No city has confounded its critics and doom sayers more than Johannesburg. After years of stagnation, the city centre is now a focus for urban regeneration and is experiencing something of a property boom as abandoned warehouses are converted for loft-style living.
The main tourist centre is the Newtown Cultural Precinct, which has the Market Theatre, Newtown Music Hall (a hugely popular jazz club), the recently opened Nelson Mandela Bridge and Museum Africa, as well as restaurants, shops and markets. The Melville area offers pavement cafes, bars and sophisticated nightlife.
Rosebank is the Covent Garden of Johannesburg, with stylish shopping malls, quality markets selling craftwork, antiques, jewellery, clothes, fabrics and curios from all over Africa, art galleries, art-house cinemas and an eclectic mix of over 200 restaurants and coffee shops.
There is more for the tourist to see and do around Joburg now. The acclaimed Apartheid Museum - where you experience South Africa’s unhappy past and participate in an uplifting journey to understanding freedom and equality - is the city’s leading attraction. There is the new state-of-the-art visitor centre at the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site in the Sterkfontein Valley, where dolomitic limestone caves have produced nearly half of the world’s hominid fossil discoveries.
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