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Johannesburg is South Africa's largest city.

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Points of Interest in Johannesburg

Central Business District / CBD

The regeneration Central Business Direct accelerated in the run up to the 2010 World Cup and there are many areas of the inner city which are visitable, and the central area's poor reputation is no longer deserved. The city planners are using art as the cornerstone of the CBDs redevelopment and there are numerous galleries and art spaces popping up across the CBD. The city centre is the most-visited part of Johannesburg for African tourists, particularly the traders who come to shop at Johannesburg's wholesale outlets.

Newtown and the Market Theatre area (the city's cultural precinct) is now easily accessible from the highway and Mandela Bridge and very fun; here you will find live music venues and bars too. Braamfontein - the university area - has a great Saturday market, lively night life, is very artsy. By day there's nothing here.

On the east side of the city, Main Street Life, Maboneng Precinct and Arts on Main (especially the Sunday market and The Bioscope independent cinema). Troyeville has a fantastic restaurant at The Troyeville Hotel, an art centre and all the main sport stadiums (football, tennis, athletics, rugby).

On the west side, Fordsburg is the formerly-Indian part of central Joburg and has some Indian and Pakistani restaurants, shops and markets. Good food is to be found in this neighbourhood, which, by Johannesburg's standards, shows signs of street life in the evenings, and more so on Friday and Saturday. Most places are halaal, and so no alcohol is served. The Oriental Plaza shopping mall is here and has good bargains.

In the centre of town, between Jeppe St and Bree Street at Delvers Street, look up and see the Amharic script which denotes that you are in the Ethiopian/Somali part of town - there are Ethiopian restaurants and coffee shops located in the Africa Mall and Johannesburg Mall. Best to arrive before 2 pm.

To the north east, Yeoville is known as Le Petit Kinshasa and is home to many of the Francophone African diaspora in Johannesburg. Lots of Camerounian restaurants and Congolese bars.

Hillbrow (Little Lagos) has a bad reputation for drug dealing, sex bars, crime etc. but is improving - if you visit Constitution Hill, or Johannesburg Art Gallery, Hillbrow is right across the street, not that scary. Empty your pockets and go for a walk to the base of the Hillbrow Tower on a Sunday morning - stay on the main streets and keep your wits about you - and don't carry anything that is worth stealing. Certainly an interesting experience. Worth watching Louis Theroux's 'Law and Disorder in Johannesburg' before your visit.

  • Top of Africa, Carlton Centre, 150 Commissioner St (Take the elevator from the second floor to the fiftieth),  +27 (0)11 308-1331. 8AM to 7PM daily. Get a panoramic view of the city from the top of Africa's tallest building Rand 7.50.
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery, Corner of Klein and King George streets, Joubert Park,  +27 (0)11 725 3130. The biggest gallery on the African continent with a good collection of local and international work on display. And it's free.
  • Standard Bank Gallery, Corner Simmonds and Frederick Streets, Johannesburg,  +27 (0)11 631-1889. Open 8AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM to 1PM on Saturdays. Entrance is free.
  • Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Electric Workshop building, cnr Miriam Makeba and President street, Newtown,  +27 (0)11 639-8400, fax: +27 (0)11 832-3360, e-mail: 9AM to 5PM Mon to Fri and 9AM to 4:30PM weekends and public holidays. Adults: R20, children: R10.
  • Origins Centre - The South African Museum of Rock Art: A Museum in Africa for the people of the world. An excellent multimedia display of the rock art and the origins of humankind. Good curio shop, book shop and coffee shop. Yale Road, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Ph: +27 (0)11 717-6051, [8]. 9AM to 4:30PM. Students R35. Adults R80

Northern suburbs

In the north, the suburbs of Greenside, Houghton, Parktown North, Parkhurst, Killarney, Rosebank, Illovo, Melrose North, Atholl, Sandown, Sandton, Morningside, Fourways and Randburg are green, leafy and pleasant - and safe and comforting to first-world visitors, most have a shopping mall of some description, and some have a main street with cafes, boutiques and grocery shops.

