Johannesburg Travel Guide

Attractions

Central Business District / CBD

The regeneration Central Business Direct accelerated in the run up to the 2010 World Cup and there are many areas of the inner city which are visitable, and the central area's poor reputation is no longer deserved. The city planners are using art as the cornerstone of the CBDs redevelopment and there are numerous galleries and art spaces popping up across the CBD. The city centre is the most-visited part of Johannesburg for African tourists, particularly the traders who come to shop at Johannesburg's wholesale outlets.

Newtown and the Market Theatre area (the city's cultural precinct) is now easily accessible from the highway and Mandela Bridge and very fun; here you will find live music venues and bars too.

Braamfontein - the university area - has a great Saturday market, lively night life, is very artsy. By day there's nothing here.

On the east side of the city, Main Street Life, Maboneng Precinct and Arts on Main (especially the Sunday market and The Bioscope independent cinema). Troyeville has a fantastic restaurant at The Troyeville Hotel, an art centre and all the main sport stadiums (football, tennis, athletics, rugby).

On the west side, Fordsburg is the formerly-Indian part of central Joburg and has some Indian and Pakistani restaurants, shops and markets. Good food is to be found in this neighbourhood, which, by Johannesburg's standards, shows signs of street life in the evenings, and more so on Friday and Saturday. Most places are halaal, and so no alcohol is served. The Oriental Plaza shopping mall is here and has good bargains.

In the centre of town, between Jeppe St and Bree Street at Delvers Street, look up and see the Amharic script which denotes that you are in the Ethiopian/Somali part of town - there are Ethiopian restaurants and coffee shops located in the Africa Mall and Johannesburg Mall. Best to arrive before 2 pm.

To the north east, Yeoville is known as Le Petit Kinshasa and is home to many of the Francophone African diaspora in Johannesburg. Lots of Camerounian restaurants and Congolese bars.

Hillbrow (Little Lagos) has a bad reputation for drug dealing, sex bars, crime etc. but is improving - if you visit Constitution Hill, or Johannesburg Art Gallery, Hillbrow is right across the street, not that scary. Empty your pockets and go for a walk to the base of the Hillbrow Tower on a Sunday morning - stay on the main streets and keep your wits about you - and don't carry anything that is worth stealing. Certainly an interesting experience. Worth watching Louis Theroux's 'Law and Disorder in Johannesburg' before your visit.

Top of AfricaCarlton Centre, 150 Commissioner StPhone: +27 (0)11 308-1331Hours: 8AM to 7PM dailyPrice: Rand 7.50Get a panoramic view of the city from the top of Africa's tallest building
Johannesburg Art GalleryCorner of Klein and King George streets, Joubert ParkPhone: +27 (0)11 725 3130The biggest gallery on the African continent with a good collection of local and international work on display. And it's free.
Standard Bank GalleryCorner Simmonds and Frederick Streets, JohannesburgPhone: +27 (0)11 631-1889Hours: Open 8AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM to 1PM on SaturdaysPrice: Entrance is free
Sci-Bono Discovery CentreElectric Workshop building, cnr Miriam Makeba and President street, NewtownPhone: +27 (0)11 639-8400Fax: +27 (0)11 832-3360Hours: 9AM to 5PM Mon to Fri and 9AM to 4:30PM weekends and public holidaysPrice: Adults: R20, children: R10
Origins Centre - The South African Museum of Rock Art: A Museum in Africa for the people of the world. An excellent multimedia display of the rock art and the origins of humankind. Good curio shop, book shop and coffee shop. Yale Road, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Ph: +27 (0)11 717-6051, enquiries@rockart.wits.ac.za . 9AM to 4:30PM. Students R35. Adults R80

Northern suburbs

In the north, the suburbs of Greenside, Houghton, Parktown North, Parkhurst, Killarney, Rosebank, Illovo, Melrose North, Atholl, Sandown, Sandton, Morningside, Fourways and Randburg are green, leafy and pleasant - and safe and comforting to first-world visitors, most have a shopping mall of some description, and some have a main street with cafes, boutiques and grocery shops.

Johannesburg PlanetariumYale Road, Entrance 10, University of the Witwatersrand, Milner ParkPhone: +27 (0)11 717-1392Fax: +27 (0)11 339-2926Hours: See their website for upcoming showsPrice: From Rand 16 to Rand 25, depending on show
South African National Museum of Military HistoryErlswold Way, SaxonwoldPhone: +27 (0)11 646-5513Hours: Open daily 9AM to 4:30PMPrice: R20 entrance feeA good collection of military hardware, including one of very few ME 262 jet fighters from WW2 still in existence. There is also a huge South African built G6 self-propelled, 155mm howitzer on show. A snack shop as well as a shop selling genuine and reproduction vintage military equipment is located within the museum.
James Hall museum of TransportPioneers' Park, Rosettenville Road, La RochellePhone: +27 (0)11 435-9718Fax: +27 (0)11 435-9821Hours: Open Tue to Sun 9AM to 5PMPrice: Free entranceLargest museum dedicated to transport in South Africa.
Chrie De Villiers GalleryLower Level, Rosebank Mall, RosebankPhone: +27 (0)11 788-9949Art by South African artists.
The Apartheid MuseumPhone: +27 (0)11 309-4700A very moving and informative trip through South Africa's turbulent past and present. It takes at least a half day to go through and includes video, pictures and many artifacts that you can easily spend a day looking through. It is located alongside Gold Reef City and is simply a must see.

Soweto is an increasingly popular destination for travellers from around the world. Take a tour or just drive in yourself using GPS set to Vilakazi Street: the road infrastructure and signs are excellent. You can stop off at Maponya Mall and join the Sowetan middle classes as they entertain themselves with retail and movies.


source: Wikivoyage

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