Why you should go to Johannesburg!

Johannesburg was born in 1886 as a gold rush town and still retains the hubbub of a new frontier with multiple "downtowns" in addition to the historic central business district. It is the country's largest city and center for finance, transportation, commerce, industry and mining. Nicknamed Joburg and Jozi, it sits on the Highveld (plateau) in a pleasant subtropical highland climate and spills over 635 square miles (c. 1000 sq km) with more than 500 suburbs. One of them, Soweto in the southwest, houses more than half the city's population. Posh neighborhoods like Sandhurst, Northcliff and Houghton have developed to the north and northwest, extending the urban region to Pretoria, the seat of the executive branch of government. This is a town more for businesspeople than tourists, but it's well worth a stop to see some of the earliest traces of man and to re-visit recent history in Soweto and the Apartheid Museum. Its O.R. Tambo International Airport is one of the few in the world with non-stop flights to all habited regions of the world, making it a good crossroads for travelers.

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11
Things to do (11)
10
Nightlife (10)
6
Hotels (6)
24
Restaurants (24)
Centurion Mall

Centurion Mall

Shopping

Centurion Mall, a super-regional shopping center 25 miles (c. 41 km) north of the city near Pretoria, is accessible from the N1 highway. The open-air mall, which dates...
  • 4.5
  • 1
Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel

Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel

Hotel

The Gold Reef City Hotel's biggest perk is that it's right in the middle of the biggest theme park in Africa. Twenty-five miles (40 km) from the O.R. Tumbo International...
  • 5
  • 1
Mowana Spa

Mowana Spa

Activity

Mowana Spa is a wellness sanctuary in the gardens of the Indaba Hotel, just 30 minutes from downtown. Individual treatments include exfoliations, mud wraps, hot stone...
  • 5
  • 1
Babylon the Bar

Babylon the Bar

Nightlife

Gays, lesbians and straights of all ages and colors hit the funky dance floor to trance music at Babylon in the Southlake Shopping Centre. Sexy barmen add to the...
News Cafe

News Cafe

Restaurant

From one restaurant opened in Pretoria in 1995, the News Cafe has grown into a multi-national franchise brand that is equal parts coffee bar, cocktail bar, restaurant...
Beefcakes

Beefcakes

Nightlife

Beefcakes is a burger bar with beefy topless waiters that's been around since 1959. A little on the raunchy side, it has nightly drag dinner shows and bitchy bingo on...
H Bar

H Bar

Nightlife

The H Bar provides a stylish yet welcoming venue where gay, bi-sexual and bi-curious men can flirt, strike up friendships and relax over a drink. Wednesday's karaoke...
Kong

Kong

Nightlife

Kong has been catering to a smart, sexy and fashionable elite in the design district since 2013. Friday nights are devoted to urban music. Saturdays is electro and...
Tashas

Tashas

Restaurant

With 13 restaurants in South Africa and one in Dubai at last count, Tashas is the creation of Chef Natasha Sideris who found the sweet spot between coffee shop and fine...
Yamakado Sushi Restaurant

Yamakado Sushi Restaurant

Restaurant

Yamakado in the Cedar Shopping Center has other dishes on the menu, but it's best know for its all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. Be sure you let your server know from the...
Beach Blanket Bohemia

Beach Blanket Bohemia

Restaurant

Beach Blanket Bohemia blends traditional with contemporary in a Mediterranean-based menu emphasizing fresh and wholesome ingredients. The choices range from light bites...
Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill

Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill

Restaurant

An upmarket family restaurant with several locations, Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill serves seafood and aged-in-house meats. It also has curries, pastas and vegetarian...
Ghazal Indian Restaurant

Ghazal Indian Restaurant

Restaurant

In the Square Shopping Center, Ghazal serves North Indian cuisine and a wide-selection of curries. It underwent a major revamp in 2016. The original Ghaza is at Peter...
Great Dane

Great Dane

Nightlife

The Great Dane is an inner-city party bar where Jimmy's Inn used to be. Known for its gourmet hot dogs and house and hip hop sounds, it serves lunch, dinner and drinks...
Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen

