10 Things to Do in Cape Town at Night

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in South Africa, especially when night falls. I invite you to know the favorite night plans in it.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Cape Town at Night

Yzerfontein Cape Town|©Marius Voges

Cape Town offers a wide variety of options to enjoy, from cultural, natural and touristic elements, to an active nightlife with bars, clubs, restaurants and shows. In fact, one of the best ways to start the evening is to admire the sunset from one of the city's viewpoints, such as Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope or Camps Bay beach.

At night, the sky is dyed in spectacular colors and the city is illuminated with thousands of lights, an ideal setting to enjoy the other side of the place. The plan can be to dine and enjoy live music and dancing. Also, taste the international gastronomy festival at the V&A promenade. You can browse the bars, pubs and nightclubs on Long Street, go to the Fugart Theater and more. Explore and be amazed with the best things to do in Cape Town.

1. Enjoy the sunset from the sea on a Cape Town cruise

Cape Town Sunset|©picturesfrommars
Cape Town Sunset|©picturesfrommars

For a magical and romantic experience on your trip to Cape Town, don't miss the opportunity to take a sunset cruise from the V&A Waterfront, the city's most famous and lively harbor. Aboard a sailboat or catamaran, you can admire the spectacular views of the coastline, ocean and Table Mountain as the sun sets over the horizon.

Sunset cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Town from a different perspective. You will be able to see how the colors of the sky change from shades of blue to oranges, pinks and reds, creating a stunning contrast with the sea and the city skyline. In addition, you will feel the sea breeze on your face and the sound of the waves in your ears, which will make you relax and disconnect from stress.

The tour will take you through Table Bay, where you can see the Cape Town stadium, home of the 2010 World Cup, and the Milnerton lighthouse, one of the oldest in the country. You will also sail through Granger Bay, where you can spot dolphins, seals and other marine animals that inhabit the area. Of course, you won't miss the icon of the city, Table Mountain, which rises majestically over the landscape.

The cruise is suitable for families, couples and groups of friends, and promises a unique and memorable experience. The best thing is that the tour has a guide who will give you information about the places and tell you curiosities and anecdotes about the city.

Book a sunset cruise

2. Say goodbye to the day from the Table Mountain Cable Car

Table Mountain cable car at sunset.|©Jens
Table Mountain cable car at sunset.|©Jens

One of the best ways to see the city is from the Table Mountain Cable Car. To make the experience more incredible, many choose to make the trip at sunset, when the sky darkens and the city is illuminated with thousands of lights.

Firing the day off from the Table Mountain Cable Car at sunset has several advantages. On the one hand, you will avoid the long lines that form during the day, since there are fewer people who want to go up at that time. You will also be able to contemplate a unique natural spectacle, with the sun setting on the horizon and creating an impressive contrast with the sea and the city.

The cable car has a rotating base, which gives you a 360-degree view. From the cabin, you can see Cape Town Stadium, Milnerton Lighthouse, Table Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island.

At the top, almost 1,100 meters above sea level, you can walk around the various viewing platforms and enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the sea, the Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope. You will also be able to see the flora and fauna that inhabit Table Mountain National Park , such as the fynboss and dassies.

3. Discover African flavors on a night tour of the city's restaurants

Gold Restaurant|©Brooks Crockett
Gold Restaurant|©Brooks Crockett

After an exciting day of sightseeing from Cape Town, one way to end the day is to discover African flavors on a tour of the city's restaurants. Also, by doing it at night, you can better appreciate the atmosphere and lighting of the premises, which are often decorated with typical African motifs and colors.

Cape Town is multicultural and cosmopolitan, offering a wide variety of dining options in the evening. You can enjoy the food to the rhythm of live music and dance and feel the energy of the continent. Here are some of the restaurants you can visit:

  • Gold Restaurant; located in the Green Point neighborhood, offers a unique sensory experience, combining the tasting of 14 dishes from different African countries, such as Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mozambique, with a show of traditional music and dance.
  • Mama Africa; located on Long Street, offers the opportunity to taste local South African food, such as bobotie (meat pie with spices and eggs), potjiekos (meat and vegetable stew cooked in an iron pot).
  • Addis in Cape; located in the center of the city, specializes in Ethiopian cuisine. It also offers a 10-course tasting menu.

