Maboneng, on the eastern side of the Johannesburg CBD, began with Arts on Main, a place for local artists and craftsmen to sell their products. The area has evolved into the epicentre of the Jo’burg inner-city renaissance. ZA Etc is a multi-brand store that showcases both local and international accessory designers and small studio manufactures. The Collectors Club is a retail and online store inspired by all things collectable. The Sneaker Shack is a place where people can bring their sneakers to be professionally cleaned and also experience the culture around sneaker ownership and people. The Precinct is where hip new craft meets African influences. VintiQueen sells all things vintage – clothing, accessories and handbags – collected from different parts of the world. Shakers Cocktail offers a wide selection of drinks, ranging from classic cocktails to a large selection of signature JamJars, coffee and craft beer. Thalis Roadside serves great curry, samoosas, bunny chow and rotis and James XVI serves authentic Ethiopian cuisine, while Che brings a taste of Argentina to South Africa.
If you want to learn about history and nature, or see collections of art, ox wagons, and photography equipment, you’ll have a great time visiting some of Gauteng’s 30-odd museums. The South African Airways Museum Society houses a collection of South African Airways memorabilia such as photos and aircraft scale models. The Mapungubwe Collection comprises ceramics, metals, trade glass beads, indigenous beads, clay figurines, and more from the Mapungubwe archaeological site. The James Hall Transport Museum is the largest transport museum in Africa, aimed at preserving and promoting the history of over 400 years of transport in South Africa. Freedom Park is a war memorial from the South African Wars, World War I and II and the Apartheid era. The Adler Museum of Medicine began as a private collection of Dr and Mrs Adler in 1962, and now consists of over 40,000 objects depicting the history of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. Linksfield Ridge House was once the home of L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, and has been restored and preserved for visitors. Liliesleaf farm is a former place of safety for anti-Apartheid activists and an interactive and historical museum in Rivonia.
According to the Gauteng government, 60% of tourists from the rest of the continent cite shopping as their reason for visiting the province, so Gauteng’s rich collection of shopping opportunities is sure to offer you the perfect opportunity for a little retail therapy. Melrose Arch, Sandton City Shopping Centre and Rosebank Mall, all in the north of Johannesburg, will fulfil your desire for both local and international brands. Whether you’re looking to spice up your closet, spruce up your kitchen or add a special touch to your living room, there is bound to be a shop selling exactly what you’re after. Look out for new entrants to the South African market – H&M, Burberry, Bvlgari, Topshop, Zara, Lipsy London and Dune London. If you’re looking to support local merchants and craftsmen, don’t miss the Rosebank Sunday Market where Joburgers sell their wares to the public. Norwood is the place to go if you’re into antiques and Melville’s Main and Seventh streets are where you’ll find second-hand book stores. The Bryanston Organic Market sells only handmade and organic items.
If you enjoy spending your evenings socialising, Gauteng does not disappoint. Braamfontein, Sandton, Rosebank, Greenside, Newtown, Maboneng, Melville and many other areas all offer night time vibes, with bars, clubs and pubs to suit just about every taste. Melville’s Hell’s Kitchen is an alternative haven for those who are into the ‘rockabilly’ vibe. Great Dane in Braamfontein is a casual spot and a great place for a little dancing. Next door is Kitcheners, a casual but trendy bar. In Newtown, Bassline is known for its jazz. Rivonia’s Manhattan Club offers up an evening of class and sophistication. The list of venues and functions is long, but a quick Google search will help you narrow down your prospects for an evening out.
Gold Reef City
A day of fun awaits you at Gold Reef City in the south of Johannesburg. Built around an authentic 19th century gold mine, it combines historical attractions with some of the most thrilling rides in the southern hemisphere. Start your visit with a Jozi’s Story of Gold tour through the variety of museums offering a peek in to what life was like in the burgeoning mining camp in the 19th century. Underground tours of the mine as well as a gold-pouring demonstration are also on offer. The theme park attracts kids of all ages with carnival rides and roller coasters. Catch the latest Hollywood blockbusters at the new cinema complex or take in a show at the Lyric Theatre. The casino caters for everybody’s gaming tastes with over 1,700 slot machines and 50 tables.