Restaurant

Hell's Kitchen describes itself as a rock style restaurant and bar with food, drink, music and mayhem. The decor is inspired in New York's 1920 speakeasy era and rock...
Kream Mall of Africa

Kream Mall of Africa

Restaurant

Kream Mall of Africa is a sleek upscale restaurant that pairs its breads and rolls with tapenades and different butters and offers an extensive menu of African, South...
Lucky Bean Restaurant

Lucky Bean Restaurant

Restaurant

The Lucky Bean - its name taken from a Coral Tree mural in the restaurant - is casual, contemporary and cosmopolitan. It offers summer and winter menus featuring South...
Montecasino

Montecasino

Activity

Disguised as a Tuscan Village, Montecasino is a rock-the-clock entertainment center, a "World at Play" development covering 64 acres (26 ha) in the Fourways suburb. The...
Moyo

Moyo

Restaurant

Moyo, which has several locations in the city and country, celebrates Africa with a touristy dining experience of pan-African food, a live Zulu dance group and face...
Mugg & Bean

Mugg & Bean

Restaurant

Mugg & Bean is a coffee-themed South African chain offering sit-down, take-out and halaal menus. Launched in 1996 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, it now has...
Nando's Ghandi Square

Nando's Ghandi Square

Restaurant

Nando's is well-known throughout South Africa for its butterfly-cut and flame-grilled Afro-Portuguese PERi PERi chicken, accompanied by a selections of sides, salads and...
Society Eatery & Craft Bar

Society Eatery & Craft Bar

Restaurant

Fireplace inside, deck out, Society Eatery has great burgers and craft beers to go along with its nice relaxed vibe. It's famous for its zucchini fries with rosemary...
Texakhana Spur

Texakhana Spur

Restaurant

This Texakhana Spur franchise serves American-style steaks, burgers, ribs and wings, all halal. No alcohol is available. There is a Muslim prayer room and a play area...
Thava Indian Restaurant

Thava Indian Restaurant

Restaurant

Thava's owner hails from Kerala and gets many of his recipes from his mother, but the menu features authentic classical dishes from all over India - curries, biryanis,...
The Bannister Hotel

The Bannister Hotel

Hotel

The Bannister in bustling downtown is a bargain boutique hotel with a restaurant that turns into a nightspot after dark. A good choice for the young of heart, it is easy...
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The Steamworks

The Steamworks

Restaurant

The Steamworks is a neighborhood local outfitted in steampunk style with a menu that pushes creative twists on gastropub classics, say a popcorn chicken sandwich with...
Throbbing Strawberry

Throbbing Strawberry

Restaurant

There's quite a lot on the menu at Throbbing Strawberry from gourmet burgers, pasta verde and sushi platters to karoo lamb cutlets and chicken parmagiano, well-reviewed...
Yamitsuki

Yamitsuki

Restaurant

Yamitsuki introduced conveyor belt sushi to Johannesburg in 2000 but has since diversified into Asian fusion with Teppanyaki, Thai, grilled meets, noodles, Dim Sum and...
Simply Blue

Simply Blue

Nightlife

Simply Blue, one of the first black-owned gay clubs in the city, has bounced around several locations since it opened in 2003. In early 2017, it had yet another relaunch...
SAB World of Beer

SAB World of Beer

Activity

Nelson Mandela opened the SAB Centenary Centre (now the World of Beer) in 1995 to mark the 100th birthday of South African Breweries (SAB), now part of Anheuser-Busch...
10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate

10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate

Hotel

The 15 guest accommodations at 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate come with touches of luxury like complimentary full English breakfasts, deep-soaking tubs and a lush...
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Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Activity

The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001with 22 multi-media exhibits chronicling the rise and fall of the apartheid system. Next to the Gold Reef City Casino, it is five...
Baha Taco

