The City of Gold is a concrete jungle filled with the soul and culture of the African spirit. You can see it in its progressive design, art, fashion, architecture and the development and fusion of food. Johannesburg promises an all-inclusive sensory experience for every visitor who dares to set foot onto its vibrant streets. The culture of Johannesburg (affectionately known as Jozi among locals) is shaped by its history and openly invites you to explore and discover!
What To Do In Johannesburg
Join in on a journey to see the best museums, the most notable buildings and our favourite shopping centers and pop-up locations. Check out our extensive neighbourhood guide on where to eat and shop. This includes our favourite restaurants, bars and cafés.
Visit The Best Museums In Jozi
Wits Art Museum (WAM) hosts a remarkable collection of historical and contemporary art from South Africa. This makes the museum a great place for art admirers to explore African art from all over Southern, Western and Central Africa. Are you in Braamfontein? Take a look at what’s happening at WAM (at the University of Witwatersrand) and learn about the newest exhibitions and upcoming events.
The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and displays photographs, artworks, film footage and other memorabilia depicting the struggle for freedom in Apartheid South Africa.
Stroll through the 22 exhibition halls that will take you on an insightful journey of the rise and fall of Apartheid. The exhibition is a true depiction of the events and stories that surrounded apartheid and is fundamental to the understanding of South Africa’s history.
Constitution Hill tells the story of South Africa’s Journey to democracy. This living museum is a former prison and military fort and is now home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court. This old building reveals a 100-year history to every visitor who wants to learn more about the imprisonment of important figures like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and South African history.
If you’re interested in the history that shaped our rainbow nation, visit our museums to learn more.
Other notable mentions:
- Bensusan Museum Of Photography | Rare photographic equipment | 121 Lilian Ngoye Street, Newtown
- Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre | Holocaust & 1994 Genocide in Rwanda | 1 Duncombe Rd, Forest Town
- The Museum Of African Design | Fashion, furniture, architecture & landscaping | 281 Commissioner Street, Jeppestown
- The Origins Centre Museum | History of mankind | WITS University, Braamfontein
Adventurous Activities In Johannesburg
Just because you’re surrounded by big city structures and skyscrapers, doesn’t mean the only active workout you’ll get needs to happen at the gym. There is no shortage of fun outdoor activities in the City of Gold. In fact, there are a wide variety of options available to suit any thrill-seeking individual.
Feel like testing your mental and physical strength? Try Acrobranching. This vigorous activity is all about playing in the trees, testing your physical and mental agility and strength.
Situated close to the central business district, acrobranching can be a fun and accessible group or team building activity. Have no time during the week? Make it a family weekend outing – it is suitable for both you and your kids!
If you want a balanced activity, try biking through Soweto. You will learn about the township neighbourhood, burn some calories while cycling the streets and have the opportunity to direct all your questions to your local tour guide.
Or try tandem skydiving close to Johannesburg. If you want to skydive close to the city that is also an option. With a little bit of training, you will be ready to do an accelerated free-fall in no time!
Fun Things To Do In Johannesburg: Weekend Markets
Enjoy a slow start to your weekend and visit one of the many markets scattered around Jozi. If you’re in Braamfontein on a Saturday, check out the Neighbourgoods Market.
Melville hosts a contemporary market concept called 27 Boxes. Expect to find freshly brewed coffee, passionate baristas, the smell of local cuisine, interior design displays and fashion stores are all mixed together in a shipping container shopping development.
There are more than 80 stores to pick from! Interested in this concept? Take a look at 27 Boxes weekly Saturday morning pop-up market event.
Jozi Real Food Market is the place for you and your pooch. This is one of the only pet-friendly weekend markets around Jozi. Tea (or organic coffee) under the trees sound like what you need? You picked the right spot to chill with some food, a good cuppa and your furry friend.
In need of some fresh fruit and veggies for the upcoming week? Check out Bryanston Organic Market every Thursday and Saturday. This was one of the first markets around Johannesburg and has become an institution among locals.
