Cape Town, also known as the ‘Mother City’ of South Africa is a city that never sleeps! The city transforms into a hub of energy and excitement when the sun sets. From trendy bars to pulsating clubs, Cape Town’s nightlife scene offers a plethora of options for music lovers and party enthusiasts alike. So if you’re after the best clubs in Cape Town, I’ve got you covered!
Why Party in Cape Town?
After living in Cape Town for 6 months, I can confidently say it’s one of the best places to go out and party. There’s something going on every single night if you’re looking for it. Whether that’s a low-key event at a bar, an abandoned building party, a house party, a festival or a club, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for!
I loved experiencing all that Cape Town had to offer when it came to nightlife, my favourite being some casual drinks on the bunkers by Signal Hill with a group of friends that DJ. However, this blog will explore all the nightlife options in the city so you don’t miss out when you’re there.
First Thursdays in Cape Town
Anyone who’s been to Cape Town will have heard about First Thursdays! It takes place on the first Thursday of every month (as you probably guessed) and art galleries, restaurants and bars stay open late. The point is to experience Cape Town’s art scene as most of the galleries are free to enter and some will even hand out free drinks. It’s a lot of fun to wander through the streets of Cape Town on First Thursdays with a group of friends and I’d recommend stopping by some of these bars before the night truly gets started!
Want more Cape Town content? Check out my YouTube channel for weekly videos about travelling South Africa & beyond, as well as these blogs:
- The Most Impressive Waterfalls in South Africa: 15 Best Falls in the Country
- Cape Town in October: The Best Guide for Weather, Travel Tips & More!
- 7 Stellenbosch Wineries and Vineyards to Visit
- Cape Town Hostels – The Best 7 Worst Ones
- Paragliding in Cape Town
Cape Town Clubs
If you’re looking for the best clubs in Cape Town, there are a few places you should start looking! You’re pretty much guaranteed to find a good one anywhere around Kloof Street, Long Street or Bree Street, however, there are a few others in different spots worth checking out. There are also sooooo many to choose from, so let me help make that decision just a little bit easier.
The Waiting Room
Location: 2nd Floor, 273 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Vibe: A hip-hop haven
For lovers of hip fop and alternative music, The Waiting Room, where Kloof and Long Street meet, is a must-visit. The intimate venue, stylish decor and electronic atmosphere create the perfect ambiance for a great night out. It’s relaxed dress code and regular live bands promise an unforgettable experience! This club is definitely a local hot spot and I had the best time dancing there during the Christmas holidays.
The Athletic Club & Social
Location: 35 Buitengracht St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Mature, luxurious and mysterious
If you’re after a more mature vibe on a night out, The Athletic Club & Social is your best bet! It has a 25+ vibe with a luxurious interior and an older crowd. It’s a great place to go for a few drinks or a nightcap. I’ve never seen the places insanely busy but it’s a go-to spot for tourists and locals.
Location: 152 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Vibe: Electronic music with a younger crowd
Cape Town’s ultimate destination for nostalgic fun and pulsating beats. Situated in the heart of the city, this nightclub seamlessly blends the excitement of classic arcade games with an electrifying club atmosphere. Step into a neon-lit wonderland as you dance along to some of the best electronic music in the city!
The Village Idiot
Location: 32 Loop St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Young crowd with good dance music
Nestled in the heart of Cape Town, The Village Idiot is a lively gastropub that’s a chill spot during the day but really livens up at night. They play a lot of pop music and throwbacks that attract a younger crowd. It’s always busy and you’ll definitely have to wait in line on Friday or Saturday nights.
Location: V&A Waterfront, Grand Africa Café & Beach, Granger Bay 1 Haul Rd, Granger Bay Blvd, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
Vibe: Luxurious and elegant beach club
Grand Africa is definitely one of the best clubs in Cape Town that promises an unforgettable night. Situated on the pristine shores of Cape Town’s coastline, this opulent nightclub offers breathtaking ocean views, world-class DJs and a glamorous ambiance. Immerse yourself in the chic and stylish atmosphere as you dance the night away on the expansive dance floor. With its upscale setting, impeccable service and heaps of events throughout the year, Grand Africa caters to the discerning partygoer seeking a crazy night out in the Mother City!
