Johannesburg (or Joni, eGoli, Jozi, Joeyes, or Joburg as referred to affectionately by the locals) is a city with many faces. One minute you can be in a posh neighbourhood, the next somewhere funky, and the next in a dodgy spot that then can morph into urban chic a moment later. Like the country, Joburg promises a life with never a dull moment. In urban legend it is known as the largest man-made forest for its leafy suburbs, and come October it gives Pretoria a run for its money when the jacarandas are in full bloom. Granted, it doesn't qualify as a real forest more streets and building than trees but city dwellers love their trees and the added oxygen they provide.
Johannesburg is renowned for its variety of cuisine. It's a nation with a rainbow of flavours, though some restaurants deserve special mention.
In the Quartermain Hotel you will find Sel et Poivre, where chef Coco Reinarhz will delight your taste buds. The restaurant has lovely outdoors and indoor seating areas and the tranquil gardens of the Quartermain will have you wondering how you escaped the hustle and bustle of busy Sandton so quickly.
There is only one place in town to feast on Rabbit - La Cucina Di Ciro, located in Parktown North. The idea behind Ciro's kitchen is that you can see how your food is prepared while sitting comfortably in a homely setting, yet enjoying top class food and service.
After a night on the town, or for just a simple Sunday brekkie, get to The Hill at Constitution Hill. Because it is a Heritage Site you can take in some culture after you've woken up and see how far we've come. In Craighall you'll find Burnside Café, another favourite for weekend breakfasts, this time on a porch instead of a hill.
Not far down Burnside Avenue you'll find The Base, known for its gourmet pizza and roaring fires in winter. Yes, Johannesburg gets rather icy in July. Of course, The Ant (Mellville) is the other pizza place not to miss especially when your bohemian side is calling.
Maboneng is a downtown neighbourhood that's part of the ongoing rejuvenation of Joburg. It's a trendy neighbourhood to stay in, full of small movie theatres, markets, and live events. Be there or be square indeed.
First stop in Maboneng is Lenin's Vodka Bar, where you can get a real Russian mule cocktail, amongst others. Vodka, food, and cocktails are served in a revolutionary atmosphere.
Head to Stanley's Beer Yard at 44 Stanley in Millpark for the absolute best craft beers in town the pumpkin ale is one you will never forget. Of course, while you are in the area, there are plenty of shops to browse with lovely apparel and bric-a-brac for your home.
Though it's had some ups and downs, 7th Street in Melville is still one of the places to be. Its delicate balance between night and day activities remains intact, and it lives on strongly. The street is home to bars, eateries, and shops to delight any day-time browser or night-time reveller.
A must-visit place on 7th Street is Jo'Anna Melt Bar, where they serve the finest tequilas with black salt. You have to drink one to understand. Just go. Plus, where else will you find mac & cheese and cocktails?
Join a Soweto Shebeen Tour at night for a unique experience. Quite a few companies offer tours. Better to venture out with the tours if Soweto is not your forte.
Music venues are aplenty in Joburg indie rock, pop, classical, Afrikaans, too mention but a few options. You can find what's on this week online and here at Gumtree.
Of special mention is the Orbit (Braamfontein) offers a new home for jazz. With a line-up of the country's best players, this is the place to get your weekly jazz fix. In a town hooked on music and jazz, it is about time that we got a regular jazz venue again! Their bistro also provides tasty meals that won't shake your pocket too much.
When it comes to finding the best recreation and things to do in Joburg, The Jozi Fixer (find them online) offers an exclusive service for those who want to take in the city's sights and sounds: they will arrange everything for an experience that will linger for many years. Joburg is a city that offers something new every day, one whose variety and texture are best experienced by getting out and seeing for yourself what's on offer to immerse yourself in. Take a sense of adventure, and keep your eyes open.
The JHB Zoo is one of the best zoos around. It offers meanders amongst enclosures and hosts annual events for kids and holiday programmes to keep young minds occupied.
Conserved as a nature reserve, the koppies (hills/ridges) offer views of what the ridges may have been before gold was discovered and man started digging for it in the City of Gold (Egoli). Guided walks are available on weekends, but many prefer to simply enjoy a stroll in Mellville Koppies East with their canine friends or in groups. It's best not to brave the koppies on your own.
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, aka Emmerentia Dam, is a gorgeous wonder. On one side are the botanical gardens, with their beautifully landscaped temperate zones. On the other is the magnificent dam (which, despite its singular name, is actually several dams), where you can take your dog for walks and go mountain biking. The area offers so much for urban dwellers in search of some relatively fresh air. With some luck you'll spot the nesting pair of Verreaux's Eagles at the waterfall.
