Johannesburg, Gauteng

Johannesburg is a city with so much to offer: there are wonderful restaurants, relaxed sidewalk cafes, laughter-filled shebeens, glitzy shopping malls, tranquil parks, unique emotive museums and monuments, thrilling casinos, busy townships, stunning galleries, funky nightclubs, and more...

Johannesburg's entertainment and leisure options are vast and varied, so make sure your energy levels are high.

This dynamic city has a range of restaurants – from pub 'n grub bars, pizza take-outs and African-inspired eateries to delightful delis serving everything from a great cup of coffee to healthy meals.

There are restaurants for virtually every type of cuisine, cocktail bars, cigar bars, and fine dining. You've simply got to hang out at one of the many eateries in Soweto (along the famous Vilakazi Street), or soak up the sun in the Soho-type villages of Norwood, Parkhurst and Greenside.

Johannesburg is known for its incredible nightlife. From the funky clubs and pubs of Soweto to the laid-back jazzy groove of Newtown and the stylish venues of the northern suburbs, Jozi (as locals refer to the city) caters for all tastes.

What you'll love about the place is the multi-cultural cosmopolitan vibe and an attitude that says 'let's party'. If you're looking for a comedy club, a jazz lounge or a venue that plays live music – from rock to pop to kwaito to house – it's here.

Johannesburg’s Central Business District continues to evolve, with an ongoing urban renewal and cultural regeneration programme breathing new life into the city.

Must-do activities include the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill to find out more about South Africa's turbulent past; sundowners at The Westcliff hotel overlooking the green belt of Johannesburg while listening to the lions roar from the nearby Johannesburg Zoo; shopping up a storm at any of the many designer malls such as Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Rosebank Mall and Soweto's Maponya Mall; and, as a fitting end to all the fun, a visit to one of many health and beauty spas, or a walk in one of the many parks.

Travel tips & Planning info

How to get here

All roads lead to Johannesburg, so the city is easily accessible by air, car or bus. International and domestic flights land and depart from O R Tambo International Airport.

Tours to do

Tours to do while in Johannesburg include the open-top City Sightseeing Bus, tours of Soweto, Gold Reef City, Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum. The Cradle of Humankind is about an hour’s drive away.

Get around

The Gautrain from the airport to downtown Johannesburg and Pretoria, and the bus rapid transit system. Taxis operate 24 hours a day (use only reputable companies) and car hire is also available

What to pack

Though generally fine and mild during the day, the winter (June to August) nights in Gauteng are chilly and very cold spells can strike, so pack accordingly. Highveld thunderstorms, generally in spring (September), are spectacular, so pack a raincoat.

What to eat

Johannesburg, as a cosmopolitan city, offers a spread of cuisines as diverse as Brazilian, Thai, Ethiopian and Turkish.

Best buys

African art and curios

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