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Johannesburg Nightlife

Nightlife in Johannesburg is lively and dynamic. From shebeens and pubs to fancy cocktail lounges and clubs, the city has something for everyone. Melville is one of the most popular areas: there are dozens of little bars around Seventh Street. More affluent party animals favour Rosebank, Norwood, Rivonia and Orange Grove, while in the Central Business District, Newtown is a big draw. For listings on nightlife in Johannesburg, visit www.jhblive.com.

Culture in Johannesburg ranges from small projects and artistic developments to comedy acts, large-scale operas, art exhibitions, intimate theatre performances and poetry readings. For listings, consult the Tonight supplement of the city's main daily newspaper, The Star (www.tonight.co.za), or visit www.702.co.za.

Tickets to cultural events are available from Computicket (tel: (011) 340 8000 or 083 915 8000; www.computicket.com), the national reservations system, which also has kiosks in the larger shopping malls.

Bars in Johannesburg

Catz Pajamas

In Melville, Catz Pajamas is a 24-hour restaurant and pub housed in an old building with an iron balcony where you can watch the sun come up over breakfast after a night's partying. From insomniacs to fashionistas, it has big appeal.

Main Road
Tel: (011) 726 8596.
Website: www.catzpyjamas.co.za

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Katzy's

Also in Rosebank in the mall attached to the Park Hyatt, Katzy's is very popular with the northern suburbs affluent residents and offers fat sofas, chunky bricks, soft blues music and a top-of-the-range selection of cigars, cognacs and whiskies. The adjoining Grillhouse restaurant specialising in steaks adds to its allure.

The Firs, Hyatt Shopping Centre, Oxford Road
Tel: (011) 880 3945.
Website: www.thegrill.co.za

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Melrose Arch

This is a trendy piazza-style complex with a number of fashionable places to eat and drink.Try the stylish bar in the Melrose Arch Hotel with its stylish dark wood bar, leather armchairs and unique modern African décor.

Corlett Drive, Melrose
Website: www.melrosearch.co.za

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Radium Beer Hall

One of the city's oldest bars. The Radium Beer Hall started life as a tea room in 1929, was converted to a beer hall in 1944 and has never looked back. The long bar is the original bar from the Ferreirastown Hotel from the early mining days. Decorated in vintage posters and press clippings, it has a great ambience.

282 Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove
Tel: (011) 728 3866.
Website: www.theradium.co.za

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Clubs in Johannesburg

Reality

One of the favoured venues for raves are Reality which has three dance floors and offers a blend of hip hop, house and drum'n'bass.

248 Jeppe Street

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The Rock

This is one of Soweto's trendiest clubs, which again features kwaito and jazz, a large bar, roof deck and dance floor.

1987 Vundla Street, Rockville
Tel: (011) 986 8182.

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Tokyo Star

Melville has its fair share of trendy nightclubs. Tokyo Star is decorated in Japanese pop culture décor and sushi is available.

Fourth Avenue, Melville
Tel: (072) 478 2592.

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Live music in Johannesburg

Blues Room

Rosebank has the best jazz and blues venue in town, the Blues Room in the Village Walk complex.

Rivonia Road
Tel: (011) 784 5527.
Website: www.bluesroom.co.za

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Horror Café

In Newtown, the Horror Café is decorated with horror movie memorabilia and plays African music including the infectious kwaito at the weekends. The lusty lyrics and irresistible dance beats of kwaito can be heard blasting out of taxis, clubs, shebeens and street parties throughout Johannesburg. The genre uses local languages and street slang in lyrics that reflect life in South Africa and employs a distinct South African style of dancing and dressing.

15 Miriam Makeba Street

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The Bassline

The Bassline is one of the most popular jazz and blues venues in Johannesburg, hosting great local live bands.

Newtown Music Hall in Newtown
Website: www.bassline.co.za

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The Songwriter's Club

Also in Newtown, The Songwriter's Club hosts up-and-coming musicians including township hip-hop artists.

