Johannesburg is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.
Johannesburg city skyline
Johannesburg  (in spoken language also referred to as Jo'burg, Egoli or Jozi ) is South Africa's largest city.
- For other places with the same name, see Johannesburg (disambiguation).
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 are able to buy almost anything from vendors selling goods at traffic lights. 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 Caucasoid hair. Mine dumps can also been 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 center 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 center located at the center 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.
A number of highways from everywhere in South Africa go to Johannesburg, like the N1 from Cape Town and Bloemfontein or the N3 from Durban making it an easy to reach destination, including:
Traffic can be particularly bad during peak hours (M-F 7:30AM-9AM and 4PM-6:30PM) so plan your journey accordingly. Due to the increasing number of cars sold, traffic has progressively got worse. If traveling in the city Monday through Friday, make sure you take into consideration the possibility of traffic jams delaying your journey. As the city is large and spread out, getting around may require covering large distances e.g. from Midrand to Soweto is in excess of 45 km (28 mi). Expect massive roadworks on all major routes around and in the city, all roads get a new surface and extra lanes are being made for the Bus Rapid Transport or Rea Vaya which needs dedicated bus lanes. Work to be finished before the World Cup.
- O.R. Tambo International Airport,, tel,+27 11 921-6911, is Johannesburg main airport. It is the busiest airport in Africa as it is the connecting hub for flights to South Africa. For this reason there are many flights to Johannesburg from major cities all over the world, especially London, as well as numerous local flights, on a daily basis. If you arrive in the early morning when most flights from Europe arrive, be prepared for very long waits at Immigration. The airport is located east of Johannesburg, 24 km (15 mi) from the city center. It's a quick drive by hotel shuttle, hired car or taxi to your destination. Try to avoid the many banks and money changers in the airport concourse. They display the exchange rates but nowhere do they indicate the excessive "commissions" that can reduce what you actually get by 10% or more. Buy some Rand before you leave home.
- Lanseria Airport, is Johannesburg's other airport that caters for passengers on commercial airlines. It is privately owned unlike O.R. Tambo which is run by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). Situated north west of Johannesburg, it is closer to the Sandton, Pretoria, Westrand and Midrand regions, but fewer airlines fly to this airport and it is mostly used for regional, corporate and diplomatic passage. There are however regular flights from Lanseria to Cape Town.
For South African travel and discounted fares you can search for : Discount airlines in Africa and Air travel in South Africa.
- Park Station is Johannesburg's central station and is in the city center between Rissik (west), Wolmarans (north), Wanderers (east) and De Villiers (south) streets, it occupies several blocks. Whilst the station itself is quite safe, the areas around it may not be. Be careful and try to organise onward transport prior to arrival. All long-distance Spoornet trains are quite safe, as are most MetroRail trains. The best is, prior to using any public transport to ask local people.
- Spoornet  is a freight train company but they do have a branch that offers a passenger service called: Shosholoza Meyl. There are 8 primary routes that link South Africa's cities with smaller towns along each route. There are regular inter-city trains to destinations all over the country, including Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Nelspruit and Polokwane. Passengers can chose to travel in the tourist class where there is an option of either a coupe that can accommodate two people or a compartment that can seat four people. If traveling over night these compartments become bedrooms. Another option is the economy class which of course is cheaper, with chairs that can recline but not, alas, turn into beds. There is dinning car on the trains where you can buy food. If you are traveling in a coupe or compartment then there is a trolley service available saving you form ever having to leave your compartment
- MetroRail  operates frequent commuter trains to many suburbs and outlying towns. As Metrorail operates services in several separate cities, for operational purposes it is subdivided into five regions. The Witwatersrand region is the region that covers the greater Johannesburg Metropolitan area. Trains run from Johannesburg and Germiston outwards to Springs, Pretoria, Soweto and Krugersdorp.
Long-distance buses arrive at Park Station. All major bus companies provide a service to and from Johannesburg. A few of these include:
- Greyhound  the well know bus service is offering services to destinations all over South Africa.
- Translux , their route network extends to many South African destinations and major cities in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Magic Bus , Focuses on short distance transportation i.e scheduled airport shuttling.
- S.A Roadlink , Has coaches traveling to and from major major city centers in South Africa.
