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Where to stay in Johannesburg – the best places to rest your head

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A sprawling metropolis, there are simply hundreds of places to stay, be it for the traveling businessman on the company card or a backpacking student on a strict budget. Divided into districts, the city is a little easier to navigate, with each neighborhood boasting its own character, charm and atmosphere.

Peter Thompson

My Destination local expert on

Johannesburg

Johannesburg CBD

 

A now vastly improved tourist destination, the city center is jam packed with people and cars in the day. Once evening settles, the many bars and restaurants light up with culture and chatter as people from all over the city flood across Mandela Bridge to enjoy the nightlife. Bustling and busy, the few good places to stay – Braamfontein, Newtown and the Maboneng precinct – are more suited to the young traveler who doesn’t mind occasionally being woken up by revellers. The CBD is vastly improved, but it is still not a good idea to walk. Taxis are a much safer and quicker option.

 

Hotels in Johannesburg CBD

 

Hotel options are admittedly more limited than in other districts. However, the few hotels that are to be found here are superb. These hotels take advantage of the old but beautiful architecture found scattered through the CBD and transform them into strikingly artistic hubs which provide a cultural pulse for the city. Loud and exciting, these are best suited for the young traveler or travelers.

 

Northern Suburbs

 

The relocation of much of Johannesburg's financial sector to the northern suburbs has led to a large number of new developments in the past few years. These include new shopping centers, boutique hotels and restaurants. The northern suburbs of Parktown, Killarney and Hyde Park are all safe, quiet and beautiful neighborhoods. Parktown's architecture harks back to its mining origins, Rosebank is recommended for keen shoppers and Melrose is a leafy suburb that offers colonial-style architecture and walking to shops and restaurants.

 

Hotels in the Northern Suburbs

 

The Northern Suburbs host a multitude of smart boutique hotels best suited for the couple on a romantic getaway. This area is a short drive from some of the best restaurants in the city and a variety of spas can be found for the ultimate in relaxation. Safe and quiet, it is ideal for long, romantic strolls and quiet nights in with a fire.

 

Sandton

 

Sandton has grown astronomically over the past few years. Today, the district is crammed full of hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops and is perhaps the most tourist friendly area of the city. It has a large wealthy residential population, with gated communities becoming increasingly popular – but this can be, for some visitors, its downfall, as it can lack the character that can be found in Johannesburg's less-developed suburbs.

 

Hotels in Sandton

 

Being the heart of Johannesburg with easy access from the airport – with connecting motorways and the new addition of the Gautrain making it just 16 minutes from O.R Tambo airport – there are plenty of options to choose from when staying. Both boutique hotels and cozy backpackers are available, though it is probably most suited to the family traveler as restaurants, parks and shops are directly on your doorstep.