Lebo’s Joburg

I love Joburg and have done since I was 15 (I’m from the Free State) but the truth is that I’ve always loved the city at a distance. I loved it but it scared me, which is why a weekend in the city organized by the Johannesburg City Tourism Association was such a win. I finally got to experience all the things I’ve always told people I love about Joziburg; the people, food, parties, views and the overwhelming feeling that you are in the most exciting city in the world.


Food and Accommodation
•    I stayed at the lovely Parktonian Hotel on De Korte Street, so old school and perfect. It reminded me of holiday trips to Durban as a child and staying at one of the beach front hotels, lovely breakfast and slow elevators.
•    We ate at the Gold Mine Café on the ground floor of the Reef Hotel in Marshalltown. The restaurant is inspired by Joburg long mining past. The décor is really beautiful, white with rustic touches.







Culture Highlights
•    We were treated to a performance by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra on the footsteps of the Rand Club, one of the city’s oldest buildings and one of the most visually charming around. The JPO was an out of sight, out of mind experience for me. I am reminded how extraordinary they are every time I see them perform.
•    The Maboneng walking tour which was led by our tour guide Bheki. Along the many stops was a viewing of the precincts 12 Decades Hotel where each room is inspired by a decade in South Africa’s history.  My personal favourite is the decade between 1916 and 1926. The room is called the Mining Haus and depicts Joburg’s heady gold-rush. The rest of Maboneng was of course awesome but I must admit I always feel a tinge of middle-class guilt that we get to visit such a pretty bubble.
•    We also journey to the top of Carlton Centre to experience the views of the whole city. Yes, everyone has done it but nothing beats your first time. If you haven’t seen all four of the city’s corners from that height you really must do yourself a favour and go see it.
•    I must admit I had never heard of Joburg’s Fashion District before the weekend but I’m glad that I’ve finally caught up. It’s located in the inner city (about 15 minutes from Carlton Centre).  We were treated to a fashion show by students from Sew Africa Training Centre. I sat next to a very interesting man, Obakeng, a chef whose friend was judging the fashion show. Our conversation is the reason I love about this town, it’s full of interesting people. We spent 20 minutes debating the merits of social media and personal branding and if it makes you shallow if you care about either.








•    Joburg certainly doesn’t have a shortage of stunning roof-top bars. We visited no less than three during the weekend, the Parktonian, the Reef Hotel and Apprentice Penthouse Apartment at Corner House. My personal favourite was the Parktonian’s roof top which almost wraps itself around the whole of the top building.
The tour was a great reminder that there is way more Joburg than the north and that it’s up to you to get your friends together and plan an amazing night out in the inner city. All those fears for safety are just collective hysteria about the unknown. Town is hot, happening and just waiting to be explored.

For more information on our lovely, lovely city visit: www.jcta.co.za

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