  • Johannesburg Planetarium, Yale Road, Entrance 10, University of the Witwatersrand, Milner Park,  +27 (0)11 717-1392, fax: +27 (0)11 339-2926, e-mail: See their website for upcoming shows. From Rand 16 to Rand 25, depending on show.
  • South African National Museum of Military History, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold (Next to the Johannesburg),  +27 (0)11 646-5513, e-mail: Open daily 9AM to 4:30PM. A good collection of military hardware, including one of very few ME 262 jet fighters from WW2 still in existence. There is also a huge South African built G6 self-propelled, 155mm howitzer on show. A snack shop as well as a shop selling genuine and reproduction vintage military equipment is located within the museum. R20 entrance fee.
  • James Hall museum of Transport, Pioneers' Park, Rosettenville Road, La Rochelle,  +27 (0)11 435-9718, fax: +27 (0)11 435-9821, e-mail: Open Tue to Sun 9AM to 5PM. Largest museum dedicated to transport in South Africa. Free entrance.
  • Chérie De Villiers Gallery, Lower Level, Rosebank Mall, Rosebank,  +27 (0)11 788-9949, e-mail: Art by South African artists.
  • The Apartheid Museum +27 (0)11 309-4700. A very moving and informative trip through South Africa's turbulent past and present. It takes at least a half day to go through and includes video, pictures and many artifacts that you can easily spend a day looking through. It is located alongside Gold Reef City and is simply a must see.

Soweto is an increasingly popular destination for travellers from around the world. Take a tour or just drive in yourself using GPS set to Vilakazi Street: the road infrastructure and signs are excellent. You can stop off at Maponya Mall and join the Sowetan middle classes as they entertain themselves with retail and movies.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Museum Africa

Gold Reef City

Nelson Mandela Square

Market Theatre

Carlton Centre (Top of Africa)


Sandton Convention Centre

Gold Reef City Theme Park

First National Bank Stadium

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

SAB World of Beer

Lion Park

Joburg Theatre

Rosebank Mall

Sandton City

Emmarentia Dam

Topstar Screen and City View

Johannesburg Stadium

Ellis Park Stadium

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Popular events in Johannesburg in the near future

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About Johannesburg


Johannesburg has a population of 3.2 million people (South African 2001 census), half of which live in Soweto and adjacent suburbs. The majority of the population is formed by South Africa's black residents who mostly live in Soweto, while white residents amount to 500,000 (although the number is likely to be higher). There are also around 300,000 residents of other descent. Unlike other South African cities, no language group dominates, although English is the established lingua franca.

The city is the economic hub of South Africa, and increasingly for the rest of Africa. Although estimates vary, about 10% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP is generated in Johannesburg. Yet the city's wealth is unequally distributed among its inhabitants causing the city to have, within its own borders, living conditions varying from first world standards to third world conditions. The contrast between rich and poor has led to one of the highest crime rates in the world. The more affluent tend to live in houses with a high level of security by western standards, whilst the less affluent live in less desirable housing conditions. Don't avoid Johannesburg because of its crime however, since it is perfectly possible to have a safe and enjoyable stay if precautions are taken. Many South Africans choose to live here over other, safer parts of the country.

There are many things that are unique to Johannesburg. It features a distinct street entrepreneurship, and motorists can buy things from vendors selling goods at traffic lights, as in many other developing-world cities. This includes food, umbrellas, soccer balls, cellular phone accessories and many other goods. Barber shops consisting of nothing but a chair and an enthusiastic barber can be found on the sides of roads, although they tend to specialize in African rather than Caucasian hair. Mine dumps can also be seen throughout the city and are a reminder of the city's legacy of gold mining. These dumps are fast disappearing as new gold extraction techniques have made it profitable for mining companies to reprocess these dumps.