The Sci-bono Museum is the new kid on the block in the museum space. It offers interactive science displays for children that will delight the accompanying parents as well.
The Apartheid Museum is not to be missed. It's not just for the foreign tourists, either, as their wealth of information and exhibits can help locals brush up on the past, too.
Mrs. Ples and other important discoveries aside, the Cradle of Mankind/Maropeng museum offers a rich look at our paleontological history, as well as offering a conference venue and highly-acclaimed restaurant.
Joburg Theatre is set in the city, just walking distance from the Gautrain station. The theatre offers an array of great productions in its theatres.
Monte Casino in Fourways has shops and venues with comedy, live music, and theatre productions galore. Pieter Toerien brings out international acts including Cirque de Soleil, famous ballet companies, and musicals.
One of the best places to get your red velvet fix is Isabella's in Northriding. The coffee is out of the world and they offer high tea and other function options for a stork tea or bridal shower with a difference.
Bean There in Millpark offers a selection of their own freshly roasted coffees complemented perfectly with the best Fair Trade coffees available. All offered in a lovely setting that variety in a lovely setting will invite you back time and time again.
There are so many options for great coffee and cake in Jozi that listing just a couple will leave a many excellent ones off the list. Just head to the streets of Maboneng, Mellville, or Rosebank to find your daily cuppa or three, and you'll be able to try a new place or drink every day. Their coffee is always accompanied by the best pastries the city can offer, and some establishments offer light lunches, too. Many shops bustle with business meetings while others specialise in providing quiet corners to work on that novel you are writing.
For great tasting sweets, you must visit any one of the many artisan markets available in Maboneng and the Northern Suburbs. Both The Fourways Farmers Market and Bryanston Organic and Natural Market in the Northern Suburbs deserve a special mention for their variety of stall holders replete with crafted toffee, chocolate, nougat, and Turkish delights.
Neigbourgoods Market, open every Saturday and Sunday, is the market that's home to organic produce and is considered a must do by many. Get your fresh produce and trendy wares there in an atmosphere that is difficult to explain but certainly hard to match. Neigbourgoodly' is probably the term that would work best.
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market is an institution with produce that is fresh, organic, and sometimes free trade, too. In operation since the 1970's, it's open on Thursdays, Saturdays, and public holidays. The market offers much more than just food, with the added benefit of buying directly from the producer or artist. Stallholders are hand-picked for the very best wares.
Sunday markets at Blubird Shopping Centre is a foodie's paradise with craft cuisine, preserves, and condiments on sale.
Johannesburg has shops for every taste. Some have been around for many years, and most have a niche market to serve. The rooftop markets are always brilliant, and many others offer entertainment for kids as well as live music on weekends.
The Sheds@1Fox is a warehouse space in the CBD (Fereirastown) that has been revamped into a hipster's shopping paradise no need to set foot in a mall ever again. Don't let the stark exterior fool you inside it has been completely transformed. It's open Thursday through Sunday.
Collector's Treasury on Commissioner Street is just what the name suggests: four floors of antiques, collectables, records, and books.
Head over to the Chinese malls at Crown Mines to forget how prices have escalated out of control (or remember what they used to be!). It is absolutely fantastic for childrens' Christmas gifts (you won't believe the price of kids' favourites at discount). You will also find more scarves, handbags, and home and party ware than you could ever use. Every time you venture out you will find something new. Of course, be aware of your surroundings it's the big city after all, but the malls are considered safe. Remember to take cash, as many shop owners don't accept plastic. Fortunately the bigger malls have cash machines on hand.
Joburg offers countless delights to satisfy any needs or wishes, whether you live there or are visiting on holiday. One last bit of advice: if flying in, keep in mind that Johannesburg is abbreviated as JHB or JNB.
If you've ever visited Cape Town, you'll know all about the unique vibe our city has to offer. Local hotspots and culture flood the streets, and in the summer time it's a permanent vacation haven. But what makes Cape Town so spectacular? Which places shouldn't be missed, and where should you go if you're looking to soak up the city in all its glory? With a little help from Gumtree South Africa's Cape Town Location Guide, featuring all the best restaurants, bars, coffee shops, beaches and markets in the Mother City has to offer, you'll be well on your way to living Cape Town to its fullest.
If you're looking for the best fine dining restaurants in Cape Town, The Roundhouse in Camps Bay and The Test Kitchen at The Biscuit Mill in Woodstock are at the top of the list. Considered amongst the most elegant restaurants in town, The Roundhouse is also the most romantic. They specialize in contemporary dishes with a strong South African flair. Great for special occasions!
