Are you looking for fun in the City Of Gold's central business district? Then look no further! We've put together a comprehensive guide to entertainment in the Joburg CBD.

What Are You Looking For? 

Theatres
Art Galleries
Nightclubs
Tourist Attractions


Theatres

Hillbrow Theatre

The Hillbrow Theatre Community Centre, home to the Hillbrow Theatre Project, is a unique space that incorporates 5 practice spaces, a dance studio as well as the Hillbrow Theatre itself. The centre comprises a 368-seater theatre built in the 1970’s, which is equipped with a film projector, a sound system and lighting rig. These spaces have been rendered safe environments for learners of all ages to engage with the performing arts in a meaningful way.

Visit The Hillbrow Theatre

Market Theatre

The Market Theatre, based in the downtown bohemian suburb of Newtown, was opened in 1976, operating as an independently, anti-racist theatre during the country’s apartheid regime. It is named after an original fruit and vegetable market which was located there.

Visit The Market Theatre

Pop Art Theatre

Previously located in Ferreirasdorp (and currently looking for a new home), POPArt stands for People of Performing Art, and that’s exactly what the theatre is all about: providing a platform for the showcasing of some of the freshest work and ideas from some of the hottest emerging and established Performing Arts talents in Johannesburg. From children's theatre to independent productions, POPArt does it all.

Visit The Pop Art Theatre


Art Galleries

ABSA Art Gallery

Situated in the north of Johannesburg on the main road, is the ABSA bank tower. The ABSA Art Gallery is inside the ABSA tower. The prestigious art competition that allows artists and architects to work together to create a space that accommodated the artworks perfectly, the Barclays L’Atelier is held at the Absa Towers North building in the Johannesburg CBD. The gallery opens Monday to Friday at 8:30 – 16:00 and is closed on weekends and public holidays.

Visit The ABSA Art Gallery

Standard Bank | Gallery

The Standard Bank Gallery is an exciting exhibition space situated in the heart of downtown Johannesburg. Since it opened in 1990, it has become one of the city’s foremost fine art venues. Standard Bank is committed to developing the arts in many facets, but the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg has to be one of the leaders in developing young artistic talent in South Africa. Every year Standard Bank hands out the highly acclaimed and very prestigious Young Artist Award where young artists get the acknowledgment and recognition they need to launch a long-lived and successful career. The best part? Admission to the gallery is free!

Visit The Standard Bank | Gallery

Artist Proof Studios

In 1991 returning exile and artist Kim Berman and Nhlanhla Xaba, an up-and-coming Soweto artist, founded Artist Proof Studios to develop talented artists from disadvantaged backgrounds. Tragically Xaba died in 2003 in a fire that destroyed the original studio premises. In tribute, the studio's new location at the Bus Factory contains many works salvaged from the fire. Today APS acts as a specialist art education centre with a focus on printmaking.

Visit Artist Proof Studios

Nightclubs

And Club

It doesn't get any cooler than this! And is an underground club in Newtown. Known for its electronica ranging between techno, house, and drum and bass, And offers a party like no other. The club is known for its TOY TOY and Addictshun club nights and its involvement with Afrika Burn.

Visit And Club

Carfax

Rocking the Joburg skyline since 1985, Carfax nightclub in Newtown has partied with generations upon generations. Its doors act as a rite of passage to any and all varsity students who attend any of the local universities in town.

Visit Carfax


Tourist Attractions

Carlton Centre - Roof Of Africa

The 360-degree Roof of Africa viewing level is a great place to get perspective on the city's incredible scale and many neighbourhoods. Aside from the view, there's little to do up here with just a scuzzy cafe and a small collection of photos, although the telescopes are a welcome addition to the bird's-eye experience. The entrance kiosk and lifts are tricky to find.

Address: Carlton Centre, 150 Commissioner St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg, 2000

Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past and, today, is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all citizens. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. Joe Slovo. Albertina Sisulu. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Fatima Meer. They all served time here, but the precinct also confined tens of thousands of ordinary people during its 100-year history.

Visit Constitution Hill

Dine

Joburg is a wonder world of culinary experiences. If you are anything at all like us, you have been missing out on restaurant hopping across town. As soon as we are able to get out and explore again, these will be our top two Joburg dining picks:

Modena Italian Eatery

If there was ever any doubt that 4th Avenue in Parkhurst is one of Joburg's culinary centres, Modena Italian Eatery has proven critics wrong. This Italian-inspired eatery opened in February 2020, just before chaos erupted. Their menu features a delightful selection of traditional Italian dishes, as well as a few with a modern twist. We will most certainly be stopping by once life returns to relative normality to sample their Napolitana di Modena – a traditional tomato ragu served with bocconcini mozzarella over homemade pasta with a nice tall glass of wine.

L'atelier Bakery

Just before the national lockdown began, we were fortunate enough to attend the grand opening of L'atelier Bakery at the Trumpet Building on Keyes Avenue. This French-Belgian inspired patisserie wowed us with their array of pastries and savoury delights. We will surely be back once the lockdown has ended to sample some more of their tasty treats.

Latelier Bakery

L'atelier Bakery

Drink

Speaking of wine, have you run out of your favourite tipple? With liquor sales banned for the last two months, we have become a city of teetotalers. But, for those of you who will be headed straight to the nearest drinking hole once we have bid COVID-19 farewell, here are two of Jozi's best cocktail spots to welcome you back to the scene:

Saigon Suzy 

Seeing the back side of COVID-19 is going to call for a massive celebration. So, why not go all out with a night of delicious dim sum, cocktails and karaoke? With two venues in Joburg, Saigon Suzy is likely to see her loyal patrons return in their hordes (at a distance, of course) for an epic night out on the town. Don't miss out on all the fun!

Social Parkwood

The creator of Saigon Suzy is also the brainchild behind Social Parkwood. If it's fancy cocktails you want, it's fancy cocktails you'll get here. They also cater to other drink preferences, so no matter your poison, you should be pleased. Social's restaurant element isn't to be snubbed either, as they elegantly combine the bar and restaurant to give their patrons a great overall experience. What more could you need to get back into the Joburg party vibe?

Social Parkwood

Social Parkwood

Dance 

How about an evening of uninhibited dancing? While there have been a number of awesome live streaming events to keep you jiving throughout lockdown, there is nothing quite like a night out on the town in your dancing shoes. Here's where you can strap them on and get moving again!

Canteen 

If you've ever visited the Maboneng Precinct, you'll know that Canteen is the place to be. Not only is their menu generous in variety and flavour, but their rooftop salsa events are unrivaled. Whether you are a seasoned professional or complete amateur, this vibrant rooftop party is sure to get your toes tapping. Combined with the fantastic view of the inner city below, Canteen's Sunday salsa event is a definite must-attend once lockdown is over and we can safely leave our homes.

Carfax & And

From the rooftops to the underground, the Joburg party scene is as diverse as the people who bring it to life. If you're after something grungier than usual, visit Carfax & And, Newtown's most exciting secret dance club venues. And specialises in techno and drum and bass parties, so expect a raving party. