Summer sorta rolled in faster than I expected, and then suddenly we were in December, and then I found myself thinking: So what’s cool to do in the coming weeks in Jozi?
Sadly, I firstly drew blanks because I’ve mostly been hiding under a rock called work. So just in case you’ve been feeling the same, I’ve put together a list of five great things to do in Jozi these holidays and beyond, because I’m nice like that…
Inside the Grand Bazaar of the Oriental Plaza.
Samoosa hopping at Oriental Plaza
I woke up pretty early a few days ago to meet up with Heather from 2Summers. She had organised an opportunity to take photos within the Oriental Plaza, which is usually prohibited. I haven’t been here in forever, but it was so much fun to walk around, talk to the different vendors and take in all the smells.
When it comes to samoosas, most of the people in our group had a strict favourite as to where they opt to buy these triangled treats. I have two – Golden Peacock is my number one choice, I find their mince samoosas unbeatable. They’re a good size, have a wonderful stuffing and aren’t too greasy.
Just to the left lies samoosa heaven here.
The second favourite of mine is World of Samoosas for their coconut samoosas. Here, the samoosas are a little smaller and the coconut guys are a good dessert snack when taking a break from shopping.
The neon signage of World of Samoosas makes sure you won’t miss it.
Spotted on Bolton Road
Park Corner is definitely Joburg’s hottest new hot spot. After a complete revamp, the building on the corner of Jan Smuts and Bolton Road houses some tasty eateries, an artisan liquor shop, a secret bar (I believe) and a barber with a bar.
Al fresco dining makes for great people watching at Bolton Road Collection. Image supplied.
We’ve popped into Bolton Road Collection two or three times for a meal and absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend popping in on the first Thursday of the month, when all the galleries up the block along Jan Smuts Avenue are open for First Thursdays. Grab a table right at one of the large, open windows and do some people watching!
The incredible mural by Sonny which covers the side of Park Corner is meant to raise awareness around endangered animal populations. A series of prints will be sold overseas too. Image supplied
I have always been a firm fan of the City Sightseeing Bus. If you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ll definitely have seen the big red topless buses rolling around Joburg’s inner city and Joburg South though! For me, this is the absolute best way to get around Jozi during the day, and they’ve even launched a new Green Route that traverses the leafy northern suburbs.
Johannesburg really does appear to be an urban jungle right? Image supplied
My favourite stops includes Constitution Hill, Carlton Centre and the Apartheid Museum. Bonus! There is an additional route through Soweto, so you really can see it all!
Alessio’s favourite perspective from the top of Carlton Centre. Image: Alessio La Ruffa
Visit the neighbours
When Alessio and I first started dating, I used to hop on the Gautrain to visit him rather than braving the traffic. The journey is pretty quick, but you can’t help feel like you’re going somewhere new and exciting!
Empty Pretoria streets shortly after sunrise.
Pigeons at Church Square.
Pretoria is such an incredible city, and it is completely underrated, but I only really discovered that when I actually started staying over for weekends and visiting the antique stores, charming restaurants and other beautiful sites.
One of the best ways to see the city is sign up for a walking tour with The Louwkuls, Adriaan and Nadja Louw are big Pretoria loyalists and Adriaan’s architecture background makes him an interesting source for what exactly is happening across the city. He also pretty much has an open invite to most of the empty building and you’ll more than likely end up on a rooftop.
Tant Koek by Hannelie Coetzee, seen on a Pretoria walk.
Read more about the Pretoria Antique Route in the new series on The Louwkuls. Image: Adriaan Louw.
Celebrate New Year’s twice
I am not a fan of New Year. In fact, I could think of nothing more dull than sitting around at a random house party for midnight. But if you choose the celebrate Chinese New Year, the festivities start early in the day and there is dim sum, which makes everything right with the world.
Prepping for the all-important moment of the dragon. Image: Alessio La Ruffa.
The original China Town of Johannesburg on Commissioner Street, Ferreirastown, is over a century old and the descendants of the original Chinese immigrants who settled here are still there today. The streets are blocked off, authentic Chinese street food is on the go on every corner, tables line the pavements with plastic tablecloths, and dancing dragons are the order of the day.
Chinese New Year will take place on 28 January 2017. Did I mention there was dim sum?
Planning on visiting Johannesburg this summer? Why not take a little look-see through the great accommodation options available on SA-Venues.com.
Lanterns and lights at Chinese New Year.
This post has been sponsored by SA-Venues.com, but all these ideas are my own and have been tried and tested several times. Have fun!