Did you know?
The Vista Bar at One&Only was included on CNN Go’s online portal as one of the top 50 rooftop bars and restaurants in the world.
South Africa’s rooftop bars rival the best in the world, with a particularly impressive selection to choose from in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Randlords in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, is on the 22nd floor of South Point Towers. Relax and enjoy your drink with 360-degree views of the city that include the FNB Stadium in Soweto and Sandton’s distinctive skyline.
Skyline Gardens is also in Braamfontein. Set in a rooftop garden, it has a cocktail bar, caters for alfresco dining and provides lots of intimate spaces where friends can relax and chat. Its sweeping views take in some of the city’s most iconic sites, such as the Nelson Mandela Bridge and the Hillbrow Tower.
12 Decades Hotel, in downtown Johannesburg, is home to the Main Street Life Rooftop Bar. This trendy setting is also the venue for Sundays in the City, something of an inner-city institution where friends hang out while DJs play a selection of music to wind-down the weekend.
Other rooftop bars in Johannesburg include Private Practice, an independent venue on the 18th and 19th floors of the Lister Medical Building in Jeppe Street. Urban Tree is on the edge of the Sandton industrial fringe, with views of its famous skyline.
Cape Town also has a selection of fantastic rooftop bars. Tjing Tjing Bar, in the heart of the city bowl, occupies the top floor of a 200-year-old building. It opens onto a terrace, with views of the city and Table Mountain. It has an equally impressive interior of dark wood and red leather and was named amongst the 10 hottest new bars around the world by Condé Nast Traveller.
Not too far from Tjing Tjing Bar is the Sky Bar at Cape Town’s Grand Daddy Hotel. This Cape Town bar shares its space with the Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park, where each trailer is a uniquely designed hotel room. The venue hosts regular events, such as rooftop cinema evenings and live music.
The Vista Bar at the One&Only Cape Town is another stunning rooftop bar, with floor-to-ceiling windows and great views of Table Mountain.
Other rooftop bars in Cape Town include the Soho rooftop bar and restaurant, just behind the Cape Quarter, and The Waiting Room, a trendy pub above the Royale Eatery in Long Street, with good views over the city.
In Durban, Gino’s Sky Bar is situated on the 33rd level of John Ross House, just above the Roma revolving restaurant. You can see out over the city and the sea, especially spectacular when the sun is setting.
Travel tips & Planning info
Tours to do
Several tour operators offer pub crawls in cities around South Africa, where you’ll be safely transported to a number of bars over the course of an evening.
Where to stay
The 12 Decades Johannesburg Art Hotel, part of Main Street Life, has individually designed rooms representing each of the past 12 decades of Johannesburg’s history. In Cape Town, try one of the individually decorated trailers at Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park.
What to eat
Most of the bars mentioned also serve food, ranging from tapas-style snacks to full meals.
As some of the trendiest spots in South Africa, these rooftop bars hold regular events. See their websites for details.