Johannesburg was so pleasantly unexpected.
Once just a transit city in South Africa, it is reinventing itself to attract locals and tourists alike. We were thrilled to spend two days here mid February and these are our top three Johannesburg travel experiences!
Maboneng is among many regenerated areas in Johannesburg which were once no-go zones due to crime and urban decay. We were lucky enough to get a personal walking tour with Bheki Dube founder of Main Street Walks in Maboneng. This is great way to discover the cultural roots of the city and the transformation that is occurring. Abandoned buildings have been transformed into art galleries, independent retail and hospitality space and refurbished apartments. Public art decorates bland building facades and an abundance of greenery is bringing life to the indoors! There is no shortage of tasty food and drink stops. We recommend Pata Pata for food and The Living Room for rooftop cocktails.
2. Neighbourgoods Market
Every Saturday in Johannesburg specialist food and goods sellers come together to form this two-storey lively market and it is not to be missed! Come hungry because the first floor is filled with every food item that you can imagine. Buy a few plates and head on up to the next level to the open air seating area and be serenaded by live local musicians. After that food coma has worn off there is shopping to be done among the unique handmade jewellery, clothes and homewares stalls!
3. Visit Soweto
Absorb South African culture and hear the history of this township and its significant role in the apartheid struggle. We first took a short guided walking tour of Soweto’s oldest suburb Kliptown. This was home to the Congress of the People in 1955 who introduced the Freedom Charter in opposition to apartheid. From there we would highly recommend a bicycle tour from Lebo’s Sewoto – informative guides, opportunities to speak to local residents, plus it’s really fun!
So they’re our top tips for Joburg! We hope you get to enjoy South Africa sometime soon.
We stayed at The Maslow, Sun International and it was brilliant – beautiful hotel and just a short drive into the heart of Johannesburg.
A huge thanks to South African Airways for flying us from London to Johannesburg, 10/10 would recommend flying with them!
C + P
With double daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg from £568.07, South African Airways offers flights to the largest route network within Southern Africa. Book now on flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680.