With around 6 million trees, Johannesburg is most likely the world's largest man-made urban forest. The city is certainly one of the greenest in the world, considering that the natural landscape is savannah.

The weather is generally regarded as excellent; temperatures reach the mid-30s Celsius (95°F) in the summer months (Dec-Feb) with little to no wind and with occasional, spectacular afternoon thunderstorms. Temperatures in winter can drop into single digits but snow is extremely rare.


By far the easiest way to find your bearings in Johannesburg is by finding the two telecommunication towers on the horizon. The Hillbrow tower is located near the city centre while the Brixton tower (also called the Sentech tower) is located out to the west of the city. Since they are both tall towers located on high ground and easily distinguishable from other structures and each other, they make excellent landmarks.

  • If the Hillbrow tower is to the left of the Brixton tower, then you are in the north
  • If the Hillbrow tower is closer than the Brixton tower, then you are in the east
  • If the Brixton tower is to the left of the Hillbrow tower, then you are in the south
  • If the Brixton tower is closer than the Hillbrow tower, then you are in the west

Depending on your location, you may also see a cylindrical building (Ponte City Apartments) located close to the Hillbrow tower.

There is a ring road system of freeways, with the city centre located at the centre of the ring. The ring is formed by the N1 on the north and west, the N3 on the east and the N12 on the south. The ring is dissected north/south by the M1 freeway and partially dissected east/west by the M2 freeway.