Carr Street
Website: www.thesongwritersclub.com

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Classical music in Johannesburg

Dance in Johannesburg

Theatres in Johannesburg

Market Theatre Company

Since 1976 and the days of protest theatre, the Market Theatre Company has gained a reputation for putting on productions that are socially relevant.

121 Bree Street, Newtown
Tel: (011) 832 1641.
Website: www.markettheatre.co.za

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Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre

Owned by the great impresario who gave it his name, this theatre gives both new and established artistes opportunities for new directions and growth. The complex includes a 1,900-seater theatre.

Shop 65, Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways
Tel: (011) 511 1818.
Website: www.montecasinotheatre.co.za

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Music and Dance in Johannesburg

Civic Theatre Complex

This complex comprises the Nelson Mandela Theatre (formerly Civic Main), Tesson, Thabong and Pieter Roos theatres and an art gallery. Shows are mainly local productions, musicals, ballet, comedy and pantomime (when in season). The incredibly powerful 26-strong Soweto Gospel Choir regularly play here too.

Loveday Street, Braamfontein
Tel: (011) 877 6800.
Website: www.showbusiness.co.za

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Dance Factory

This hosts a huge range of international and local performers, often mixing classical and ethnic styles.

President Street, Newtown Cultural Precinct
Tel: (011) 833 1347.

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Culture in Johannesburg

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The Palazzo Montecasino

This extravagant Johannesburg hotel is part of the Montecasino gambling, leisure, entertainment and shopping complex in Fourways, just 30 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport. Styled like an Italian palace, its luxurious accommodation overlooks lush, landscaped Tuscan gardens. All rooms have one king-size or two double beds, custom air-conditioning, internet point, hairdryer and refreshments. There is also a fully equipped fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, plus the 1,900-seater Montecasino Theatre.

The Westcliff

This claims to be Johannesburg's most luxurious hotel and with unique features such as the city's best sunset and moonrise viewing spot, it probably is. It clings to a steep mountainside, with breathtaking views of the Magaliesberg Mountains and of elephants in the zoo below. The rooms and suites are individually furnished; most also feature charming terraces, balconies or private courtyards. Facilities include a magnificent hilltop heated swimming pool. The Westcliff is conveniently near upmarket shopping districts and golf courses.

Faircity Quatermain Hotel

The epitome of gracious living and a home-from-home atmosphere, The Quatermain, located in the upmarket suburb of Morningside, provides a convenient and tranquil base close to Sandton and Johannesburg. Set in manicured indigenous gardens with oak trees and swimming pool, The Quatermain offers Zimbabwean teak furniture and queen- or king-size beds in all 114 rooms.

Sunnyside Park Hotel

Built in 1895 as a gracious country residence, the Sunnyside Park Hotel is a National Monument. Set in glorious English gardens, it retains its original magnificent balustrade, wood panelling, historic fireplace and glittering chandeliers, but has been extensively refurbished to provide modern touches. Located just off the M1 freeway in exclusive Parktown, it is a few minutes' drive to the Killarney Mall, Rosebank and Sandton City and 30 minutes to the airport. Its restaurant, Milners, is all starched linen and quiet elegance with a British bent in food, tempered to suit all tastes.

StayEasy Eastgate

This ultra-modern hotel in Johannesburg fits into the budget bracket but is surprisingly well equipped, with air-conditioning, a swimming pool and secure parking. Situated 15 minutes' drive from OR Tambo International Airport and 10 minutes' walk from the Eastgate Shopping and entertainment complex (10 cinemas), it's just off the start of the N12/R24 freeways, within easy reach of Sandton, Pretoria, Durban and Kruger National Park. Continental breakfast is available in the lobby and guests can order meals delivered from local restaurants.

Indaba Hotel

Set in a 30 hectare (74 acre) country estate featuring indigenous flora and fauna, the white-walled, thatched buildings of this well-equipped hotel are minutes from the N1 highway. There are 210 very reasonably priced en-suite, air-conditioned bedrooms, three popular restaurants, a swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball, outdoor chess, a beauty therapist and a jogging track.