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Cape Town Nightlife

Cape Town is by far South Africa's most cosmopolitan city. A multicultural treat with something for everyone, it offers fashionable bars, small watering holes, classy dance clubs, and hotel bars.

Visitors can sip cocktails and watch the sunset at one of Camps Bay's trendy sidewalk cafes in the summer. Somerset Road in Green Point is where the main gay and lesbian clubs and bars are situated, although Cape Town in general is very tolerant of same-sex relationships.

Observatory offers a more bohemian experience, where everything happens at a slightly slower pace. Pool halls, reggae bars, avant-garde eateries, and live music are the order of the day. For a younger and more mainstream clubbing experience, Visitors should try th road in Claremont, where young adults prefer to have a drink and dance at clubs like Tiger Tiger.

Long Street is the heart of Cape Town's nightlife. Located in the centre of town, it has just about every kind of bar or club on offer, from live music and DJs to pubs, dance clubs, and the more trendy and laid-back lounge variety. Travellers should be wary of the numerous pickpockets in the crowd, and keep a close watch on mobiles and wallets.

Cape Town also has plenty of quieter and less crowded venues hidden away off the side streets. Kloof Street and Bree Street are within easy walking distance of Long Street, and are known for their fashionable bars and restaurants.

For culture vultures, there are great local and often international shows to be seen at one of the many theatres in Cape Town, such as the Theatre on the Bay, the Baxter Theatre, or the Artscape. On Broadway hosts a wonderful mix of comedies and farces. The Cape Town City Ballet, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Cape Town Opera are all world-class performing groups. Maynardville Open-Air Theatre hosts Shakespeare in the Park performances in Wynberg every summer.

Unfortunately, there is little to no public transport after 7pm besides private taxis. These often need to be booked in advance and can be very expensive, so it is best to rent a car. The legal drinking age in South Africa is 18. Bars and clubs stop serving alcohol at 2am.

Our Travel Expert

An American expat currently living in South Africa, Anya Klaassen has travelled widely as a musician and writer.

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