48 Hours in Johannesburg

48 Hours in Johannesburg

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It’s fair to say that Johannesburg isn’t top of most people’s wish list and a stay here is often done on a ‘needs must’ basis to fit with onward flights. However, if time permits, we think it’s worth staying a couple of nights and exploring the city – it’s rejuvenating at a rate of knots and has many cultural and artistic attractions.

Artisan Markets

If your stay involves a Saturday, then we suggest you head to a popular artisan market – start the day at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein then it's over to Maboneng. Meaning ‘place of light’ in Sotho, this is very much a neighbourhood that’s on the rise. Popular with artists and designers, head for Arts on Main, you’ll find plenty of vibrant cafes and restaurants featuring many different cuisines to choose from along the way. We enjoyed a deliciously fresh salad and craft beer under the olive trees at The Canteen at Arts on Main, and made a note to try Little Addis for some authentic Ethiopian food on our next visit.

On Sundays, Arts on Main hosts the Market on Main, a buzzing food market open from 10am-3pm, with great cup cakes and Ethiopian coffee.

Urban Sights

It might sound a bit unusual but bear with us…we did a graffiti tour around Newtown with a brilliant local guide, she knew many of the street artists personally and it was fascinating to hear more about the culture of street art. There are some very talented artists wielding the spray cans in Jozi.

Back at Arts on Main, pop into the studios of ‘I was shot in Jo’burg’ – a project that started when one man shared his talent for photography with a group of street kids and has now evolved into a very current, contemporary brand. We guarantee you’ll find at least a T-shirt and some gorgeous photos among the hand-crafted goods to take back home.

Cultural Highs

The Apartheid Museum of course deserves a mention – it bears powerful testament to the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and oppression in 20th century South Africa.

Township tours aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, however Soweto is much more than a township, and so much of South Africa’s recent history was played out in these streets. Today it’s full of life and hope.  


Like most modern cities, the food scene in Jo’burg has exploded in recent years so we suggest you keep an eye on EatOut for the current hot spots. For fine dining, it’s hard to beat Grei at The Saxon (pre-booking essential). AtholPlace serves a delicious, 3 course contemporary menu (again, booking essential) and Flames Restaurant at the Four Seasons does an amazing weekend brunch. We also found a lovely bistro in Parkmore – Thomas Maxwell, a quirky setting, friendly staff and very tasty food and wine.

Where to stay

Four Seasons The Westcliff and the Saxon both offer every first-class comfort, lots of green space, pools, choice of restaurants and great spas. For something cosier, with great service, AtholPlace perfectly fits the bill.

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Rather than take online bookings, we prefer to talk through your requirements before we start to create your holiday . Contact us – or speak to your travel agent to discuss your ideas in more depth.