With some of the most incredible scenery stretching up above the Cape Town City Bowl, it’s hardly surprising that there are some remarkable rooftop bars. Those that don’t have views of the surrounding mountains have remarkable sea or city views, and all have infectious atmospheres that might just have you making one of them your local go-to watering hole.
Walking into Tjing Tjing feels a little bit like stumbling up to your best friend’s epic rooftop loft. There’s a cosy, homely and yet remarkably chic atmosphere to this vibrant little rooftop bar. Drinks range from simple beers to fancy cocktails, and they do light snacks and platters courtesy of the equally impressive restaurant downstairs. The mixed indoors and outdoors rooftop also means that it’s a great option come summer or winter.
165 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 422 4374
Sky Bar – The Grey Hotel
This exclusive little rooftop bar is the ultimate summer sundowners destination. It’s located atop the Grey Hotel adjacent to the Cape Quarter shopping centre and comes complete with a small lap pool. On hot summer days guests can take a dip in the pool, or simply sit back with a cocktail in hand to voyeuristically take in all the action.
49 Napier St, De Waterkant, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 421 1106
The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room is one of Cape Town’s original rooftop bars, and this gritty spot is still one of the best in town. A few small tables and fairy lights set the scene for the idyllic location at the very top of Long Street. The views of the city below and the mountains surrounding you offer the perfect respite from the often lively party taking place on the lower levels of the bar and club.
273 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 422 4536
Up Yours – Yours Truly
This laid-back rooftop terrace above the Kloof Street branch of Yours Truly is perhaps the most idyllic location to spend a summer’s afternoon. Views of Table Mountain, reasonably priced beer, chilled live music, acceptable pizza, and some of the city’s most diverse and interesting people make this one of the best rooftop options in Cape Town.
73 Kloof St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 426 2587
Rick’s Cafe Americain
Rick’s Cafe Americain, otherwise known as Rick’s, is one of the city’s more popular restaurants, particularly during the colder winter months. But the outside terrace one level up is a great place for an evening drink or a meal on a warm summer’s night. The atmosphere is always on point at Rick’s, and the great food and service, together with solid views of Signal Hill, make it a great laid-back rooftop dining option.
2 Park Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 424 1100
At the top of Cloud 9 Boutique & Spa is one of the better hidden rooftop bars in Cape Town. Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar offers spectacular mountain and city views, and serves up some great cocktails as well. Guests can sit back with sushi platters, drinks and incredible views, and there’s also a plunge pool perfect for hot summer afternoons.
12 Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 424 1133
Zenith Sky Bar – Cape Royale Hotel
At the top of the Cape Royale Hotel in Green Point is a pool and bar with one of the best views in the city. Though it may not be as slick and glamorous as it once was, visitors are welcome to enjoy cocktails, sushi and other snacks while they lounge around the pool on comfortable daybeds.
47 Main Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 430 0500
The Deck Rooftop Pool & Bar
This is another rooftop pool and bar located in the Green Point area. It’s a laid-back bar perfect for a cooling swim and a few cocktails. Located on the fourth floor of the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village, you also have fantastic views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and the surrounding city.
Sky Bar – Grand Daddy Hotel
The Grand Daddy Hotel’s rooftop is famous for its themed airstream trailers, but it’s also open to the public looking for some drinks with a view. Located on lower Long Street, the Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy benefits from all the city atmosphere and some remarkable urban and mountain views. They also have special events, including movie screenings, during warmer summer months.
38 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 424 7247
It’s hard to imagine a better position for a rooftop bar than that of The Vue, one of the newer rooftop bars on the local scene. It’s an elegant bar on the top floor of the Mirage building in De Waterkant with panoramic views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and even the Waterfront and Table Bay. The venue has both indoor and outdoor options, making it perfect for all weather. It fills up quickly with Capetonians looking to see and be seen, but with the 360 degree views on offer, it’s worth getting a little dressed up and braving the slightly pretentious atmosphere.
40 Chiappini St, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 418 3065
Harald’s Bar and Terrace – Park Inn
Harald’s may be located in a less trendy side of town, at least when it comes to nightlife, but this rooftop location on the 11th floor of the Park Inn on Heerengracht Street has made it a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Though it has that typical hotel bar feel, the small pool and epic views of Table Mountain make this one of the more unique places to have a drink in the city’s Foreshore area.
29 Heerengracht St, Foreshore, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 427 4800
Cape Town’s newest and most glamorous hotel at the V&A Waterfront, The Silo, is also home to one of the most remarkable rooftop bars in the country. Built out of a repurposed granary in the working harbour region of the Waterfront, the hotel and bar exude an industrial chic atmosphere. The rooftop bar, on the 11th floor, offers some of the most incredible views of the city, Table Mountain, Robben Island and V&A Waterfront. You’ll need to reserve a spot in advance, and the prices are understandably fairly steep, but given the location it’s a worthwhile treat for anyone in favour of a great rooftop bar.
Silo Square, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 670 0500