Still need convincing? Here are our reasons to visit Johannesburg
Travelmood travel expert Orlagh’s first trip to Johannesburg, with its vibrant neighbourhoods, magnificent historical monuments and colourful markets, did not disappoint. From discovering all there is to know about Nelson Mandela to sampling some of South Africa’s finest produce, she had a wonderful time getting to know this breath-taking country and its charming inhabitants. Here she outlines her top reasons to visit Johannesburg…
Friendly and developing city
After years of decline and decay, Johannesburg has emerged brighter and better than ever before. The city has been completely developed in recent years, with stylish apartment and office blocks popping up at an unbelievable rate and a host of cultural institutions awaiting visitors. The inner city was once a no-go area for tourists but is now teeming with must-visit attractions and monuments. I felt completely safe throughout my recent trip and would have no qualms recommending Jo’burg to Travelmood customers. Johannesburg’s inhabitants are hospitable and proud at all times, offering to help you out if you appear lost and sharing stories of their beautiful country.
Discover South Africa’s enthralling history
Johannesburg is the perfect place to get to grips with South Africa’s traumatic history and learn about its inspirational figures – amazingly, Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are both from Vilakazi Street in the nearby township of Soweto! If you’re feeling active, head on a cycling tour of Soweto and check out the mighty Hector Peterson memorial, which was erected to commemorate the casualties of the Soweto uprising in 1976.
One of the top reasons to visit Johannesburg for me was visiting the Apartheid Museum – a harrowing but extremely worthwhile experience. The museum uses film, text and audio to relay the rise and fall of segregation and oppression in South Africa. It’s incredible how recent significant events took place – as recent as the 1990s! Future visitors can look forward to seeing pieces donated from Nelson Mandela’s family.
Reasons to visit Johannesburg – Mouth-watering food and drink
No matter where you go in South Africa, scrumptious eats and rich, full-bodied wines are guaranteed. Meat lovers will have plenty to smile about – the country is famous for its love of ‘braai’, a type of barbecue that involves plenty of spices. I’m quite a fussy eater but I had plenty to whet my palette every day, from the incredible buffet-style breakfast at my resort to the curries, puddings and meats you can find throughout the city’s vibrant streets. Johannesburg is also surrounded by lush wineries where you can learn about the intricate fermentation process. Kicking back with a glass of Chenin Blanc or Shiraz and taking in the spell-binding landscapes is an experience not to be missed!
Reasons to visit Johannesburg – Great value for money
One of the best reasons to visit Johannesburg is how affordable it is! The price of food and drink tends to be about half of what we pay here in Ireland. You can take advantage of the city’s wealth of fantastic attractions, restaurants and nightlife, without breaking the bank. The Sunday markets are a fantastic place to pick up locally made crafts, artisan foods and colourful souvenirs for unbelievable prices. For this reason, I would definitely recommend the city to budget-conscious honeymooners who fancy something more than just the beach on their romantic getaway. Combine a stint in Johannesburg with a stay in tranquil Mauritius for the best of both worlds.
It’s easy to see why Johannesburg has captured my heart – its beautiful scenery, impressive museums, amazing food and low prices guarantee a wonderful getaway. If there’s one thing I would change about my recent stay it would be to lengthen it!