Germiston, named after the Glaswegian farm, was established shortly after the gold rush on the Witwatersrand. Declared a city in 1950, it is often overlooked for being an industrial hub rather than a must-visit Jozi suburb. However, there is much to be seen and done here, if one only looks close enough. Driving through the ‘old’ town offers a glimpse of history, as century-old buildings stand tall among new developments. Keep an eye out for St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (built in 1905) and St Boniface Anglican Church (built in 1910). With their brick facades and stained-glass panels, these national landmarks are a sight to behold amidst the vapid decay of the inner city.
Nevertheless, once you have passed through the Germiston CBD, a world of fun, food and excitement awaits. We did a little exploring on your behalf, making sure to find all the ‘hot-spots’ around town. Read on to find out what we uncovered:
The Rand Airport
One of the main attractions in Germiston is the Rand Airport. South Africa’s first international airport, the Rand Airport was officially completed in 1931. The terminal served as the hub of international travel until 1948, when it was outgrown by the demand for flights in and out of Johannesburg by local and international fliers. Due to its rich history, the terminal building was later declared a national heritage site.
Today, the Rand Airport still houses numerous flying academies and is the host of the annual Rand Air Show. Most Germiston residents have attended this show at least once, flocking to see the magic of civil aviation right at their doorsteps. However, you need not wait around until late August to visit the Rand Airport, as there are many other attractions to behold year round.
Pop into the Harvard Cafe for a delicious family-friendly lunch – from here you can see pilots in training test their skills, while the kiddies have a ball playing on the nearby jungle gyms. You can also stop by The South African Airways Museum Society. Here, you will find an amazing collection of treasures, including aircrafts, photographs, models, crew uniforms, aircraft instruments, timetables and small artefacts of SAA and general civil aviation memorabilia.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Rand Airport is Victoria Lake, otherwise known as Germiston Lake. This man-made body of water hosts regular school regattas and Scout’s events. However, the main draw card for most visitors is the Germiston Country Club and Golf Course, located on the banks of the lake. Established in 1897, the Germiston Golf Club is steeped in history and ‘Old English’ tradition. Come and tee off at this woodland golf course, which is lauded as one of the finest in Gauteng. Play is open to the public, so you can pop by whenever the mood takes you. Afterwards, enjoy a few lakeside sundowners at the on-site bar.
Frida’s Coffee Bar
Heading a little further into the south-east side of Germiston, we came across a true hidden gem. Frida’s Coffee Bar is an unassuming coffee shop and Tex-Mex eatery decorated in loving tribute to the artist, Frida Kahlo. This artsy little hideaway is the perfect spot for late afternoon coffee and a divine slice of death by chocolate cake. Take a seat outside in their hollowed out swimming pool or pop down on a luxurious couch next to a stack of books about art, music and, of course, the infamous Frida herself.
Simply Majestic Nursery
We have saved the best for last with this lovely Germiston nursery, restaurant and retail centre. Simply Majestic Nursery is the ultimate family-friendly venue, with fun rides and play areas for the kids, as well as a garden centre and trinket shops for parents. Visit their Edwardian-style restaurant for Sunday brunch with the family. Their traditional scones served with cream and strawberry jam are amazing! The venue also hosts a monthly night craft market, supporting small local businesses and crafters. Pop in for a piping hot cup of coffee or craft beer under the moonlight.
Do you know of any other hidden gems located in Germiston? Let us know about them!