Johannesburg is full of surprises, packed with cultural and historical must-sees. To make the most of your business stopover in Joburg, lose yourself in the excitement of the city as you soak up the authentic atmosphere of its markets, refinement of its art galleries and elegance of its musical evenings. You won’t be disappointed with the trip.
The city is home to some very pleasant nocturnal hideaways where you can listen to jazz in a decadent setting. Rosebank, one of the wealthier neighbourhoods of Johannesburg, is home to many such haunts, and we highly recommend a stop at Katzy's. Immerse yourself completely in its retro ambience, where dark wood blends perfectly with brick-clad walls and old-school posters, and be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled into a bar in New York during the Prohibition era – such is the authenticity. But this is in fact the thriving heartbeat of the South African nightlife, where talented local musicians play jazz and blues until the early hours.
It’s practically impossible to leave Johannesburg without a colourful souvenir of some kind of creative craft, and there are many places to find them all over the city. In Amatuli, you’ll find a gigantic warehouse split across three levels. Hree, you’re sure to find that special shoe or trinket, as it houses many quintessential African crafts, at a low price on the market. Let your eyes rove between the many jewels, paintings, furniture and objects of all kinds – all hallmarks of South African inventiveness. The only thing to consider is that you might have to acquire a second suitcase to make room for all your new purchases!
If you want to discover the modern Johannesburg art scene, there’s nothing like this private institution dedicated to emerging talent. Take a stroll through this creative lair, where the immaculate walls starkly contrast with the unique creations on display. Enjoy the different paintings and photographs, in their mix of bright colours and more subdued hues, for a nice overview of the emerging contemporary artists of the country.
Beyond the fairly typical North American-business district look, the CBD is home to some historic places that are worth a detour. Start with the Top of Africa, a 223-metre tower (the highest on the African continent) for the most breathtaking views of the city. Then continue your walk over to the Grand Post Office monument for a snapshot of life in 1897, before strolling over to the Supreme Court located in the same district. If you’d like to know more about the origins of this neighbourhood and its growth over time, choose a guided tour with one of the local operators.