Johannesburg, South Africa

Why Johannesburg?
A history of struggle and restless spirit is a mix that makes for an essential destination.
A city of lights and stories, Johannesburg is a compelling destination. Getty Images

Frenetic, edgy and ever-changing, Johannesburg is the heartbeat of not just South Africa, but southern Africa. It will not be winning beauty contests any time soon, and it’s a miracle that this old mining hodgepodge with no river grew so big, but it is now the place where South Africa’s many languages meet, and work alongside each other.

It is a city of stories, but it’s also a hive of creativity. This is best seen in districts like Braamfontein and the Maboneng Precinct, where formerly dicey inner city landscapes have exploded with highly individual openings. Jo’Burg’s restless character is changing the city in interesting ways.

A comfortable bed

The key decision is whether to stay relatively central or seal yourself off in the affluent northern suburbs where the malls and best hotels are.

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