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Keenan Constance/

 Vibrant, ever-changing, multi-faceted Johannesburg flings contrast at you from every angle. Trees line streets where houses hide their manicured gardens and pristine blue swimming pools behind high white walls, miles of shacks tell of the effects of the apartheid years – still to be overcome. The air of Africa’s most dynamic city vibrates with music and buzzes with business while its stylish restaurants, elegant shops, art galleries, and theatres delight the international visitor.


1 Rand (ZAR) = 100 cents


Jo’burg Connect
+27 11 375 5911 (Accidents, Fire, Medical, Crime)
10111 Police
10177 Ambulance


The Star (Johannesburg’s oldest English-language daily newspaper, has a Tonight listings supplement.)
The weekly (Friday) Mail & Guardian has extensive What’s On listings.)
The Sowetan
City Press
Business Day


Mall shopping hours are generally 09.00am-05.00pm from Monday to Saturday, and 09.00am-02.00pm on Sundays. Most museums and galleries are closed on Mondays.




Gauteng Tourism Authority
124 Main Street, Johannesburg
+27 11 085 2500


Sprawling building in the downtown core, against the blue sky West Coast Scapes/

The City

Cosmopolitan Johannesburg (also known as Jo’burg or Jozi) sprawls for miles, sprouting upper-income suburbs like satellite towns – one of them, sophisticated Sandton, is the business and economic capital of South Africa. Soweto, home to most of Johannesburg’s black population, lies to the southwest, a 20 square km conglomeration of townships with homes that range from millionaire mansions and neat middle-income housing to the tin shacks of squatter camps.

The city built on gold has seen its landmark yellow mine dumps recycled and replaced by skyrise buildings and glitzy shopping malls, and its recent apartheid history remembered in superb new museums. Soaring chrome and glass buildings, housing opulent international hotels and corporate giants, pepper the leafy streets of a string of exclusive northern suburbs – among them, rich Rosebank, elite Sandhurst, bohemian Melrose Village and foody Greenside. Across a canopy of green, the horizon is spiked by the outline of downtown Johannesburg, slowly stirring from its no-go dilapidation. Six-lane highways and swirling freeways indicate the importance of the car.

tourist guy in africa Dragana Gordic/

Do & See

The city built on gold has seen its yellow mine dumps recycled, and replaced by towering skyscrapers and glitzy shopping malls. The history of the not too distant apartheid history is remembered in superb new museums.

zhu difeng/

Apartheid Museum

Jack Frog/

Joziburg Lane

Erin Cadigan/

Old Fort and Constitution Hill

Monkey Business Images/

Museum Africa



Bruna Falvo Fugulin/

Gold Reef City

Iakov Filimonov/

Origins Centre




Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary


FNB Stadium

Mariia Golovianko/

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Dominique de La Croix/

Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam

Patrick Rolands/

Johannesburg Zoo

Nadezda Murmakova/

Wonder Cave

Leszek Czerwonka/

SAB World of Beer

Traditional African lamb chunks ready to eat e2dan/


This cosmopolitan city will spoil you for choice: Greek, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Argentinean, just to name a few. South Africans are great meat-eaters, so steak houses abound. Greenside is packed with smart restaurants, but all the northern suburbs have their stars. Melville, Parktown North, Melrose Arch, and trendy Parkhurst are particularly good locations.

Here's a list of the top restaurants in Johannesburg:

Eva Gruendemann/

Moyo Melrose Arch


The Grillhouse Rosebank

Joshua Resnick/

Hell's Kitchen

Anna Hoychuk/

Lucky Bean




Great Eastern Food Bar

Africa Studio/

The Butcher Shop & Grill


Sakhumzi Restaurant

Luboslav Tiles/

Tortellino d'Oro


Est Est Alea


Ristorante La Trinita

Outdoor Cafe in Johannesburg, South Africa Ekaterina Pokrovsky/


Joburg's coffee culture is booming, with hip cafes (some with on-site stores and even book shops) and casual eateries aplenty. Having brunch is in, so finding a suitable venue in your neighbourhood shouldn't be hard.

Here are some of the best cafes in Johannesburg:

Olga Nayashkova/

Nice on 4th

Alex Couto/

City Perk Cafe

Alexey Lysenko/

The Whippet

Kelsey Hamaguchi/

Fresh Earth


Living Room Jozi

All kinds of good/


Luboslav Tiles/

Tortellino d'Oro

Michele Joanne Schoeman/


Bar in Johannesburg Kondor83/

Bars & Nightlife

From the sleek bars of top-notch hotels to shebeens (informal drinking places, usually in someone’s front room) in Soweto, Jozi boasts a very lively nightlife. Melville’s Seventh Street is popular with night owls, while Rosebank, Rivonia, Norwood and Orange Grove attract the more affluent party crowd. Soweto has crowded bars and live jazz, but it is only advisable to go there on an organised tour.

