Johannesburg

Party Like a Local - Top 10 nightlife experiences in Joburg

03 May 2018

Joburg has it all, from hipster bars and dance clubs to historic pubs and nightlife districts. The only tricky bit is that the main nightlife areas are spread across the city so plan your night out in advance. If drinking, take a taxi or Uber. This is our pick of 10 essential Joburg nightlife experiences to add to your itinerary.

1. LISTEN TO JAZZ
Ever since the heady days of swinging Sophiatown in the 1950s when the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba set the airwaves alight with their homegrown brand of African jazz, Joburg has remained at the epicentre of the country’s jazz scene. These days the biggest names can be found on the stage or in the audience at leading jazz club The Orbit.

2. SUNDOWNERS WITH A VIEW
End the day sipping a drink with a view of the South African sun setting over the city’s skyscrapers at Living Room in Maboneng or over the northern suburbs’ urban forest at Mix in Rosebank and EB Social Kitchen and Bar in Hyde Park.

3. TRY THE LOCAL CRAFT BEERS
Joburg’s craft beer industry is on the rise and there are plenty of top-notch labels to try. Visit the impressive Mad Giant brewery in downtown Joburg for a tasting, or look out for Soweto Gold, Soweto’s own craft beer label.

4. DRINK IN JOBURG’S HISTORY
Despite a constant hunger for the new Joburgers also cling proudly to their heritage landmarks, which in a town that was built on the back of the world’s biggest gold rush, naturally includes drinking holes. Among the oldest are Rand Club (opened 1887), Kitchener’s (opened 1898) and Radium Beerhall (opened 1929).

5. CHEER ON THE SPRINGBOKS
Show your allegiance to the national rugby team by ordering a Springbok shooter (Crème de Menthe and the creamy liqueur Amarula). If you are heading to a rugby match at Ellis Park then pre- or post-match drinks at nearby The Troyeville Hotel is essential.

6. BAR-HOPPING IN MABONENG
There’s always something new happening in this energetic downtown district, converted from century-old rundown industrial warehouses. Its compact nature makes this neighbourhood ideal for bar-hopping. Read our guide to bar crawling in Maboneng here.

7. CLUBBING
House music rules in this town and you can find people dancing to it at bars and clubs across the city. Dress to impress and try pass the velvet rope at flashy Taboo in Sandton or join the urban underground downtown at And Club.

8. LAUGH OUT LOUD
If you like stand-up comedy visit the Goliath Comedy Club in Melrose Arch or Braamfontein or drop by POPArt Theatre in Maboneng for the weekly Sunday night comedy night The Box.

9. GO TO A GIG
Jazz, soul, funk, hip hop, house, indie and rock – Joburg’s live music scene has something for everyone and a night out at a local gig can be one of the most memorable experiences you have in this city. For the latest gigs check out our online events calendar.

10. COCKTAILS
South Africa has a burgeoning craft spirit industry and great cocktail bars to match. For the best cocktails in town read our feature on Joburg's best cocktails and where to drink them.

Associated Venues

EB Social Kitchen and Bar

 Hyde Park Corner, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and William Nicol Dr, Hyde Park

Living Room

 20 Kruger St (the Main Change building 5th floor), Maboneng, City Centre

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