- The Baz Bus , Offers a Hop on Hop off service aimed at backpackers. There are two routes between Johannesburg and Durban; one via the Drakensberg and one via Swaziland. From Durban, the service then continues along South Africa's coast to Cape Town.
Johannesburg was a city built for the car and for that reason, public transport is few and far between and often sketchy, and the metro is dangerous. There are buses and mini cabs on the streets but there tends to be no designated stops and these are generally only used by commuters coming in and out of the city. They are also unsafe (speed, crime, roadworthy). You enter where you want (make sure you know where the taxi is going) and it stops where you want along the fixed route. Renting a car will give you the best flexibility and opportunity to tour the city, however driving can get very hectic, expect traffic jams.
Renting a car is your best option, as public transport is limited. It is worth buying a good road map of Johannesburg as the city (inc northern suburbs) is very large and not very well signposted. MapStudio  produce a good map.
- Avis, ☎ +27 11 923 3660, . Professional, low hassle car hire giant. Easy to get a quote and reserve online.
- CABS Car hire, ☎ +27 (0)11 392-1388 ([email protected]), . affordable and reliable, at all major airports in South Africa
- First Car Rental, OR Tambo International Airport, Car Rental Concourse, ☎ +27 0861 011 323 ([email protected]), . 24 hr.
- Hertz, ☎ +27) (0) 86 160 0136, .
- Pace Car Rental, +27(0) 84 840 2847 Offers very reasonable rates for car hire. Pace, ☎ +27 84 840 2847 ([email protected]), .
- Tempest Car Hire, ☎ +27 (0)11 552-3700 ([email protected]), . Affordable car rental service available at all major locations and airports in South Africa.
Public transport in Johannesburg is provided by city buses and informal minibus services. Large blue city buses run up and down the main roads and mini buses can be flagged down on the side of the street a although they are not the best mode of transport as they are unreliable and often associated with crime.
- Rea Vaya, . This Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is designed offer a safe, secure and affordable public transport system on main routes to and from the city. Rea Vaya has dedicated bus lanes and stops every 500 meters. Smaller buses (feeders} and taxis will add value to transport people to and from the main routes.
- Metrobus, ☎ +27 (0)11 833-5538, . Buses are available but routes and times are somewhat limited by western standards.
- Minibus taxis. should be avoided unless you are with a local - this is principally because the routes are very confusing, and the conductors will often say 'yes' when you ask 'are you going to X?' so that they get your fare, then they drop you at a crossroads and say 'change here'. Also they are frequently un-roadworthy (although they are in much better condition than in most of Africa) and involved in fatal accidents. Extreme and sometimes warlike competition has resulted in affordable transportation for the masses.
In general all the taxi operators collude with each other and fix prices so taxis are not cheap (and not metered). Haggling is usual so it is best to agree a price when you phone. Do not rely on taxi ranks in shopping malls as often there are none. Always have a few taxi telephone numbers with you so you avoide being stranded anywhere.
- Airport Link, ☎ +27 (0)11) 792 2017, . Fixed price airport transfer service.
- Elias, ☎ +27 (0)76 834 0670. Friendly taxi driver based in the CBD.
- Magicbus, ☎ +27 (0)11 548-0822, . Offers shuttle services between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton. They also offer door-to-door transfers. A bit expensive for the single traveller, but reasonable when traveling in groups.
- Maxi Taxi, ☎ +27 (0)11 648 1212, . Reputable taxi firm based in Yeoville.
- Roses Taxi, ☎ +27 (0)11 403 9625. Operates throughout the city.
Be aware that ongoing traffic diversions will be in effect in Sandton, Rosebank, and other areas over the next few years.
This is due to the construction of the Gautrain  rapid rail link between Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport 
Did you know?
At 222m the Carlton Centre is the tallest building in Africa, but not the tallest structure. Both the Hillbrow (270m) and Sentech (234m) towers in Johannesburg are taller then the Carlton.
The tallest structure in Africa is the 301m SASOL chimney in Secunda followed closely by two 300m smoke stacks at the Duvha Power Station outside Witbank.
Soweto is an increasingly popular destination for travellers from around the world. The Apartheid museum is a worth while stop for any traveller wanting to learn more about the South Africa's previous regime.
