From beach to bar: Camps Bay’s coastal clubbing experience

After a day languishing in the sun and sea Camps Bay beach, head over to one of these venues for a sundowner and relaxed entertainment before changing gears into full party mode.

The Grand Café & Room boasts a breath-taking view mere metres from the beach, featuring ambient electronic music from a variety of guest DJs. You’re guaranteed a mood-appropriate playlist as you sip on fancy cocktails and enjoy a delicious dinner. The party winds up the further the sun sets below the horizon and the venue features a private penthouse suite if you’re keen for an overnight stay. There is an air of sophistication to the space without losing the relaxed nature of the beach aesthetic.

Café Caprice is the trendy, popular, not-to-be-missed venue in Camps Bay. The clientele are accustomed to a wealthy lifestyle and this venue reflects that. Signature cocktails and premium liquor are the drinks of choice, with VIP tables and bottle service upon request. The venue is open from Monday to Sunday with DJs spinning house, lounge and commercial music on weekend nights.

If you want to party like a local without any pretence or dress code, Dizzy’s Café is the answer. Dizzy’s is well-known for their pizzas and they  have a fully licensed restaurant, pub and non-smoking lounge, making it the perfect place to eat, drink and play. You can live out your pop star dreams on karaoke nights or attend one of their themed parties (minimal cover charge).

Music for the masses at these top dance clubs

If you’re itching for a night of reckless abandon accompanied by a soundtrack of quality dance music, Cape Town’s city centre offers many options and they’re all within walking distance of each other.

At the upper end of Long Street (the city’s main nightlife drag) you’ll find Fiction DJ Bar, home to Cape Town’s best underground and non-commercial dance music. There is an age restriction of 21 for every event night other than Tuesdays, which features the club’s longest running student night, Untamed Youth. Thursday nights feature drum ‘n’ bass while weekend nights range between DJs playing house, techno and bass music. The venue comprises two floors, with two bars, one dancefloor and balconies overlooking Long Street.

Vice City is situated on a side street around the corner from Fiction. The basement-like dancefloor area creates the sense that you could be in a club in any city in the world. Thursday nights host psy-trance while Friday is for techno and Saturday for house.

Era on Loop Street is Cape Town’s premium clubbing experience, so expect to pay a higher cover charge than at the other dance clubs. You pay for the experience as well as the entertainment. Open on Friday and Saturday nights only, the venue features two dancefloors. You enter on the lower level and are greeted by a tunnel-shaped dancefloor with a ceiling adorned with L.E.D light strips that move to the pulsating rhythm of the techno played on this floor. The upstairs Groove Bar hosts an array of house music DJs and is also the smoking-friendly dancefloor. Each floor has a bar with efficient and friendly staff. Both floors have bathrooms — take note that  the upper level facilities are unisex. The age restriction is 21 for ladies and 23 for guys, proof of identity is essential and their dress code is strict.

Across the road from Era, COCO is a decadent nightclub run by experienced members of the local dance music scene. It caters to deep house, hip-hop and commercial music lovers. The venue offers VIP experiences and premium bottle service. The dress code is strict, there is a cover charge and entry into the club is discretionary — don’t even try coming here in flip-flops.

There’s a club night every night of the week in Cape Town

Cape Town has a diverse and plentiful selection of musical genres on offer, no matter what night of the week you hit the town on.

For the young (or young at heart), Mondays in Cape Town belong to Mercury Live and Lounge‘s student night, called Manic Mondays. Expect a playlist comprising everything from radio hits to top club anthems.

Tuesday nights are the territory of Untamed Youth at Fiction. An institution amongst the indie and disco and house fraternity, the best local DJs of these genres, both up-and-coming and established, hold the turntables on this night at Fiction.

Thursday night at Fiction is home to Cape Town’s longest running drum ‘n’ bass party, It Came From The Jungle. Hosted by Niskerone, one of South Africa’s most successful drum ‘n’ bass exports, the night showcases various styles of drum ‘n’ bass as well as providing a platform for young DJs.

Trance, whether psy or progressive, possesses an unwavering following in Cape Town. On Thursdays Vice City is your destination, with Carnival Court Backpackers on Long Street providing the venue for trance events on the weekend. (Cape Town is well known for its outdoor events too, with thousands of people attending full weekend parties from the start of outdoor season — around September each year).

House and techno dominate the Cape Town music scene, with independent brands and promoters organising yacht parties, roof top events and beachfront venue sundowner parties. Venues like Era and Vice City host international acts of a high calibre as well as the stalwarts of the local scene. Weekends in the city, especially during summer, are a haven for these events.

Top live music venues for students in the city

Cape Town is home to one of South Africa’s most prominent universities, and its student nightlife is renowned the world over. A variety of clubs and bars spread throughout the city ccentre ater largely to students and exhibit some of the best local bands and DJs Cape Town has to offer.

Long Street is considered to be Cape Town’s social hub – lined with countless clubs and bars, it provides the perfect club-hopping venue for students. Every Tuesday, Fiction (on Long Street) hosts Untamed Youth, a weekly musical excursion featuring an array of top local DJs, as well as a selection of indie, techno and disco music.

Blah Blah Bar on Kloof Street offers similar entertainment, while Manila Bar in Longmarket Street provides the added bonus of karaoke.

The Assembly is a warehouse-style club conveniently situated in Harrington Street, a stone’s throw from Long Street. Catering to those both live and electronically inclined, it plays host to See You Next Wednesday, a weekly event run by the students of Cape Town, as well as a variety of events including Pysch Night, a psychedelic rock band night. Be sure not to miss The Assembly’s monthly YOH! events with their out-of-the-box themes.