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This modern metropolis (otherwise known as 'The City of Gold') is a remarkable urban jungle with an African flare. Crazy taxi drivers, a brand new train, thunderstorms, amazing sunsets and fast cars are all reasons why we love the City of Gold. You’ll feel the buzz of Jozi’s rat race the moment you step inside the terminal building at O. R. Tambo Airport. As South Africa’s economic hub and the largest city in RSA, Johannesburg attracts people from all over the world and if you’re an eager rat racer that travels to Gauteng.
The streets of Johannesburg have so much velocity and charisma from street dancers at the robot to the creativity and culture that is seen in the township areas like Soweto.
Joburg as its known to many locals is a perfect portrayal of the diversity that is found in South Africa, with so many great attractions like the Fourways Market and the famous Sakhumzi restaurant in Soweto that serves a variety of African dishes- Johannesburg is a city that is not hard to fall in-love with.
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Why visit Johannesburg?
- This city offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history of South Africa by visiting the Apartheid Museum or walking down the famous Vilakazi Street!
- Find the best art in Newtown Cultural Precinct, or enjoy a picnic at Zoo Lake and try your luck at Monte Casino, with so much to do Joburg there is no chance of you being bored!
- This City of Gold is filled with modern forms of adventure like the Acrobranch which offers adventures in the treetops as well as the famous Gold Reef City amusement park!
The best time to visit Johannesburg would be between December and February. The South African schools are on their summer break and the city tends to empty out as residents head to the coast for the festive holiday.
Johannesburg's attractions are usually less crowded and easily accessible, it is also very warm during this time during the day and late afternoons during these months experience a lot of thunderstorms that cool things down.
Winter days which occur during July till August are also beautiful and sunny, but nights can be very cold.
South Africa is known for being very diverse, there are eleven official languages in South Africa which can be found in Pretoria as well. These languages consist of Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
However Jozi as with most of the metro areas are dominated by firstly English and then Afrikaans speakers with a strong following of isiZulu.
Some useful Zulu phrases to help you put are:
- Hello - Sawubona or Sanibonani (Plural)
- Goodbye - Hamba kahle
- Sorry - Ngiyaxolisa
- Thank you - Ngiyabonga
- This is the largest city in South Africa.
- Johannesburg is one of the youngest major cities in the world.
- Johannesburg is the largest economic powerhouse in the whole of Africa.
Johannesburg has more to offer than it might seem everyday there is something new that is being opened or being developed. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens is one of the many places that showcase the natural beauty that Johannesburg has to offer, this economic hub is known for never sleeping-the hustle is ongoing there is always a sense of excitement that fill these streets.
But when all you want to do is unwind, be sure to visit places like Neighbourhoods market, or the famous Bioscope and experience one of the best sunsets at the Northcliff Water Tower for a more relaxing afternoon.
This destination has to be one of the best with the diversity of things that are on offer it can become overwhelming to choose which one is best but that is what makes it exciting and with over a 120 years’ experience Johannesburg is filled with adventures that would make you want to call this city home.
When next in Jozi here are a few hip and happening hotspots to consider:
- The Apartheid Museum
- Johannesburg’s Child Friendly Attractions
- Child Friendly Attractions in Johannesburg
- Sterkfontein Caves
- SAB World of Beer Tour
- 44 Stanley in Joburg
- Gold Reef City
- Sun City
- Lost City
- Constitution Hill
- Lion Park
- The Cradle of Humankind
- Johannesburg Zoo
- Maboneng Precinct
- The Bush Paintball Range
- The World of Beer
- Orlando Towers
South Africa is often referred to as the 'Rainbow Nation' and the same can be said about their food, the food that can be found here is a unique fusion of many different cultures which include Dutch, French, Indian and Malaysian flavours that have been passed down from generation to generation and can now be found in the many restaurants around Johannesburg.
Some of the best restaurants to eat at in Johannesburg include a mixture of high end fine-dining restaurants and local’s township street-stalls that make some of the best food-it is all about the experience.
Here are some of the best spots to tantilise your tastebuds:
- Sakhumzi Restaurant
- Chaf Pozi
- Wandie's Place
- Five Hundred
- Town-Tapas Bar & Restaurant
- 47 on Grant
- Jamie's Italian
- Fuel Bistro
- BBQ Workshop
- Hard Rock Cafe
Johnessburg is a rather progressive metling pot of a vast number of cultural influences both foreign and domestic. Major incfluences would be Afrikaaner as well as Zulu.
The city still retains quite a large religious auidence with 53% belong to mainstream Christian churches, 24% are not affiliated with any organised religion, 14% are members of African Independent Churches, 3% are Muslim, 1% are Jewish and 1% are Hindu.
The vast majority of locals are exceedingly friendly and welcoming, and Johannesburg is the best place to visit. Johannesburg has a reputation for being a dangerous place due to the magnitude of this city. Most crime generally tends to occur in the outlying townships, and taking simple precautions is likely to keep you safe during your visit.
