Johannesburg

The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg is also the wealthiest and, without doubt, the economic powerhouse of Africa

Gauteng Tourist AttractionsThe Greater Johannesburg Region

Johannesburg is an African city of note. Johannesburg is characterised by contradiction and an apparent seamless combination of irreconcilable differences. The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg is also the wealthiest and, without doubt, the economic powerhouse of Africa.

Where? Greater Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Overnight? See Johannesburg accommodation, in Gauteng

Johannesburg is a booming, happening city and the emphasis is on making money - whether in business or on the streets - and has been since its beginnings when the world’s richest gold fields were discovered in Johannesburg during the 1880s.

To the first-time visitor Johannesburg, or Jozi as it’s more commonly known, can be a little daunting, more so because of the misrepresentation by the media of Johannesburg as something of a war zone. There is crime; you do need to keep your wits about you, but once bitten by the vibe of Jozi, you’re going to want to come back again.

The Johannesburg inner city, abandoned by an exodus of big business that transferred to Sandton and, until recently, avoided by all except die-hard tourists, is undergoing a complete regeneration. The area close to City Hall and Newtown Cultural Precinct, which has completely transformed the Market Theatre and surrounds, now forms the heart of urban revival, and the Johannesburg inner city remains the largest employment centre in South Africa.

But it’s the sprawl of the leafy northern suburbs - there are over six million trees in Johannesburg - that draws the visitor: buzzing, trendy suburbs like Parktown and Norwood, with their restaurant-lined avenues that cater for the dining and décor set; the high street of Greenside that so easily dons the mantle of hip chic; fashionable Melville (forget venturing a little further to Yeoville - Jozi’s Greenwich Village it might have been but not any longer), and the sprawling malls of Sandton, all combine to make the city a great place to be.

Though not touted as an outdoor city, there are, nevertheless, a number of parks and nature reserves, like Emmarentia Dam and the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, that are worth a visit. The Magaliesberg is just on your doorstep, and you’re extremely well placed for adventures a little further afield, like the Kruger National Park and the game parks of the Lowveld.

Popular Towns in the Johannesburg Region, Gauteng

Abbotsford

Overnight? Accommodation in Abbotsford
Set in the leafy more affluent northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Abbotsford lies to the east of Atholl-Oaklands Road, the M1 and James and Ethel Gray Park. Neighbouring suburbs include Oaklands, Birdhaven, Melrose Arch, Waverley and Orchards, and...

More info and photographs: Abbotsford Information

Auckland Park

Overnight? Accommodation in Auckland Park
The suburb known as Auckland Park is one of few this close to the centre of Johannesburg to survive the exodus of Jo’burgers to the northern suburbs and it’s no surprise given the wealth of beautiful architecture here. Auckland Park housed some of the...

More info and photographs: Auckland Park Information

Bedfordview

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The leafy suburb of Bedfordview is close to a number of shopping malls, including the epic Eastgate with its myriad shops, entertainment venues and excellent restaurants; and Bruma Lake flea market, which is a conversion of an old sewerage...

More info and photographs: Bedfordview Information

Blackheath

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Set on the lower slopes of Northcliff hill, Blackheath is a relatively peaceful, leafy suburb close to Cresta Centre. It rubs shoulders with Linden, Darrenwood, Windsor and Emmarentia and has access to one of the busiest shopping areas in the northern...

More info and photographs: Blackheath Information

Braamfontein

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Lying just outside the Johannesburg CBD, north of the city, Braamfontein suffered a literal exodus of businesses and institutions as the centre of Johannesburg moved out to Sandton and the northern suburbs, but it never decayed as some of the...

More info and photographs: Braamfontein Information

Constantia Kloof

Stay? Accommodation in Constantia Kloof
It's a pretty little suburb perched on the edge of Johannesburg close to two green belt escapes, the Kloofendal Nature Reserve and Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. Kloofendal in particular is one of the better kept secrets of the city and seldom...

More info and photographs: Constantia Kloof Information

Craighall Park

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Craighall Park is one of Johannesburg’s upmarket northern suburbs that lie slightly to the west of Sandton, a collection of leafy neighbourhoods that form a belt on the western side of the city between Parkhurst and the sprawling malls of Sandton...

More info and photographs: Craighall Park Information

Cresta

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One of Randburg’s myriad suburbs, Cresta lies in the northern region of Johannesburg, closest neighbour to Darrenwood and Windsor East. But mention Cresta to the average resident and they will assume you are referring to Cresta Centre - the...