The Market Theatre precinct, Museum of Africa and Newtown (New Town) are particularly vibrant sectors of the city centre. By day, a walk around Newtown (preferably in a small group) will give you a taste for the wide range of traditions and cultures the city plays host to.
- 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 Planetarium, Yale Road, Entrance 10, University of the Witwatersrand, Milner Park, ☎ +27 (0)11 717-1392 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 339-2926), . See their website for upcoming shows. From Rand 16 to Rand 25, depending on show.
Museums and Galleries
Outdoor area at the Military History Museum
- 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 its free.
- Mandela Family Museum, Orlando West, Soweto, ☎ +27 (0)11 936-7754 ([email protected]), . Mandela's first house, now museum.
- 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.
- Chérie De Villiers Gallery, Lower Level, Rosebank Mall, Rosebank, ☎ +27 (0)11 788-9949 ([email protected]), . Art by South African artists.
- Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Electric Workshop building, cnr Miriam Makeba and President street, Newtown, ☎ +27 (0)11 639-8400 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 832-3360), . 9AM to 5PM Mon to Fri and 9AM to 4:30PM weekends and public holidays. Adults: R20, children: R10.
- 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.
- South African National Museum of Military History, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold (Next to the Johannesburg Zoo), ☎ +27 (0)11 646-5513 ([email protected]), . 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 South African built G6 self propelled, 155mm howitzer on show. A snack shop as well as a shop selling genuine and reproduced 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 435-9821), . Open Tue to Sun 9AM to 5PM. Largest museum dedicated to transport in South Africa. Free entrance.
- 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, [email protected] . 9AM to 4:30PM. Students R35. Adults R65
- Cloud 9 Spa (Angela Hardy), 32 Richmond Road, Craighall Park (See directions on website), ☎ +27-11-788-9934, . Tues to Sat 10:30 to 19:00. Cloud 9 is a small spa offering massage, floatation and other spa therapies. From R200.
Have a seat and relax at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
Play with a cub at the Lion Park
- Township Tour to Soweto, a tour that will take you around the densely populate but vibrant town of Soweto. Use only offical 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 958-1752), . 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. R18 per person, discounts for students and pensioners.
Parrots at the Montecasino bird gardens
- 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 468-2718), . 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 
- 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 Hans Strijdom (R512), Honeydew (From the N1, take exit 90, Randburg/R512 Hans Strydom Dr. and follow this north past Kya Sands. At the 4 way stop with the R114, take a right turn. The Lion Park is two hundred meters down the road on the right.), ☎ +27 (0)11 691-9905 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 691-9904), . The entrance ticket gives you a visit with the lion cubs (yes, you get to touch them) 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. R80 per person.
- Montecasino Bird Gardens, "Montecasino (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.
- 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 248-6863), . 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 636-4207). 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.
- The A1GP  Motor GP, is hosted during mid February at the Kyalami racetrack in Midrand. (From the N1 freeway, take the Allendale/Kyalami offramp, turn west and follow Allendale road to the racetrack entrance.)
- 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.
- University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), Braamfontein, Johannesburg, ☎ +27 (0)11 717-1000 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 717-1065), .
- University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, ☎ +27 (0)11 489-3129 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 489-2191), .
Due to South Africa's negotiated settlement which heralded the dawn of South Africa's democracy in 1994, South Africans have gained a reputation for holding meetings or lekgotlas (the Tswana word meaning "meeting place") to resolve their concerns, and plan for the future.
This desire to meet, discuss and strategise is also found amongst South Africa's business leaders, and Johannesburg as Africa and South Africa's economic hub is filled with conferencing venues and meeting places which can host a wide range of events for small or large groups.
Popular conference areas include the Rosebank and Sandton areas where conferences tend to be held in and around some of the city's top hotels. The Muldersdrift area and western region of Johannesburg has developed a reputation for outstanding function venues, particularly weddings and private events. While the midrand area located halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria is also a popular conferencing and events area.
There are many craft markets in Johannesburg & surrounding areas. You will also find plenty of beautifully crafted beadwork & wirework being sold on the roadside & at intersections. Though you will be able to bargain with the locals, give a thought to the crafters who are often unemployed & rely on sales to support themselves & 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. Dont forget to buy the 2 feet 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.
- Mai Mai, Anderson and Berea St. The oldest market in Jo'burg. Here you'll see plenty of traditional healers selling traditional herbs & remedies.
