Summer in Jozi

25 things to do this December

So December is finally here, and you find yourself in the City of Gold with nothing to do. No fret, zero stress because we’ve got your back with this list of the best things to do in Joburg this summer. Text by Shawn Greyling.

Maboneng art ride

Photo by Mainstreetwalks
#1: Cycle around the Maboneng Precinct

The Maboneng Precinct in the inner city has had new life pumped into its veins so why not immerse yourself in the art, food and culture overflowing the streets. Go on the Maboneng Art Ride, a bicycle tour hosted by Mainstreetwalks in order to submerge into the city vibe.  

Book it here

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Photo by South African Tourism
#2: Visit Lesedi Cultural Village

From traditional African food to village walks, the Lesedi Cultural Village is the best way to immerse yourself in the building blocks of the Rainbow Nation’s heritage. It is situated just outside of town, in Lanseria. Representatives of the various tribes facilitated the design of the cultural villages to ensure a historically accurate portrayal of the cultures, highlighting aspects of the traditional way of life. Swing by for a day trip and see what there is to see. Accommodation is available to those who would like to spend a night or two in the bush and should be booked in advance through the Lesedi website.


Photo by
#3: Go on a tour of Gilroy's Brewery

Steve Gilroy is many things: a rock star, a writer, a physicist and Gauteng’s top brew master. Join Gilroy at his pub in Muldersdrift and dive headfirst into the makings of namesake. Good food and good beer are the name of the game. All bookings should be done in advance by phoning 011 796 3020, the tour costs R120 per person.

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Photo by Lebo's Backpackers
#4: Explore Soweto by bicyle

One of the best ways to experience the famous suburb is by way of two wheels. Grab a bicycle and join in on a historical and cultural tour around Soweto’s most famous landmarks and signature meals.

Book it here 

Secret dinner

Photo by Secret EATs
#5: Join for the SecretEATS Dinner

Have you ever heard of an underground dining movement? Well, now you have. What started in Cape Town as a culinary trend has spread to the City of Gold. Join like-minded foodies for an evening at a secret pop-up restaurant for amazing food and drink.

Book your seat

Melville koppies by pascal parent

Photo by Pascal Parent,
#6: Have sundowners at the Melville Koppies

It’s free and it’s fun. Pack a cooler bag, head up to the northern suburb’s highest point and enjoy a sundowner as you look out on the entire north-western side of Jozi. The Koppies once formed part of the outer rim of the farm Braamfontein which was sectioned off to a prospector named Geldenhuis. The lack of gold in this area eventually lead to the birth of the affluent northern suburbs, and that is why the Melville Koppies has been registered as a heritage site.

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Photo by Darren Smith,
#7: Taste the flavours of Yeoville

Yeoville has become known as the culinary cross road of Africa. From Nigerian plantain fried in oil and sea salt to Ghanaian grilled tilapia served with banku, the folks at Dlala Nje go out of their way to introduce people to new cultures and food by strolling down the wild side of Jozi.

Book your tour.

Rooftop salsa

Photo by Rooftop Salsa
#8: Dance salsa on the rooftop

The Canteen Restaurant in Maboneng hosts a salsa dancing afternoon every Sunday at its rooftop bar. Get lost in the Afro-Cuban beats and dance until the sun goes down — there is no better way to end off your weekend.

Foxwood house

Photo by Foxwood House
#9: See a play in the Foxwood House Hotel

The Foxwood House is well known amongst the theatre and performing arts circles. From Shakespeare to locally produced stage pieces this boutique hotel in Houghton is more than just another living quarter. Want a good reason to visit Foxwood? Where else can you dine on the finest food in town while being shipped off to another world through the magic of theatre? Reservation is essential and can be done through the Foxwood House Hotel's website.


Photo by Ksenia Mardina
#10: Spend a day at the Neighbourgoods Market

An oldie but still a goodie. Imagine all the wonderful food you see on Pinterest laid out before you - that’s Neighbourgoods Market. Situated in Braamfontein, this weekend market has been going strong for years. Good food, good drink and great music; it’s the best place to spend cash on arts and crafts and get a good buzz on.

Vaal river by jan truter

Photo by Jan Truter,
#11: Taste fine wine on the Vaal Wine Route

For the past twelve years, the members of the Vaal wine route have been celebrating their grapes in style. Thanks to Keletso Tourism it is now possible to take a taster tour of the five biggest wine farms along the Vaal. The cost is R645 per person with a minimum booking of six people and includes a return trip by local 6 seater taxi to the wine tastings and includes a hearty luncheon at one of the delightful river venues. Contact Dianne Ramage on 082 465 1243 or email

Street art and graffiti

Photo by Ksenia Mardina
#12: Discover Jozi's street art and graffiti scene

The walls of Jozi boasts some of the best local and international graffiti and street art the world has seen, and has been compared to that found in Berlin – the world’s street art capital. Past Experiences company offers a unique tour of the city’s street art scene. 

Book your tour

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Photo by Chiara Frisone
#13: Relax at the Zoo Lake Swimming Pool

The Zoo Lake pool is perfect for a hot day while the R12 entrance it’s light on the walletl. The water is well maintained and the building itself is picturesque and historic. The best time to catch a tan would be midday on a Saturday – see you there?