More info and photographs: Cresta Information

Darrenwood

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The smallish suburb of Darrenwood lies just west of Linden behind Cresta Centre, a series of avenues and crescents that date back to the 1960s, a pretty leafy suburb that manages to remain pretty obscure and out of the way, despite its proximity...

More info and photographs: Darrenwood Information

Douglasdale

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Douglasdale is a modern middle-upper class residential suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Douglasdale is located between the suburbs of Fourways and Bryanston, just north of the upmarket Sandton. The six lane N1 freeway forms its southern...

More info and photographs: Douglasdale Information

Dunkeld West

Stay? Accommodation in Dunkeld West
The upmarket suburb of Dunkeld West lies just north of Rosebank, sandwiched between Melrose and Hyde Park in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, a lovely part of the city. This is really the heart of older Jo’burg - streets are wide and...

More info and photographs: Dunkeld West Information

Eikenhof

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Lying in the southern reaches of Johannesburg, roughly 15 kilometres or so from the city centre and Gold Reef City, Eikenhof is regarded as country living and indeed, situated as it is on the outer edge of the place of gold, views from here are...

More info and photographs: Eikenhof Information

Emmarentia

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The pretty, established suburb of Emmarentia lies between Linden and Greenside, right in the heart of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Emmarentia’s residents regard Emmarentia as the “green heart” of the city. And they are not wrong...

More info and photographs: Emmarentia Information

Fairland

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The pretty northern suburb of Johannesburg, Fairland is neighbour to Northcliff and Darrenwood; close to Cresta, one of the city’s major landmarks and home to a plethora of shops and entertainment, and Brightwater Commons - another biggish shopping...

More info and photographs: Fairland Information

Fairmount

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Lying east of the M1 and Rosebank, the suburb of Fairmount nestles in amongst the neighbourhoods of Highlands North, Sandringham, Raedene Estate and Fairmount Ridge. The area is snugly bound by Athol Street, George Avenue and Louis Botha...

More info and photographs: Fairmount Information

Forest Town

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Lying snug in amongst some of the leafiest suburbs - Westcliff, Parktown and Saxonwold - of Johannesburg's northern parts, Forest Town was originally, as its name implies, set in what was a forest. It began as an area of smaller dwellings for...

More info and photographs: Forest Town Information

Fourways

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There is always something going on and Fourways boasts a large number of attractions as well as activities for all different preferences. Some of the main attractions in Fourways are The Fourways Mall, Montecasino and the Fourways Cross...

More info and photographs: Fourways Information

Glenvista

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Glenvista has been dubbed the New South, and is seeing an increase in development as more and more residential and commercial property owners see its worth and invest in it. Still, it retains a quieter vibe than other Johannesburg hotspots...

More info and photographs: Glenvista Information

Greenside

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Greenside, which lies just off the busy Barry Hertzog Avenue on the other side from Emmarentia Dam, is a trendy, albeit residential suburb of the city. It is rife with restaurants and described as having a café culture of note. That said, you...

More info and photographs: Greenside Information

Hillbrow

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Hillbrow gets mixed reviews. On the one hand people won't go near it. They speak about extreme levels of crime, high-rise apartment blocks jammed with migrants and refugees, hijackings, murder and prostitution. Hillbrow, they say, is a...

More info and photographs: Hillbrow Information

Honeydew

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Honeydew, nestled in amongst the other northern suburbs of Boskruin, Randpark Ridge and Sundowner, is one of the older suburbs along Christian De Wet Road that becomes Northumberland Avenue, close to the shopping mall of Northgate...

More info and photographs: Honeydew Information

Johannesburg Central

Say? Accommodation Johannesburg Central
Jo’burg’s inner city has had its share of stigma. The 1990s, after the Group Areas Act was scrapped, brought thousands of people who had been forbidden to live here, into the city centre, many of them immigrants from war torn African nations...

More info and photographs: Johannesburg Central Information

Kensington

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The historic suburb of Kensington lies almost due east of Braamfontein and the city centre of Johannesburg, its most recent past as a trendy locale for the more creative residents of Johannesburg - a collection of artists, teachers and academics...

More info and photographs: Kensington Information

Kibler Park

Overnight? Accommodation in Kibler Park
Perhaps because of its association with the nature reserve, Kibler Park does not suffer the usual stigma attached to living in the southern reaches of the city. Whilst it is true that there is more to do in the northern suburbs, and some...

More info and photographs: Kibler Park Information

Killarney

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This part of the city is without doubt the more sedate side of Johannesburg and large properties have been popular with consulates, particularly given the quick access from here to Sandton and the fact that it lies just on the fringes of the...

