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Introduction Theatre & Concerts Cinemas
Pubs & Bars Live Music Theme Parks

Cape Town is by nature a playful city. The diversions of Cape Town tend towards sport, the beaches, mountain, scenic day-trips, sunsets, wine and fine dining. The formal arts are necessarily constrained by finances, but nonetheless, there are a few theatre and concert venues.

The love of music (particularly jazz) is very strong. There are some regular venues but jazz feasts are restricted to festivals. Cinema, too, is popular and there are large complexes in every centre of the city. There are nightclubs of all varieties, and the gay scene is especially strong. Festivals and special events also are not irregular.

The best way to find out what's on is to pick up the Cape Review from any newsagent, book store or corner shop or go to any branch of Computicket.

Theatre & Concerts
There are two main theatre complexes - the Baxter in Rondebsoch and Artscape in the Cape Town city centre. They feature a full range of theatre, dance and music. The standard and appeal are variable.

During the summer there are excellent concerts at Kirstenbosch Gardens on Sunday evenings at 5.30pm (take a picnic). The Spier estate in the Winelands also hosts regular concerts and events.

The Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay is home to light comedy and thrillers. For 'fringe' theatre try On Broadway in Greenpoint or the Independent Armchair Theatre in Observatory.
  • Baxter: 021 685 7880;
  • Artscape: 021 410 9800;
  • Theatre on the Bay: 021 438 3301
  • On Broadway: 021 418 833
  • Armchair Theatre: 021 447 1510
  • Kirstenbosch: 021 762 9120
  • Spier: 021 809 1100
There are multi-screen cinemas in all the major complexes - such as Cavendish Square in Claremont, Canal Walk and the Waterfront.

The Labia in Gardens is well known and tends to show 'fringe' films, and theCinema Nouveau chain (also in Cavendish Square and the Waterfront) feature more arty films.

  • See press for details.
Pubs & Bars
South African Brewery's produce many of South Africa's such as Castle, but Namibia's Windhoek is worth trying. There are more and more independent breweries.

In the Waterfront there are two pubs with history - Ferryman's (try their home-brewed Forrester's) and Quay 4 (which holds the world record for most beers sold in an hour). Belgian beer is sold at Den Anker, and German beer at Paulaner Bräuhaus.

Camps Bay has a good number of mellow cafes along beach road. La Med at Clifton 4 has always been a popular spot for sunset cocktails and late night drinking.

On the way to Cape Point stop at Noordhoek and find your way to Skabangas at the Red Herring - the friendliest pub and the best pizza in town. Likewise Peddlar's on the Bend in Constantia which has a more wealthy set but a good atmosphere (and excellent food).

In Cape Town the Purple Turtle, on Long Street, is young and lively. The Long Street Cafe more yuppie.

The fine hotels in Cape Town offer good bars - in particular the Radisson and the Ambassador have fabulous sunset views. The Mount Nelson 'Planet Bar' is impressive, and the Cape Grace has a superb whisky collection. For something oldfashioned, try the 'Brit and Boer' at the Alphen Hotel in Constantia.

The Shebeen culture should also be mentioned - take an evening township tour (ask at Tourist Info) and you will see the very vibey life of township pubs.
Quay 4
Live Music

Many of the clubs & pubs, above, have live music. In addition there are some jazz restaurants.

Popular venues are in Observatory and Long Street.

Check out the Mail and Guardian or Cape Times for details .

Theme Parks

Ratanga Junction is a theme park with a fantastic selection of rides including the hair-raising Cobra roller coaster. It is open in high season. Loads of fun!

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