  • Township Tour to Soweto, a tour that will take you around the densely populated but vibrant town of Soweto. Use only official operators and do not go on your own.
  • Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (The gardens can be tricky to find as it is not well signposted from the main roads. From the N1 get onto Hendrik Potgieter at exit 80 (Roodepoort/M8 14th Ave). Follow the signs indicating Tarlton (M47) to the north. Pass Clearwater mall, turn left into Handicap Road and right into Malcolm Road where you see the first signpost for the gardens. The gardens will be on your left a couple of hundred meters from here.),  +27 (0)11 958-1750, fax: +27 (0)11 958-1752, e-mail: One of the last green areas remaining within Johannesburg. Lots of birds, including the endangered Black Eagle. There is a restaurant situated within the grounds as well as picnic and braai areas. R25 per person, discounts for students and pensioners.
  • Constitution Hill. Located downtown on the eastern edge of Braamfontein the site of the notorious Old Fort prison complex. In a similar vein to the Apartheid Museum the South African Constitutional Court set around the infamous Fort prison is a fascinating place well worth a visit - part courtroom, part museum and part art gallery. Free.
  • South African Lipizzaners, 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami (Follow the N1 towards Pretoria, take exit 108 Midrand, R561 Allandale Road towards Kyalami. Kyalami Road and Main Road intersects at the entrance to the Kyalami racetrack, turn right here. At the second traffic light, turn left and follow Main Road, look out for Maple Road to your right. Turn right into Maple Road and right again into Crocus Road),  +27 (0)11 702-2103, fax: +27 (0)11 468-2718, e-mail: Other than Vienna, this is the only place you will ever got to see performing Lipizzaners recognized by the Spanish Riding School. Booking can also be done via computicket [9]
  • Lesedi Cultural Village (Just past the Lanseria Airport on the R512),  +27 (0)12 205-1394. Traditional dances and food in authentic Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Xhosa and Ndebele villages.
  • Lion Park, R114 near the corner with Malibongwe (old Hans Strijdom Drive) (R512), Honeydew (From the N1, take exit 90, Randburg/R512 Malibongwe (old Hans Strydom Dr.) and follow this north for 12 kilometers past Kya Sands. At the Traffic Light for R114, take a right turn. The Lion Park is six hundred meters down the road on the right.),  +27 (0)11 691-9905, fax: +27 (0)11 691-9904, e-mail: The entrance ticket gives you a visit with the lion cubs (yes, you get to touch them), feed the giraffe (R20 for giraffe food) and a self-drive game viewing through the lion camps and game area (antelope, zebra, giraffe and others live here). The Lion Park can be very busy over weekends and public holidays. If you want some quality time with the lion cubs, it is better to go during the week when it is not so busy. If you are going to drive through the lion enclosures, make sure there are no loose objects on the outside of your vehicle and keep your windows closed. The lions are especially fond of 4x4 spare wheel covers, so remove these before you enter. R130 per person.
  • Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Karee Kloof (R54 South from Johanneburg towards Vereeniging, take the Kliprivier/Heidelberg offramp, go left, then right at 4way stop, left at next 4way stop,and the left at T-junction, on the left, follow signboards (approx 1 hour drive)). Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is one of Gauteng’s premier ecotourism destinations. Set just a short distance from Johannesburg, an hour's drive from Johannesburg International Airport and near the historical town of Heidelberg, this reserve boasts a representative sample of the fauna and flora of the Rocky Highveld Grassland biome. With 134 km² of unspoiled natural environment and a mountain range characterised by meandering twists and turns of hiking trails, the reserve offers an unbelievably refreshing break from the bustling city life. Here, the altitude varies between 1,545 and 1,917m above sea level..
  • Montecasino Bird Gardens, Montecasino Boulevard (Cnr William Nicol and Witkoppen Roads), Fourways (From the N1, take exit 95 (Marked: 95 Sandton/R511 William Nicol Dr.) and head north, cross over Leslie Ave and turn right into Mentecasino Blvd.),  +27 (0)11 511-1864. Open weekdays from 8:30AM to 5PM and weekends from 8:30AM to 6PM. Many birds and other small wildlife. Also look out for the 2500 year old tree located near the parrots. Flight of Fantasy Shows at 11AM and 3PM weekdays and 11AM, 1PM and 3PM on weekends.
  • Visit a gold mine. Such as the Old Kromdraai Gold Mine. The Kromdraai Gold Mine was one of the first gold mines on the Witwatersrand (the Johannesburg area today) and is situated in an unspoilt rural setting about 40 minutes drive from Johannesburg International airport and 20 minutes from Johannesburg city.R 1165-00 single ticket.
  • Gold Reef City, Northern Parkway, Ormonde (From the M1 South, take exit 5, Johannesburg/M17 Xavier Street and follow Crownwood Rd until intersection with Northern parkway. Turn right into Northern Parkway and follow that road for about 1 km),  +27 (0)11 248-6800, fax: +27 (0)11 248-6863, e-mail: An amusement park with a casino. The visitor can also learn about gold mining and go into a mine here (about 200 deep, too clean). Unfortunately Gold Reef isn't a theme-park of international standards so if you are expecting "Disney Land Africa" give it a miss.
  • Ferreira's Mine, Standard Bank Centre, 5 Simmonds Street,  +27 (0)11 636-9111, fax: +27 (0)11 636-4207, e-mail: Open during normal banking hours 8AM to 4PM. This bank literally sits on gold. An old abandoned gold mine from the late 19th century was rediscovered during construction of the Standard Bank head office in the 1980s. After taking the access tunnels of the mine into account, construction continued over it. Portions of the original mine as well as the new museum associated with it, have been opened to the public. Entrance is free.
  • Workers Museum, Newtown Park, Jeppe st, Newtown (Travel Nelson Mandela Bridge, left into Carr st then right into Miriam Makeba st, cross over Jeppe st and parking is on your right. Entrance is from Newtown Park.),  +27 (0)11 833 5624. Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm. The Workers Museum is a site specific museum and is be housed in the Newtown Compound on Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg. The Newtown Compound is one of the last surviving examples of municipal compounds for black male workers. The City Council built the compound in 1913 to house migrant workers who worked first for the Sanitary Department and then later at the nearby power station.

