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Top 10 Rooftop Bars In Johannesburg, South Africa - Updated 2020

rooftop bars in johannesburg
Antonia
Antonia
Updated

Johannesburg is one of the most intriguing cities on an endlessly fascinating continent. Less than a quarter of a century ago, South Africa was still very much in the end years of a political regime that divided citizens by race, and Jo'burg (one of many nicknames for the city) was considered to be as dangerous as a war zone, if not more so.

Today, Jozi (another nickname) is a shining light within the continent of Africa - showing investment, urban renewal and a newly confident populace - which means nightlife. And when you’re talking nightlife in Johannesburg, you are more than anything talking about rooftop bars - they’re springing up all over the city, in different districts and offering various takes on the concept. Here are the 10 best examples of the phenomenon in South Africa’s hippest city.

1. Copper Bar - Bryanston: Breathtaking views in a simple setup

Rooftop drinks
Source: Piqsels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Bar owners the world over are prone to give their bars esoteric, undefinable names - dare say, there’ll be a few in this list. Copper Bar is so called because it has a copper bar, which is reassuringly straightforward. That’s not all it has, however: it’s got stunning views over Johannesburg and great food and drink. Two people visiting can expect to spend roughly 200 ZAR in a night or about 14 USD.

Copper Bar

Address: Corner Main Office Park, 2 Payne Road, Bryanston, Sandton, 2191

Website: Copper Bar

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

2. Levelthree Premium Venue - Kramerville: Popular bar in the design district

Strawberry & gin cocktail
Source: Piqsels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Levelthree Premium Venue is a popular hangout in the chic Kramerville design district of the city. It plays host to trendy pop-up nights, such as Gin Fusion: a cool place to visit and sip the finest drinks while enjoying high-quality food at decent prices. It’s 100 ZAR (7 USD) to get in, and drinks are highly affordable, thereafter.

Levelthree Premium Venue

Address: 14A Kramer Rd, Kramerville, Johannesburg, 2190

Website: Levelthree Premium Venue

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3. Katy's Palace - Sandton: Opulent style and nights to remember

South African wine
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Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Fast becoming a Johannesburg institution, Katy’s Palace is one of the most stunning venues in the entire city. It’s a huge open plan warehouse with a minimalist glass-and-metal design. Food comes in the form of a buffet, from which you select what you want to eat, the staff weigh it and then you pay and eat it.

Drinks? That’s up to you - the cocktails are popular, but you’re in South Africa, so why not try one of the many excellent local wines?

Katy's Palace

Address: Top Floor, 6 Desmond St, Kramerville, Sandton, 2090

Website: Katy’s Palace

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4. Skyline Gardens - Braamfontein: Tapas and more in a chic setting

Night in Joburg
Source: Photo by user South African tou... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s hard to say what’s the greatest attraction of Skyline Gardens. The food? Tapas can be pretty hard to beat, admittedly. The drinks? Again, they’re excellent, as is the stylish interior. However, for many people, the view of Jo'burg’s legendary landmark, the Nelson Mandela Bridge, really makes this a place to see and be seen. A recent addition to the city’s roll of honour, this is a place well worth visiting.

Skyline Gardens

Address: 1 Biccard Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Website: Skyline Gardens

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5. The Living Room - Maboneng: Where better to relax?

Rooftop restaurant in Dhaka, 2018.
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Salim_Khandoker used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Living Room is a rooftop bar, but more in the cafe-bar sense than the classic nightlife one. That’s not a criticism: it’s an excellent cafe-bar, and it really comes into its own on Sunday afternoons, as they turn into evenings. It’s 80 ZAR to get in and 120 to book a table (6/9 USD), and the food is healthy meze-style - tasty and filling and excellent with a drink!

The Living Room

Address: Main Change Building, 20 Kruger St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2094

Website: The Living Room

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6. Marble - Rosebank: A sit-down eatery with a stunning interior

Steak Beef Fillet
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Mark another one down for straightforward naming - the interior here is, as you might have guessed, picked out tastefully in marble. A wide range of food is on the menu, although the restaurant owners particularly pride themselves on their flame-grilled dishes. Of particular interest for carnivores is the fillet steak, while the grilled cauliflower is widely recommended for vegetarians.

Marble

Address: 19 Keyes avenue, 3rd floor Trumpet Building, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196

Website: Marble

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

7. Randlords - Braamfontein: A truly exclusive venue, but worth the effort

Went to #riverisland launch #party @ #randlords #johannesburg #cbd #city #epic
Source: Photo by Flickr user sacks08 used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The bad news first: you can’t just walk up to Randlords and order a drink. It’s an exclusive venue, open by appointment only so, unless you hire it yourself, or are invited, it will remain just a story to you. If you do get in, though, it’s so worth it. On the 22nd floor, it has a truly 360-degree view of the city and you’ll be served designer cocktails, as well as hand-crafted tapas dishes that have to be tasted to be believed. Best start hoping you can get an invite, really.

Randlords

Address: South Point Towers, 41 De Korte St, Johannesburg, 2001

Website: Randlords

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

8. Elevate - Marshalltown: The venue is high, the prices are not

Canapes
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you want a bird’s eye view of Jozi and can’t get an invite for Randlords, then Elevate is a more than worthy alternative. It’s on the 16th floor, overlooking the central business district, and a typical main course is 80 ZAR (around 6 USD). The food is excellent, ranging from innovative canapes and tapas to larger, plated meals, including paella, tapas and much more. It’s a chic hangout for the best and the brightest in the city, and a great place to enjoy an evening out, in style.

Elevate

Address: 58 Anderson St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg, 2001

Website: Elevate

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

9. The San Deck - Sandton: Fine food and drinks at sky level

San Deck, Restaurant & Bar, Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Source: Photo by Flickr user South African Tou... used under CC BY 2.0

If you’ll excuse the pun in the name - it’s a sun deck, it’s in Sandton - then you’ll find the San Deck a fabulous place to spend an evening. It’s located in the Tsogo Sun Hotel and is open from early in the morning for breakfasts, until late for meals and drinks. The rooftop plays home to three fire pits and regular live music.

If you want to eat well, then try one of their gourmet Bunny Chows - a South African speciality, which features a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a tasty curry.

San Deck

Address: Sandton Sun Hotel, 5th St, Sandton, 2196

Website: San Deck

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

10: Four Seasons Westcliff - Johannesburg: Refined style with a panoramic view (from USD 203)

One of Johannesburg’s finer hotels, the Four Seasons Westcliff is located on a hillside, which makes the views from its rooftop bar an absolute joy to behold. There are several dining options indoors, but with such a splendid view, why not take some light bites and a cocktail or two and take in the sights of Johannesburg from the perfect angle?

Four Seasons Westcliff

Address: 67 Jan Smuts Ave, Westcliff, Johannesburg, 2132

Website: Four Seasons Westcliff


Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Address: 67 Jan Smuts Avenue
Price: from 203 USD

Breakfast takeaway containers Delivered food is securely covered Snack bar Children television networks Shuttle service (additional charge) VIP room facilities Bike tours Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Johannesburg, South Africa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Johannesburg, South Africa

Joy in Jozi: Pick your perfect venue and enjoy your night

When you have so many excellent views in a city, it makes a lot of sense to have as many rooftop bars as Johannesburg does. In a city which has seen some sorrow over the years, it’s nice to see so much joy and as Jozi continues to develop, there will be all the more exciting venues for tourists and residents alike.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Antonia Kelly is a freelance writer based in Leicester, UK and she enjoys European travel as well as road trips closer to home. Her favourite domestic destinations include Snowdonia and the Brecon...Read more

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