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Entertainment in Cape Town


When you are not hitting the books and studying hard, there are a lot of things to see and do to help you relax. So to have a balanced student life Cape Town has a great entertainment scene to help you achieve that balance. Not only in terms of numbers of establishments but also the variety. It has a large number of restaurants, pubs, disco’s and lounges that range from African to Asian to European. Also chek out local magazines for instance Cape Etc.


Pubs and disco’s

If you’re feeling a little lucky, then check out the Grand West Casino (http://www.suninternational.com/resorts/grandwest/) in Goodwood, just off the N7 freeway and 15 minutes outside the city centre. Not only does it have an array of slot machines and gaming tables, it also has restaurants, bars, an entertainment theatre, a cinema complex, a night club and even an Olympic-sized indoor ice scating rink. It can get very busy on weekends, so if you prefer it a little more relaxed, rather check it out during the week.

Festivals and events
Cape Town hosts various festivals and events all year round. The following are some recommended events for visiting students:

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden on Rhodes Drive, Newlands is popular for its winter (May – September) and summer (December to March) live outdoor music concerts (http://www.sanbi.org/frames/concertfram.htm). The garden has over 5000 different species of plants. It’s great for getting close to nature, having a nice picnic, or just plain relaxing on their large green lawns. It’s advised to visit the gardens in the afternoon, and then join the crowds in the late afternoon for an open air music concert. Take a blanket, some snacks and a nice bottle or two of wine and enjoy a sundowner with some cool live music.

The J&B Met (http://www.jbmet.co.za/) is an annual horse racing event held every summer at the Kenilworth race course. Over the years it has become more popular for the fashionable outfits that people wear to this occasion than the actual horse racing. So if you like glamerous, but still affordable events with a great after party, check out the Met.

If you like cheese and wine festivals you can choose between indoor and outdoor festivals. For indoor cheese, wine and whiskey festivals the Cape Town International Convention Centre has annual festivals to blow your taste buds. Check out http://www.cticc.co.za/events.jsp for their yearly programmes. If you prefer the outdoor festivals more, you have to check out the Bien Donne annual cheese and wine festival near Franschhoek. It’s about 50kms outside of Cape Town, but is also great for a daytrip and you won’t be disappointed by it’s class.

If you love whisky, you will love the annual whisky festival held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Check out the Whiskylivefestival link for dates and times. You will pay an entrance fee and receive a bunch of taster vouchers which you redeem for whisky tastes. There are many different stands and all are great whiskys, many single malt and 15 years or older. The more expensive the whisky, the more vouchers you will need. It’s great fun and can get a bit pricey, but it’s very educational and you’ll need a taxi home afterwards.

Cape Town is also a gay-friendly city. Gay couples can even get legally married in South Africa. And to celebrate there are many monthly festivals and events all year round. So if this tickles your fancy, check out the Cape Town Pride (http://www.capetownpride.co.za) festival, the Out in Africa South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (http://www.oia.co.za) or the Mother City Queer Projects (http://www.mcqp.co.za).

For a full list of festivals and events that take place every month in and around Cape Town, check out www.capetownevents.co.za or the Cape Tourism link to see what’s on when you’re in town.

Live performances
Cape Town hosts many live performances for the arts lovers. Whether it’s live music, stage performances or opera, you will be able to find a show that suits your taste. For more info on live stage performances and where they’re taking place, check out the following theatres (http://www.onlinecapetownguide.info/capetown-theaters.html) link.

Live music and band performances are more tricky to follow. These should be checked out on flyers, local newspapers or magazines as these events often take place at unusual venues and on an irregular bases. A good guide for these venues and parties is the entertainment section of the local daily newspapers (e.g. Cape Times, Cape Argus). Or try Cape Town Tourism link to track who’s playing where.

Most major shopping centres have movie cinema’s as well. Check out the two franchises of SterKinekor (http://www.sterkinekor.co.za) and NuMetro (http://www.numetro.co.za) to find a movie venue closest to you. But for an extra ordinary movie experience you have to check out the Imax (http://www.imax.co.za) big screen cinema at the BMW Pavillion at the V&A Waterfront. With its huge screen and incredible surround sound system it’s a unique and extra ordinary cinema experience.

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