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 Vibrant, ever-changing, fabulously wealthy, desperately poor, vast, multi-faceted Johannesburg flings contrasts at you from every angle. Trees line streets where houses hide their manicured gardens and pristine blue swimming pools behind high white walls, miles of shacks tell of the effects of the apartheid years – still to be overcome. The air of Africa’s most dynamic city vibrates with music and buzzes with business while its stylish restaurants, elegant shops, art galleries and theatres delight the international visitor.


1 Rand = 100 cents


Jo’burg Connect
+27 11 375 5911 (Accidents, Fire, Medical, Crime)
10111 Police
10177 Ambulance


The Star (Johannesburg’s oldest English-language daily newspaper, has a Tonight listings supplement.)
The weekly (Friday) Mail & Guardian has extensive What’s On listings.)
The Sowetan
City Press
Business Day


Mall shopping hours are generally 09.00-17.00/18.00 Monday to Saturday, and 09.00-14.00 on Sundays. Most museums and galleries are closed on Mondays.


5 million


Gauteng Tourism Authority
1 Central Place. Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown
09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday
+27 11 639 1600


Sprawling building in the downtown core, against the blue sky

The City

Cosmopolitan Johannesburg (also known as Jo’burg or Jozi) sprawls for miles, sprouting upper-income suburbs like satellite towns – one of them, sophisticated Sandton, is the business and economic capital of South Africa. Soweto, home to most of Johannesburg’s black population, lies to the southwest, a 20 square km conglomeration of townships with homes that range from millionaire mansions and neat middle-income housing to the tin shacks of squatter camps.

The city built on gold has seen its landmark yellow mine dumps recycled and replaced by skyrise buildings and glitzy shopping malls, and its recent apartheid history remembered in superb new museums. Soaring chrome and glass buildings, housing opulent international hotels and corporate giants, pepper the leafy streets of a string of exclusive northern suburbs – among them, rich Rosebank, elite Sandhurst, bohemian Melrose Village and foody Greenside. Across a canopy of green, the horizon is spiked by the outline of downtown Johannesburg, slowly stirring from its no-go dilapidation. Six-lane highways and swirling freeways indicate the importance of the car.

Credo Mutwa cultural village in Soweto ,Johannesburg ,South Africa.

Do & See

The city built on gold has seen its landmark yellow mine dumps recycled and replaced by skyrise buildings and glitzy shopping malls, and its recent apartheid history remembered in superb new museums.

Apartheid Museum

Joziburg Lane


Old Fort and Constitution Hill

Museum Africa


Gold Reef City

Origins Centre

Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary

FNB Stadium

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam

Johannesburg Zoo


SAB World of Beer

Traditional African lamb chunks ready to eat


In this cosmopolitan city of myriad cuisines you’ll find traditional Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Indian and Chinese through to authentic Thai and Argentinean. South Africans are great meat eaters, so steak houses flourish. Greenside is packed with smart restaurants, but all the northern suburbs have their stars. Melville, Parktown North, Melrose Arch and trendy Parkhurst are particularly good locations.

Great Eastern Food Bar

Lucky Bean


Moyo Melrose Arch

The Butcher Shop & Grill

Sakhumzi Restaurant

The Grillhouse



Ristorante La Trinita



Joburg's cafe culture is booming, with hip coffee shops (some with on-site stores and even book shops) and casual eateries aplenty. Having brunch is in, so finding a suitable venue in the neighbourhood you're in shouldn't be of much difficulty.

City Perk Cafe

Eat Your Heart Out

Fresh Earth

Whippet Coffee

Nice on 4th


Tortellino d'Oro

bar and desk

Bars & Nightlife

Jozi boasts a very lively nightlife. From the sleek bars of top-notch hotels to shebeens (informal drinking places, usually in someone’s front room) in Soweto, whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Jozi. Melville’s Seventh Street is popular with night owls, while Rosebank, Rivonia, Norwood and Orange Grove attract the more affluent party crowd. Soweto has crowded bars and live jazz, but it is only advisable to go there on an organised tour.

