South Africa's biggest and richest city has got the nightlife to match, from world-class theatre and live music to mega-hip lounge bars and epic nightclubs. The locals are known to be keen socialites and tend to be very friendly and happy to meet new people.

Jazz fans should make their way to legendary Kippies in Newtown, and to the nearby Bassline. In fact, the young, hip and multicultural Newtown is a great place to begin night-time explorations of the city for anybody. The Civic Theatre hosts major live productions, while plenty of smaller venues have minor plays, cabaret shows, and reviews.

Nightclubs tend to open around 11pm and will charge an entrance fee. They stay open into the early hours and drinks can be expensive. Many top clubs are positioned in the lively city centre of Johannesburg, or areas such as Orange Grove and Melville.

The affluent suburbs of Sandton, Hyde Park, and Melrose Arch are home to the more plush and modern clubs frequented by an unlikely collection of models, stock brokers, and bikers.

Travellers who live for thrills should head for the many casinos on the outskirts of the city. Montecasino, near Fourways, and The Emperors Palace, near the OR Tambo Airport, are considered the best. Apart from the various gaming tables and slot machines, there are live shows aplenty.


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