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Hip Melville

In a city where many of the restaurants and bars are part of large shopping malls, Melville is a pleasant exception. The nightlife in this neighbourhood is centred around its friendly streets, especially 7th Street and Main Road. Here you will find restaurants, bars and clubs, both with DJs and live music. Together they make Melville into an ideal destination for a night out.

Melville has been one of Johannesburg’s long-time hotspots. During the day you can enjoy the many coffee bars, hip art galleries and boutiques. But the biggest attraction is the neighbourhood’s vibrant nightlife. One of the great advantages is that everything is within walking distance, in one of the safest parts of the city. Melville draws a mixed crowd of students, tourists and young professionals. It is also a popular meeting point for the local gay scene.

Evening view of Johannesburg
Evening view of Johannesburg


A lively hotspot

Melville partially owes its popularity to the location: close to downtown and near media companies, stadiums and 2 universities. The latter means that many establishments organise special student evenings, especially during the week. However, the neighbourhood offers a lot more and the vibe is friendly and casual. Begin the evening with cocktails and snacks at Xai Xai, a Mozambican style bar/restaurant on 7th Street. Here students mingle effortlessly with trendy locals and celebrities. For the best live music head to Stones on Main Road; this venue hosts not only local and international DJs and bands, but also stand-up comedians and other entertainers. If you are still hungry after a long night out, grab a bite at the Catz Pyjamas, a 24-hour bistro.

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“The meeting place of young and trendy Johannesburg, near media companies and universities”

View on the map

Melville in Johannesburg

The next day

When Melville was founded in 1856, architects touted it as a ‘picturesque and healthy place near Johannesburg with a magnificent view over the wooded landscape in the north’. Today the city has grown so much that Melville is no longer near Johannesburg but smack in the middle of it. However, much of the natural landscape has survived. To unwind in nature after a busy night out, visit the nearby Melville Koppies, a gently sloping nature reserve in the middle of the city.

The view from the Melville Koppies

Photo credits

  • The view from the Melville Koppies: Pascal Parent, Flickr