Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. The city is flourishing. Its centre is smartening up and new loft apartments and office developments are being constructed at a rapid pace. The cultural district of Newtown, with its theatres, restaurants, museums and jazz clubs, is livelier than ever. Other inner city suburbs like Braamfontein and Doornfontein continue to gentrify since the World Cup and now house the coolest club, bars and cultural spaces.
A thriving black middle class has risen up from the ashes of apartheid, both in the suburbs and in the famous township of Soweto.
However, the wealth divide remains stark. The affluenza of Rosebank and Sandton breeds discontent in desperately poor, neighbouring townships such as Alexandra and Diepskloot. Politicians stagnate while crime continues to disrupt daily life.
Still, Jo’burg is an incredibly friendly, unstuffy city and there’s a lot to see here, from sobering reminders of the country’s recent past at the Apartheid Museum to the progressive streets of Melville.
Best places to stay in Johannesburg
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Illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. The museum uses film, text, audio and live accounts to provide a chilling insight into the architecture and implementation of the apartheid system, as well as inspiring accounts of the struggle towards democracy.
Johannesburg Tour: Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre Observation Deck and Soweto Bike Ride
See Johannesburg city sights in the morning and then pedal your way around Soweto – the city’s vibrant township from where Nelson Mandela hails. Led by a friendly guide, your full-day tour starts with a visit to the Carlton Centre’s 50th floor for dramatic city vistas, and then continues inside Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum to learn about the country’s complex history.
The ‘South West Townships’ have evolved from an area of forced habitation to an address of pride and social prestige.
Johannesburg Super Saver: Soweto Sightseeing Tour plus Johannesburg Sightseeing Tour
With this Johannesburg Super Saver, you'll get to best-selling tours at one discounted price. Spend the morning in Soweto, get an insight into South Africa's turbulent past. See two former Nobel Prize winners' previous residences, the Hector Peterson memorial and Freedom Square. In the afternoon enjoy a 3.
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