It is has many names. Called Jobek, Egoli, Joeys and Jozi, it is the hub of the South African money making machine and home of the Stock Exchange. Johannesburg is the capital of Gauteng, the richest province in South Africa and the largest city (by population) in the country.
It has many very tall buildings and many very tall trees; it is considered one of the ‘greenest’ cities in the world.
It is a great city to live, the salaries are good and public transport is now been improved with the Gautrain system linking the OR Tambo International Airport with the Johannesburg inner-city and Pretoria. But can you have fun in Jobek? What attractions are there for visitors to Egoli?
The Top-10 list of things to do:
Visit Soweto – what started as SOuth WEstern TOwnships where migrating mine workers stayed, has grown to a tourism hotspot for township tours. A popular stops are the Mandela Museum, tasting some local food and beer at one of the shebeens – local drinking spots and seeing a local soccer match.
Gold Reef City is theme-park and museum complex depicting the history of Johannesburg gold mining industry. It includes an amusement park with Africa’s fastest rollercoaster, a casino Victorian houses and an underground mine tour.
Worthwhile to spend at least half a day is the New Town Precinct in the inner-city. A multiracial hub of museums, galleries, markets and venues for theater and live music, it reflects South Africa’s colourful past. Visit the SA Breweries museum, Market Theatre, taste local food and browse for souvenirs at the many craft stalls.
Take a rest for a few lazy hours at the Walter Sisulu National Gardens. Visit from October to March to experience the green lawns and over 600 plant species, many in flower. This garden-cum-nature reserve offers activities such as picnic concerts and astronomy evenings.
Johannesburg Zoo founded in 1904 is situated on 55 ha and is home to more than 320 species of animals such as a pygmy hippo, capybara and the endangered scimitar Oryx. It is open 364days of the year and offer activities such as night walks.
Johannesburg Theatre complex presents shows over 50 weeks per year. There are three theatres hosting productions ranging from musicals and ballet to comedy shows and local productions.
Neighbourgoods Market in central Johannesburg’s Braamfontein is open every Saterday from 0900 to 1400. Fare range from foods such as raw chocolate and coffees, to local designer crafts and fresh produce. A perfect stop to buy a gift or two and to stock up on goods for a weekend out of the city.
The Apartheid Museum is worth a visit for its striking architecture as well as insight into the political turmoil the controversial racial laws have caused. It shows the rise and fall of apartheid with film footage, artifacts and text. It is open all week, but no guided tours are available on Mondays.
Liliesleaf Farm is a historic site in the north of Johannesburg dedicated to the liberation struggle during apartheid. The farm was the unofficial headquarters for the SA Communist party and were used by ANC activists as a safe house during the tumultuous apartheid era. The site is open 7 days/week and is 8km from the Sandton Gautrain station.
Maboneng Precinct in eastern Johannesburg is a creative residential and retail development with trendy shops, art galleries, warehouses turned into event spaces and fashionable eateries. Book a guided walking tour or stay at the 12 Decades Johannesburg Art hotel, where rooms are individually styled to the 12 decades of Johannesburg history.