Johannesburg represents the heart of South Africa. It is a city in a state of constant progression with a booming centre made up of newly built apartments and office complexes. The inner city has recently undergone an urban regeneration project bringing an influx of cultural surprises to resident and visitor alike.
The best time to travel
Johannesburg is blessed with a very good climate. It is warm annually, with hot summers and cool, bearable winters. There are a number of public holidays including Freedom day, which takes place on the April 27, and Heritage Day, when many parties and events are celebrated on September 24. The Johannesburg Beer Festival is held over the first two weeks of October. December 31st plays host to the Johannesburg Carnival.
Things to note about Johannesburg
Make sure that your passport is valid for up to 30 days after leaving South Africa. Also, you must have 2 blank pages available upon both entering and exiting the country. For British passport holders, no visas are required for tourist visits of up to 90 days.
In terms of medical preparation, it is worth checking with your GP to find out about any necessary vaccinations before setting off.
Unfortunately, a visit to Johannesburg requires some safety measures. The city, despite its recent boom, still has a high crime rate. For this reason, visitors are reminded that minibus taxis should be avoided and in cases of robbery or assault, it is best to comply with attackers' demands and avoid self-defence.
Johannesburg is affordable, working out at approximately half the price of London. The city lies in the SAST (UTC or GMT +2) timezone, which is an hour ahead of the UK in Summer and 2 hours ahead in Winter.
Local Transport and Johannesburg Accommodation
To travel from the airport to the city centre, the "Gautrain" is the best option. A single ticket costs around 125 ZAR, plus 12 ZAR for the Gautrain Card. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the centre. A taxi is comparatively more expensive, costing approximately 400 ZAR. A night in a guesthouse or hostel ranges from about 300 ZAR, with 3-star hotels available from around the 700 ZAR price range. In terms of public transport, buses (metrobus) are the best option to get around. They are inexpensive, costing only 10 ZAR per single ticket.