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The lowdown on First Thursdays


The lowdown on First Thursdays

By Tiyani Rikhotso

On the first Thursday of each month, various streets in Johannesburg and Cape Town welcome those interested in browsing through galleries, restaurants, bars and shops. The event is free to all and engages the public through encouraging us to enjoy the amazing art, culture, retail and food experiences our cities have to offer.

There are three different programmes; cultural, retail and food and drink. These programmes highlight the best galleries, theatres, markets, stores and restaurants to visit in areas such as Braamfontein, Rosebank and Maboneng for Jo’burg or Cape Town’s CBD.

There is no special tour or route, your experience is up to. Things kick off at 5pm with galleries and various cultural events staying open until 9pm and restaurants until a bit later.

A good strategy is to grab a drink or quick bite at a restaurant and then trek from gallery to gallery immersing yourself in the art (which is the main attraction for the night). After indulging the art-lover in you (and if you’ve got a few bucks to spend) you can browse through any of the stores or markets that might be open and then end off the night by settling down for a great meal. You could try something new and choose one of the many restaurants that might be highlighted by the programme or one of your favourite spots in the area. There might also be films, plays or live performances that you can enjoy on the night.

Check out the First Thursdays South Africa website at to access the full programmes for Johannesburg and Cape Town. These give you a deeper look into places you can check out on the night with descriptions and addresses.

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