More info and photographs: Killarney Information

Kliptown

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Kliptown is the oldest district in Soweto, famous as the site known as the Congress of the People, where 3 000 gathered together in 1955 to write the Freedom Charter. It later served as the basis for South Africa's liberal constitution...

More info and photographs: Kliptown Information

Lanseria

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Lying in outer Randburg, Lanseria is virtually synonymous with the airport that lies out on this side of Johannesburg. What used to be little more than a slick executive airport for corporate travellers with their own jets, now hosts regular...

More info and photographs: Lanseria Information

Linden

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Nestled in the foothills of Northcliff Hill, Linden is one of the prettiest and oldest suburbs of Johannesburg, lying to the north west of the city centre between Emmarentia and Darrenwood. The leafy suburb lies predominantly on a slope, its...

More info and photographs: Linden Information

Lonehill

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It does not take a genius to work out that Lonehill, which lies just north of Witkoppen Road with excellent access to William Nicol Drive and the N1, must have been named after a solitary hill in the vicinity. Apart from the fact that this is...

More info and photographs: Lonehill Information

Maboneng

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Meaning 'place of light' Maboneng is a regeneration of Johannesburg's red-brick east-end; what is described as a 'mixed-use community' – a combination of residential apartments with studio, retail and art-centred space. There is also a theatre...

More info and photographs: Maboneng Information

Marshalltown

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Neighbour to Braamfontein, Jeppestown, Joubert Park and the cultural centre of Newtown, Marshalltown is part of the city’s history and busy reclaiming its strategic relevance in the social and economic development of the city, which is fast...

More info and photographs: Marshalltown Information

Melville

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The trendy suburb of Melville is situated just west of Johannesburg and is well known for its trendy coffee shops and lively nightlife. Melville is the cultural hub of Johannesburg. Its trendy coffeehouses and upscale shops dot this vibrant...

More info and photographs: Melville Information

Midrand

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Midrand is in Region 2 of Johannesburg's administrative region plan and completely built around the N1. It is identified as one of the 8 tourism nodes in the Johannesburg area and home to large-scale industries such as textiles and motor vehicles...

More info and photographs: Midrand Information

Mulbarton

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Lying south of the Southern Bypass in the south of Johannesburg, just east of Alberton, Mulbarton nestles in amongst the other southern suburbs of Glenvista, Bassonia and Meyersdal, bordering the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve...

More info and photographs: Mulbarton Information

Newtown

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Situated in Johannesburg inner-city, Newtown forms the heart of the city’s regeneration and reinvention of itself. Newtown is a fairly large area that lies sandwiched between the railway lines to the north, the M2 highway in the south and...

More info and photographs: Newtown Information

Northcliff

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Northcliff is incredibly well situated - there is ease of access to a number of major shopping malls, the N1 is easily reachable and getting to either the city or Sandton is relatively simple, given Johannesburg’s notorious traffic. Pretty...

More info and photographs: Northcliff Information

Norwood

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A garden suburb of Johannesburg, Norwood is both diverse and appealing. Its pretty streets are lined with trees and Norwood is easily one of the more popular dining spots in the city, renowned for its celebrated restaurants and ethnic mix...

More info and photographs: Norwood Information

Oakdene

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Lying to the south of the centre of Johannesburg, Oakdene nestles in amongst its neighbouring suburbs of Linmeyer, Rosettenville, Glenanda and Bassonia. Despite sounding as though it is away from the hub of the city, Oakdene is anything but...

More info and photographs: Oakdene Information

Oaklands

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Nestled in amongst similar leafy, northern suburbs in Johannesburg, Oaklands lies next to Highlands North, Abbotsford and Norwood just across the M1 from Rosebank and south of Sandton. It is an upmarket area where large homes lie amidst sprawling...

More info and photographs: Oaklands Information

Observatory

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The pretty suburb of Observatory situated on a hill for obvious reasons, is home to the observatory site that stands on a 35-hectare site, declared the city’s first meteorological observatory site in 1903. The stone building is small and...

More info and photographs: Observatory Information

Orchards

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The rather small, well established suburb of Orchards lies virtually around the corner from trendy Norwood, its tree-lined streets and large, timeless homes, many of which have either been renovated or subdivided into apartments, places one in...

More info and photographs: Orchards Information

Ormonde

Overnight? Accommodation in Ormonde
Leave Marshalltown in Johannesburg’s CBD and head off along the M1 in a south westerly direction and Ormonde lies just five minutes from the centre, a little beyond Gold Reef City in the southern reaches of the bustling city, its nearest...

More info and photographs: Ormonde Information

Parkhurst

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The lovely village of Parkhurst, once a rather dull lower-middle class neighbourhood with little more than its inviting trees and beautiful homes to attract visitors, has now reinvented itself and Fourth Avenue in particular has transformed itself...