- Rosebank Rooftop Flea Market, Top parking level of the Rosebank Mall,Between Bath and Cradock Avenues, Rosebank, ☎ (+27) (0)11 442-4488 (fax: (+27) (0)86 636-5964), . Open Sundays only, 9AM to 5PM. Find a vast selection of African crafts
- 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 ([email protected], fax: (+27) (0)86 513-3267), .
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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 883-0978), . 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 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 768-2291), . 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 - the only exception really being a good bookstore.
- Eastgate, Cnr Nicol and Bradford, Bedfordview, ☎ +27 (0)11 616-2209 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 622-2473), . 9AM-6PM.
- Cresta Mall, Cnr Beyers Naude and Weltevreden Rd, Cresta, ☎ +27 (0)11 678-5306 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 678-4096), . 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 880-6250), . Along with the usual assortment of shops it is also home to the famous Rosebank Rooftop Flea Market in the mall parking every Sunday and an excellent African Craft Market.
- 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.
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. For the visitor the Melville suburb is where most people head to for an evening meal - consequently it can get very busy, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Greenside makes a good alternative (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. 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 quiet good, if a little soulless.
- Melrose Arch, . Houses many upmarket restaurants and nightclubs, including Moyo (an African-themed restaurant) and several other casual eating establishments.
- Rodizio, . Located in Victory Park and has great Brazilian dishes and a lively party atmosphere. Live music and dancing.
- Arirang in Rivonia, very good authentic Korean food, but very expensive.
- Melville is another neighborhood where you can find many good restaurants. It is close to the national broadcaster (SABC) headquarters and many artists live in this community.
- Mezzaluna, 9a 7th Ave, ☎ +27 (0)11 482-2477. Serves amazing Mediterranean food. Dishes include springbok carpaccio, ostrich fillet and Frangelica chocolate mousse.
- Soi, Corner 7th St & 3rd Ave, ☎ +27 (0)11 726-5775. noon-10PM. Thai & Vietnamese cuisine, from mild to very hot (shown on the menu by the amount of chilies) and choose the combo as a starter, great Thai curries and duck dishes. From R150.
- Soulsa, 16 7th St, ☎ +27 (0)11 482-5572. Tu-Su 11AM-late. Fusion cooking in a relaxed atmoshere. R125pp.
- Fordsburg has many Indian restaurants with authentic Indian cuisine as well as conventional franchise stores (Wimpy, Nandos, Fishmonger, Nescafe,etc). Fordsburg is close proximity 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 - This is mainly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights when all the restaurants are filled with hundreds of night shoppers milling about the flea market.
- Akhalwayas Fast Foods, Central Rd, ☎ +27 (0)11 834-2040. until 5PM. A favorite take-away amongst 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.
Good pubs and clubs are available in the Melville student district, Newtown cultural precinct. Posh and upmarket clubbing happens in the Rivonia and Sandton area. Rivonia also contains Liliesleaf Farm, where Mandela and top ANC leaders once plotted to overthrow the apartheid government.
- Back2Basix, 167 Perth Rd, Westdene (Opposite the University of Johannesburg (RAU)), ☎ +27 (0)11 726-6857 ([email protected]), . Primarily a concert venue it is also a fully licensed restaurant and bar. This venue hosts up-and-coming artists in addition to more established musicians, as well as a variety of music genres.
- 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.
- Carfax, ☎ +27 (0)11 834-9187, . One of the City's main venues for night time entertainment is in the suburb of Newtown - which is being developed as the city's cultural precinct.
- Monsoon Lagoon, ☎ +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 ([email protected]), . 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.
- House of Nsako, 101 High St, Brixton, ☎ +27 (0)72 2232 648, . Live music venue, museum and institute of African popular culture.
- The Radium Beer Hall, Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove, ☎ +27 (0)11 728-3866, . This place has been serving beer since 1929.
- 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 ([email protected], fax: +27 (0)11 836-4900), . The SAB-Miller Beer museum. R25 for the tour, including 2 free drinks in the pub at the end of the tour..
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under R500
|| Over R1500
Joburg is full of accommodation to suit any type of budget, from the ultimate in luxury & expense, to backpacker lodges.