Cabo Beach Club
Location: 12 S Arm Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
Vibe: Upscale beach vibes
This beachside paradise is a hidden gem along Cape Town’s shores. Cabo Beach Club offers a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with crystal clear beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Lounge on the plush sunbeds, sip on refreshing cocktails and soak up the glorious Cape Town sun! Its chic decor and panoramic ocean views make it the perfect setting for relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil day by the sea or a lively beach party, Cabo Beach Club delivers one of the best beach experiences in Cape Town.
Location: Riebeek St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Hardcore electronic
This is the place to go if you’re after a late night of drinking in Cape Town! Modular is known to be a little grungy, dark and place hardcore electronic music. They have a powerful sound system that will make your heart race while the inclusive and diverse crowd creates an energetic atmosphere.
Cape Town Bars
Want a more chill night out? These bars might be a better option for you! I personally loved exploring the different bars in Cape Town.
Here are some of the best!
The House of Machines
Location: 84 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Vibe: Rustic/chill – the perfect spot to start your night
The House of Machines is an iconic establishment in Cape Town’s city center. It was the first bar I went to when I stepped foot in the city and it still remains one of my favourites! The vibe is laidback and cool, especially inside where they often have live music. Head there first if you’re out for a First Thursday and sip on some cocktails to get the night started.
Location: 187 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Trendy spot for craft beer enthusiasts
This bar boasts an impressive selection of craft beers from local breweries, providing a haven for any beer connoisseur. The vibrant atmosphere, great music and friendly staff make Bob’s Bar a popular venue for local South Africans and tourists alike.
Location: 37 Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
Vibe: Beachside vibes
Situated right along the beach, Cafe Caprice combines stunning ocean views with a lively atmosphere. This popular venue offers a vibrant mix of music genres, live entertainment and a delicious cocktail menu. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening or an energetic night out, Cafe Caprice has it all!
Location: 189 Buitengracht St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Intimate & relaxed
Located in the heart of the city, this venue showcases a curated lineup of talented local and international artists across various genres. From soulful live jazz to energetic rock performances, Selective Live delivers an immersive live music experience that will leave you captivated and wanting more! When I stumbled upon Selective Live, I got house party vibes and was really impressed by the small rooftop section. Surprisingly, Cape Town doesn’t have a lot of rooftops so it’s nice to find one (despite its size) at Selective Live.
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Location: 165 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Trendy with great city views
Escape to the vibrant Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar, an urban sanctuary in the center of the city. Situated atop a historic building, this trendy venue offers stunning city views, innovative cocktails and an electric atmosphere. Step into the stylishly designed space, where modern aesthetics blend seamlessly with vintage elements, creating a unique ambiance. Sip of expertly crafted drinks, infused with local flavours, while soaking in the panoramic skyline views.
Utopia Rooftop Bar
Location: 15th floor, 40 Chiappini St, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Upscale, high-end bar with great food and drinks
Experience a slice of paradise at Utopia Rooftop Bar! It’s a bit of a hidden gem nestled in Cape Town’s cityscape. Perched high above the streets, this captivating venue offers panoramic views of the city, Table Mountain and the sparkling ocean beyond. Step into a world of sophistication and style with handcrafted cocktails, fine wines and a delectable menu inspired by global flavours. It’s the ultimate destination for an evening of elevated socializing. Make sure to book ahead if you’re going with a group to lock in a spot!
Gigi Rooftop Bar
Location: 118 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Vibe: Chic, stylish & sophisticated
This trendy rooftop bar offers a beautiful view of the city, vibrant atmosphere and an extensive menu of innovative cocktails. Whether you’re sipping on handcrafted drinks, indulging in delicious bites or mingling with friends, Gigi Rooftop Bar exudes a sophisticated and energetic vibe. With a sleek design, comfortable seating and lively music, this urban oasis is the perfect spot to relax, socialize and soak in Cape Town’s nightlife.
