ of beachfront bars.
Newspapers, the Cape Times (www.capetimes.co.za), Cape Argus (www.capeargus.co.za) and the weekly Mail & Guardian (www.mg.co.za) have entertainment and culture sections. Local websites What’s On in Cape Town (www.whatsonincapetown.co.za) and The Inside Guide (www.insideguide.co.za/whats-on-in-cape-town) also have listings of what’s going on and where.
Cultural offerings in Cape Town range from high-brow opera to pop concerts in the park, comedy clubs and poetry readings. The city is particularly big on jazz, and a unique style of Capetonian jazz has evolved here.
Tickets for most events can be booked through Computicket (+27 861 915 8000; www.computicket.com), which also has kiosks across the city, including the tourist office and V&A Waterfront and Webtickets (+27 86 111 0005; www.webtickets.co.za).
Bars in Cape Town
The Mount Nelson Hotel is a Cape Town institution, renowned for its upmarket cocktail and champagne bar with decadent decor and twinkling ceiling lights in elegant colonial surroundings. The food menu is almost as impressive as the drinks, with caviar, oysters, South African curry and risotto. The terrace is a popular summer spot, as is the roaring fire over winter.Address: , 76 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001
Telephone: +27 21 483 1000
The Beerhouse on Long
The Beerhouse on Long is, predictably, big on beer - even the chandeliers are made from beer bottles. Focusing on the South African and worldwide craft beer movement, they serve 25 beers on tap and over 99 bottled beers from around the world, as well as cider, wine and spirits. There’s also a snack menu that includes biltong, pork crackling and giant onion rings, and a large balcony overlooking vibrant Long Street.Address: , 223 Long Street, Cape Town, 8000
Telephone: +27 21 424 3370
This hip bar on Loop Street is a great place for drinks, and the surprisingly good South African cuisine-focused menu is an added bonus. Quirky décor, comfortable seating and a balcony offer multiple perfect spots to enjoy drinks after a long day sightseeing. It’s fun, eclectic and welcomes tomfoolery.Address: , 32 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8005
Telephone: +27 21 418 1548
Clubs in Cape Town
This sophisticated, two-storey CBD nightclub prides itself on providing patrons with top-notch sound, service and lighting/visual effects. If electronic music is your thing, this is the place to go to feast your senses. No girls under 21 or guys under 23.Address: , 71 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8000
Telephone: +27 21 422 0202
Set in a 19th-century heritage building, this Long Street favourite plays a wide range of music, from indie, rock and disco to electro and psychedelic trance. The wrap-around balcony is the perfect spot to soak up the Long Street action below, and there’s also a ‘daytime bar’ on the second floor.Address: , 226 Long Street, Cape Town, 8000
Telephone: +27 21 422 0400
Shimmy Beach Club
You can’t beat Shimmy on location. Situated on its own (man-made) beach on the South Arm at the Waterfront, the venue includes an infinity pool, a pool deck that hosts DJ sessions (both local and international), a whiskey room and a sophisticated restaurant. Lighter meals and pizza are also available. Check their website for listings of who’s playing, when.Address: , South Arm, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002
Telephone: +27 21 200 7778
Live music in Cape Town
Out in the leafy Southern Suburbs, this tiny, unpretentious music venue offers intimate gigs and home-cooked meals served at long tables. They showcase both established musicians and newcomers and a range of music styles, and you’re sure to see and hear some incredible talent. It’s open Wednesdays and Friday to Sunday; check their Facebook page for listings.Address: Rosebank, 20 Alma Road, Cape Town, 7700
Telephone: +27 21 685 7377
The Piano Bar
Located on a cobbled street in De Waterkant, there’s live soul, funk, blues and jazz from up-and-comers and professionals every night of the week. A baby grand lends an air of gravitas, but it’s a relaxed place offering great music, excellent cocktails, craft beers and a delicious inventive menu. A wraparound terrace and fireplace caters for all-weather visits.Address: , 47 Napier Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001
Telephone: +27 21 418 1096 or +27 79 028 4628
The Waiting Room
One of Cape Town's hippest spots, The Waiting Room showcases live music by local artists and themed club nights. Situated above the Royale Eatery restaurant, it’s a cool, two-level rooftop bar with great views over Cape Town. Originals, rather than covers, are the thing, with the emphasis on folk, soul and funky jazz. There’s live music Tuesday through Thursday.Address: , 273 Long Street, Cape Town, 8000
Telephone: +27 21 422 4536