Panorama Bar and pool at the Elangeni Hotel.
Panorama Bar and pool at the Elangeni Hotel.

5 of the best rooftop bars and restaurants in Durban

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Sep 6, 2019

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There’s nothing as tranquil as having sundowners at a rooftop bar; the sun slowly setting and the dusk sky changing from gold to purple to black. 

As the lights come on on the city’s skyline and the bar gets even more lit (in more ways than one) the rooftop allows one to soak in the beauty of one’s city and possibly fall in love with it again.

Besides the romanticism of rooftop bars, there’s something else. They are just damned cool. Now with the warmer weeks getting closer, as you get ready to finalise the plans of your summer holiday, here are some of the best rooftop bars and restaurants in Durban.

VIEWS AT 25 (25 Silver Ave, Morningside, Durban, 4001)

The popular hangout for Durban’s young and trendy, the Stamford Hill venue doubles as a daytime and night-time spot. It easily goes from a place that hosts Sunday brunch and late lunches, to a nightclub with performances from some of South Africa’s top names.

Its biggest selling point? The 180-degree views of Durban. From Moses Mabhida and Kings Park stadia, to Suncoast Casino and the Durban coastline. The decor at Views is also very contemporary and has a popular wall with wings, where most revellers go and take pictures before relaxing and having a good time. So for a view of the “real” Durban, Views is one of the best choices.

PANORAMA BAR AND POOL (63 Snell Parade, Durban, 4001)

MOYO on uShaka Pier on Durban’s beachfront.

There’s popular and then there’s the Panorama Bar. It’s probably one of the reasons why most people go to Elangeni Hotel. The view from the Panorama Bar is stunning. When you walk in, it feels immediately as though you are on holiday, thanks to the shades of blue and white in the decor. The glistening pool is inviting, as is the bar. And then you get to enjoy the beautiful sight of Durban’s North Beach - the skate park, the promenade and the beach. If you look further, you can see uShaka Marine World and on a clear day, uMhlanga. Plus, the food and drinks are great.

VASCO’S (Hilton Hotel, 12-14 Walnut Road, Durban)

Though it’s not officially a rooftop venue, Vasco’s has an outside area on the third floor of the Hilton in the heart of Durban’s CBD. There are no exciting views, unless you don’t mind watching cars drive by. But in the evenings, it’s tranquil and makes an ideal place for summer evening dining.

THE OYSTER BAR (2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks)

Sure, the Lighthouse Bar is a favourite for many, but have you been to the Oyster Bar? Its beautiful white decor with touches of red makes it really romantic place. The outside area of the restaurant overlooks the pool, the terrace, the distinctive uMhlanga lighthouse and the Indian Ocean. It’s where good food and great drinks mix, plus you are likely to meet someone and make a business deal. If you are serious about the summer not just being about parties, but also about money moves, this is where you should be.


What makes this venue great is that it is literally above the Indian Ocean. You are surrounded by the sea and enjoy 360-degree views of Durban, thanks to the restaurant being at the end of the uShaka Beach Pier. It’s popular with revellers and is a great spot to bring in the new season. If you are lucky, you will find a musician performing at the venue. The African cuisine the restaurant serves from its sister restaurant, Moyo at Ushaka Marine World, is decent, focusing on simple light meals and baskets, burgers and shisanyama, while the cocktails are always updated to keep up with the trends.

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