The Test Kitchen is the talk of the town in restaurant circles and a must-visit for locals and visitors alike. Food genius Luke Dale-Roberst has created a world-class food-pairing experience at The Test Kitchen. Booking is essential, however, so if you are looking for a memorable dining experience, book ASAP.
Royale Eatery is so famous for its burgers that celebrities have been known to proclaim them "the best burger I've ever eaten". Loved by locals and tourists alike, Royale Eatery is where to go if you're in Long Street and you're hungry for a mouth-watering burger and great fries.
While you're in the City Bowl, why not grab a drink at Clarke's after work? Clarke's is one of the hippest places to be in Cape Town, and they just so happen to serve amazingly delicious food, too.
Capetonians love Mexican cuisine, and El Burro is the city's hotspot for all things Mexico! From their vast tequila selection to authentic Mexican dishes to a festive vibe like nowhere else, El Burro has everything you're looking for in a great restaurant experience.
If you're looking to enjoy tasty, authentic nachos, burritos, and frozen margaritas, Fat Cactus just off Kloof Street offers great value for money and huge portions. A great stop after a long day of shopping!
Perhaps the most popular restaurant in Cape Town right now, Lefty's Dive Bar serves "dude-food" that people just can't get enough of. They've become known for their ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. Get value for your money, great comfort food and a real taste of what Cape Town hipster culture is really like.
If you're in the mood for something with a more Asian flavour, just upstairs is Downtown Ramen, Lefty's newest venture. It's Cape Town's very first ramen noodle bar, so if you're in downtown, you can't leave without trying their noodles.
If you're looking to dive into the local Cape Town music scene, these are the two best places to start. Fiction hosts ever-popular weekly events that draw out all of Cape Town's dance music fans, including some celebrities when they are in town. If you're more in the mood for something unique, Assembly has something different happening almost every night. You'll find the top South African acts performing here as well as a few unexpected international music acts. Drinks are relatively cheap, and while the crowd at Fiction and The Assembly is usually full of youngsters, you will find people of all ages having a lot of fun on a night out with friends.
Craft beer is a big deal in Cape Town, and you can find some of the most delicious beers in the City Bowl. Choose from an incredible selection of beers at the Beer House in Long Street. Sit on the balcony and watch all the hustle and bustle of Cape Town city life while you're tipping a beer. Only a short walk away is Wienhaus + Biergarten, formally known as &Union. They serve their own brand of craft beers alongside great classic American food that pairs perfectly with your beer. If you're lucky, you can catch live music in the garden at Wienhaus + Biergarten during the week.
If you want to relax with a few good cocktails, try some of Cape Town's coolest lounge-bars. Asoka is an upmarket Asian-inspired location that attracts a more sophisticated crowd. They often have live music, their menu is full of good food, and they make some of the finest cocktails in the city. Julep is another great stop if you're cocktail hunting. It's one of Cape Town's hidden treasures that relies on word-of-mouth only, and that's one of the things that makes it so great! Julep is another one of Cape Town's celeb hotspots, so keep your eyes peeled as you enjoy your fun night out in Cape Town.
The busiest place in Camps Bay at sunset, Café Caprice is also Camps Bay's coolest (and has been for a while). You can enjoy the spectacular scenery of vibey Camps Bay Beach while you grab a bistro meal during the day, or share some cocktails amongst friends and locals at night. Shimmy Beach Bar is another cool place to hang out in summer in Cape Town. It's new to the V&A Waterfront, and the locals love it. Shimmy has a man-made beach and a swimming pool overlooking the ocean, making it one of the most beautiful places in Cape Town. If you had to choose one spot, this is where you want to enjoy your cocktails this summer.
When summer is knocking and it's time to explore the Mother City, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Cape Point are perfect daytrip destinations. A great outing is to pack a picnic and eat in the soothing surroundings of the Kirtenbosch Gardens. Fall asleep under a tree, view the whole area from above on the newly installed Treetop Canopy, or catch a popular summer concert in the amphitheatre. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, get behind the wheel and take a trip to Cape Point. Travel along the peninsula past Simon's Town, Kalk Bay, False Bay, and other lovely sea-side towns. You can also stop by Boulder's Beach and say hi' to the penguins. Cape Point's amazing views some of the best in the Cape are rivalled only by its remarkable history. It is recommended for anyone visiting Cape Town for the first time, young and old alike.
