Ready, steady, let’s traverse the trails at twilight
Special and Hidden Rooftop Bars In the City: Killer Views, Sleek Looks and Winning Vibes
Views to-die-for and delicious drinks are a given. These rooftop bars have a little something extra to offer.
The Ritz’s Cigar and Champagne Lounges
These swanky spaces sit atop the Ritz Hotel – the iconic building that towers over Sea Point and which just unveiled its multi-million-rand makeover.
The view: At over 20 storeys above the ground, the view stretches as far as the eye can see, sweeping across both the Atlantic Ocean and the city.
The vibe: Both venues are intimate enough to make them perfect for private parties. The hotel is grand and glamorous, but very accessible and even welcomes kids.
Cape Town Ritz Hotel | Corner Main & Camberwell Roads | Sea Point | +27 (0)21 439 6010
House of H
Named after owner and head chef Heinrich Koen, this inner-city rooftop restaurant and bar is slowly making a name for itself, thanks to their great food and welcoming atmosphere.
The view: The city skyline that surrounds the rooftop matches the graffiti-muralled walls and laid-back mood. The tattoo parlour and barber downstairs add to the urban cool aesthetic.
The vibe: It’s great for cracking open a cold one with friends, enjoying good food and great conversation.
Must-try: The buchu-infused gin and tonic on tap.
Open 7:30am to 11pm
House of H | 112 Loop Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)76 699 6146
Red Roof at the Radisson Red
The Radisson Red in the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront offers a refreshing take on the usual hotel pool deck.
The view: The vibrant colours, red truck bar (which was crane-lifted onto the roof) and 360-degree views is like heaven for an Instagrammer.
The vibe: Whether you’re there for an all-day poolside laze or a craft beer-fuelled lunch, you’ll feel right at home in the relaxed, fun space.
Need to know: Keep an eye on their Facebook page for special events like their Christmas lunch and New Year’s Eve party. Open Monday to Sunday 11am to 12am
Radisson Red Hotel | Silo 6, Silo Square | V&A Waterfront | +27 (0)87 086 1578
This sleek and sexy rooftop cafe and bar is a hot addition to Camps Bay’s strip of sensational sundowner spots.
The view: The beach is right there so it always feels like a holiday. And let’s not forget the awe-inspiring Camps Bay sunsets.
The vibe: Chinchilla offers a laid-back vibe with music and decor that says sexy, but easy-going.
Need to know: On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays sunset at Chinchilla means international resident DJs Tess Prins and Charles Webster play live sets.
Open 12pm to 10pm
Chinchilla | Shop 120, 2nd floor, The Promenade Building | Victoria Road | Camps Bay | +27 (0)21 286 5075
Centrally located in Green Point, the outdoor terrace and pool is the place to be on those super hot summer days.
The view: The Romney Park Hotel rooftop deck boasts a sweeping view of the ocean, Robben Island and the Cape Town Stadium – a vantage point that invites you to take in multiple iconic city sights at once.
The vibe: The sophisticated lounge and bar area offers an array of fine whiskeys, cocktails and a selection of local wines and champagnes.
Romney Park Hotel | Hill Road\d & Romney Street | Green Point | +27 (0)21 439 4555
Zenith Sky Bar & Pool Deck
Located atop the Cape Royale Hotel in Green Point, Zenith offers the ultimate experience of luxury.
The view: Its panoramic views of the city and Atlantic Ocean are among the star attractions at this swanky hotel.
The vibe: Relax poolside on a lounger or daybed, while sipping exotic cocktails or feasting on sushi, noodles and tapas. Zenith Sky Bar is a magnificent venue for exclusive events.
Need to know: Swimming hours are 9am to 12pm. The outdoor pool is open to adults and children.
Cape Royale Hotel | 47 Main Road | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 430 0500
One Up Bar
One Up is a garden oasis hidden in plain sight in the city centre, right above the popular electro club Fiction on Long street.
The view: If city spotting isn’t your thing, the balcony offers a great view of the mountain and leafy nooks for after-work catch-ups.
The vibe: They offer a selection of single malt whiskeys, gins and cocktails that pair perfectly with the people-watching on the street below.
Need to know: Sunday Blues launched on 10 December and takes place every Sunday from 2pm to 10pm. Expect blues, vinyl DJs and drink specials. One Up is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10pm to 4am.
One Up Bar | 226 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 0400
The Fugard Theatre
If you’re attending a show at the Fugard, make a night of it with pre-drinks or a night cap on their quaint rooftop terrace bar.
The view: It’s a vantage point that offers a 360-degree view of the CBD’s varied skyline.
The vibe: It’s a place to mingle with creatives, theatre enthusiasts and intellectuals, or to dine with a date.
Need to know: They have their own house red and white wines – created especially for the Fugard by award-winning Stellenbosch winery DeMorgenzon.
Opening hours depend on show times.
The Fugard Theatre | Corner Caledon & Lower Buitenkant Street | District Six | +27 (0)21 461 4554
The Deck Rooftop & Pool Bar
The Deck, formerly known as Batstone Pool, is a local favourite for scorching summer days when nothing but a poolside bar will do.
The view: Situated at the top of the Cape Quarter in Green Point, the Deck is a haven in the middle of the city, with a full mountain backdrop.
The vibe: It’s the perfect spot to enjoy cocktails, take a dip and lounge around in the sun.
Need to know: A R50 entrance fee will get you a sunbed and towel, and food is available from Bootlegger.