The Museum tells the story of Migrant Labourers who came to Johannesburg to find work. Having left their homes and families, black migrant workers faced slave-like conditions shown by the original dormitories, concrete bunks and punishment room at the old compound building. The museum reveals the hardships of workers under the migrant labour system, a cornerstone of apartheid, from the early 1900s through to the 1970s, when the system of job reservation began to breakdown. More positively it shows the vibrancy and creative resilience of migrant worker's culture. Oral history interviews and individual stories are combined with archival photographs and documents as well as a newly commissioned documentary on Migrant Labour. Free.

  • Sophiatown Heritage Tours (Sophiatown Heritage & Cultural Centre), 73 Toby Street, Sophiatown (Close to Melville/Westdene),  0116731271. Sophiatown’s history makes it one of the most significant stories in South Africa’s recent past – a site of forced removal prior to those of Cato Manor, District 6 and others all over our nation. Sophiatown’s mix of political, literary, music, social, criminal and cultural “movers and shakers” provided a back-drop for perhaps the most immortalized period in Johannesburg’s history Walking tours start from the original 1930s former house of Dr AB Xuma and takes you back to those times – see where Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa and Stompie Manana’s talents came to light; encounter the stories of removal and rebirth, experience the heady talent of Don Mattera and Can Themba, listen to the street life tales immortalized in song and dance.

Entrance: R25 Adult/ R10 Child: Group tours, school programmes R60 Adult/R30 Child: Guided Walking tour of Sophiatown Open: 10h00 – 16h00 (Tues, Wed, Fri) 10h00 – 18h00 (Thurs) 10h00 – 13h00 (Sat)


  • Coca-Cola Dome, cnr Olievenhout Avenue and Northumberland Road, North Riding (Next to the Northgate shopping mall). The Coca Cola stadium has numerous events throughout the year from wedding expos, to live motoring theater. This is the biggest dome structure in the southern hemisphere.


Like all major cities, Johannesburg has a wide variety of places to eat and you'll be sure to find something to suit your taste buds, be it local delicacies or international cuisines. In addition to standard South African shopping mall restaurants Johannesburg is one of the few cities with various 'restaurant streets' scattered around the suburbs offering a more European dining experience.

Restaurant streets

  • 7th Street, Melville - Traditionally Melville has been where most people head to for an evening meal - however, it now caters to students more than the moneyed middle classes. Melville offers a small pocket of culture, with street vendors often selling their own artworks, and charity shops abound.
  • Gleneagles Road, Greenside makes a good destination (north of Melville - head to where the M71 crosses the M20, Green Way) and there is a good collection of cafes and restaurants which won't be full of tourists.
  • Grant Avenue, Norwood is becoming more popular since Melville started catering more to students. A collection of uncomplicated restaurants, including numerous sushi places and simple pizza / pasta Italians. Pick of the crop is probably Sharwarma, with serves South African flavored Lebanese food, and also serves good steak and fish.
  • Tyrone Avenue, Parkview has a collection of coffee shops and restaurants
  • 4th Avenue, Parkhurst is an up-and-coming place, with some good Italian eateries
  • Queen's Street, Kensington to the east of the CBD has a handful of restaurants near the crossing with Northumberland.
  • Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene near Eastgate is a local Chinatown, and has numerous excellent Asian restaurants.

Don't ignore the CBD either, there are a handful of nice restaurants near the Market Theatre, and they are cheaper than their northern suburb cousins. Of course the northern suburb shopping malls are brimming with South African chain restaurants, of which the more expensive ones are also quite good, if a little soulless. South African cuisine features many varieties of sauces, and your food may be drowned in said sauce if you don't ask for it on the side.

