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A city founded on gold-mining, it’s no surprise that Johannesburg is a center of economic wealth. However, the success of Johannesburg not only lies in commerce, but in culture as well. Despite being set in a Savannah, a trip to Johannesburg will bring you to one of the world’s largest urban forests. Stark contrasts lie between neighbourhoods where the rich live in high-security compounds while the poor live in undesirable homes. With a population so diverse in background and affluence, there is no dominative language, though English is a common language. So what is Johannesburg? A city of contradictions. A trip to Johannesburg will show you the two sides of South Africa: urban and natural.
- To learn the history of Johannesburg and SA, the Apartheid Museum is unmissable.
- Constitution Hill is key attraction to visit in Johannesburg, where Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were once held.
- Maboneng is the hip neighbourhood right now and Arts on Main is an up-and-coming art center come Sunday Market.
- Mary Fitzgerald Square, and the adjacent Jazz Walk of Fame, is the place to start exploring central Johannesburg.
- The Carlton Center is the tallest building in Africa. Shop on the lower floors or shoot up to the top for the observation deck.
- The City Hall is a beautiful example of colonial architecture.
- Get active and head to Zoo Lake where you can run, paddle and row your way around the busy park.
- You can holiday in Johannesburg at any time of year, thanks to a great climate. Though summer months of December and January are especially beautiful.
- Beware of petty crime and avoid walking alone or in small groups at night time.
- Tourists are recommended to drink bottled water, though tap water is safe.
- If you plan to visit townships such as Soweto, take a guided tour.
- Using public transport isn’t recommended but tour buses, taxis and rental cars are all good options.