Baha Taco

Restaurant

If for some inexplicable reason you find yourself in Johannesburg wishing you were in LA, stop by Baha Taco, which began life as a food truck. Fish and prawn tacos...
Cradle of Humankind

Cradle of Humankind

Activity

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, the Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological paradise where some of the oldest hominid fossils have been found. More than a...
Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

Activity

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Oppenheimer Gardens is a museum and outdoor exhibition area created by Credo Mutwa, an African artist, conservationist and traditional...
Daleahs

Daleahs

Restaurant

A neighborhood favorite, Daleahs is a cozy little eatery that serves all-day breakfast, light meals and ample portions of delicious pasta. For drinks, there's artisan...
Doppio Zero

Doppio Zero

Restaurant

Doppio Zero started out as a bakery al fresco cafe in Greenside in 2003 and grew into a full-service restaurant with Mediterranean and Italian fare. It has since cloned...
Eastgate Shopping Centre

Eastgate Shopping Centre

Shopping

Eastgate is no longer the largest shopping center in the southern hemisphere as it was when it opened in 1979, but it is still a mammoth shopping experience with over...
Ellis Park - Emirates Airline Stadium

Ellis Park - Emirates Airline Stadium

Activity

Ellis Park, known as Emirates Airline Stadium since 2015, is home of Joburg rugby where the South African team won the 1995 World Cup. Saturday is the Sabbath for rugby...
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa

Hotel

Fairlawns is a five-acre (2 ha) estate whose owners live on the property. It features opulent decor, a champagne room, landscaped gardens and a Balinese spa set in a...
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Ferguson's 5th Floor

Ferguson's 5th Floor

Restaurant

With terrace and indoor dining, Ferguson's 5th Floor is a breakfast and lunch hideaway with great views of Sandton, sunrise and sunset. Breakfast are sumptuous, coffee a...
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Hotel

Laid out like a hillside village on eight acres (3 ha), the Four Seasons The Westcliff overlooks Johannesburg Zoo. The first Four Seasons in South Africa and only the...
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Harem Club

Harem Club

Nightlife

Formerly Moloko, then Hush, the super-hip Harem Club is an upmarket adult entertainment nightspot that dazzles with chandeliers, 3D back-of-bar screen, exclusive Dom...
MiHouse

MiHouse

Nightlife

MiHouse is a party place in what was once a foundry where the old gold fields used to be. The stark, industrial venue has live performances and three dance floors with...
Nelson Mandela Museum

Nelson Mandela Museum

Activity

The Nelson Mandela National Museum, often called Mandela House, is where South Africa's most famous citizen lived from 1946 to 1962 and where he returned briefly in 1990...
Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks

Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks

Restaurant

The Roving Bantu offers a limited but varied menu of Afro soul food, catering to vegetarians and mostly made from scratch. Live music is scheduled some nights in the...
Sheds@1 Fox

Sheds@1 Fox

Nightlife

In a historic neighborhood where the earliest miners pitched their tents, Sheds@1 Fox has transformed old warehouses into a pop-up weekend market. It offers all manner...
Soweto

Soweto

Activity

Soweto, a sprawling collection of neighborhoods southwest of downtown. was a black township under apartheid where riots erupted in 1976. Now home to 2 million people, it...
The Good Luck Bar

The Good Luck Bar

Nightlife

The Good Luck Bar - "The Last of the Great Pioneer Town Bars" - stands as one of the oldest bars in town, but today its draw is great music. Registered in 1895 in a...
The Nicol Hotel

The Nicol Hotel

Hotel

The 48-room Nichol Hotel and Conference Center offers a mix of hotel rooms and serviced apartments. In an upmarket garden suburb, it is walking distance from the Bedford...
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Wandies Place

Wandies Place

Restaurant

Wandies Place, a former sheen (illegal bar) that became Soweto's first restaurant in 1981, is now an institution and tourbus stop. But the friendly spot in Dube Village...

14 community reviews / Johannesburg

General impression
Good
LGBT-friendly
Good
Carla Louise Adams has been to and rated Johannesburg

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zani has been to and rated Johannesburg

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