Open 11am to 8pm
The Deck | Fourth Floor, Cape Quarter | 27 Somerset Road | De Waterkant | +27 (0)76 643 0287
Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar
Two storeys above the ground, the bar at Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa sits flush against Cape Town’s Kloof Nek sidewalk in Tamboerskloof, offering the best view and the liveliest vibe.
The view: The Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar boasts impressive and uninterrupted 360-degree views of the city, including Table Mountain and Signal Hill, as well as the lively cityscape.
The vibe: It’s open to the public, who come to sip on one of the bar’s signature cocktails.
Need to know: On Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm all cocktails are R45 and there’s a 2-for-1 special on local craft beers.
Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel | 12 Kloof Nek Road | Tamboerskloof | +27 (0)21 424 1133
Sky Bar at the top of The Grand Daddy Hotel shares its space with a rooftop airstream trailer park (seven vintage Airstream trailers hauled from the States, then popped onto the hotel’s roof), which makes it a pretty unique venue.
The view: Enjoy a lofty view of the city below from an unusual setting that makes the city beneath seem far away.
The vibe: The wooden deck is intimate and perfect for a sundowner of cocktails, craft beer or champagne.
Need to know: Sky Bar shares a space with the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema, which screens classics like Grease, The Lion King and all your favourite rom coms. A ticket gets you a seat, a welcome drink and snacks.
Open 10am to 12am
The Grand Daddy Hotel | 38 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 7247
The Waiting Room
At the top of Long Street is Royale Eatery, and on top of Royale Eatery is The Waiting Room. The upstairs lounge is chic, yet chilled and features an eclectic mix of live music and DJs.
The view: The fairy light-lined balcony offers a fairytale view of Long Street, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain.
The vibe: Traditionally a favourite hangout of art students at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, the space is now frequented by locals looking for a good dance or a late-night drink.
Need to know: Keep an eye on their Facebook page for an endless array of events featuring upcoming DJs and musicians. If you’re lucky, you could win a bar tab too.
Open 7pm to 2am
The Waiting Room | 273 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4536
Rick’s Café Américain
This swanky Casablanca-themed restaurant offers some of the best Moroccan food in the city, and also has a comfortable rooftop deck with a great vibe and even better vantage points.
The view: An incredible view of Table Mountain and Signal Hill.
The vibe: On summer days, the loungey rooftop provides a spacious, sun-soaked setting for alfresco dining. In winter months the always-on outside heaters warm the space to entice you to snuggle up with a glass of Gluhwein.
Need to know: Take advantage of their happy hour special that runs from 3pm to 7pm offering two-for-one tequila shots (choose from over 35 tequilas!) and their special “Cocktail of The Week”.
Open 11am to 2am
Rick’s Cafe | 2 Park Road | Gardens | +27 (0)21 424 1100
Harald's Bar and Terrace Park Inn Cape Town Foreshore
From its perch on the sky-high 11th floor of the Park Inn Cape Town Foreshore, the Sunroof Terrace boasts an impressive 180-degree view of the Mother City in all her glory.
The view: To one side Table Mountain rises above impressive skyscrapers; to the other, the bustling harbour sprawls out into the sparkling Atlantic.
The vibe: Tuck into a shared snack basket with friends, together with a signature cocktail, as you lounge on the sprawling couches or comfy deck chairs.
Need to know: On Fridays the hotel sponsors live music from 6pm to 8pm and the resident sound spinner, DJ Shylo, gets the weekend mood going.
Open 10:30am to 11pm
The Park Inn Hotel | 29 Heerengracht Street | Foreshore | +27 (0)21 427 4800
Oblivion Wine Bar
Oblivion offers a sunny rooftop in the bustling southern suburb of Claremont.
The view: Take in the view of the mountain and leafy suburban surrounds while sipping on a glass of wine or a delicious cocktail.
The vibe: Join the locals to watch sport on weekends or book a spot for a large group of friends to spend a boozy afternoon. The diverse menu offers tapas, burgers and pizzas till late.
Nice to know: If you’re looking to show off your general knowledge, or make new friends, sign up for the pub quiz on Mondays at 8pm.
Open 8:30am to 2am
Oblivion | 22 Chichester Road | Claremont | +27 (0)21 671 8522
UP YOURS – Yours Truly
This space, a partnership with Once Backpackers, has crept into the hearts of both locals and visitors by becoming something of a the hub for the local music scene.
The view: It’s perfectly positioned to catch that famous Cape Town sunset.
The vibe: It draws a crowd of creatives and city slickers – it’s become one of the ultimate spots for after-work drinks and weekend sundowners with friends.
Need to know: Every weekend, Up Yours sets up the DJ decks for everything from hip hop to vinyl rock for a day-to-night party. Get there early because the roof is closed by 10pm.
Yours Truly | 73 Kloof Street | Gardens | +27 (0)21 426 2587
Overall this loft-style bar above Dear Me Brasserie is contemporary, sleek and a favourite venue for both after-work drinks or a weekend jol.
The view: The space has a real inner-city feel to it with a balcony that looks out onto some of the Cape’s tallest concrete behemoths.
The vibe: The Tjing Tjing crowd is a creative mix – it’s a place where people simply like to chill out.
Need to know: The attached Tjing Tjing Torii restaurant offers delicious Japanese food, and the bar often hosts special tasting events. Check out their Facebook page for chef specials and events.
Open 4pm to 2am
Tjing Tjing | 165 Longmarket Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4374
The festivities don’t end there; celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Cape Town and surrounds with some of the hottest and biggest parties and scrumptious dinners. Or browse through out list of selection of Sundowner Spots.
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