The Power & The Glory
Location: 13d Kloof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Vintage charm meets modern flair with a laidback vibe
The Power & The Glory is a popular spot with friendly staff and an impressive selection of craft beers, wines and cocktails. It’s the perfect spot for a first date or a few drinks with friends with retro decor, a cozy setting and an electric ambiance. Whether you’re sipping on craft cocktails, enjoying a glass of wine or having a few delicious bites to eat, The Power and The Glory provides a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere to kick back after a long day.
The Moveable Feast
Location: 13 Kloof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Trendy and chill
The Moveable Feast sits right atop The Power and The Glory and is a great spot to check out if you want a little more action. With loud music bumping inside but a small outdoor seating area to hang out and share a few drinks, you get the best of both worlds with The Moveable Feast. The area is small, yet cozy and a great choice on a night when you simply can’t choose where to go!
Location: 71 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Trendy with a young crowd
BLONDIE is a new bar that opened on Kloof Street in 2022. It’s in a busy area among other bars and hostels which attracts a young crowd and plenty of tourists. It’s definitely one of the best bars in the city with colourful decor and it’s set up with a number of picnic tables inside and outdoors so you can enjoy the fresh air on a summer evening! BLONDIE is a great place to go at the start of the night, as it gets packed by 10 pm and you likely won’t find a table to sit at.
Yours Truly Rooftop Bar
Location: 73 Kloof St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Laidback and local
Despite Yours Truly being attached/above a hostel (Never @ Home on Kloof), it’s a place many locals come for a few drinks on the weekends. There is a downstairs area that’s very laidback and relaxed and a rooftop that’s gorgeous with many hanging plants trickling down the ceiling. The rooftop is a chill area until the sun goes down and that’s when the music gets turned up! I spent New Years at Yours Truly and had a great time dancing with both locals and tourists while we rang in 2022.
Location: 133 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: First date/casual drinks
Clarke’s is a SUPER relaxed bar if you’re looking for something chill. I’ve been a handful of times with friends and it’s definitely the type of place to grab a bite to eat, alongside a few drinks. It’s also a great place to drink before First Thursdays but make sure you book a reservation because it gets busy due to its location on Bree.
Location: 61a Harrington Street, District Six, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
Vibe: Laidback punk dive bar
Embrace the surf culture in Cape Town at this coastal-inspired bar. It’s a slice of paradise for locals and tourists alike who are looking for a different type of vibe in town. Despite being a small venue, they host a range of events throughout the year!
Location: 1 Upper Union St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Dingy yet cool
Embark on a legendary drinking experience at Vn Hunks Bar, a renowned establishment in Cape Town steeped in folklore. Named after the mythical character who challenged the devil to a smoking contest, this bar boasts a lively atmosphere and a rich history. Step into the cozy interior, adorned with rustic decor and local art and enjoy an extensive selection of drinks.
The Dark Horse
Location: 145 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Vibe: Simple cocktail bar
Uncover the allure of The Dark Horse Bar, a hidden gem tucked away in Cape Town’s nightlife scene on Kloof St. This intimate and stylish bar exudes a mysterious and enchanting ambiance that captivates its patrons. Step into a world of dimly lit elegance, with its plush seating, flickering candles and electric decor. Whether you’re seeking a romantic evening or a sophisticated night out with friends, you’ll find that at The Dark Horse.
Location: 45 De Villiers St, District Six, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
Vibe: Local dive
I don’t think there’s a more casual bar than The Shack in Cape Town. It’s filled with locals and tourists who want a pint and a game or two of pool. They have many pool tables on different floors, making it one of the best places to visit if you want an activity to go alongside your drink. The Shack is in a somewhat random part of the city, however, it’s close enough to take a quick Uber or Bolt.
What Do You Think of the Best Clubs in Cape Town?
With this list of the best clubs in Cape Town, you should be set to have an incredible night out, no matter the occasion!
Have you been to any of these clubs or bars in Cape Town? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, feel free to let me know if there are any I should add to this post or update.
I’ll be back shortly with another blog but in the meantime, head over to my YouTube channel for all things Sout Africa and digital nomad related every Wednesday! For daily content, check out my Instagram and TikTok.
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