Cape Town is the right choice for nightlife enthusiasts. You are coming to a city that knows how to party and that has something for everyone. Cape Town offers a lot for night owls and party animals with more than you think to choose from – from beach clubs to underground techno clubs.
If you are a lover of electronic music and techno, you’ll find the perfect Cape Town clubs for you and well as practical nightlife tips in this guest post by Chandré and Maria of Both Paths.
Cape Town’s Nightlife Area: Long Street
Located in the middle of the city centre, Long Street is the place to be for the most of the nightlife and clubbing experience in Cape Town. It is also the city’s most centrally social hub. It is the best place to start your night or, if nightlife is a priority for your trip, staying on Long Street for easy nightlife access is a great option!
All the clubs and bars are extremely close to each other so if you are not satisfied with one, you can walk ten feet to experience the following one. Long Street is also great as you can find a midnight snack around every corner, ensuring that no party animal ever has to go home hungry.
Top 5 electronic dance music clubs in Cape Town
Whenever you feel like dancing and looking for electronic music, techno, or even psytrance and dubstep, you’ll find what you need at Fiction. The crowd’s age varies between 18-28. Fiction is the best in the city for underground and avant-garde electronic music. It has a pumping and pounding dance floor which has a balcony overlooking Long Street for when you want to catch your breath before going back inside for some more.
If you ever wondered where to find the best house and techno in cape town, ponder no more. Friendly staff, fresh set up, amazing venue, & tunes to keep you bumping all night. The dance floor is enormous as you enter through the door. There is always a vibe. Every time.
A proper techno club and is everything you need and nothing excessive. In fact, following the lead of techno heavy-weight clubs in Berlin, no photos are allowed on the dance floor. The music is almost always perfect. There’s a diverse and eclectic lineup of techno artists. People come here to dance, not to be seen. It is loud, dirty, and beautiful. You will meet incredible people here and everyone gets along. If you like to dance hard for hours, you’ll have an amazing time.
Shimmy’s Beach Club
An extraordinary beach club right on the edge of the harbor. It’s popular and pumping for its electronic music and techno and other types of music. The South American DJ-duo Goldfish is a resident here and always rocks the house. Service can be slow, but is worth the wait. The dance floor is on the sand. We always go back for more. It is always an experience, and a must for any party animal in Cape Town! While Shimmy’s is not exclusively electronic music or techno it is definitely worth a visit. A quick check of their Facebook page will let you know what music is on the plan for the night.
We have been to Shimmy’s a handful of times and we have had amazing experiences. Standing on the sand surrounded by music and people, the vibe is indescribable. So take your shoes of, buy a drink and get in the mood because you are in for a memorable night.
Madison Avenue is popular and known for its ultra plush big club in the City Centre with two dance floors and loads of bars. The music is commercial dance music, with VIP bottle service available. To come here, dress to impress!
Nightlife Tips in Cape Town
Watch Your Possessions
As with any night out, always be alert and aware of beggars and pickpockets. Always look after your belongings and do not flash your cash or phone to draw any attention.
Ignore Drug Dealers
Drug dealing can be common certain parts of the city so be prepared to be offered drugs up to three, four times in a night. Drugs are been offered all over Cape Town. Especially Long Street. At every street and corner there are dealers waiting to sell drugs. Whether you are a tourist or local – you will always be approached by persistent drug dealers offering you just anything. When that happens, just ignore them and keep walking.
Speak Up When You Need Help
The security in Cape Town has stepped up highly so if you feel uncomfortable or that someone is bothering you, you should let a policemen, security or bouncer know. They will always be happy to assist with any situation.
Dress Code: Casual
Cape Town is quite casual as far as the dress code goes. But for upmarket clubs I would suggest a collared shirt, smart jeans and shoes. So no open shoes, sneakers, beanies or anything else that you wouldn’t wear to a fancy function.
For ladies, it is all about the Glamour. Try to avoid skirts and dresses during the autumn and winter months, as the wind will leave you uncomfortable and exposed. A single pair of heels could come in handy as there are endless clubs that you may want to dress up for. In generally, it is super casual as long as you wear closed shoes, so no flip flops are allowed because there are often broken glass on the dance floor.
Getting around in town is fairly easy because all the clubs are within walking distance from each other. But you can always use Uber or the MyCity bus which is quick, reliable and easy to use. Getting home we strictly recommend you using a registered taxi/cab or uber. MyCity buses does not run at night.
Have you ever partied in Cape Town or is it something you would like to experience?
About the Author
This post was written by Chandré and Maria, who met while Maria was traveling in South Africa. They fell in love through traveling, and they now run their blog Both Paths together. Both Paths is a blog that want to prove that traveling is for everyone. Right now they are exploring Maria’s home country, Norway. It is the fifth country they have traveled together since they met six months ago.
Check out their adventures on their Instagram and Facebook.
14 Replies to “Cape Town Nightlife Guide: Why Electronic Music Fans LOVE This City”
Long Street gives me New Orleans vibes! This is a great guide as I’m always looking for nightlife options when I travel. Thanks!
What a great guest post! Shimmy Beach Club was my absolute favorite in Cape Town! Loved the vibe and location. Need to go back and check out others x
I’m jealous of you! I want to go too 😆 Shimmy is now high on my bucketlist
I’ve never had Cape Town high on my list, but this is a great post to kick start with partying haha. What about no photos!
It’s a trend started in Berlin nightclubs, wanting people to focus on the music and experience rather than ‘gramming on their phones :p Also they don’t want people to be worried about how they look, so some don’t even have mirrors in the bathrooms for example.
Wow! I had no idea Cape Town had such an awesome nightlife! I’d love to hit up Shimmy first but these all look fun! I love this post because I think finding out where nightlife is while traveling can be hard!
Ah, looks awesome (especially the part about snacks being on every corner ;)), pinning this for later!
I’ve never been to Cape Town and had no idea it has such a lively nightlife scene. The beach club looks awesome! It reminds me of some of the pool parties in Vegas – but better! I will be keeping Long Street on my mind when I have the chance to visit Cape Town 🙂
Yes! My thought exactly, also thought it looks like a mini version of Ushuaia in Ibiza. I really want to go now too 🙂
This is a helpful guide! I had no idea about the drug dealers and how persistent they are. I guess there aren’t as much regulation or is it just not enforced very heavily that they are out in the open offering them to you!? Thanks for sharing!
Long street looks insane. I’m ALWAYS looking for nightlife guides when I travel and rarely find any!!! Great post.
Thanks! I’m trying to build up my database of nightlife guides 🙂
I never really think of Cape Town as being well-known for electronic music and clubs so this was a really interesting read. These clubs look great! I’m hoping to get to South Africa in the next year or two!
I hear nightlife in Cape Town is really popping! Headed there in December so will definitely be bookmarking this for reference purposes. PS: How is your camera able to take such amazing photos in low light/night? Beautiful photos.