The following things are advised when visiting::
- Do not wonder around on foot as you are most likely higher at risk to be mugged.
- When touring on foot during the day be sure to use busy roads.
- Joubert Park, Hillbrow and Berea are regarded as no-go zones as it is very dangerous.
- Make sure you do not carry a lot of cash or expensive valuables on you when visiting township areas and busy areas in the city.
- The are many high risk areas that are indicated on billboards or road signs on the side of the roads in Johannesburg so be sure to remain vigilant of your surroundings.
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R90||R100||R100|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R22||R20||R20|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||R10||R12||R12|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R35||R35||R35|
Johannesburg earned its name during the gold rush in the early 1900's. Following the boom Jo’burg was born as a market town in order to trade gold. Since those early days Jozi has grown tremendously with migrant workers coming from all over Africa to work in the big city. From Ponte City to the Brixton Tower, Joburg’s distinctive skyline is proof of the city’s growth in recent times.
Don’t mistake Johannesburg for the capital of South Africa. This honour goes to its administrative neighbour Pretoria which lies about 40 minutes north of Jo’burg on the N1 highway. The good news is that the traffic on Joburg’s highways is starting to ease up thanks to the addition of the Gautrain.
About Johannesburg Airports
Lanseria Airport (code HLA) is North of Johannesburg and is close to the upmarket suburbs of Fourways, Bryanston, Sandton and Rosebank. Most of South Africa’s low cost carriers offer flights to Johannesburg Lanseria from other hubs like Cape Town and Durban. If you’re looking for cheap flights to Johannesburg then remember to lookout for flights to Lanseria – this airport is often more convenient to fly into if you’re visiting JHB’s northern suburbs or Pretoria.
OR Tambo International Airport Code: (JNB) is located 35 minutes away from Pretoria). O.R Tambo International Airport is the gateway airport to South Africa and one of the largest airports on the African continent. Formerly known as Jan Smuts International Airport, and for a brief time Johannesburg International Airport, O.R. Tambo (Code:JNB) is a world class facility that serves over 17 million passengers every year.
Airport hub: OR Tambo International Airport (Code:JNB) is a hub for Airlink, Comair, Interair South Africa, South African Airways, South African express, Mango and Kulula.
Food and beverages: The Africa lounge, Anat, Dulce cafe, Cafe Nescafe, Caffe Rittazza, Debonairs Pizza, Spur, Kauai, KFC, Nando's, News Cafe, Ocean Basket and more are all located in the airport.
Lost luggage: If you lost any piece of luggage you should contact your handling airline or you can contact the information desk that is located in the the airport and is open 24/7 (Telephone:+27 (0)11 921 6262)
Exchange currency: Master currency, Bidvest, and Travelex are located within the airport.
Prayer facilities: There is a Christian Chapel and a Muslim prayer facility that is located within the airport, both facilities are open 24/7.
Car hire: The car hire dealerships that are made available at the airport include Avis,Bidvest, Europcar, First Car Rental, Hertz, Tempest, Thrifty, Select Car Hire, Capital Car Hire, Woodford Car Hire.
Accommodation near OR Tambo Airport
Accommodation near O.R. Tambo International Airport is plentiful and located close to the Johannesburg airport terminals.
Southern Sun at O.R. Tambo The O.R. Tambo airport hotel is the Southern Sun Intercontinental and it’s only a short walk away from international arrivals. With free Wi-Fi, a 24 hour complimentary business centre and an indoor heated swimming pool; the Intercontinental is well-placed to meet the needs of the discerning business traveler or the luxury leisure traveler. If you can’t find suitable accommodation at the Intercontinental then there are many more hotels within short driving distance from the airport.
Protea Hotel at O.R. Tambo The Protea Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport is located a short drive away from the terminals. Their courtesy shuttle service to and from OR Tambo ensures you’ll never be left stranded. The OR Tambo Protea Hotel is a 4-Star facility and is perfect for business and leisure travelers.
The Gautrain Built in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the Gautrain takes you from O.R. Tambo to Sandton in 15 minutes. In order to use the Gautrain one needs to purchase a Gold Card (available at O.R. Tambo Airport and other outlets). The Gold Card costs R10 and a further R105 to load a single trip to/from the airport. While this may seem expensive, it’s a great alternative to commuting in Johannesburg traffic where one may run the risk of missing a flight because of traffic jams.
Long Term Parking at O.R. Tambo O.R. Tambo’s long term parking is your best bet if you’re flying out of town for a few days. It’s much cheaper than parking near the terminals, the only down side is that you’re a short bus trip away from the airport. However, the bus trip is very short and buses run between the long term parking and the airport every 15 minutes so you’ll never feel like you’re stuck.
The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.