  • Melrose Arch. Curious high-security compound housing many hotels, offices, upmarket restaurants and nightclubs, including Moyo (an African-themed restaurant) and several other casual eating establishments.
  • Rodizio. Used to be located in Victory Park and has great Brazilian dishes and a lively party atmosphere. Live music and dancing, it has now moved.
  • Arirang in Rivonia. Very good authentic Korean food, but very expensive.
  • Melville is neighborhood where you can find many bars and mediocre restaurants. It is close to the national broadcaster (SABC) headquarters, all the universities and many artists, academics and students live in this community.
    • Melon, 9a 7th Ave,  +27 (0)11 482-2477. Upmarket Restaurant with great ambiance.
    • Ants Cafe, 7th Street, Melville. A quirky and very vibey pizza spot. Friendly service, good South African wine and delicious pizza. Special pizza price on Mondays.
    • DEG 10 MIN 37.42 SEC S&lon=28 DEG 00 MIN 04.93 SEC E&zoom=17&layer=O&lang=en&name=Johannesburg   The Catz Pyjamas, 12 Main Road, Melville,  +27 (0)11 726-8596. Open 24/365!. Trendy always-open bistro. Menu from breakfast to dinner to dessert. Good bar selection. Friendly service.
    • The Lucky Bean Restaurant, 16 7th St,  +27 (0)11 482-5572. Tu-Su 11AM-late. Fusion cooking in a relaxed atmosphere. Live DJ music on weekends. R125pp.
  • Fordsburg has many Indian restaurants with authentic Indian cuisine as well as conventional franchise stores (Wimpy, Nandos, Fishmonger, Nescafe,etc.). Fordsburg is close to the Oriental Plaza and can be combined with your shopping expedition. Fordsburg is one of the few (if any) areas of Johannesburg that has a thriving outdoor street market and pedestrian traffic at night - in a relative sense. It's a small area and pedestrian traffic is light, but at least present. The area is more busy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
    • Akhalwayas Fast Foods, Central Rd,  +27 (0)11 834-2040. until 5PM. A favorite take-away among the locals, situated on Central Road. It specializes in fish and chips and various tasty sandwiches. However they are better known for the quality of their food then the speed of service and its not unheard of to wait for 45 min (or more!) for your meal at peak lunch times.
    • Dawaat, Mint Rd. Dawaat restaurant is considered to be one of the best restaurants and the priciest by Fordsburg standards. R100.
  • Mexican Fresh, Riverview Centre, corner Conrad Drive and Hillcrest, Craighall (just off Jan Smuts Ave between Hyde Park Shopping Centre and Republic Rd),  011 326 2276. 11:30AM-8:30PM. Serves burritos, nachos, fajitas, tacos and quesadillas. Available as vegetarian, beef, chicken or prawn, all made on-site, every day. All dishes can be accompanied with guacamole, pico de gallo, Mexican rice and fresh salsa. Ask for chilli if you like it spicy.
  • Moyo, Zoo Lake park. Typical touristy location. Lots of fun! Moyo serves stereotypical "African" food, and though it is quite a pricy experience, the restaurant is beautiful, and situated in one of the most charming areas of Johannesburg. Moyo is also located very near the Johannesburg zoo, and the two experiences together make for a great day out!


Good pubs and clubs are available in the Melville student district, Braamfontein, Rosebank and the Newtown cultural precinct. Posh and upmarket clubbing happens in the Rivonia and Sandton area.