The Linden Market is situated at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia. It is a pop-up market, ensuring that you will always find the best handmade items and gifts.
And the best market of the year…. Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair. Every year, this upscale event takes place on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner Centre. It boasts South Africa’s favourite food trucks and restaurants and the best-of-the-best local designers in fashion and interior. From your favourite dress to your speciality drink, this market will sell it.
Places To Visit In Johannesburg: Neighbourhood Guide
This neighbourhood guide includes our favourite events, restaurants, stores and hotspots around inner-city Johannesburg.
Cool street art, fashion boutiques, vibrant street fashion, café culture, trending restaurants and favourite instagrammable locations – make your way down to Braamfontein! This inner-city neighborhood is where Jozi’s millennials and young professionals join together for endless coffee dates and cocktail happy hours.
Office buildings, apartment blocks, but also the hippest new eateries and bars populate this area, making it one of Jozi’s favourite locations to explore on foot. Sunday Edition is a monthly social party in “Braam”. The perfect mix of music, art, food and fashion. A true celebration of city and urban culture.
Check out some funky, sophisticated and soulful tunes at The Orbit – a new jazz favourite among locals. This live music venue and bistro hosts some of the city’s finest jazz musicians and the tastiest food. View the program ahead of time to make sure that you have booked your spot!
Design and interior lovers need to visit 99 Juta Street – a new design-focused development with influential designer labels exhibiting their masterpieces. Featured creatives include local product designers Joe Paine, Mash.T Design Studio, Monique Vee and The Urbanative. We’ve heard a little bird whisper that they host a few design-centric pop-ups – take a look at their Instagram @99juta to stay informed.
Best Braamfontein Restaurants
- Galata Bakery & Coffee | Turkish Inspired Treats and Coffee | 33 Hoofd St, Braampark
- Great Dane | Hotdog Hub by day and Cocktail Bar by night | 5 De Beer St, Braamfontein
- Post | All-day Breakfast (and other options of course) | 70 Juta St, Braamfontein
Quirkiest Shops in Braamfontein
- Anatomy | Sneaker Store | 73 Juta St, Braamfontein
- Parooz | Trendy Clothing Boutique | 73 Juta St, Braamfontein
- The Heritage | International Brand Concept Store | Shop 20, Cr De Korte St & Melle St, Braamfontein
Formerly an Apartheid district in Johannesburg, Newtown is now part of Johannesburg’s efforts to transform inner-city culture and regenerate it to a safe cultural hub and tourist hotspot.
Market Theatre is one of the most influential theatres in Johannesburg challenging the apartheid regime of the past. It was commonly known as the “Theatre of Struggle”. There are many more well-known theatres scattered around Jozi – but this one forms a big part of our heritage.
While in town, embark on a Newtown tour, which takes travelers to the main neighbourhood sites, giving them an insider’s perspective on previous life in Newtown. Or join a public art tour, exploring some of Newtown’s best street art.
Visit Museum Africa for a true African historical experience. View African artifacts or cultural displays – showcasing a variety of African history and contributing to an all-immersive South African experience.
Concept Stores in Newtown
- Afronova Art Gallery | Modern and Contemporary Art | Gwigwi Mrwebi St, Newtown
- Work Shop Newtown | Retail Concept with 100 local brands | 100 Carr Street, Newtown
Unique Eateries in Newton
- The Potato Sheds | Potato Inspired Products and Smokehouse-style Dishes | 100 Carr Street, Newton
- The Gentlemen’s Arthouse | Fine Dining Experience | Miriam Makeba St, Newtown
- Craft Coffee | Premium Coffee Roasters | 50 Gwigwi Mrwebi St, Newtown
Linden is one of the prettiest and oldest suburbs in Johannesburg filled with thrift and antique stores. In the antique mecca of Johannesburg, more businesses are popping up, making this the ideal location to find hidden gems.