More info and photographs: Parkhurst Information

Parktown

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Parktown lies between Westcliff and Saxonwold, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Johannesburg filled with rather imposing homes that vie with those in London in terms of grandiosity. Developed by some of the most successful entrepreneurs...

More info and photographs: Parktown Information

Parkview

Overnight? Accommodation in Parkview
Zoo Lake borders on Parkview and is a favourite ambling site of Jo-burgers. It takes about an hour to stroll around the lake, which, on the first weekend of every month, you can combine with ‘Artists under the Sun’ - an art market and tea at...

More info and photographs: Parkview Information

Parkwood

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Nestled between Rosebank and Saxonwold in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Parkwood is one of the older more established suburbs of the bustling metropolitan, reminiscent of Houghton with its sizeable double-storey homes and large...

More info and photographs: Parkwood Information

Radiokop

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In recent years, this part of Randburg that includes the neighbouring suburbs of Allen's Nek, Honeydew, Weltevredenpark and Strubens Valley has mushroomed. From a relatively small, remote village of sorts, the leafy streets are now home to...

More info and photographs: Radiokop Information

Rembrandt Park

Stay? Accommodation in Rembrandt Park
Rembrandt Park lies in the heart of the south eastern suburbs of Johannesburg, neighbour to Boksburg, Sandringham, Lyndhurst and Corlett Gardens. What makes Rembrandt Park so popular is its accessibility, despite being south of the city of gold...

More info and photographs: Rembrandt Park Information

Randburg

Overnight? Accommodation in Randburg
Randburg is a large city in Gauteng. Once a separate municipality, its municipal government has since become a part of the City of Johannesburg. Randburg has over 32 suburbs, most of them residential. It is an upmarket area filled with many...

More info and photographs: Randburg Information

Sandton

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Despite Johannesburg’s city centre doing its utmost to change perceptions about its capacity to function as the heart of the city, Sandton continues to reign as the most important financial and business district in South Africa, and arguably...

More info and photographs: Sandton Information

Saxonwold

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This part of Johannesburg that lies around the zoo and includes Parkview, Westcliff and Houghton is of the most beautiful in the city. It’s also one of the oldest parts of Johannesburg, and Saxonwold in particular invites one to drive along its...

More info and photographs: Saxonwold Information

Southdale

Overnight? Accommodation in Southdale
Southdale, as its name indicates, is in the south of Johannesburg. Although there is little of the 'dale' about it (no green hills) the streets, like many in the city of gold, are leafy. And of course, the major advantage to a stay here is...

More info and photographs: Southdale Information

Soweto

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South of Johannesburg is Soweto, a city developed as a township for black people under the apartheid system. Most of the struggle against apartheid was fought in and from Soweto. The name Soweto is an acronym, made up - in apartheid days...

More info and photographs: Soweto Information

Sunningdale

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Lying in amidst the well established suburbs of Bramley, Lyndhurst, Highlands North and Corlett Gardens, Sunningdale, whilst not well known to those who live in the city, is positioned in a highly advantageous part of Johannesburg, just north...

More info and photographs: Sunningdale Information

Victory Park

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Described as one of the oldest and more trendy suburbs in Johannesburg, it certainly enjoys an exceptional bird life wedged as it is between two of the largest green lungs in the city. Homes in Victory Park are large and sit on fairly big...

More info and photographs: Victory Park Information

Weltevreden Park

Stay? Accommodation in Weltevreden Park
Weltevreden Park lies in the heart of Roodepoort. In fact as you come over a slight incline, just as you head into the Weltevreden valley off Beyers Naudé Drive, you pass a sign signifying your entry into Roodepoort and what used...

More info and photographs: Weltevreden Park Information

Westcliff

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Westcliff lies almost cheek-by-jowl with Parkview and Houghton and benefits from lying close to major arterial roads. You might be in one of the country’s most notoriously busy cities, but in Westcliff things slow to a more sedate pace...

More info and photographs: Westcliff Information

Westdene

Overnight? Accommodation in Westdene
Westdene is one of those pretty little character-filled suburbs, that tend to lie fairly close to Johannesburg's city centre. Its streets are lined with cottage-styled homes with tin roofs, some of which back onto Westdene's park and dam, and...

More info and photographs: Westdene Information

Did you know?

Visit the Apartheid Museum to learn about the rise and fall of a racially prejudiced system that managed to straddle half a century. Exhibits were created by a team of curators, filmmakers, historians and designers, so expect to see more than your average museum behind-a-glass-exhibit – it’s powerful stuff.

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