10 Reasons To Visit Johannesburg


Johannesburg, South Africa

The concierge team at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg offers their top 10 reasons to visit:

1. You get to stay at the only Four Seasons in southern Africa

At the only Four Seasons in southern Africa, you’ll get to enjoy the warm luxury and impeccable service you’ve become accustomed to. The Hotel is located in Westcliff, a leafy, affluent residential neighbourhood with excellent transport links to the rest of the city.

2. It’s the perfect safari stopover

Johannesburg is home to OR Tambo International – Africa’s busiest airport. With direct flights from six continents and a host of regional scheduled and charter connections, it’s the perfect starting point to your South African safari adventure. Catch your breath and recover from jet lag in this vibrant city first (we recommend a revitalising treatment at the sumptuous spa at Four Seasons) before heading to your lodge fully rejuvenated and able to make the most of your safari.

3. It’s a shopping mecca

When it comes to shopping, Joburg has it all. Max your card on stunning local fashion at 44 Stanley and Parkhurst or leading global luxury brands at Sandton City mall. For authentic African crafts, make your way to the Kim Sacks Gallery, or Amatuli. On the weekend, head to Neighbourgoods Market (Saturday) and Maboneng (Sunday) in the inner-city for delicious artisanal food and locally made design. Drawing an effortlessly hip and gorgeously diverse crowd, the markets are great for people-watching too! The city also has wonderful bookshops – visit Bridge Books for an excellent range of African titles; for obscure gems head to Book Dealers of Melville, while the nearby Love Books has a well-edited selection of cookbooks, children’s titles and literary fiction.

4. Its food scene is simply delicious

Once you’ve feasted on Farrel Hirsch’s exquisite cuisine (made with only the best local ingredients) at the acclaimed View restaurant at Four Seasons, it’s time to explore the exciting smorgasbord that is Joburg’s food scene. Head downtown to Urbanologi for haute tapas and craft beer, Marble for an open-fire restaurant experience, with an added pinch of true South African flair. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore what the continent has to offer at the intimate Yeoville Dinner Club with Chef Sanza Sandile in the gritty, vibrant Yeoville the neighbourhood.

5. The city has incredible weather

In summer, pleasantly warm days occasionally give way to dramatic late afternoon thunderstorms, and the sky is normally blue again in time for sundowners. In winter, days are typically bright and sunny, with cool nights. All in all, a climate hard to beat.

6. It’s home to one of the world’s largest urban man-made forests

Most first-time visitors are shocked by how lush and green Johannesburg is. Soak up the chlorophyll as you enjoy a cocktail at the relaxed eatery Flames at Four Seasons, which has sweeping views of the leafy northern suburbs. If you fancy getting under the canopy, enjoy a stroll around Zoo Lake, the manicured lawns of the Johannesburg Botanical Garden or the rambling grounds of the Johannesburg Zoo – which are all within minutes of the Hotel.

7. You can witness an extraordinary urban renaissance

Not long ago, Joburg’s city centre was a virtual no-go area – an epicentre of crime and decay. Happily, massive private and public sector investment, plucky entrepreneurship and a number of collaborative initiatives has seen a dramatic turnaround. Take a walking tour with Joburg Places and discover this renaissance on foot for yourself.

8. It’s got amazing museums

Discover an extraordinary, tempestuous and ultimately inspiring history at the city’s phenomenal museums. Learn about early human history at The Origins Centre. The Apartheid Museum gives a sweeping, highly moving account of the institutionalised racial oppression that dominated the 20th century. In Soweto, the Hector Pietersen Museum and the Mandela House Museum illuminate this period in greater detail – visit them as part of a bike tour with Lebo’s Backpackers or private tour with photo-journalist and township community friend Ilan Ossendryver.

9. The city is Africa’s leading performing arts and music hub

Johannesburg is absolutely bursting with cultural endeavour. Bop your head to jazz at The Marabi Club, stomp your feet to indie bands at The Good Luck Bar or take in cutting-edge drama at the Market Theatre. Four Seasons The Westcliff also hosts monthly performing arts events.

10. And let’s not forget the visual arts, either

Stunning visual arts are showcased at commercial galleries such as Stevenson and Kalashnikovv both 10 minutes away in buzzing Braamfontein, which is also home to the Wits Arts Museum. Slightly further away, the Maboneng Precinct, a revitalised area downtown, also has a number of galleries (including Agog and Hazard), artist studios and the David Krut printmaking workshop.