4. Experience a night of Jazz in the nooks and crannies of Cape Town

jazz club and restaurant|©Bharat Vohra
jazz club and restaurant|©Bharat Vohra

If your trip is at least 3 days in Cape Town and you want to discover its culture through music, you should take advantage of a night of jazz in the corners of the city. This metropolis vibrates with this genre, which has a long and rich history in South Africa. You can enjoy the best live music in a cozy atmosphere.

Cape Town has a varied offer of jazz venues, which adapt to the tastes and preferences of each visitor, you can make the tour on foot and get to know more of the city at night. Some of the most important places are the following:

  • The Crypt Jazz Restaurant: located in the basement of St. George's Cathedral, in the center of the city. It offers a unique experience of jazz and gastronomy, with a great variety of live musicians.
  • The Piano Bar; located in the De Waterkant neighborhood, near the V&A waterfront, offers a cozy and elegant atmosphere with jazz-inspired décor. It also features a selection of local and international musicians, playing everything from classic jazz to soul and blues.

5. Have a fun time in Cape Town's bars and nightclubs

Beerhouse|©Aliz on the road
Beerhouse|©Aliz on the road

Cape Town is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in South Africa, especially when it comes to nightlife. With a special blend of Afro-European culture, excellent wines and a wide variety of entertainment options. It is a party place all year round, especially in the summer. If you want to have a fun time in the bars and nightclubs of Cape Town, here are some recommendations:

  • The Beerhouse; located on Long Street, you can taste more than 100 beers from all over the world.
  • Village Idiot; a relaxed bar with South African food and a terrace overlooking the street.
  • Shimmy Beach Club; located on the V&A waterfront where you can also watch music, theater and comedy shows in the outdoor amphitheater.
  • Grand Africa Café & Beach; also on the V&A promenade, you can enjoy a cocktail at sunset.
  • Café Caprice; one of the most exclusive clubs in town, where you can enjoy a romantic dinner or a night of dancing.
  • Camps Bay: For something quieter and more sophisticated, this area is full of upscale bars and restaurants. You can admire the sunset from the terrace of one of the bars on the Sunset Strip, such as The Bungalow or Zenzero.

6. Taste wines and snacks at Groot Constantia in the evening

Groot Constantia Wine Estate| Cape Town|©Pit Spielmann
Groot Constantia Wine Estate| Cape Town|©Pit Spielmann

The Cape Town sunset invites you to live a unique experience in a vineyard, specifically, in the oldest winery in South Africa and one of the most prestigious in the world. This is Groot Constantia, a historic estate where you will taste exquisite wines and appetizers while enjoying the natural surroundings. You can admire the panoramic views of the mountains and the ocean, while sipping a sparkling wine or champagne.

A tour of this estate will allow you to discover its oenological and gastronomic offer. You can opt for a guided wine tasting, to taste five of their best wines, chosen by you. You can also visit the winemaking facilities to learn about the production process and the history of the winery.

You can also tour the manor house, which houses a museum with rotating exhibitions, and the beautiful gardens, which will surprise you with their vegetation and fauna. It is an experience to be enjoyed with all the senses and even more so at sunset with all its nuances.

For many, this experience is an opportunity to appreciate the aromas and flavors of the wines, which reflect the terroir and tradition of the region. It also involves learning about the culture and history of South Africa through the exhibits and anecdotes told by the guides.

Book tickets to Groot Constantia Winery

7. Attend one of the shows or evening performances scheduled at the Fugard Theater

Fugard Cape Town|©Helen
Fugard Cape Town|©Helen

There is a lot to see and do in Cape Town and a good plan for the evening is to attend one of the shows or presentations scheduled at the Fugard Theatre. This center is named after the famous South African playwright Athol Fugard. It is also one of the most popular and prestigious in the city, with a varied program of plays, musicals, dance, cinema and literary events.

