When the golden hour descends, it can only mean one thing: it’s rooftop time in the Mother City! Perched high above the sweltering, traffic-infested streets, these sky-high watering holes provide vertical respite from the chaos below, offering fresh air, stellar views, a lively atmosphere, and a selection of crafty cocktails, to boot.
We’ve rounded up our favourites, and we’d love to hear if you’ve been to one that you think we should know about? If so, please tell us about it in the comments below.
Baptiste Rooftop Pool, Bar & Lounge
Boasting what are arguably the best ocean and mountain views in the entire city, this sun-soaked rooftop bar – at the spangly new-and-improved Marly Boutique Hotel & Spa in Camps Bay – is an absolute must (when the dreaded southeaster is at bay).
Make yourself comfortable, as you work your way through the utterly delicious cocktail and snack menu, while soaking up the 360-degree panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean and the iconic Twelve Apostles mountain range.
Don’t feel like lounging? There are chairs and tables aplenty.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 8pm (weather permitting)
Please note A minimum spend of R500 per person is required for use of the pool and loungers, subject to availability, to be settled on arrival.
Contact 021 437 1287, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 201 The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
Gigi Rooftop Bar
Situated on the rooftop of the super-cool Gorgeous George Hotel (one of 300 privately owned hotels in the Design Hotels global stable), this chic 80-seater watering hole has been exquisitely decorated by a curated selection of the city’s hottest design talents, who’ve added their creative mark to the heritage building.
Outside, an emerald-green glass-panelled swimming pool, and views of whitewashed heritage buildings, give the pool deck a slick design edge, but the vibe here is oh so easy, with lots of noise and chatter.
At the bar, in-house mixologist Jody Rahme creates wild, tiki-inspired cocktails that hit the spot. Feeling hungry? The wide array of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options are sure to satisfy the pangs from sunrise to sunset.
Opening times Bar: Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11.30pm
Restaurant: Monday – Sunday, 7am – 10pm
Contact 087 898 6000, email@example.com
Where to find it 118 St George’s Mall, Cape Town
This cool and contemporary rooftop bar is a hot attraction on the Camps Bay strip (courtesy of The Kove Collection, whose ever-expanding portfolio of restaurants and bars includes Baptiste (see above) SurfShack, Bilboa, Lily’s, Blanko, Paranga, Incognito, La Belle, Firefish, and Bobo’s, to name a few). With killer views of the ocean a stone’s throw away, it’s the ideal place to while away the hours sipping on gloriously refreshing cocktails and listening to the coolest beats spun by Cape Town’s finest DJs. A menu of seaside café classics means that you can stay for a light dinner, too…
Insider tip On Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, resident DJs will take you on a musical journey, as they spin cool tunes from 5pm to 9pm.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 4pm – 10pm
Contact 021 286 5075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop 120, Second Floor, The Promenade Building, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Sky Bar at The Grey Boutique Hotel
Conveniently located on top of The Grey Boutique Hotel, The Skybar is a comfortable yet sophisticated space boasting panoramic views of the mountain and the city. The fact that it’s a stone’s throw from The Piano Bar, one of our favourites for delicious food and live jazz in the city, makes it a handy choice for pre- or post-dinner cocktails.
Good to know There are some fabulous restaurants in the area: Shio for lip-smacking Asian, Osteria Tarantino for moreish Italian; Riva (across Somerset Road) for seafood; and Skinny Legs at Maison Mara just down the road for fresh breakfasts and lunch.
Need to know For tables bigger than 12 people, booking is required.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 418 1096, email@example.com
Location The Grey Boutique Hotel, 49 Napier Street, De Waterkant, Green Point
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Located on the third-floor position of a 200-year-old building in the city centre’s Longmarket Street, the rooftop bar at Tjing Tjing is a great spot to watch the world go by. The moody interiors, top-drawer tipples, ice-cool beats and Japanese snacks make this metropolitan locale perfect for a celebratory drink or even relaxed sundowner.
