Johannesburg Travel Tips 2023 (September 2023 Update)

Sandton JNB

(Sandton, Johannesburg with the Leonardo Tower in the background. All pics taken by me!) 

I just got back from a weekend trip to Johannesburg, South Africa and I wanted to share some tips and recommendations of where to stay. 

Where to stay 

This time I stayed at the Garden Court Sandton City. This hotel is not my normal choice and it was my first time staying there. I normally stay at The Maslow. Both hotels are in Sandton, the ritzy upscale part of the city. My preference is always to stay in Sandton because it is closest to the shops I like to visit at the Sandton City shopping centre. 

Garden Court Swimming Pool

Garden Court Swimming Pool – It was so cold this day!

The Maslow is definitely more upscale and has nicer rooms but Garden Court has a better location. Both have very good breakfasts but I wish the Maslow had the same location as the Garden Court. What I like about the Garden Court is you can walk to Sandton City as it is literally next door. You cross the street and you are basically at Sandton City as you walk through the Michaelangelo Mall which is connected to Sandton City via Nelson Mandela Square. 


There is no doubt the best place to do shopping is Sandton City for high end boutiques and brands. This shopping centre is where Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bulgari, Versace, Gucci & more are based. There is also a very good H&M, Zara and other shops including Le Creuset and Thomas Sabo. I also like the Mall of Africa which is the largest shopping centre in Africa. It is in another part of town called Midrand so you need to arrange transport to go there. 

Eating Out 

I love a restaurant called Marble in Rosebank. It is really nice and has lovely wines there as well. There is another place called Tashas that is on Nelson Mandela Square that has a very nice truffle pasta as well. I will explore more in Johannesburg in terms of food & drinks on my next trip this winter to the city and I will update. 


I think JNB is as safe as any major US city. I think Sandton is very safe and I would recommend you stay in Sandton and just go out in this area if you are new to the city. As with all major cities, use common sense, don’t walk on streets alone and use car transport to go everywhere and avoid walking. I think JNB is fine if you stay in areas like Sandton, Rosebank, Centurion and Bryanston. 


South Africa’s currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). A lot of transactions in South Africa are done via card, so your VISA/Mastercard should work just fine. I like to use cash & card when I travel and cash payments are accepted virtually everywhere as well. When I went shopping at Coach, I did ask to split the payment between cash & card and it was fine and accepted. For me cash usage is more about consumer choice – I don’t like being forced to pay via card so I always enquire if I can pay by cash and it is absolutely fine to do so in South Africa even though most people use cards there. If you are from East Africa, I would recommend you use your cards by ABSA Bank as ABSA is a South African bank. I noticed the exchange rate was way less when I used my ABSA cards vs other ones.


Tips are expected by taxi drivers at the airport. There is a main company at the aiport, the only one authorised to drive tourists to town and the driver will expect a tip. Sometimes it can be asked a bit aggressively. We tipped 10 per cent at restaurants (sit down only) and that seemed to be fine. We also tipped the hotel concierge and housekeeping at the end of our stay. This is not necessary but we wanted to so we did.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me – you’ll get a faster response if you DM me on IG (@hayaglamazonluxe) or send me an email (hayaglamazon[at]

I hope this was helpful!

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