36 Hours in Johannesburg

Inspired by a blog post series I read by New York Times Travel, and aside from spending about 36 hours myself before flying out to Cape Town, I can now add my version.
Johannesburg is an international hub for travel considering it's the busiest airport in South Africa. The things I list are not limited to just the ones I was able to experience:

Free Walking Tour at Park Station
Park Station, also known as the last stop on the Gautrain was my starting and ending point two days in a row. Here, I was able to eat some Nando’s Peri Peri, and take the free walking tour that coincides with the CitySightSeeing Bus Tours.

Top of Africa Tower for Skyline
If you go to the top of the Transnet building (not without a small fee), you can see all of Johannesburg. They call it the Top of Africa because you can see all of Johannesburg from this Tower. It is truly a spectacular view and will crush any stereotype of South Africa being a poor country, or Africa being an impoverished continent.

Maboneng is considered the arts district. If you like Wynwood area of Atlanta or parts of Brooklyn, you will love this part of Johannesburg. Every Sunday there’s an open market, similar to the Eastern Market in Washington D.C.

The entire town is full of culture and is vivacious. It also a go-to place to eat. Home to the Orlando Towers (currently a popular bungee jumping spot) and where you can see the Apartheid Museum and the segregated township homes of the apartheid. This area is where Winnie Mandela called this city home for a very long time.

Mandela House
This is where Nelson Mandela lived most of his life before prison with his first wife Evelyn, and his second wife, Winnie, and for a short time after prison. Even though Nelson and Winnie had to move after he was released due to the paparazzi; the home became a museum.

Fashion District
I was informed by other travelers that this is the go to place if you wanted custom tailored outfits; so this is where I received my beautiful skirt. To my luck, I was able to find a perfectly fitting skirt for sale at a shop. You can also go here to find tailors to suit your need.

Sandton is considered the Wall Street of South Africa. They have two malls across the street from each other. One is called the Nelson Mandela Square; the other is Sandton. This is where I went when I wanted more of an American shopping vibe (Where else could I buy Clinique Facial Packs for both my husband and me for under $150??).

This is Mandela Country!

A photo posted by Zaakirah Nayyar (@illuminousone) on

Pretoria is little ways away from Johannesburg, but nonetheless, it is still accessible on Johannesburg's Gautrain (Pronounced hautrain)
My Airbnb host was kind enough to take me there to see the Union Building (where most laws and constitutions are formed) including Nelson Mandela when he was inaugurated as President.

Johannesburg is a huge city. Therefore every list of to-do’s in the city will never solely be the same. These areas are best able to get to by Uber. If you are a walker like me, by all means - you will get a workout with and without Google Maps.

 36 Hours in Johannesburg

36 Hours in Johannesburg

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