An introduction to Johannesburg
For classical luxury with modern convenience the ever-popular South-African destination of Johannesburg is an absolute must-see. From here you can breathe in the famous beauty of South Africa, while also exploring the local delights, such as the thriving foodie restaurant scene, boutique stores and heaps of local history.
From the slick glass confines of the mammoth Sandton City shopping centre in Sandton Drive to the kooky charm of the Rosebank Rooftop Market off Baker Street, Johannesburg has one of the most diverse shopping scenes in South Africa. Pick up traditional masks, wooden carvings, wire baskets and beaded dolls at the African Craft Market that operates daily at the corner of Cradock Avenue and Baker Street; browse piles of enchanting bric-a-brac at Newtown Cultural Precinct’s Market Theatre Flea Market; or gorge on fresh, organic produce from the Rietvlei Boeremark on Swartkoppies Road. Fashion connoisseurs will find plenty to captivate them here too, particularly in the selection of stylish boutiques clustered around Oaklands Drive.
Food & Drink
This is an exciting time for the Joburg foodie scene, with a rash of creative new restaurants, bars and cafés springing up around the city. The Blackanese Sushi and Wine Bar (20 Kruger Street) is the latest hipster hangout – an intimate venue in the newly regenerated Maboneng Precinct area of Downtown that offers a modern twist on standard sushi. A more established but no less innovative place to get your seafood fix is the Attic (24 Fourth Avenue), which serves scrumptious, Asian-influenced bistro fare at remarkably reasonably prices. Coobs (Fourth Avenue, Randburg) bases its seasonal dishes on organic produce fresh from a local farm. Finally, an intimate meal at Cube Tasting Kitchen (17 Fourth Avenue) is the perfect way to treat your taste buds.
This lively New Year festival sees the streets of downtown Johannesburg given over to laughter, music and merriment as thousand-strong crowds gather to watch a huge parade of floats. Hillbrow, Braamfontein and Newtown are at the centre of the celebrations.
Providing a platform for documentary filmmakers to exhibit their work, this annual film festival is an important date in the Jo’burg cultural calendar. A series of screenings and workshops for budding documentary makers is followed up by a star-studded awards ceremony.
Established more than 25 years ago, this popular contemporary dance event showcases top artists and choreographers from all over the world. Performances take place in venues across the city, and tickets generally sell out quickly.
A packed week of cultural events leads up to the Gay Pride March on the final Saturday in September. Expect performances from singers, DJs and dancers as well as food stalls and various fringe events running throughout the festival.
Carols by Candlelight
Every year at the beginning of December, the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens provides the enchanting venue for a night of carol singing. Thousands of people gather with their blankets and picnic gear to enjoy this charming Christmas concert.
Nowhere does classic luxury better than Johannesburg. The city’s hotel scene has traditionally been dominated by five-star mansions such as the Monarch Hotel in Rosebank (167 Oxford Road), but an increasing array of chic boutiques offers variety to well-heeled visitors. Set in secluded gardens, the gorgeous little AtholPlace Boutique Hotel (90 Pretoria Avenue) represents the ultimate retreat from city life. A little more affordable but no less elegant, Melville Turret Guesthouse (118 Second Avenue) combines a convenient location with oodles of historic charm. At the budget end of the market, captivating thatched guest house Green Park Manor (8 Malgas Avenue) is the last word in affordable luxury.