While everyone visits Cape Town for its vibrant cultural side and its picturesque scenery, when it comes to nightlife, there are a myriad things to do in the Mother City. We’ve selected some of our favourites for each category but by no means have we listed them all for you! Whether a quiet and relaxed evening is your style or you prefer to go out and listen to some music – Cape Town nightlife has it all.
Booking is essential for this one but arrangements are more easily made on weekdays when the locals aren’t out! Your reservation is completed once you select your choice of set menus for your preferred number of guests. The performers do all the rest, from taking your order to entertaining you with their heartfelt ballads into the early morning hours.
While catering for the more flamboyant guest, Beefcakes is a lot of fun with inventive drinks and amazing performances – drag performances that is. Watch while your shirtless waiter brings your meal before getting dolled up and heading on stage to grace your ears with the latest pop tune.
Cape Town Comedy Club
Providing the laugh-track to Cape Town nightlife, the Cape Town Comedy Club hosts acts both local and international on its stage. It also offers a full menu to compliment your evening out and tickets sell from anywhere between R50 to R120 on normal evenings depending on how well known the acts are.
Clubs & Bars
This venue is probably the most relaxed on the list, playing to the classic tune of 99 bottles of beer on their wall…except these bottles are locally-brewed craft beers. Those who want to enjoy the local DJ’s have the option of visiting Beerhouse on the first Thursday of the month to join in the Silent Disco. This event gives you a pair of headphones for R50 and three channels to hop between on the dance floor! The venue has a designated dancefloor and because it’s so quiet, you can simply slip off your headphones and relax on the bar’s buzzing balcony whenever you feel like it.
The Piano Bar
If you’re into jazz and an evening of good food, this is the place for you. Look out for which performances are taking place on which nights but take note that there is a cover charge on these evenings. However, with these crooners complimenting your conservation with their soft piano sounds, what could be better?
Tjing-Tjing is ideal for a night out no matter what you’re craving. Their ground floor is market-style with loads of affordable and delicious tapas options while further up their restaurant serves traditional Japanese fine-dining. The real treat, however, is the rooftop bar where you can try creations such as the jelly-baby daiquiri. The atmosphere is very chic with business people frequenting the lounge area after dark.
Cause and Effect Cocktail Kitchen
Delight in strange creations at Cause and Effect Bar including unicorn candy floss cocktails and a Cape Town spin on the traditional gin and tonic. All of their creations are beautiful albeit more high end on the cocktail spectrum. This is part of a rising trend in locally-owned and original bars and eateries that specialise in the things that no one else is doing…yet
This bar moonlighting as a club is more of a trendy place to be seen than it is a café. For those who prefer the company of models and movie stars alike, Café Caprice offers this along with artisan drinks, EDM and a stylish atmosphere. Found in the affluent neighbourhood of Camps Bay, you’re never far from a glorious beach sunset or a chance encounter with a celebrity.
Pop-Ups & Monthly Events
Zeitz MOCAA First Fridays
The Zeitz MOCAA offers half-price entries (at R95 a ticket) to the museum on the first Friday of every month between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The Zeitz holds the biggest collection of contemporary African art in the world and it’s well worth spending your evening perusing the exhibitions. You can also read about daytime offerings at the Zeitz MOCAA on our blog.
Cape Town nightlife wouldn’t be complete without First Thursdays. This event has grown so large that nearly every restaurant and bar in the city bowl participates. Trading hours are extended and the city lights up with art, performances and delicious food and drink. Look out for surprise venues such as the Gin Bar which is hidden behind Honest Chocolate! Every Capetonian will tell you, you need to try it at least once.
Paint & Sip
This delightful experience includes a painting lesson from a professional, a glass of wine or bubbly and canapés from the host restaurant/venue. Tickets sell for between R350 and R650 (depending on the venue) and can be purchased online. The proceeds go towards a non-profit organization involved with education for disadvantaged children and you get to take home a masterpiece!
Beginner Salsa Lessons @ The Radisson RED
This event is wonderful for beginners to learn the basics of this dance style in the stylish Radisson RED hotel in the V&A Waterfront, especially if they are guests there or elsewhere in the harbour. The best part of the event? It’s all for free! The hotel bar is also a wonderful place to unwind and simply watch the newbie salsa dancers try out their moves.
This year’s Museum Night will be held on Thursday the 21st of February. This yearly event is so popular that it really should happen more often but annually guests are welcomed into all of Cape Town’s best museums (including the National Gallery, the Castle of Good Hope and the Maritime Museum)…for free! With a helpful map of all the participants it’s a short walk or cab ride between each.
This and more awaits you in the Mother City as Cape Town nightlife is always changing and venues continue to incorporate more spectacular things for guest to do.