Be on the lookout for Ceramic Factory to find some unique items and quirky objects. If you’re feeling more like joining the social scene of Linden, visit Choo Choo Junction and put their great selection of craft beers to the test. This place is steampunk-themed – so you’re right on trend!
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Linden
- The Whippet | Coffee Café & bistro | 34 7th St, Linden
- Brian Lara Rum Eatery | Tropical-themed Food | 56 4th Ave, Linden
- PRON – People’s Republic Of Noodles | 69 7th St, Linden
Linden’s Golden Oldies: Specialty stores
- Record Mad | Record & Vinyl Store | 59 4th Ave, Linden
- Re-Trend | Antique Store with Modern and Retro furniture | 64 6th St, Linden
- Cart | Decor Store | 57 3rd Ave Linden
Grab some grub and have a few drinks in one of the most eclectic areas of Johannesburg. Maboneng means “Place of light” in Sotho (a native African language) and the name is a direct representation of the vibe and, creative energy that roams this precinct.
Visit places like Sharp! where you will have a real South African braai experience or visit Arts on Main which has a food market called Market on Main every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Eclectic Eateries in Maboneng
- Market on Main | Food and Design Market | 264 Fox St, Maboneng
- Living Room | Deep House Music & Classy Cocktails | 20 Kruger St, Maboneng
- Rooftop BBQ | Seafood Platters & Boutique Wines | 246 Main St, Maboneng
Maboneng Shopping Favourites
- Stitch & Steel | Trendy Clothing made with Authentic African Fabrics | 300 Commissioner St, Maboneng
- Vintage Zionist | Timeless Leather Jackets | Cr Commissioner St & Albrecht St, Maboneng
The well-known Johannesburg neighborhood, Melville, has always been a favourite among the hip people of Jozi. There is a bohemian spirit resting in the suburb of Melville where locals and tourists come together to test and try new modern eateries and enjoy the unique fashion-focused shopping scene.
You can even take a hike up Melville Koppies Nature Reserve where you can enjoy magnificent skyline views. If hiking is too strenuous, go for a afternoon stroll in the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens – a great spot for a picnic with all its lush greenery, flowers and romantic charm.
Hippest Melville Restaurants
- The Great Eastern Food Bar | Asian Eatery | 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville
- The Ant Café | Italian Cuisine | 11 7th St, Melville
- Service Station | Café and Food store | Cr 9th Street & Rustenburg Rd
Best Specialty Stores
- Love Books | Hand-picked Selection of Books & Reading Corners | Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, Cnr Rustenburg Rd & 9th St Melville
- Convoy | Locally Designed Fashion Labels | Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, Cnr Rustenburg Rd & 9th St, Melville
- Superella | Quirky Fashion Store | Cnr 7th Ave & 9th St, Melville
The Parks: Parkhurst, Parktown North, Parkview, Parkwood & Craighill Park
This collection of neighborhoods lie close together, making them all accessible to explore. This area is not very touristy, making it the perfect pick to explore local living. Parkhurst is always buzzing on a Saturday and its lively 4th Avenue is filled with the best bars, restaurants and designer stores around town.
Jan Smuts Avenue is known as a hub for art galleries. If you are an art-lover, be sure to check these out. And if you don’t know what to get up to, explore the divine dining scene of this sleek part of Joburg.
Contemporary Stores in The Parks
- Colourbox | One-of-a-kind clothing and Maaji swimwear | 25 4th Ave, Parkhurst
- Gallery Momo | Local and International Contemporary Art | 52 7th Ave, Parktown North
Divine Dining in Parktown North
- La Boqueria | Cocktails & Food | 17 3rd Ave, Parktown North
- Foundry | Craft beers, home-roasted coffee and global dishes | 7 Parktown Quarter, 3rd Ave, Parktown North
- Workshop 55 | Tapas and drinks | 55 7th Ave, Parktown North
Get inspired by fashion, food and culture in the dynamic and diverse city of Johannesburg. There are so many things to discover in this concrete jungle madness, so pack your bags and get ready to explore – it is all hip and happening now!