Cape Town is, in many ways, a city built around entertainment. South Africa has the 25th largest economy in the world, and around 3% of its yearly GDP comes from tourism. Cape Town accounts for most of that – it’s the most popular tourist destination in Africa (Cairo comes in a distant second).
Of course, that’s mostly because of its incredible and unique natural attractions – the game parks, nature reserves, highly regarded wine routes, pristine beaches and sunny climate.
But the city’s also known for its dining and night-life, with numerous world class restaurants and clubs making it, if not a top ten party city, at least a great place to eat, drink and dance in the company of people from across the globe. During the summer, South Africa has an incredible array of outdoor music festivals – from all-weekend rock festivals (Rocking the Daisies) to alternative, even spiritual events (Afrika Burns). In fact, over the past decade, the rural areas around Cape Town have become something of a psytrance Mecca, with DJ collectives holding massive events in forest and mountain locations (including Vortex, Alien Safari, Origin and Beartrap).
What’s more, Cape Town is a melting pot of creativity. A choice of art gallery openings, poetry readings and live music performances is standard fare for a Friday evening in the city. Cape Town has two excellent theatres (listed in the follow sections) that stage regular performances of classical and contemporary plays, alongside comedy festivals and other diverse offerings.
Just to round out this list of attractions, Cape Town is known as a centre for sport in the country. Newlands Stadium and Newlands Cricket grounds, about fifteen minutes from the city centre, are the home fields for some of the country’s top football, rugby and cricket players, and some of the best locations to watch teams compete in the country’s biggest sporting tournaments.
This section outlines some of the best places to enjoy Cape Town’s unique culture, cuisine, sporting events and night life.