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Photo by Darren Smith,
#14: Hike the Hennops Trail

Approximately fifty minutes outside of town flows the Hennops River. The reserve which it flows through offers three trails to choose from. Enjoy the best the Highveld has to offer and rekindle your love for nature. The best time to visit the trails would be early summer when the veld flowers are in bloom. As a day visitor, you don’t need to book on weekends and public holidays. Accommodation is available and should be reserved in advance.

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#15: Go on a tour of Hillbrow

For the past two years, Nick and Mike from Dlala Nje have been taking travelers from around the globe on walking tours through Hillbrow and neighbouring Berea to great success. The walk starts at the legendary Ponte City tower and ends with a late lunch at Sonnyboy’s shebeen. It's time to explore this notorious and legendary part of Joburg!

Book your tour now.

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Photo by Chris Eason via Flickr,
#16: Have a picnic at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

One of the many wonders the West Rand of Jozi has to offer is its botanical garden. The area boasts wonderful fauna and flora and is a sanctuary for the white cross eagle. Grab a blanket and picnic basket and check out what live music and sights are on offer. Don’t forget to take tons of photos at the massive natural waterfalls which snake through the Little Falls valley. 


Photo by Johannesburg Art Gallery via Facebook
#17: See the art masterpieces at Johannesburg Art Gallery

The JAG is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It is the largest in Africa and is completely free to the public. The collection includes all kinds of gems — from Pablo Picasso to Claude Monet — so the experience is worth its weight in gold. Tours are available but should be booked in advance. Closed on Mondays. 

Yoga on the dam by yoga works

Photo by Yoga Works via Facebook
#18: Do yoga in the park

Yoga Works studio is at the forefront of the city’s yoga and pilates movement in Joburg. Join them for a morning workout at their base in Westdene and start the day with a bang. The studio also offers unique outdoor yoga classes, such as Yoga in the Park, Yoga on the Dam and even Yoga in the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Here is your summer fitness plan sorted.

Perfect day

Photo by Bill Harrop's Balloon Safaris
#19: Fly away

North-west of Johannesburg lurks the Magalies mountains. The range is dressed in all the green beauty the country possesses. The only way to grasp this breathtaking landscape is to take to the sky in a hot air balloon at day break. There is hardly a more romantic experience in the whole of Gauteng.

Book your hot air balloon experience.


"HuddlestonMural" by Josef Langerman - Own photo. Licensed under GFDL via Commons -
#20: Learn about the history of Sophiatown on a walking tour

Sophiatown, or Kofifi as the locals call it, was once the jazz capital of the country but lost its rhythm during the climax of apartheid. Since 1994, the district has slowly but surely started regenerating, and what better way to explore the heritage of the place than a walking tour. The walk is hosted by the Sophiatown Heritage and Culture Centre. From Monday to Friday a guided tour will cost you R70 and on Saturdays the price goes up to R120. All bookings must be made in advance by contacting the heritage centre on 011 673 1271 or email

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#21: Visit the Cradle of Humankind

Take a step closer to the root of our existence by visiting the Cradle of Humankind. Situated north-west of Jozi the Sterkfontein caves boast natural rock formations and underground rivers which all forms part of a world-renowned archaeological dig spot. Have lunch at the "Roots" restaurant afterwards. 

Book your tour.

Rooftop boxing

Photo by George Khosi Boxing Club
#22: Take up rooftop boxing

For the past sixteen years, George Khosi of the Hillbrow Boxing club has been producing numerous champions. After his own shot at the title was taken from him by a gunshot to the chest, George decided to start training young people the art of boxing. You too can be taught by this skilled master as he hosts rooftop boxing classes on top of the Main Street Life building in Maboneng. There are four classes per week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7am and Wednesdays at 6pm and costs R40 per class. Bookings can be done by phoning 082 260 4804. 

Leafy green

Photo by Leafy Greens Cafe
#23: Have a guilt-free feast at Leafy Greens Cafe

The problem with vegan dining is that good food is hard to find – especially in Joburg – and that is why Leafy Greens in Muldersdrift have become known as the go-to café and restaurant for good raw vegan and vegetarian food. The owner and founder of Leafy Greens is renowned cookbook writer and granddaughter of golfing legend Gary Player. All produce served in the café is grown on premises. Don't skip the desserts — they are to die for and contain zero sugar, which means that you can eat the whole cake without having to work it off at the gym the next day.

Fox street market

Photo by 1Fox - The Sheds
#24: Eat and drink at 1Fox Market

The 1Fox market at the Sheds is open on Thursdays to Saturdays and has some of the best DIY food and goods the city has to offer. Make sure to check out The Joziburg Deli. It stocks a wide range of South African-produced cheeses, preserves, relishes, oils, breads and meats — it's the perfect place to sit down for a casual meal after a stroll around the market.

Camps bay

Photo by Ksenia Mardina
#25: Fly to Cape Town

Seriously, it is only two hours away.

Discover exciting adventures in Cape Town.

Views 7004
Author Gummie
Date 25 November 2015