Love it or hate it, there is no denying that Johannesburg is the economic epicentre of South Africa. Anybody that is not from Jo’burg will probably tell you that it’s a big place - big money, big houses, big cars and big egos.
And while this may all be true, apart from being geographically big, there is also much to explore and enjoy on the urban scene. The Wallpaper* City Guide to Johannesburg, published by Phaidon, seeks out some of Jo’burg’s jewels. And being the “City of Gold”, the jewels are more than just cultural.
From the super chic urban venues, like Melrose Arch, to the more “arty” galleries, coffee shops and boutiques, following the guide gives you a good sense of what Jo’burg is about.
Johannesburg is one of the largest cities in the world not situated on a river, lake or coastline, so while it doesn’t have the natural charm and romanticism of a Cape Town, Prague or Paris, the harshness of the urban landscape has its own attraction. Think of the Hillbrow Tower, the Apartheid Museum and Soccer City Stadium.
The guide also has the facts, figures and other essential info that comes in handy when you’re from out-of-town. At the back there are also a few suggestions of where to go when you need to get out of Jozi. Maputo, the capital of neighbouring Mozambique, is a good one and Molori Safari Lodge is good if you need a reminder of what fresh air feels and smells like.