Insider tip At street level, you’ll find Tjing Tjing Torii for flavour-popping, Japanese street food. While the first floor is home to reservations-only Momiji Restaurant, where diners can enjoy a multi-course kaiseki menu. Adjacent to Momiji Restaurant is Momiji Lounge, an intimate bar and lounge that seats 20.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – late
Contact 021 422 4920, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town
Up Yours at Yours Truly Café
Buzzy Kloof Street has no shortage of cool venues, but this one takes things to another level (pun totally intended). Situated next to a backpackers’ lodge, it’s a popular hangout for locals and international visitors alike, and those who enjoy sizzling summer beats. Downstairs is a café that serves coffee, gourmet sandwiches and tasty pizzas.
Insider tip From 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, are live DJ sessions.
Good to know The bar does not take reservations on weekends (reservations can only be made from Monday to Thursday).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 3pm – 10pm
Contact 021 426 2587, email@example.com
Where to find it Yours Truly Café and Bar, 73 Kloof Street, Cape Town
RED Roof at Radisson Red Hotel
No hotel is complete without a good bar – but we don’t mean those stuffy places where suits gather for a drink before going to bed; we’re talking about a red-hot venue where some of the best parties in town go down! It’s called the RED Roof bar – and it sits atop the Radisson RED Hotel in the trendy and buzzed-about Silo District. More than just a bar, this rooftop sun terrace and pool deck boasts killer views – of the sea and Table Mountain – making it the perfect place for sunset cocktails.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10.30am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 12am
Contact 087 086 1578, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Radisson RED Hotel, Silo 6, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
The Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace
With stunning urban panoramas, plush decor, and inviting sun loungers, The Ghibli Bar and Pool Terrace at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence is every cocktail-lover’s dream. Chaises longues surround the sparkling pool, creating the perfect summertime invitation to arrive, recline, and sip exotic cocktails, while nibbling on delicious snacks. And on the weekends, listen to the smooth tunes of live music as the sun sets.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 11pm
Good to know The food service runs daily from 12pm to 10pm, while the bar service runs daily from 11am to 10.30pm.
Contact 021 467 4000, email@example.com
Where to find it Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, 22 Riebeek Street, Cape Town
The Sky Bar at The Grand Daddy Hotel
The refurbished 1895 Grand Daddy Hotel on Long Street was one of the first rooftop bars to open in Cape Town. Situated among the vintage Airstream trailers (which double as hotel rooms), The Sky Bar has a kind of otherworldly feel – a cool space to you enjoy drinks and the amazing views. And since the installation of a permanent tented roof, not even the southeaster will put a dampener on your plans.
Good to know The rooftop can be booked for private events and movie screenings.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 424 7247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Grand Daddy Hotel, 38 Long Street, Cape Town
Cartel Rooftop Bar
This one is simply too cool not to mention, but it’s only available for private functions! The good news is, if you’re looking for a view-drenched, stylish, and all-encompassing hotspot to host your next event, you needn’t look further! Dubbed the largest rooftop space in Cape Town, the semi-covered outdoor area is able to accommodate up to 220 people, and boasts a spacious bar stocked with everything! There’s also a spacious kitchen, and sweeping views of the city and mountain beyond.
Good to know The space is yours to do with as you please, with ample seating, tables, and a stretch tent marquee can be organised on request.
Contact 071 101 7084, email@example.com
Where to find it 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town
Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar
On one of the hottest corners in Cape Town, you’ll find at the Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar atop a boutique hotel of the same name. With jaw-dropping 360-degree panoramas of Cape Town and an utterly Instagrammable shot of Table Mountain, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy refreshing cocktails and a scrumptious sourdough pizza.
Insider tip The sparkling blue plunge pool is the perfect cool-down spot on hot summer afternoons.
Good to know A minimum spend of R150 per person is needed to confirm your table reservation. It will be used as a deposit, and offset against your final bill, and is nonrefundable if not used.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 1pm – 11pm
Contact 021 424 1133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa, 12 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
14 Stories Rooftop Bar at SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl Hotel
Towering over the city centre, this beautifully decked out rooftop bar on the 14th floor of the SunSquare hotel is a cool place to soak up the last rays, while enjoying finger food, tasty cocktails, and stunning mountain and sea views.
Need to know The pool is, sadly, only for the use of hotel guests.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 492 9999, SunSquareCityBowl.Reservations@tsogosun.com
Where to find it SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl, 23 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town City Centre
Research by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar and Michelle de Bruin
For all the hottest happenings in and around Cape Town, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.