  • Back o' the Moon Nightclub, Located in Gold Reef City Casino,  +27 (0)11 496-1423. A casino-restaurant with live traditional and contemporary jazz, plus dinner and dancing. It has a wide selection of grills and seafood on a good-value set menu. Open Tu-Sa for lunch and dinner, R25.
  • Troyeville Hotel. Old-fashioned bar with pool tables and occasional events like book launches, jazz bands. Good restaurant. Close to rugby and soccer stadiums, the bar is packed on match days. Sunday barbecues with a view of the city and local draught beers.
  • Monsoon Lagoon, Caesar's Palace Casino,  +27 (0)11 928-1280. Good nightclub with DJ Sebastian. Closed.
  • The Manhattan Club, 19 Wessels Rd, Rivonia (From the N1 take exit 100 (Sandton/M9 Rivonia Rd), follow Rivonia Rd south and turn left into 12th Ave at the second traffic light, turn left into River Rd and follow that until it becomes Wessels Rd),  +27 (0)11 803-7085, e-mail: Th-Sa 8PM-4AMish, Tu W 9PM-3AM. Closed Su M, Th. A huge stylish and bustling venue, with a total of 8 bars which include a shooters bar and a ladies only cocktail bar. Discounts for students and ladies. R50-70 cover.
  • The Woods / Town Hall, 66 Carr Street, Newtown. Fr-Sa 7PM-2AM.. The best venue in Johannesburg if you're young and looking for a party. Most commonly hosts dubstep or drum 'n bass parties. The Woods and Town Hall are two clubs right next to each other, close to the bustling city. Mostly 20-somethings and students. Fun place. Varies based on event. Expect R50 - R300.
  • The Radium Beer Hall, Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove,  +27 (0)11 728-3866. This place has been serving beer since 1929. Live music on weekends
  • Roxy Rhythm Bar, 20 Main Rd, Melville,  +27 (0)11 726-6019. This club has a rooftop dance floor and a monster sound system. It welcomes live rock bands, dance events and even stand-up comedy. The more popular bands play at the weekends and Monday is student night. R50 cover charge.
  • SAB World of Beer, 15 President Street, Newtown,  +27(0)11 836-4900, fax: +27 (0)11 836-4900, e-mail: The SAB-Miller Beer museum. R25 for the tour, including 2 free drinks in the pub at the end of the tour..
  • Katzy's. Upmarket bar in The Firs mall next to Hyatt in Rosebank with music and dancing most nights. Specialises in expensive whiskies. Mixed, middle-aged, wealthy kinda crowd. There is a cover charge to get in when a live band is playing.


There are many craft markets in Johannesburg and the surrounding areas. You will also find plenty of beautifully crafted beadwork and wirework being sold on the roadside and at intersections. Though you will be able to bargain with the locals, give a thought to the crafters who are often unemployed and rely on sales to support themselves and their family.

Craftsmen and women from all over Africa sell their goods at the Rosebank flea market on Sundays and in a bazaar type shop in the Rosebank mall on week days. Johannesburg has no specific artwork, which you cant get in other parts Of the country. But you very good quality shops for this. Many od SA-Art is invented in Swaziland or imported from other African nations. Don't forget to buy the 2 ft geraffe which you get all over and at the airport. You will also find it in your home country.

African Arts & Crafts

  • African Craft Market, Rosebank Mall, Cnr Cradock and Baker St, Rosebank.,  (+27) (0)11 880 2906, fax: (+27)(0) 11 880 2944. Open 9AM to 6PM daily.

Flea Markets

  • Mai Mai, Anderson and Berea St. The oldest market in Johannesburg. Here you'll see plenty of traditional healers selling traditional herbs & remedies.
  • Bruma Flea Market, Ernest Oppenheimer Ave, Bruma (Close to Eastgate),  (+27) (0)11 622-9648. Daily 10AM to 6PM.
  • Market Theatre Flea Market, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Bree St, Newtown,  (+27) (0)11 832-1641. Open Sat 9AM to 4PM.
  • Panorama Flea Market, Klipriver Drive, Mulbarton,  (+27) (0)11 682-2222, fax: (+27) (0)86 513-3267, e-mail:

Shopping Malls

Shopping Malls are very popular in Johannesburg, due to their convenience and safety and the fact that there are few alternatives - although thankfully Jozi is one of the few cities in the country that still has some streetlife. A typical shopping mall has all the usual chain stores (for clothes, books, music, chemists etc.) a food hall (KFC, Mugg & Bean...) and a big western-style supermarket in the basement. Many also have a multiplex cinema. They can be comfortable but soulless refuges that can trap the tourist with their familiar, air conditioned surrounds, so beware. There are many shopping malls throughout Johannesburg, most have free secure parking, although you have to pay for parking in the more popular malls (Rosebank & Sandton). The main malls are:

