A Street as vibrant as Long Street is seldom found in this world, let alone in South Africa. It breaths of national heritage and holds a special spot for all locals. Tourists from all over the world flock the street, dumbstruck as to its perfect balance of cultural experience, shopping extravaganza and everlasting party lifestyle.
But to take on the city in one day is no easy feat, yet, luckily enough, with years of testing and approving, we’ve created a perfect 24 hour guide to conquer Long Street and all that it has to offer.
It is early morning in Cape Town, and you begin your journey by booking into one of the many backpackers sitting comfortably on the street (trust us, after all this is done, you’ll need a nearby bed to crash on). Places such as Carnival Court, Long Street Backpackers and Blue Mountain are all, amongst others, great places to stay in. Rates are highly reasonable (from as little at R100 per person per night) and safety is their common objective. Moreover, these backpackers attract people from all walks of life, and provide a great meeting space for new friends to be made.
Once you’ve dropped your baggage off in one of the aforementioned spots, you can hit the street. We suggest that you start your day at one of the many restaurants on Long; irrespective of your tastes and cuisine preferences, Long Street will cater to your liking. Ranging from traditional South African joints to famous fast food franchises, this street has it all. Places such as Neighbourhood, Royale Eatery, Mr. Pickwicks and Long Street Café are some of the favourites of both locals and tourists, and are personally highly recommended. Each of these places serves incredible lunches and too attracts a diverse group of people to sit and have a drink with. They define the heart of Cape Town, and will make you feel right at home upon your first step in. Keep an eye out for their various specials!
Right, now that your bellies are full, it’s time to hit the stores! Stepping away from the contemporary philosophy of commons shopping malls, the Long Street merchants are all about character and authenticity. Fashion stores are run by local designers that have put in their heart and soul to offer you unique wares at affordable prices; craftsmen bring out their best works of traditional African art that perfectly act as memorabilia and exhibit alike; mini markets hide within depths of buildings, containing stalls and shops that sell anything from rare antiques to jewellery and watches. We suggest that you start with Long Street Antique Arcade, a market in its own right, and move on to prime individual stores such as Ska, MeMeMe, and Merchants on Long.
You must be craving a refreshing afternoon drink now, aren’t you? Time to drop these massive shopping bags at the backpacking headquarters and visit one of the pubs, and boy are there many of those. Afternoon sun downers are one of Long Street’s many specialities, and you’ll begin to catch a glimpse of the party goers preparing themselves to take on the street at night. If it’s cocktails that satisfy your craving, head to Café Mojito for their happy hours between 16:00-19:00. Beers on tap are usually less than R20 at any of the local pubs, but you’ll do well to hit the Irish Dubliner or the old Bob’s Bar a few blocks away. You could also throw in some pool games at Stones whilst sipping on cheap mixes!
It’s night time, and this is when things get real around here. Suck up some energy for you’re in for a long night of partying! Long Street offers everything for everyone, from live band performances and chill out nights at The Waiting Room, to incontestable electronic sensations at the famous Fiction club. The Zula Bar combines live performances and some of the best local DJs within a double story establishment and hidden within the little alleys cornering Long Street are certain Karaoke bars, but we’ll let you find those J
Party your night away, grab a late night snack from one of the street vendors, and crash on your local bed with that massive, ear-to-ear grin we’ve just given you.
You’ve done well, but question is, are you ready to do it all over again?