Mad Giant

Lenin's Vodka Bar

Good Luck Bar

Living Room


Stanley Beer Yard

Hell's Kitchen

Beach Blanket Bohemia


Radium Beer Hall



From upmarket malls to street markets, via designer fashion, crafts, curios and lovely things for the home, Johannesburg is a paradise for shoppers. Mall culture distinguishes this city of dedicated shoppers. Sandton City and its adjacent Nelson Mandela Square is one of the largest shopping centres in the southern hemisphere. The packed African Crafts Market lies next to the stylish Mall of Rosebank, which takes on new vibes on Sundays and public holidays when the lively Rooftop Market is in full swing.

Norwood’s Grant Avenue is good for antiques and Parkhurst’s Fourth Avenue for collectables and interior design. Go to The African Toyshop on Stanley Avenue, Milpark, for toys as works of art Art Africa on Tyrone Avenue in Parkview for a dazzling array of ethnic arts and crafts and Kim Sacks Gallery in Parkwood for excellent tribal African art.

Keep all the receipts of your shop purchases, as visitors can reclaim the tax paid on departure at the airport.

Neighbourgoods Market

Sheds @ 1Fox

44 Stanley

Market on Main

Nelson Mandela Square

Rosebank Mall

Oriental Plaza

Michael Mount Organic Village Market

Xarra Books

Eastgate Shopping Centre

Antelope. South Africa

Essential Information


OR TAMBO International Airport is Africa’s busiest airport with 24-hour facilities. It lies 25km east of the city.

The cheapest way to reach town is use the public transportation - buses and minibuses depart from just outside the international and domestic terminals. Please mind, however, that these may not be either convenient or easy to navigate for first-time visitors.

Another way to reach the city is by rail - the Gautrain system connects the airport to multiple suburbs (Sandton, Rosebank, Pretoria, Hatfield and Rhodesfield). Travel time between the airport and Sandton is 12 minutes.

Minibus shuttles and metered taxis can be booked in the baggage claim area. The hotels of Rosebank and Sandton are a 30-45 minute drive from the airport. Most hotels offer shuttle services (inquire with your hotel in advance).

Train service now runs between the suburbs of Sandton and Pretoria and the airport.

Address: O.R. Tambo International Airport

Phone: +27 11 921 6262


Public transport

While most locals use minibuses to get around the city, flagging one down and figuring out its final destination may prove daunting to first-time visitors.
Instead, make use of the public buses (Rea Vaya buses were introduced during the 2010 World Cup and remain in operation to-date; they are a relatively reliable means of transport).

A hop on-hop off Sightseeing Johannesburg bus may be the best bet for short-term visitors. They operate between 9am and 6pm, and stop at all major visitor attractions and multiple locations around the city.

Another convenient, safe way of getting around are the trains of the Gautrain system. They connect the stations of Sandton, Rosebank, Pretoria, Hatfield, Rhodesfield and the airport. There is a bus service run by Gautrain from some stations onward. Buy and top-up the Gold Card to use Gautrain.


Metered taxis are the safest way to travel if you are not hiring a car, they are available at major hotels, otherwise you have to phone for pickup. The fare should be confirmed with the driver at the outset (inquire with a local what an average fare for you drive distance would be).

One reliable taxi company is Rose Taxis:

Phone: +27 11 403 0000



Post boxes are red in color. There are multiple post offices around the city. One location at:

Address: 150 Commissioner St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg

Phone: +27 11 331 1057


More Information: Carlton Centre


Pharmacies have a rota system for out-of-hours service. Most hospitals and clinics with an ER will also have a 24/7 pharmacy on-site.

Netcare Olivedale Hospital
Tel: +27 11 777 2000
Corner President Fouche & Windsor Way, Olivedale, Randburg

Netcare Linksfield Hospital
Tel: + 27 11 647 3400
24 12th Avenue, Linksfield West


220/240v, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.


Country code: +27
Area code: 11