Visiting Johannesburg - A City Guide
Joburg, Jozi, Johannesburg. Call it what you will, this African hotspot is now the heart of South Africa. From humble beginnings as a mining town in the late 19th century, it has grown up to become an eclectic, electrifying home to a mix of cultures and a wealth of attractions.
Johannesburg: City Layout
Johannesburg is quite large, its major sites sprawling outward, so renting a car or having a driver is imperative.
The heartbeat of the city is in Sandton
, the financial center, where you can redeem your IHG®
Rewards Club points for a stay at a luxury Sandton hotel in Johannesburg.
To the north and east of the city center, artists and creatives have set up galleries, studios and retail spaces to create new neighborhoods.
Further north, swathes of residential estates and shopping malls are bound by busy highways.
Eating Out in Johannesburg
South Africans love meat, especially local beef cooked on an open fire, and most good restaurants offer a selection of meat dishes. Global dishes like curries, pasta and sushi are also very popular in most bistros. Portions are large and you’re sure to find top South African wines and craft beers on offer.
There are many great places to eat in Johannesburg, including Marble
in Rosebank, where celebrated chef David Higgs cooks traditional South African dishes on an open fire. The Leopard
serves creative food beyond the ordinary, with specials like Ethiopian-style beef tartare and halva with rose syrup.
Family-friendly River Cafe Sandton
has a kids’ menu, a jungle gym and a summertime water slide keeps the children busy while you relax.
Shopping in Johannesburg
The best places to shop in Johannesburg include the city’s many markets, where bartering for African crafts and souvenirs is expected. For an authentic African shopping experience close to Johannesburg hotels in Rosebank, head to the craft section at Rosebank Mall
, where a large group of informal traders sells handmade beaded animals, wood carvings and traditional fabrics.
in Kramerville offers a more formal retail experience, with a curated selection of African artifacts and luxury decor items. In Milpark, 44 Stanley
sells crafts including handwoven linen, local fashion and handmade toys.
Leisure and attractions in Johannesburg
Johannesburg hotel guests are never at a loss for things to see and do, including exhibitions, galleries, theaters and parks. The city has lots of green spaces, like Zoo Lake
in Saxonwold, where you can take a stroll or hire a colorful boat. Lush Delta Park
in Blairgowrie is the perfect place for a picnic.
At Origins Centre at Wits
(University of the Witwatersrand) you can learn more about the early inhabitants of southern Africa. Bill Harrop’s
balloon tours in The Cradle run for an hour around sunrise. The dramatic views of the Highveld are well worth setting your alarm for.
Soweto's Apartheid Museum
offers a glimpse into life during the Apartheid era. A 20-minute drive from Mandela House
, where former president Nelson Mandela lived prior to his arrest.
The Old Fort Prison complex
on Constitution Hill in Braamfontein is a must for history lovers. A visit to nearby Maboneng with its trendy galleries, fashion stores and coffee shops brings you up to date with Jozi culture.