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Jo’burg, Jozi, The City of Gold: these are all nicknames for Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa that for many years was plagued by a bad reputation. Today Jo'burg has risen like a phoenix from the ashes and brims with optimism and energy.

Explore the city
Johannesburg 02 Intro Map En

Johannesburg is a relatively young city, founded in 1886 after the discovery of gold in the area. Thanks to the ensuing gold rush, the city grew fast and quickly became the largest in South Africa. For many years high crime rates gave the city a bad rep. But in recent years Jo'burg has bounced back better than ever. When you visit South Africa it's worth spending a few days in this blossoming metropolis. We visited the three most interesting and hippest neighbourhoods.

  • Johannesburg 03 Maboneng

    1. Maboneng Precinct

    The hippest neighbourhood in town

    For many years Maboneng was a no-go area, just like the rest of downtown Jo'burg. But a complete overhaul has transformed this into the trendiest neighbourhood in town. In 2008, a real estate developer bought several warehouses and, together with an architect, converted these into a cultural centre called Arts on Main. After that things changed quickly. Young entrepreneurs and artists settled in Maboneng, hip coffee bars and galleries mushroomed and the streetscape could easily be mistaken for Brooklyn, NYC.

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    Another fun destination is the Market on Main, a lively market where you can buy food and peruse creations by local designers. For a unique lunch experience, book a ‘Picnic in the Sky’. At 11 am you receive a basket and have 30 minutes to shop for goodies in the market. Then you take the lift to the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre, Africa's highest building, for lunch with a view.

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      Zute Lightfoot / Alamy Stock Photo

      Street Art

      Amazing artwork

      Maboneng is also the place for street art aficionados. In 2012 a large group of international street artists set up shop in this neighbourhood. They painted incredible murals on Maboneng's grey warehouses and blind walls. Most of the original murals are still on display, as well as many new ones that have been added in recent years. You can book a guided street art tour or explore on your own. For the best works, make sure to include Kruger Street, Main Street, Fox Street and Maritzburg in your itinerary.

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      RosaIreneBetancourt 14 / Alamy Stock Photo
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      guy oliver / Alamy Stock Photo
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        Zute Lightfoot / Alamy Stock Photo

        2. Braamfontein

        Fun around the clock

        Braamfontein, also known as Braamies by locals, lies in the northern part of the city and is another trendy enclave. Bearded baristas, skateboarding hipsters and the latest street fashion dominate the Braamfontein streetscape. On Saturday's the neighbourhood hosts the popular Neighbourhoods Market. In a former warehouse, creative entrepreneurs sell food and other wares.

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        David Buzzard / Alamy Stock Photo
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        David Buzzard / Alamy Stock Photo
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        David Buzzard / Alamy Stock Photo

        Braamfontein is also a popular nightlife destination. From lively jazz clubs such as The Orbit to laidback Sunday evening ‘sundowner’ parties (drinks at sunset) on the rooftop patio at The Living Room: the party never stops!

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        • Johannesburg 10 The Parks
          Eva-Lotta Jansson / Alamy Stock Photo

          3. The Parks

          Ultimate weekend lounge spot

          The Parks is actually not one district but the collective name for a string of adjoined neighbourhoods that includes Parkhurst, Parkwood, Parktown North, Parkview and Craighill Park. Each has its own vibe and identity. Thanks to their proximity you can easily explore them in one visit. The bustling hotspot is 4th Avenue in Parkhurst. Especially on Saturday, locals and visitors flock here to shop in the many boutiques and antiquaries and lounge on the many patios. Visit one of the best restaurants in town in Parkwood North: The Local Grill is an institution for steak lovers.

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          Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
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          Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
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            David Buzzard / Alamy Stock Photo


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