And here are the best bars and nightclubs in Johannesburg:

Monkey Business Images/

Mad Giant

Joshua Resnick/

Hell's Kitchen




Living Room Jozi


Radium Beer Hall


Beach Blanket Bohemia

Sebastian Duda/


shopping Rafal Cichawa/


From upmarket malls to street markets, via designer fashion, crafts, curios and lovely things for the home, Johannesburg is a paradise for shoppers. Mall culture distinguishes this city of dedicated shoppers. Sandton City and its adjacent Nelson Mandela Square is one of the largest shopping centres in the southern hemisphere. The packed African Crafts Market lies next to the stylish Mall of Rosebank, which takes on new vibes on Sundays and public holidays when the lively Rooftop Market is in full swing.

Norwood’s Grant Avenue is good for antiques and Parkhurst’s Fourth Avenue for collectables and interior design. Go to The African Toyshop on Stanley Avenue, Milpark, for toys as works of art Art Africa on Tyrone Avenue in Parkview for a dazzling array of ethnic arts and crafts and Kim Sacks Gallery in Parkwood for excellent tribal African art.

Keep all the receipts of your shop purchases, as visitors can reclaim the tax paid on departure at the airport.

Josep Suria/

Neighbourgoods Market

Elena Dijour/

Sheds @ 1Fox

Diego Cervo/

44 Stanley


Market on Main


Nelson Mandela Square

Olesia Bilkei/

Rosebank Mall

Ekaterina Pokrovsky/

Oriental Plaza

Goran Bogicevic/

Michael Mount Organic Village Market

Yulia Grigoryeva/

Xarra Books


Eastgate Shopping Centre

Antelope. South Africa kamira777/

Tourist Information


O.R. Tambo International Airport is Africa’s busiest airport with 24-hour facilities. It lies 25km east of the city.

The cheapest way to reach town is use the public transportation: buses and minibuses depart from just outside the international and domestic terminals. Please mind, however, that these may not be either convenient or easy to navigate for first-time visitors.

Another way to reach the city is by rail: the Gautrain system connects the airport to multiple suburbs (Sandton, Rosebank, Pretoria, Hatfield and Rhodesfield). Travel time between the airport and Sandton is 12 minutes.

Minibus shuttles and metered taxis can be booked in the baggage claim area. The hotels of Rosebank and Sandton are a 30-45 minute drive from the airport. Most hotels offer shuttle services (inquire with your hotel in advance).

Train service now runs between the suburbs of Sandton and Pretoria and the airport.

Address: O.R. Tambo International Airport


Phone: +27 11 921 6262


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Passport / Visa

Citizens of multiple world countries do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. These include: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Citizens of a further 28 countries do not require a visa for stays of up to 30 days: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Eswatini, Gabon, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Lesotho, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey.

For nationals of countries not listed above, visa requirements apply. Please contact your local consulate for further details on required documentation.

Passport holders of Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Uganda can apply for eVisas online provided they will land at O. R. Tambo International Airport.

Travellers aged less than 18 years old must provide a birth certificate complete with both parents' details and, if flying with only one of the parents, a parental consent statement signed by the other parent.





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Public transport

While most locals use minibuses to get around the city, flagging one down and figuring out its final destination may prove daunting to first-time visitors.
Instead, make use of the public buses (Rea Vaya buses were introduced during the 2010 World Cup and remain in operation to-date; they are a relatively reliable means of transport).

Another convenient, safe way of getting around are the trains of the Gautrain system. They connect the stations of Sandton, Rosebank, Pretoria, Hatfield, Rhodesfield and the airport. There is a bus service run by Gautrain from some stations onward. Buy and top-up the Gold Card to use Gautrain.





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Metered taxis are the safest way to travel if you are not hiring a car, they are available at major hotels, otherwise you have to phone for pickup. The fare should be confirmed with the driver at the outset (inquire with a local what an average fare for you drive distance would be).

One reliable taxi company is Rose Taxis:



Phone: +27 11 403 0000


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Post boxes are red in colour. There are multiple post offices around the city.

Address: 150 Commissioner St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg


Phone: +27 11 331 1057


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Pharmacies have a rota system for out-of-hours service. Most hospitals and clinics with an ER will also have a 24/7 pharmacy on-site.

Netcare Olivedale Hospital
Tel: +27 11 777 2000
Corner President Fouche & Windsor Way, Olivedale, Randburg

Netcare Linksfield Hospital
Tel: + 27 11 647 3400
24 12th Avenue, Linksfield West





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220/240v, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are standard.





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Country code: +27
Area code: 11





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