  • Oriental Plaza, Fordsburg. A taste of the orient in Africa and also where you can find some good bargains. Unlike other malls in South Africa you can bargain with the shopkeepers here. The Oriental Plaza is unique as it has over 360 independently owned stores. A block away from the Oriental Plaza is the site where Mahatma Gandhi had the famous pass burning ceremony 100 years ago. The location, which is outside the nearby Newtown mosque, is appropriately marked with a cauldron and the relevant historical details.
  • Sandton City, 5th St,  +27 (0)11 217-6000, fax: +27 (0)11 883-0978, e-mail: M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-4PM. A large and popular mall in Sandton. Please don't spend all of your holiday here, although many do.
  • 44 Stanley, 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark (From the M1 north or south, turn right at the Empire Road turnoff. Take the second robot (traffic light) left into Owl St (under the bridge). Stanley Ave is the 2nd road on the right),  011 482 4444. A welcome alternative to the sterility of standard shopping malls. Built in a complex of former industrial buildings near the city gasworks, 44 Stanley is now home to 25 boutiques, restaurants and creative studios set around connecting courtyards. The centre of an interesting urban regeneration project and well worth a visit.
  • Northgate, Corner of Northumberland Rd & Olievenhout Ave,  +27 (0)11 794 1687. In the north west, right next to the Coca-Cola Dome, which is well-known for its big-name music events. Northgate is relatively small in comparison to the other "gates", but nonetheless offers some good recreation options, including movies, paintball, ice skating and weekend entertainment for children.
  • Bedford Centre. In the east, a smaller mall that is worth seeking out - a good selection of independent shops, rather than the chain store overload of standard South African malls.
  • Westgate, 120 Ontdekkers Rd, Roodepoort,  +27 (0)11 768-0616, fax: +27 (0)11 768-2291, e-mail: M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 9AM-2PM. For many years the more working-class mall of Johannesburg, Westgate has recently undergone a much-needed facelift and now boasts a more modern image. Being far away from most of the tourist hotspots, it is virtually unknown to foreign visitors, yet offers a pleasant shopping experience with branches from most of the major chain stores.
  • Eastgate, Cnr Nicol and Bradford, Bedfordview,  +27 (0)11 616-2209, fax: +27 (0)11 622-2473, e-mail: 9AM-6PM.
  • Cresta Mall, Cnr Beyers Naude and Weltevreden Rd, Cresta,  +27 (0)11 678-5306, fax: +27 (0)11 678-4096, e-mail: This is where Central Johannesburg's middle-class population do their shopping and socializing. Big branches of all the major chain stores can be found here, as well as some good family restaurants. Walk around in Cresta and feel like a true local.
  • Rosebank, Between Bath and Cradock Aves, Rosebank (From the M1 south, take exit 19 (Johannesburg/M20 Gelnhove Rd), turn right and follow Glenhove to Oxford, cross over Oxford and turn right into 4th Ave that leads directly into the mall parking),  +27 (0)11 788-5530, fax: +27 (0)11 880-6250, e-mail: Significant construction and renovation is currently being done at the mall.
  • Southgate, Cnr Columbine Ave & Rifle Range Rd, Mondeor,  +27 (0)11 942-1061. The centre is in the south of Johannesburg, just five minutes from Soweto.
  • Fourways Mall, Cnr Witkoppen Rd & William Nicol Dr, Fourways,  +27 (0)11 465 6095.

You will also find many smaller shopping malls close to residential areas. Usually with one or two of the larger retail stores, a number of smaller chain stores, fast food and possibly a restaurant or coffee shop.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Johannesburg on Wikivoyage.