- 90 George Ave, 90 George Ave, Sandringham, ☎ +27 (0)11 640-1856. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Very hospitable guesthouse, on lovely property, near to film studios and 6 km (3.8 mi) from Melrose Arch. From R250.
- The Backpacker's Ritz, 1A North Rd, Dunkeld West, ☎ +27 +(0)11 325-7125 ([email protected]), . Excellent views of the city, reasonable prices and an extremely helpful travel desk with information about all aspects of travel in South Africa. Also have airport transfers. From R90 dorm bed to R287 double room.
- Diamond Diggers Backpackers, 6 Doris St, Kensington, ☎ (+27) (0)11 624-1676 ([email protected]), . From R60-160.
- Johannesburg Backpackers, Umgwezi Rd, Emmarentia, ([email protected]), . Located in the very safe area of Emmarentia this is the new place from the people at Cape Town Backpackers. Its fun, friendly and clean. They also have regular theme nights in the funky bar and have various options for sleeping from dorms to ensuites. From R110.
- Melville Arch, 113 St Swithins Ave, Melville, . Nice affordable bed and breakfast a short walk from Melville's bars and restaurants. From R250.
- Zoo Lodge, 233a Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North, ☎ +27 (0)11 788-5182 ([email protected]), . This backpacker lodge is in a good location; close to Joburg Zoo and Rosebank Mall and on a bus route. Airport and train station pickups available. From R80-200.
- Don Eastgate Hotel, ☎ +27 (11) 622 2115, . The Don Eastgate Hotel is located on the Lake and offers easy access to the main commercial and retail areas of Johannesburg, include airport and the CBD.
- Blue Chip Accommodation, . Provides various self catering apartments around the Sandton/Johannesburg area which enables the traveler to feel more at home. The apartments have fully equipped kitchens as well as a lounge with a television/prepaid telephone, bathroom/s, bedroom/s and either private balconies or gardens. All located in secure complexes with 24 hr guard and swimming pool.
- Ekala Guest Farm and Eco Tours, Plot 81 Alewynspoort, Eikenhof, Kibler Park, ☎ +27 (0)72 604-1879, . Ekala is a Johannesburg Guest House for those who prefer the luxuries of home to hotel regimentation. Set in the Alewynspoort, Johannesburg countryside, creating a relaxed casual ambiance with tranquility and secure accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of the center Johannesburg.
- The Lion Park, ☎ +27 (0)11 460-1814 ([email protected]), . In Fourways and offers semi-luxurious self catering tents.
- Protea Hotel Wanderers, Cnr Corlett Dr & Rudd Rd, Illovo, ☎ +27 (0)11 770-5500 ([email protected]), . Close to Rosebank and Sandton From R210 shared.
- The Purple Fig Guest House, 10 Wargrave Rd, Auckland Park (near SABC), ☎ +27 (0)73 248-5480, . Self catering apartments in and around the Melville area. Fully equipped kitchens, eating areas, lounge, sunny patio and television, bathroom/s, bedroom/s. Facilities also include eautiful gardens, outside pool and Tibetan yoga sessions.
- Umfula Guest Lodge, 7 Bromley Close, Bryanston (off Curzon Road West), ☎ +27 (0)11 706-4809, . 4-star accommodation. Small, homey house near Sandton. Owner/manager cooks personal breakfast every morning. Can organize tours. Basic rooms with just enough luxury. From R485 pps.
Joburg also caters for those who are looking for a luxurious stay, with five-star hotels.
Many of these are located in the Sandton area.
- D´Oreale Grande, (in Emperors Palace near OR Tambo Int Airport), ☎ +27 (0)11 928-1770, . Very luxurious 5* hotel.
- Don Johannesburg Int'l Airport Hotel, ☎ +27 (0)11 392 6082, . Conveniently located minutes away from Johannesburg’s busiest Airport, the Don JIA provides first class accommodation at an economy fare.
- Don Rosebank Hotel, 10 Tyrwhitt Ave, ☎ +27 (0)11 880-1666, . Don Rosebank has a total of 56 letting units set on ground plus three storeys. The rooms are fully equipped and are serviced on a daily basis. (Mid range,)
- The Grace, 54 Bath Ave, Rosebank, ☎ +27 (0)11 442-0488, . The Grace is an ideal choice for guests seeking a sophisticated city hotel with the highest levels of service and luxury, as well as that personal charm found only in small establishments.
