A Perfect Weekend in Braamfontein
When I lived in London, the concept of “A Mini break in the
city” was always being marketed to locals and tourists.
People would come spend a few days in London, stay 2 nights in a city hotel, go to the theatre, a
museum or two and generally soak up the atmosphere and culture of the city.
What surprises me about Jozi is that this is never really
seen as an option. When we have the chance to go away we all head out to the
bush (which is great but why not try something new?), or if visitors and
tourists make their way to Joburg, they
always spend a day or two in Sandton and move on.
Johannesburg (and the province in general -Gauteng) has so
much to offer, in terms of art, culture, and history and “A mini Break in the
City” should definitely be seen as a must do!
A few weeks ago I was lucky to experience a weekend in the
city and it was awesome. Myself and (fellow Past Experiences guide) Tania had
the most relaxing and fabulous weekend in the Inner City.
So please read on and see what you can do in and around Braamfontein:
We checked in to the fantastic Lamunu Hotel, after work on
Friday. Our rooms were funky, bright, clean, and spacious and had everything
you would need for a weekend away. After a quick cup of coffee to wake
ourselves up we headed out for an evening in the city.
Friday evening was spent at one of my favourite Inner City
spots- Niki’s Oasis, a jazz bar and restaurant in Newtown. We had a few beers,
a bite to eat (yummy traditional African food) and then watched some live Jazz
which they have on most Fridays- a perfect way to welcome in the weekend!. We
then made our way back to the hotel where they have a DJ playing on Friday
night. There was a great vibe at the hotel so we sat outside listening to the
music and looking out over the city.
We woke up early on Saturday (to excited for the fun day
ahead) and walked the short distance to the Neighbourhood Goods Market in
Braamfontein. My advice, the Market is a must: they have amazing Bloody Marys,
fab chocolate brownies and the yummiest Ethiopian food. We (Past Experiences)
do a great walking tour of Braamfontein starting at the Lamunu Hotel, taking in
the lovely 70 Juta development and ending off at the Market, it’s a great way
to get to know the area.
We then jumped on board the Rea Vaya bus which you can catch
right outside the hotel and travelled to the city centre for some shopping. The
Joburg CBD has the best shops and Past Experiences can tailor-make a shopping tour
towards your needs, be it to pick up really cheap fashionable items or maybe you
are more interested in traditional Basotho blankets or African medicine? Not a problem, If you can find it in the city,
we know where it.
Retail therapy can be really tiring so after a few (too
many) purchases lunch was in order and no weekend in the city is complete
without a stop at Johannesburg’s oldest bar, The Guildhall. They have a great
selection of Portuguese food and selection of local beers so we sat on their
first floor veranda, chilled and watched the city below us pass us by.
Tania is a great photographer so after lunch we headed out
to do some exploring (for future tours) and so that she could take some more
Inner City shots. Past Experiences has some great photography based tours aimed
at all you super creative photogs out their! We then jumped back on the bus and
travelled to the hotel.
After making ourselves look pretty, we headed out to
Fordsburg for a yummy Indian meal and a wander around the market of this absolutely
stunning area. Traditionally an Indian area it is home to South Africa’s only
weekly night market and is buzzing till late on a Saturday night. We also took
this opportunity to have our hands and feet decorated with Henna and to have
our eye brows threaded. We do a great little tour of the area every few months
that ends at the market and with dinner. Many customers on this walking tour
take the opportunity for a traditional shave (for the men) and eyebrow
threading (for the ladies).
After dinner we headed back to Kitcheners in Braamfontein, Johannesburg’s
second oldest pub which is pumping on a Saturday night. Once a month they have
the most awesome DJ’s on the decks- The Reform Sound System (Marc Latilla and Charles Leonard). These guys are
amazing and describe themselves as “Johannesburg’s
only 6 decade spanning soul//funk//pre&postpunk//disco//townshipjive// saradiohits//
monthly party”. That might sound like quite a mouthful but it describes them
perfectly! Its a great space and awesome
party and it is frequented by so many different kinds of people from diverse backgrounds.
At one point I looked around and I felt like I was clubbing in Hillbrow in the
late 1970’s. Kitcheners is right around the corner from the Lamunu Hotel so
after many hours of non-stop dancing we fell into bed totally exhausted!
A Chilled Sunday
We slept in on Sunday and
after a lazy breakfast at the Lamunu hotel and a walk around Braamfontein, we
jumped back on board the Rea Vaya Bus and headed to the Joburg Art Gallery.
This is without a doubt one of Johannesburg’s treasures. It has thousands of
pieces of art and is continually changing its collections around. Even though I
guide numerous tours at the gallery, I never get sick of it as it is really
well curated. The staff at the museum shop are also guides and have a great
knowledge of the collection if you have any questions. After many hours looking
around and lazing in the sculpture garden, we jumped back on board the bus and
travelled to Braamfontein to check out of the hotel.
It was an absolutely
amazing weekend in the city and we only really touched on a tiny bit of what
you can do in the Jozi Inner City on a “Mini Break”.
Let us Organise “A
Weekend in the City” for you:
Past Experiences will now be tailor-making / creating and organising
weekend or short stay itineraries so please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and
let us help you explore Jozi.These experiences are tailor-made according to your budget,
group size and interests.
We will hopefully be spending more “Weekends in the City” in
the near future so stay tuned on pastexperiences.co.za
Hope to see you in Jozi soon
Jo- your Joburg Obsessed Girl xx
90 De Korte Street,
Cnr Juta and De Beer Street, Braamfontein
Reform SoundSystem- take a look at their blog:
138 Bree Street
Tel: 011 838 9733 or 082 448 6376