The Fugard Theater is in the heart of District 6, a historic area that was a victim of racial segregation during apartheid. One of the best options to enjoy it is to attend an evening performance, as you will appreciate the charm and atmosphere of the place, as well as the quality and talent of the artists. You can also enjoy a drink or a snack in one of the theater's two bars.

Attending a performance at the Fugard Theater will not only allow you to enjoy a first-class show, but also to learn more about the history and culture of Cape Town and South Africa.

Information of interest

  • Price: depends on the show and the location you choose. The entrance fee is between 6 and 21 € per person.
  • Schedule: the shows usually start between 19:00 and 20:00 hours, and last between one and two hours.

8. Stroll around the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood in downtown Cape Town at nightfall

Bo Kaap - Capetwon|©Master Joshway
Bo Kaap - Capetwon|©Master Joshway

If you travel to South Africa, you can not miss the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, one of the most unique and colorful. To do so, you can join one of the best guided tours in Cape Town. With its houses and buildings painted in bright pastel colors, Bo-Kaap is ideal to visit after dark, because it is one of the best places to watch the sunset over the Atlantic.

Bo-Kaap means "above the Cape" and is located on the slopes of Signal Hill, above the city center. Its origin dates back to the 17th century, when Dutch settlers brought slaves from Southeast Asia, who were allowed to settle in this area.

One of the best ways to get to know Bo-Kaap is to stroll through its cobblestone streets. You can also taste the typical Malay cuisine, but if you want to learn more about the history and culture of the neighborhood, you can visit the Bo-Kaap Museum, which is located in one of the oldest houses in the area.

Book a guided tour

9. See the city and its surroundings at night from The Cape Wheel

The Cape Wheel|©Charles Harry Mackenzie
The Cape Wheel|©Charles Harry Mackenzie

If you are short on time and want to see the best of Cape Town in 5 days or less, you can see the city and its surroundings from The Cape Wheel, a giant 50-meter observation wheel located at the V&A harbor. Going up when night falls has several advantages that make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

On the one hand, you can see how the city is illuminated with thousands of lights, creating a spectacular contrast with the sea and the sky. On the other hand, you will be able to enjoy a quieter and more romantic atmosphere, since there are fewer people who want to go up at that time. The Cape Wheel-Kaap also provides a panoramic view of Cape Town and the surrounding area.

From the heights you can admire some of the city's most iconic and interesting sights, with natural and urban beauty from Table Mountain to Robben Island, the stadium, the lighthouse and the bay. The wheel offers a sensory and cultural experience, combining sight with sound and information.

If you like the experience of sight-seeing from above, you can also opt for a helicopter flight in Cape Town, which will allow you to see the city and its surroundings from the air for a different perspective and in more detail.

Information of interest

  • Price: The ticket price is about 9 € per adult and approximately 5 € per child. However, there is a 50% discount if you go up after 18:00.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
  • Address: Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.

Fly over Cape Town by helicopter

10. Take a sunset hike on Lion's Head Mountain

Leeukop hike|©Johan Visser
Leeukop hike|©Johan Visser

Cape Town is framed by three iconic peaks and one of the options to see the cityscape at night is to take a sunset hike up Lion's Head Mountain, one of the three peaks. From its summit, at 669 meters high, you can admire 360-degree panoramic views of the city, the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain.

The most spectacular moment of the route is when you reach the top and contemplate the sunset over the horizon. The colors of the sky and the landscape become more vivid and create an impressive spectacle. Also, if you are lucky, you will be able to see the moonrise from the east, which adds more magic to the moment. Don't forget to bring a camera to capture these unforgettable images.

This is a tour you can do on your own, but you can also join group options by hiring the services of a professional guide, who will provide you with safety, information and advice during the ascent. Keep in mind that the trail starts on a gravel track and then turns into a path that spir als around the mountain.

Also, in some sections, you will have to overcome some rock steps with the help of chains and ladders, which adds fun and challenge to the adventure. If you don't feel comfortable with these obstacles, you can opt for an alternative route that avoids them.