Cape Town is known for its superb selection of beaches, and some of them are truly world-class. Clifton Beach actually includes four beaches, including First Beach, which is great for families, and Fourth Beach, which is more suited for the hotter, younger crowd. There's no better place to enjoy a December in Cape Town than relaxing on Clifton beach and taking a chilled dip in the cold ocean. Camps Bay Beach offers a vibey option for visitors who aren't in the mood to descend the many stairs of Clifton. It's central, crowded with locals and tourists alike, and action-packed! It's also much closer to all the shops and restaurants on the Camps Bay strip, giving you plenty of sand-free activities, too.
If you really want to explore Cape Town like a true tourist, or want to 're-discover it for the first time', the Table Mountain Cable Car and the Red Bus Tour are great ways to go. On the base of the famous Table Mountain you'll find Aerial Cableway. Tickets can be pricey, and if the wind is too strong the Cableway closes for the day, but all in all, it's a must-see experience. Spend hours taking photos and exploring Table Mountain from the very top. Have lunch and descend back to town just in time for sunset. You can make a day out of your trip and jump on board a Red Bus Tour. These busses circulate all of Cape Town's main attractions. Definitely worth it if you're looking to see, hear, and do many things in a short amount of time.
The V&A Waterfront is another must-visit in Cape Town. Besides the fantastic shops, restaurants, and South African atmosphere, there are lots of recreational and educational things to check out. The Aquarium is a big family favourite, and even Rihanna visited there during her Cape Town stop when on tour. Hang out with all the local sea life of Cape Town, including penguins, seals, sharks, and countless other species from the African waters. There's a great restaurant there to enjoy a harbour lunch after hours of looking at all the gorgeous and interesting fish. If seeing all the boats starts to tempt your sea legs, why not hop on one for a trip to Robben Island. On the island you can learn all about Nelson Mandela and even visit the cell he lived in when he was imprisoned there. Learn about Cape Town's past with a hands-on experience on Robben Island and experience the V&A Waterfront from the sea.
Cape Town is full of great gourmet coffee houses that make their own blends that keep Capetonians energized. No matter where you go, you're bound to find a great coffee place, but you should make a special effort to visit TRUTH. and Deluxe Coffeeworks in the City Bowl. TRUTH. is a streampunk-inspired professional hang out, serving free Wi-Fi, glorious coffee, and a perfect place to network all day. Some publications have even dubbed TRUTH. the best coffee house in the world. Deluxe Coffeeworks is simple, stripped down, and extremely trendy. Their blends of coffee are served all over town, but if you want the real experience of a cool, hip coffee place, come to Deluxe Coffeeworks and see for yourself.
Charley's Bakery is so well-known as a local favourite that they got their very own TV show on the Food Network. They make colourful, wacky, and inspired cakes, cupcakes, and cookies that will make an ear-to-ear smile erupt from your face. Visit their brightly painted building in the City Bowl and see all their amazing creations for yourself. Make sure you don't leave without a cookie monster cupcake, though. Jason Bakery is a place to get a great cup of coffee to go with a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth pastry. During lunchtime they serve an incredible bistro menu that you can enjoy while you watch working Cape Town zoom past you. Be sure to grab a loaf of freshly baked bread to take home - they're amazing.
Cape Town is quickly becoming known for its top notch, trendy markets. A longstanding and ever-popular one is the Neighbourhood Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Enjoy craft beer, gourmet snacks and treats, and stock up on your weekly groceries all at once. This is where you will find the young, hip crowd of Cape Town hang out on a Saturday morning. Get there early to avoid all the best items selling out and come hungry. The Old Biscuit Mill also hosts a few great shops and restaurants besides the market that you should check out. The City Bowl Market is a similar market but in the centre of town. It runs on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, but Thursday evenings have the best vibe.
For the freshest, healthiest produce in Cape Town, check out the Orangezicht Farmer's Market every Saturday. There you'll find fantastic fruit, vegetables, herbs, and bread. Bring your own basket and leave with tons of fresh produce and hundreds of recipes. If you're looking for something with live music, great food, and cool stalls, Hout Bay Market is worth visiting. It's very festive, serves a delicious variety of food, and hosts some of the friendliest people in the city.
For a day of shopping on the city centre, you can't go wrong with Kloof Street and Long Street. Some people start at the bottom of Long Street and work their way up, while others like to start at the top of Kloof Street and work their way down. Either way be prepared to spend lots of cash, as this area hosts some of the trendiest shops in Cape Town and some of its best restaurants.
If you need to stock up on your monthly supply of products, clothes, and groceries, or just want to miss the air-conditioning of a big mall, the V&A Waterfront and Canal Walk are your optimal options. You can visit any day, but on the weekend it's recommended to visit the V&A Waterfront since Canal Walk can get crazy on Saturdays and Sundays. These two malls host every store and service under the sun, and you'll be able to get almost anything you need, including a great shopping experience.