City Slicker’s Guide to 48 Hours in Johannesburg

I know it’s seems ironic to be giving advice from one city slicker to another, but we all know Capetonians are petrified of Joburg. I visited last month, even though I had no idea what things to do in Joburg, and genuinely had a great time!

The weather was absolute perfection (sorry Cape Town, but spring in Joburg really is special. Subtext – NO WIND!), the alcohol was WAY more affordable and their reputation for friendly people was upheld.

While I thought we’d hire a car in Joburg, we ended up using public transport (which was a win and a fail, more on that later) and making it out alive.

So as a little nod to the City of Gold, here’s how we spent 48 hours in the city on our gal pals’ weekend away.

Fly Out Saturday Morning

The older I get, the less interested I am in the Friday night rush. I’m tired at the end of the week and I often drag that energy into the evening’s activity. My first recommendation is to get a good night’s rest on Friday night and fly out on Saturday morning.

I had previously won a voucher for Thrifty (when I won the best Lifestyle Blog at the Travel Blog Awards) and discovered they’ve rebranded to SANI, a brand new car hiring service with locations all over South Africa.

In the end though, we ended up using the Gautrain – which was a win and a fail (more on that later).

Stay in Sandton

Everyone known Sandton is the “posh” suburb in Joburg but WHY DOESN’T IT HAVE ANY STREET LIGHTS!? HAHA! This was THE weirdest thing in Joburg. We kept thinking it was loadshedding meanwhile none of the streetlights actually work!

Nonetheless, it was super central and our stay at the Southern Sun Sandton was super affordable – R600 per night, per person, including breakfast. We had two rooms next to one another, which was very convenient, and helped us feel more safe.

Have a Meaningful Saturday Night

For our evening, we went through to Pretoria for the National TV Awards! My friend, Max, just won Taste Master SA and it was nominated for best unscripted TV show. We had decided to 1) Stay in Joburg, not Pretoria and 2) Use a Bolt, not hire a car.

  1. This was a good choice as it offered an easier exit on Monday morning.
  2. This was a bad choice as the Bolt had ZERO AIRCON!

So here’s four girls, dressed to the nines, sitting for 40 minutes in a Bolt all the way to Pretoria in stinking hot weather. It was a laugh but you may want to reconsider this.

Explore a Few Bars

It wouldn’t be us if we weren’t on the look out for a little boogie. What was weird about Joburg was how bad the music was! They literally played pop songs from the 2010’s NUMEROUS times in numerous venues. That’s VERY different to Cape Town where music is always electronic and current.

(Also, there were strangely no drum n bass parties on this particular weekend.)

We struggled to find a few decent places, but were keen on not going to overboard, just out of safety. In the end, we ended up at the Greenhouse in Sandton, which was the best spot and close to our hotel.

Sunday Brunch or Poolside Cocktails?

Unfortunately, this time we didn’t end up hitting any restaurants because the buffet at the hotel was suffient. We did, however, pop over to the Radisson Blu and order a few cocktails, a few snacks and had a lovely swim over lunch. The views were gorgeous, would recommend!

Sunday Funday at Katy’s Palace Bar

After lunch we had a little chill and gym session and then headed up for a sundowner. Katy’s Palace Bar was recommended us to, which I was extremely skeptical of simply because of the bizarre name. But, it turned out to be an epic venue with (FINALLY) some decent house music! And sunset was absolutely gorgeous, the liquor was super affordable, 10/10 – would return.

Sunday Night or Monday Morning Flight?

The time of your flight is in the morning will inform how late you stay out. We looked at a couple of restaurants but opted to just get room service and chill. I’m NOT a morning person so I was worried about getting the airport shuttle on time so I had an early one.

48 Hours in Joburg

I have to give Joburg its dues and say the people were really lovely, the value for money was fantastic and the weather was untouchable! Dare I say it – I WOULD RETURN! In fact, I’m saving up Discovery Miles now to make it happen. It really was a lovely weekend away

When was the last time you were in Joburg and was great finds did you discover?

Is This Helpful?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.