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Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

London, United...
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Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Hello, my girlfriend and I will be spending 2 nights in Jo'burg this January before flying back to London. We were hoping to stay some where 1) lively and walkable 2) safe and clean

I had originally thought Melville would be the place to stay, but some posts suggest it has become grimey and only suitable for the early 20's student crowd.

Sandton seems stale and far away. What areas would combine the best of both? Looking for a neighborhood we can walk around between shops, restaurants, cafes and enjoy a bit of nightlife as well? I realize that Jo'burg is a very car dependent city but was hoping there was something that would fit the bill. If not, then Sandton it will be.

Pretoria, South...
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1. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

I think I would go for Rosebank over Sandton although frankly neither area is where I would care to spend an entire weekend. Rosebank, like Sandton, consists mainly of malls but the Rosebank ones are more open-air, you have the markets (although the mall that houses them is undergoing massive redevelopment and I have no idea how this will affect the markets), and imo some of the shops are a bit more interesting.

There are other vibey areas - Melville as you have said, Greenside, parts of the city centre on Sundays - but not enough to keep anyone occupied all weekend I don't think.....

I suggest, PM SepSep if she doesn't post on this thread- she always has great suggestions.

Edited: 1:23 am, October 30, 2012
Johannesburg, South...
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2. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

There is also Parkhurst, but there is probably also not enough to occupy a whole weekend

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3. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Johannesburg is a business city and not really a weekend break type of place unless you want to shop at the malls so I think you should stick with Standton.

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4. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Why not out of the city to the Magaliesberg, one hour drive. Lots of things to do and to see.


or just some day tours, say with www.firelighttours.co.za

Nicer then to be in the big city!

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5. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Chrella's comment above refers:

Johannesburg is a business city and not really a weekend break type of place unless you want to shop at the malls so I think you should stick with Standton.

Exactly the same holds true for Sandton. Indeed, even more so.

If you look at a list of things to do, there are very few to be found in SANDTON, ( I can only think of the Teatro, at MonteCasino ) but a large number are found in Johannesburg VIZ:


Soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics, at one of our superb stadiums


Soweto tour

Performing arts

Ballet, plays, at one of our superb theatres,

in down town, or Soweto, or in some of the “entertainment complexes”, like Monte Casino, etc

Fine art

Outdoor sculptures

Von Brandis Statue

Miners Monument

George Harrison Statue

Scottish soldier

Oppenheimer fountain

Brenda Fassie

Kippie Moeketsi


Johannesburg Art Gallery

Wits (University) Art Gallery

a treasure trove of African art displayed in a bright, airy, climate controlled environment.

The Origins Centre ( Rock Art)

Constitutional Court gallery

Numerous Private galleries

Artists under the sun


First weekend of every month


Standard Bank International Jazz Festival August

Jazz on the Lake free, at zoo lake in September

The Bassline Jazz club, in Newtown

The Coca Cola Dome

Other outdoor concerts at various venues, like the Zoo, or Botanical Gardens


World class malls:

Sandton Rosebank, East, North, South Westgate, Cresta, Maponya

African Craft Market Rosebank

Market on Main

Neighbourgoods market

Rooftop Market, Rosebank

Bryanston Organic Market

Design Centre: Arts on Main


Small but excellent Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, at Emmarentia Lake

Melville Koppies (when open)


AECI Dynamite Factory Museum.

Museum Africa, which incorporates:

Bensusan Museum of photography, and the Africana Museum.

World of Beer

Sci Bono Discovery Centre (Science Museum)

Workers museum

Apartheid Museum

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

Gold Reef City Gold Mining Museum (and theme park)

James Hall museum of Transport

It is largest transport museum in Africa

National Museum of Military History

Origins Centre, covering Human evoluton and bushman art

Bernberg Museum of Costume

Adler Museum of Medicine. History of the health sciences in Southern Africa, with special reference to Gauteng.

Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Museum.( coming soon)

Other entertainment:

Gambling and shows

Monte Casino

Gold Reef City Casino

Emperor's Palace Casino


Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens Roodepoort

National Botanical Gardens Pretoria

Lesedi (African Cultural Village)

Cradle of Humankind (Sterkfontein & Maropeng)

Lion Park

Crocodile Farm

Rhino & Lion PArk

SAA Museum Germiston

Elephant sanctuary

Monkey Sanctuary

Cheetah research centre

Petra Diamond Mine


SAAF Museum

Jan Smuts House

Melrose House

Paul Kruger House

Sammy Marks House

Church Square

Heroes Acre

For the Australians…….. Breaker Morant’s Grave

Transvaal Museum of Natural History

National Cultural Museum

Union Buildings and gardens

South African Mint Midrand

Police Museum

Voortrekker Monument


Sun City

Largest Buddhist temple in Southern Hemisphere Bronkhorstspruit

Largest Mosque in Southern Hemisphere Midrand

Edited: 4:55 am, October 30, 2012
Johannesburg, South...
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6. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Parkhurst has a great pedestrian culture and its great on weekends. Just not sure if there is much choice for accommodation there.

One option I'd say would be Melrose Arch (www.melrosearch.co.za). There are 2 hotels, both very vibey and trendy and with great bar areas. The precinct has lots of shops and restaurants and you can easily spend the whole weekend without leaving. But if you do decide to leave, you can hop on the Gautrain bus to Rosebank (busses not on Sunday) and then spend some time in Rosebank before taking the bus back (You just need to talk nicely to the bus driver as the busses are meant to be a feeder bus to the train, but some bus drivers allow bus only passengers).

Rosebank is also nice, but very much mall-oriented, slightly better than Sandton.

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7. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

I suggest that you go to Rosebank. There are a lot of hotels in Rosebank and all walking distance from the Gautrain station. On Sundays there is the Rooftop Craft Market and this is very popular. The restaurants are good and it is very alive.

All the best and good luck.


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8. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

Gavin your list is amazingly extensive - you should add the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra to it though!

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9. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

doll, you sound like your into the fabulous city life.. rosebank; sandton or melrose arch are your best bets!!!


Randburg, Gauteng...
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10. Re: Best neighborhood for weekend in Johannesburg?

i suggest Sandton, you will enjoy the variety of restaurants there. Try the Garden Court Hotel West Street, which is in walking distance to the Gautrain station. It is also close to Nelson Mandela square where all the open air restaurants are situated. From this point you are centrally situated. You can take the Gautrain to Rosebank on Sunday to visit the Rosebank Sunday Market which has stalls of handcrafted goods and tasty meals. In sandton you can visit the Museum on Alfred Nobel which is situated next to Montego Bay Restaurant (try this place for excellent oysters and seafood) and is on the Square. On Saturday, you could take a taxi ride (negotiate beforehand with the driver) to take you to the Neighbourgoods Market which is in Juta Street, Braamfonten. It is open from 9 to 3pm. i was there yesterday with a client (who just loved it!) there are stalls selling a variety of very tasty meals, from Samoosas, Bunny Chows, Hamburgers,Organic Wines, cupcakes, Micro Brewery Beer plus lots more to suit your taste, and an open deck upstairs with music. It really gets pumping - we arrived around 12pm and the atmosphere was electric - safe area. On Sunday you can get a taxi to take you to Arts on Main - another market which is open only on a Sunday.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris