When last did you do something really different in your own city? It’s time to explore a little further than your favourite coffee shop, local shopping mall and neighbourhood running route. We’re talking new places, unexpected adventures, fresh foodie experiences, outdoor explorations and so much more! Next time you have some down time, try out some of these inspiring activities and trendy hotspots in Jozi. Better yet, why not make a night of it? Our fantastic range of Protea Hotels are perfectly located in and around the city, so you’ll always be close to the action.
SWEAT IT OUT SOMEWHERE SCENIC
Find a slice of countryside in the city at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam. Well-paved paths surrounded by peaceful lakes and lush plant life are perfect for a brisk walk, challenging run or fun bike ride. Zoo Lake is also a great place to get active in the great outdoors. Have a furry friend? Take him for a jog in dog-friendly Walkhaven or traverse the hilly terrain of sprawling Delta Park. For a run that’s as challenging as it is scenic, head up to Munro Drive that starts at an altitude of 1768m and follow a winding road above the tree tops overlooking the city. To really get your heart racing, take a jog up the steep Westcliff Steps. Located in one of Joburg’s most beautiful old suburbs, this 210-step challenge is a great way to stay fit in the city.
HAVE A CULINARY MOMENT
Start your day in trendy Melville at Bread and Roses Café and Bistro where freshly baked treats, fabulous coffee and a cool corner café vibe await. Don’t forget to try one of their famous freshly squeezed juices served chilled in a generous jam jar. Vegan more your thing? Head to The Pudding Shop in Parktown North for a fantastic fresh selection of delicious breakfasts and sweet treats.
Located on Kyalami Boulevard, Café Hemingway’s is an eclectic artisan bistro with a fine dining twist. Pop in for a relaxing lunch on the deck, followed by a taste of their to-die-for home-made cakes and desserts. For something a little spicier, swing by Perron in trendy Illovo for some authentic Mexican fare.
Located in the ever-so-stylish Melrose Arch Precinct, Mezepoli offers shared Greek mezze plates with an extensive wine list that will impress even the most discerning foodies. For some Italian flair, dine al fresco at The Eatalian in Parkmore.
Tucked away in the Illovo Post Office Centre, The Patisserie serves up a slice of Paris in the heart of Jo’burg. Indulge in decadent pastries, cakes and confectionery over a frothy cappuccino, then take home a few frosted petit fours for later. For what is likely to be your most memorable cup of coffee ever, head to the brand new Grind Coffee Company in Melrose Arch and sample the ultra-indulgent macchiato served inside an ice-cream cone.
DO SOMETHING ADVENTUROUS
If you’re looking for all-out adventure just outside the city, Hartebeespoort Dam and its surrounds should be at the top of your list. Hop on the Harties Cableway for panoramic views of the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains and Hartbeespoort Dam. Go on a leisurely cruise or thrilling speed boat ride with Sunshine Boat Cruises. Nearby is the rushing Crocodile River where you can go white water rafting and abseiling with Mobile Adventures. For heart-racing underground excitement at the Cradle of Humankind, go caving and abseiling with Wild Cave Adventures. Not keen on caves? Experience the air up there on a panoramic hot air balloon ride with Air Ventures or Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris.
Back on land is the gorgeous Mountain Sanctuary Park nestled in the Magaliesberg Mountains. Hike and mountain bike across over 1000 hectares of rolling landscape. Quench your thirst from mineral mountain streams and take a dip in the refreshing natural pools.
For urban adventure, head to Orlando Towers in Soweto for thrilling bungee jumping, freefall, climbing, bridge swinging and abseiling. Bounce Trampoline Park in Midrand is an epic new spot to have fun while defying the laws of gravity.
YOUR NEXT BEST INSTAGRAM PIC IS RIGHT OVER HERE
Looking for an experience that’s easy on the wallet and the eyes? Take in some breathtaking views over the city atop Northcliff Hill. Go in the evening for a truly sparkling cityscape. Take a drive out to the Crocodile Ramble near Magaliesburg and wander past a fascinating array of art galleries, quaint country restaurants, craft markets, cultural villages and more. Take a stroll through James & Ethel Gray Park, where you’ll meet plenty of frolicking four-legged friends keen to get in on the selfie action. Sunrises at the park are also spectacular, so get their early for a truly stunning photo shoot. For breathtaking 360⁰ views of the city, head up the lofty Johannesburg Observatory where you can see as far as the Voortrekker Monument all the way in Pretoria.
EXPLORE A NEIGHBOURHOOD THROUGH A TOURIST’S EYES
Out and about in Maboneng
This collaborative hub of culture, art and lifestyle is a must for anyone in search of a real inner-city experience. Check out the Market on Main for a delicious melting pot of international and local food. Eat Your Heart Out at the vibrant Fox Street Studios. Catch a flick at the Bioscope Independent Cinema. Grab a delicious smoothie at Uncle Merve’s Original Shakes and so much more! You can easily spend a whole day here.
Don’t miss the famous Neighbourgoods Market every Saturday, where you’ll find everything from farm fresh food, craft beer, fresh-cut flowers and a totally trendy vibe. Swing by Olives and Plates for an unforgettable brunch, then head to industrial-inspired Bean There Coffee roastery on 44 Stanley for your java fix.
If you’re looking for 24-hour excitement, the lively suburb of Melville is your best bet. By day, this boho café-style village offers an array of quirky shops, bistros, antiques, bookstores and vintage clothing. At night, it transforms into a pumping party scene, with students from nearby Wits and UJ flocking to the many bars and clubs for a big night out. Swing by famous Sewende Laan. Try the Lucky Bean for authentic South African bistro fare. Roxy’s Rhythm Bar is a classic favourite for live music lovers. Browse the Melville Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Then go for a late night snack at Catz Pyjamas open 24/7.
The Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is a great place to get into nature away from the crowds. This World Heritage Site gives a historic glimpse into Gauteng’s natural history, and is a great place to take a stroll or a more strenuous walk along rugged hiking trails.
Every Jo’burger worth their salt has either been to or at least heard of 4th Avenue in Parkhurst. A lively sidewalk café culture combines with boutique fashion and interior design to create a must-see destination for locals and tourists alike. Get your burger fix at The Wolfpack, find your new favourite dish at Craft, or head to the Jolly Roger for some late night drinks and party vibes.