Cape Town boasts a bustling nightlife scene. Here are the places in the city where you can enjoy a sundowner, dance the night away at a nightclub, or enjoy live music from talented local artists.
Launched in February 2017, The District is one of the hottest spots in the city to party at. This Harrington Street haunt has become one of the premier spaces for events and live music. Managed by events management company, The Firm Cape Town, the venue has a large space which caters to a variety of music events, so you can expect a wide range of music from electronic, hip hop and live acts.
The sister venue to Bob’s Bar in Long Street, Bob’s Bar District Six has been a hit since its inception. From hosting the highly-popular local DJ Kent, to hosting the 2017 Idols SA winner Paxton Fielies, this District Six hangout has a regular rotation of events which keeps the locals coming back.
The 31st floor of Cape Town’s iconic Absa Building is home to this chic nightclub. Cocoon is all about glamour – here sipping on delicious cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views of the city is simply the way they roll. Besides the spectacular lookout, Cocoon Cape Town’s interior is a melting pot of enchantment featuring chandeliers, glass casings, lavish lounge seating and state-of-the-art contemporary finishes throughout. Expect a selection of music genres like hip-hop, house and electronic dance music in a sophisticated setting.
Electronic music comes to the fore at Reset, one of Cape Town’s most popular dance clubs dedicated to the many forms of EDM including electro, techno and house. Situated on the trendy Loop Street in the CBD, Reset enjoys a solid following among locals.
Stellar eatery by day and exquisite dance venue by night, Shimmy Beach Club is one of the most well-known entertainment spots in Cape Town. On summer nights, it’s hard to rival the atmosphere of a Shimmy Beach Club party as DJs spin their beats while revellers jol in the sand. That’s right, it’s not a beach club for nothing… Shimmy brings the beachfront to the dance floor! With two bars, an infinity pool, and private seating areas for VVIPs, there’s a little bit of magic to be found everywhere. Have a blast on the beach, lounge in the lap of luxury, or party until the sun comes up.
Jade Lounge & Champagne Bar
One of Cape Town’s most intimate nightlife venues, the classy Jade Lounge & Champagne Bar makes up in glamour what it sacrifices in size. You won’t see any hoodies or high tops here; people are dressed to the nines and on the prowl for a memorable night out on the town. Thursdays are the most popular nights here, where partygoers can jam to R&B, while Fridays and Saturdays lend themselves to deep house. Sundays at Jade allows people to gear up for the week ahead and plays swift R&B jams all night. There’s no entrance fee, but note that no under-23s are allowed.
Chez Ntemba is part of an international brand which has developed over 41 successful clubs across Africa and beyond. True to its name, which can be loosely translated as ‘our home’, Chez Ntemba is indeed home to popular club nights such as ‘Dancehall Thursdays’, ‘On Fleek Fridays’ and ‘Africano Sundays’. They also occasionally play host to top South African and African live artist performances. Table bookings are welcome and include a high-end bottle service. A smart casual dress code is advised.
Fiction is one of Cape Town’s longest-running nightclubs, and having recently re-opened, it now sports a bigger and better venue. The once-crammed dance floor has been expanded to allow over 200 music enthusiasts to dance to their favourite tunes and is open five days a week. Each day presents different weekly offerings like ‘Strictly 2000s’ (old school tunes from the early 2000s), ‘It Came From The Jungle’ (drum & bass and hip-hop) and more. For a breath of fresh air, follow the artificial lawn up the stairs to the daytime bar where gaming culture is alive and thriving. Enjoy a variety of video games and themed drinks here.
Julep Bar’s small, intimate setting makes it a great place to get your jam on. This speakeasy-type haunt makes those who enter its discreet doors feel like they’ve walked into the coolest house party in Cape Town or the ultimate VIP lounge. Situated in an alley just off Long Street, this Mother City hidden gem is known for its delicious, colourful cocktails and eclectic selection of dance music – the combination of which often results in brazen bodies jiving on the low tables. On any given night, revellers can get down to funk played by Mother City musicians, deep house spun by local DJs and old-school hip-hop sets played on vinyl records. Julep Bar is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is the perfect place to use as a springboard for a great night out in Cape Town.
Decodance has been a Cape Town institution for a number of years. At this Sea Point club, put on your 'alternative' outfit, and head on down to an underground venue that specialises in 70s, 80s and 90s hits. This trendy club boasts two multi-coloured dance floors (smoking and non-smoking), three bars, ample seating and LCD screens that form part of the Decodance experience that many have come to love. The club also hosts special events that are not to be missed (you can keep up with these on their Facebook page). Ladies gain free entry on Friday and Saturday nights before 10pm.