Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Johannesburg

Fri Dec 3, 2010 9:00am EST
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By Agnieszka Flak

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters Life!) - Pairing a gold rush legacy with a metropolitan vibe, Joburg or "Jozi," as South Africa's economic hub is known to many of its residents, is rugged and chaotic, yet strangely irresistible at the same time.

A city of migrants, Johannesburg boasts a mix of African and European cultures that tempt the senses and have led to the emergence of South Africa's "Afropolitan" style.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help you to get the most out of a stay in this daring yet fascinating city. Most places are safe to walk around during the day. But you should rely on taxis when touring by dark and watch your wallet!


1 p.m. - Start with a late lunch at the small restaurant at Arts on Main (, a unique blend of shops and galleries tucked away in a converted warehouse in the heart of the city. The century-old building is home to local bohemians and pays tribute to the city's efforts to regenerate old historic sites and attract residents back to the center of the metropolis.

2:30 p.m. - Take a stroll through downtown Joburg. Start with the farmhouses of local Boer landowners, the Guildhall Pub (probably the city's oldest drinking spot), then off to the Rissik Street Post Office, one of Joburg's grand landmarks, and the old Park Station. Walk around the city's original center in Ferreirasdorp and Marshalltown and take in its impressive mix of architecture, including art deco buildings and more modernist styles. Take a ride across the Nelson Mandela Bridge and tour Constitution Hill, a former prison and now home to the country's Constitutional Court.

4 p.m. - If you are a bookworm or just looking for some info on the local culture, a visit to the Boekehuis bookshop in Auckland Park is a must. You can browse for books in the warm century-old house, with pressed ceiling and fireplaces, or enjoy a coffee and slice of homemade pastries in the garden coffee shop. Check out The Joburg Book -- a fantastic guide to the city's history, people and places.

6 p.m. Grab an early dinner at the Troyeville Hotel (, known for its outstanding Portuguese fare including chicken livers, prawns and sardines.   Continued...

<p>Cityscape of Johannesburg in South Africa, a venue of the 2010 World Cup, February 18, 2010. REUTERS/</p>