- Highland View Executive Guesthouse, 164 Highland Rd, Kensington, ☎ +27 (0)11 615-9001 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. Offers double en-suites and self contained apartments. All suites have their own private entrances which open onto the patio which is set in a lush, peaceful landscaped garden. There is a warm ambiance to the guest house as well as spacious interiors.
- The Melrose Arch hotel, 1 Melrose Sq, Melrose Arch, ☎ +27 (0)21 430-5302, . Locked away in the Melrose Arch complex this is a great hotel, with all the facilities you would expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.
- Lesedi Cultural Village, ☎ +27 (0)12 205-1394, . Offers traditionally themed accommodation with modern conveniences.
- Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, 191 Oxford Rd, Rosebank (adjacent to Firs Shopping Centre), ☎ +27 (0)11 280-1234 ([email protected]), . 259 rooms & suites with African-inspired décor, black granite bath, work area with high-speed internet access, daily newspaper and evening turndown. Regency Club Lounge for free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
- The Westcliff, ☎ +27 (0)11 481-6000 ([email protected]), . Luxurious hotel with its hillside setting and cascading sculpted gardens along with their elegantly opulent accommodation. Great facilities and several restaurants and bars.
- Mount Grace Country House & Spa, . 5 Star Hotel and Spa just outside of Johannesburg, near the cradle of humankind.
Always-On  , +27 (0)11 575-2505, provides prepaid WiFi access in a number of locations in and around Johannesburg. Simply connect to the access point and you will be given the opportunity to pay for access by credit card. Pricing starts at around R15 for 10 minutes or R60 for 100MB.
Coverage areas include:
- City Lodge. Most of them.
- The Baron. Bryanston and Woodmead
- Mugg&Bean. Just about all of them.
- Nando's. Benmore, Chilli Lane, Douglasdale, Rivonia
- OR Tambo Airport. Most of the airport is covered as well as the City Lodge and Airport Sun InterContinental
- Protea Balalaika Hotel.
- Wimpy. Midrand, Randburg, Centurion, Aero Centre
- Highland View Executive Guesthouse. 164 Highland Road, Kensington, Jo'burg, Gauteng, South Africa~~~~
HIV infection rate is high; avoid unprotected sex at all costs.
Municipal water is however safe to drink.
There is a Travel Clinic at OR Tambo International Airport
- Kloof Road Travel Clinic, 17 Kloof Rd, Corner Arterial Rd W Bedfordview, Dr DM Smith / Sr C Standford, Tel: +27 (0)11 616 4400, Fax: +27 (0)11 616 3757
- Airport Clinic & Travel Vaccination Centre, Ground Floor, New Domestic Arrivals Terminal, ☎ +27 (0)11 921-6609. GP, dentist, vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis
It is best to avoid public hospitals as standards have declined recently, but private hospitals are of world class standard.
The following hospitals cater for 24-hour accident and emergency treatment:
- Sunninghill Hospital, Cnr Witkoppen & Nanyuki Rds, Sunninghill, ☎ +27 (0)11 806-1500.
- Milpark Hospital, 9 Guild Rd, Parktown West, ☎ +27 (0)11 480-5600.
Hellen Joseph Hospital > 0114891011
Coronation Hospital for women and children> 0114709000
Be aware that Johannesburg has very high crime levels day and night. However, like many cities with a crime problem some places are quite safe while others can be quite dangerous, and with some places this may depend on whether it is day or night. Armed security (not necessarily the police) are not an uncommon sight in the city. Ask local people (e.g. hotel staff) what to do.
You should keep security constantly in mind and tourists must remain alert at all times, no matter where they are.
Shopping malls in Johannesburg are as safe as shopping malls anywhere else in the world, with pickpocketing being the only (tiny) risk.
Central Business District
Although the recent installation of surveillance cameras in the central business district has decreased daytime robbery and theft there, the area is largely deserted at night, during weekends, and on holidays; if visiting the CBD plan out where you are going to park and what you are going to visit beforehand, don't wander around aimlessly.
Northern suburbs care should be taken if walking around quiet back streets, but you should be fine walking from your guesthouse to a local restaurant / shopping mall - however distances can be large which makes driving / a taxi a better option. If you want to go jogging / go for a long walk then carry a map and minimal valuables, and make sure you are home before it gets dark.
Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea
Avoid travelling to areas such as Hillbrow or Berea at any time unless in a large group or with local guides. If travelling to townships, you should make sure that you go with an organised tour as crime is generally much higher in township areas, including Soweto and Alexandra.
It is also prudent to plan night-time journeys. If you must walk at night, make sure to remain in populated, well lit areas, walk confidently and with a purpose as if you know where you are going. Avoid giving the impression that you are lost and ask directions only from persons of authority (example: business owners) and not random people on the streets.
Safety whilst driving
Carjacking is much less common than in the late 1990s but Johannesburg still has one of the highest rates in the world - but don't get paranoid and let is spoil your holiday. When you enter your car ensure that your doors are locked and windows are rolled up before starting your journey, night and day. If you have parked in a quiet area be particularly careful when going to and from your car as thieves often wait for victims to exit/enter their vehicle. Do not leave any valuables on the seats as it is likely that your window will be smashed and your belongings grabbed. At night, do not stop at red traffic lights if you see people lingering there, as they may be up to no good. Slow down and go through the red traffic lights, if necessary paying the fine. At all times be vigilant, watch for vehicles following you or road blocks (stones, wood) on the roads. Many carjackings happen in the main highways such as R21 and R24 which link the O.R Tambo airport to the rest of the province. If faced with a suspicious/dangerous encounter turn around and drive to the nearest police station or well-lit populated area. Do not stop under any circumstances. You even get fake police. In case of doubt drive to the next policestation. the real police will be aware of your behaviour.
Public transport use is discouraged as frequent attacks occur on the crowded services. Depending on the area, the city's Metrobus service can be safe to ride, although it is often late. Avoid any public transport with out consulting your hosts. The Gautrain however is very secure.
Rape and sexual assault levels are exceptionally high and care should be taken due to the high HIV levels in Johannesburg. Females should avoid walking alone at all times and should try if possible to remain in large groups. If you want fitness, go to gym inside the hotel or shopping mall. To go jogging on the street with sports bra with shorts will make you a very visable target.
The best general advice is to try your best to look like a local and to avoid at all costs displaying any form of wealth, including ear rings as these have been ripped from unsuspecting tourist. Keep your cell phone hidden and avoid using it in public places. Avoid carrying backpacks, daypacks or purses. Use a cheap plastic bag, keep your values a the hotel and take only the amount of money you really need. Don't use a purse, but put coins or notes loose in your pockets.
If you fall victim to robbery, cooperate with your assailants, hand over your valuables, do not attempt to negotiate, do not look them in the eye and do not fight back, they can kill you for nothing.
Finally, keep things in perspective, J'burg does have a bad reputation for crime, but most of this is restricted to residents living in the townships. The overwhelming majority of visitors have a trouble-free stay.
- Pretoria is only a short while away from Johannesburg and has a lot to offer a tourist. It is the nation's capital and is almost completely joined to the Johannesburg metro area!
- Sun City is a two hour drive away and offers world class golf courses and entertainment. The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is adjacent to Sun City and offers visitors to get the taste of an African Game Reserve. However it is no comparison to the world famous Kruger Park which is about 350km from Johannesburg.
- Mpumalanga Escarpment in a weekend
- Rietvlei Nature Reserve next to the R21 in Tshwane gives one the opportunity to get forget about the city for a while.
- Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, ☎ +27 (0)11 957-0106 ([email protected]), . Open 8AM to 4:45PM. Located in Kromdraai north of Krugersdorp, this park offers self drive, game drive, horse trails, an observatory, abseiling, swimming pool and braai and picnic areas with restaurant (open daily), conference facilities, team building, functions etc. Wide range of animals including lion, white lion, tiger (Bengal & Siberian), white tiger, wild dog, cheetah, baffalo, white rhino, hippo, zebra, ostrich, etc. Don't forget to visit the animal crèche with baby lion, cheetah & tiger cubs as well as the reptile park with most of the indigenous snakes including black & green mamba. R70.
- Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site comprising a number of attractions including the Sterkfontein Caves, the Wonder Caves and Maropeng  visitor education centre. Explore fossil-filled caves where important palaeoanthropologist discoveries such as Mrs Ples and Little Foot were found. +27 (0) 14 577-9000
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!