48 Hour Guide for Johannesburg

48 Hour Guide for Johannesburg

Johannesburg is quite possibly one of the greatest examples of a multi-cultural, multilingual and mutli-racial societies in the world.

Contrary to its crime-riddled reputation, I truly believe that it's one of the best cities for life as an expact.  Existing as the economic powerhouse of Africa, the city has something to offer for everyone.

And so, without further ado, here is my 48 hour guide to Jo'burg:

 

Friday:

3pm: Kick off your weekend in Jo'burg with a visit to the Apartheid Museum.  Although it's a difficult place to experience emotionally, it will move you immensely and provide an extensive overview of South Africa's haunted past.  The museum is designed to be experiential and you'll feel as though you're re-living the story of aparthied yourself.

6pm: Enjoy an Argentinean-inspired meal at Che Argentine Grill, located right in the heart of the city near the trendy Maboneng Precinct.  In true Argentine style, they're best known for their meat dishes, which are cooked on a wood-fired grill in the center of the restaurant.

9pm: Walk one block down to Kitcheners, the preferred watering hole of Jo'burg's ever-growing hipster crowd.  Take in the contagious atmosphere and enjoy one of South Africa's local beers.

 

Saturday:

9am: Head straight to Salvation Cafe at 44 Stanley Ave for the best breakfast in town.  You can't go wrong with their breakfast burritos or the poached eggs florentine.  Afterwards, spend an hour or two browsing through the trendy boutiques, galleries and bookstores in the area.  A lot of local designers rent shops along 44 Stanley, so if you're looking for a unique piece of 'proudly South Africa' clothing or jewellery, this is the place to be.

2pm: Hop over to the Sterkfontein Caves for one of their hourly cave tours.  These caves were declared a world heritage site in 2000 and are world renowned for housing well-preserved hominid fossils, including a human skull dating back 2.1 million years and an almost complete human skeleton dating back 3 million years.  Have a bite to eat at their restaurant before joining the 4pm tour.

7pm: Also in Muldersdrift, head to Casa Linga for what is likely to be your best meal in Jo'burg.  Just remember to make a reservation in advance because they don't allow walk-ins.  Be sure to opt for the carpaccio as a starter and you really can't go wrong with any of their mains.  Everything is fabulous.  Another tip: when you make your reservation request a table in the main dining hall next to the fireplace.

9pm: If you feel up to it, check-out Greenside for after dinner drinks and an upbeat atmosphere.  My favorite bar in the area is The Office.

 

Sunday:

9am: Stop for breakfast at the Service Station in the quirky suburb of Melville.  Be prepared for crowds, as this is perhaps the most popular breakfast spot in the entire city.  The menu changes periodically and is written on a large chalkboard.  Believe me when I say that their scrambled eggs are pure melt-in-your-mouth magic.

10am: Head to the Maboneng Precinct in the inner city for the weekly Arts on Main market.  Enjoy browsing the local food stalls for everything from Ethiopian to Mediterranean cuisine.  There are also some pretty tasty red velvet cupcakes and nutella brownies for sale.

11am: After ordering lunch (and dessert) from one of the market food stalls, walk outside to check-in for your Picnic in the Sky tour (be sure to buy tickets in advance). Set your food in one of the provided picnic baskets and then catch a taxi with your group and head towards the Carlton Centre (the tallest building in Johannesburg).  Take the lift to the top and follow the local guides around the building for a quick bird's eye tour of the city before enjoying lunch with a view.  Note: this will without a doubt be the highlight of your trip to Jo'burg.

2pm: Race to Soweto for a bicycle tour of South Africa's largest township.  Although the area is living proof of the detrimental effect that the old apartheid regime had on the nation, it's also a symbol of hope for the new South Africa and displays a rapidly growing middle class.  Round off your Josi weekend with a bang on Vilakazi Street where you can take a tour of Nelson Mandela's house.

 

Travel Trip Shared by Jenna Finch - A Home Away From Home

 

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