Johannesburg, South Africa
Sheena, 30
Yoga Teacher
see her Johannesburg city guide

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vegetarian art galleries yoga parks viewpoints designer clothes

Do’s and don’ts in Johannesburg: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Just have your wits about you. Stow away your tech and wallet safely. I say this as someone who was pickpocketed in Europe. It's something to be aware of in Joburg; it's something to be aware of outside Joburg too. There have been incidents of cars pretending to be Ubers, so check license plates and make sure the driver says your name before getting in. Tip a minimum of 10% when eating out, and more if the service was good. Tip the petrol attendants too, and hotels may have their own individual policies. It's considered very rude not to tip due to the disparity in living conditions.

Which Johannesburg shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

There are amazing local designers in South Africa. Try Convoy Shop in Melville for curated local design. 44 Stanley is a fantastic spot to while away an afternoon. It has local clothing and accessory stores like Black Coffe, Lunar, Shirtmaker, House of Bespoke and Pichulik. There's also a great lifestyle spot called The Storer with decor, clothing, accessories, bath and body products and a plant and florist service.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

It's a toss up between Maboneng, Melville and Braamfontein for me.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I hate being that person who is negative about any part of my city but... Germinston and Benoni.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

I'd suggest La Boqueira or Momo Soko to my date..?

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Johannesburg?

The moment I drink I get hungry... so this question was made for me. Many kitchens close at around 22:00 hours in Joburg and there aren't a lot of 24 hour food options. But you can find Andiccio 24 stores throughout the city. They make pizza on a "multiple choice menu", so any pizza combination imaginable is possible there. Which can be risky when you're drunk. If all else fails, find a McDonald's drive-through.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

It honestly depends on the guest! I've taken aunts to galleries and shopping for handmade African arts and objects, I've taken friends for shisa nyama under the Orlando Towers before partying in Braamfontein, then I've taken others for yoga in the park and brunch in the suburbs. They've all been happy because it was an experience that appealed to them. And I think Joburg has something for everyone, but only if you look for it. It's not a city full of the obvious.

Your go-to brunch spots:

Brunch is my favourite meal by the way. Nice on 4th in Parkhurst do an amazing breakfast or brunch. Since I started eating plant based, I occasionally trek out to Leafy Greens Cafe for a treat. It's about 25km from central Joburg, but the buffet table of treats and the surrounding views make it worth the drive.

Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:

Dos Manos, a wood-fired pizzeria that's part of Pablo House, the guest house that in my opinion has THE best view in Johannesburg. Pablo House has views facing the Melville Koppies, the north-western suburbs of Johannesburg and all the way out to the Magaliesburg Mountains in the far distance. It may be mainstream, but Carlton Center does have spectacular 360 degree views of the city.

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

Try a local Indian takeaway to get great value for one (one portion generally feeds two people) without skimping on flavour. Look for places without white tablecloths. If you are into Indian food, try stopping in Fordburg - there so many amazing family-owned cafes and restaurants there to chose from.

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