Its not ‘all work and no play’ in Johannesburg, here nine reasons why Jozi should be on your bucket list
Joburg has the unfair connotation of “work, work, work, work, work”, probably as a result of our indoctrination through South African soapies such as Egoli, Isidingo and7de Laan. And it probably doesn’t help that the hashtag #Johannesburg has 721,324 posts on Instagram vs 4,485,351 for #CapeTown – maybe that’s just because Capetonians are a little too #happy.
Sure the mine hills, smog covered skyscrapers and Summer thunderstorms give rise to many a thriller novel or miniseries, but if you know where to look or who to hang out with – Jozi can be a fleeting love affair with the artistic adventurer inside of you; the you you’ve reserved for varsity flashbacks when meeting friends for drinks. If you’re planning a trip or just want something to do on a weekend after the bustle here are some things the city has to offer.
1. A Saturday trip to The Neighbourgoods Market
The market is an ideal place to get a taste (excuse the pun) of all things Johannesburg – there’s an abundance of locally produced specialty foods & drinks and often where the community comes together to enjoy the sounds of different bands and the pulsating chatter of the crowds.
2. An evening drink on rooftop bar – Living Room
Situated in the vibrant precinct of Maboneng this little gem is perfect for lunch or sundowners.
3. A dip in the pool at Zoo Lake
Although usually a public pool would have me running in the opposite direction, I’m also always willing to try something at least once. And when the temperature ticks over the 36 degree mark there’s also little choice. Swimming pool admission: Adults: R12; Children R
4. Bungee off the Orlando Towers in Soweto
Something for the adrenaline junkies (Bungee Jump – R480) – Other activities are also available some for those that prefer keeping their feet firmly on the ground:Power Swing – R360; Abseiling/Rap jumping – R260; SCAD – R300; Paintball – R150 (100 balls); Rock climbing – R30.
5. Be seen at Taboo or Bassline
If you’re looking for good music and you’re in the north your best bet is Taboo. A luxurious club designed for rubbing shoulders with vips. And if you’re in the south a drop in at Bassline should be on the cards – Virtually every major South African music star has performed on a Bassline stage (as their website claims) so you’re bound to find a beat to bob your head to.
6. Get a milkshake or coffee at Uncle Merv’s in Maboneng
Although my only motivation for this could be the “Old Trafford” signage as part of the décor and charm.
7. Catch a movie at Bioscope Independent Cinema or something even more cultured at the Market Theatre
The indoor Bioscope sometimes host’s outdoor screenings as well, check their website to keep up to date of what’s showing. LOCATION:286 Fox Street. City and Suburban. Tel 011 039 7306. The Market Theatre also caters to a variety of genres; check their calendar for shows and times.
8. See who’s on the line-up for Kitchener’s Comedy Night or laugh your socks off at Goliath’s
Johannesburg is never short of funny men & women – and they have so many comedians as well. Situated in Melrose Arch Goliath’s Comedy Club would be your first choice to catch some of the biggest names in comedy. Kitchener’s hosts comedy nights every Tuesday and after the dj takes the floor.
9. Do a walking tour
It’s the best way to really take in all that Johannesburg has to offer in the CBD and surrounds – giving glimpses into history and present day life.
The thing about Jozi is that no matter what suburb you’re in you’re bound to find something interesting to do. Just gird your loins for the commute: from taxi rides through Auckland Park and Melville all the way across town to Sandton, many of them involving not-so-friendly hand gestures.