Johannesburg is a vibrant, multicultural and creative city that doesn’t always see itself at the top of visitor’s travel plans. An eclectic, diverse city filled with everything a millennial local or traveler could ask for, Johannesburg offers everything from trendy bars and pubs, quirky restaurants, and bustling streets. South Africa’s largest city has hundreds of diverse areas, so knowing where to explore requires a lot of thought and planning. To help, we’ve rounded up a list of 5 places you need to explore in Johannesburg.
Maboneng is one of the first, and most referenced, developments of an inner city neighbourhood in Johannesburg. This area that was once a ‘no-go’ zone is now thriving with local shops, restaurants and creative spaces occupying the former warehouses built at the turn of the 20th century. This inner-city precinct is being gentrified and has become one of the coolest areas in Johannesburg. Whether it’s visiting Arts on Main, eating authentic African cuisine, or sipping cocktails at the best rooftop bars in the city, you know you’ll always have the best time in Maboneng.
Parkhurst is famous for its lively 4th Avenue which is known for its upscale restaurant culture. Lined with restaurants, bars, and cafés, it’s hard to find a more-popular spot on a Saturday. The Jolly Roger, a popular Joburg bar that’s packed most nights, can be found at the end of this long street, while interior shops and boutiques are scattered in between burger joints and breakfast spots. If you’re a foodie, Parkhurst will definitely a splendid visit for you.
On the northern edge of the central business district (CBD), Braamfontein is home to the University of the Witwatersrand and hence is frequented by students and party animals. Another reformation of a previously thriving district in the CBD, Braamfontein has experienced a marked urban rejuvenation effort throughout the last decade. Once in the throes of deterioration, ‘Braam’ is now home to some of Joburg’s hippest shops, creative spaces and innovative restaurants. Braamfontein is best known for the Neighbourgoods Market on Saturday. It also boasts Johannesburg’s oldest bar, Kitchener’s, and the stunning Wits Art Museum.
Orlando is Soweto’s tourism hub, with foreigners lining up to visit Mandela’s former home, have a traditional South African meal at Sakhumzi Restaurant, or buy souvenirs from one of countless street vendors. Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners: President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The nearby Hector Pieterson Museum is an informative and heartbreaking memorial to the 1976 Soweto Uprising.
Rosebank has long been an established neighbourhood in Johannesburg and has managed to keep up with the up and coming boroughs like Maboneng and Braamfontein. The main draw of Rosebank is the quality shopping and density of restaurants, which bring both locals and visitors in droves. Rosebank is also one of the few Johannesburg suburbs with its own Gautrain station, which makes it easily accessible from the airport.
With many great places to explore in Johannesburg, you can be assured that you will never be disappointed with a trip to South Africa’s largest city. If you want to make a permanent move to Johannesburg, make sure you visit our job section to see what amazing career opportunities we currently have available in the city.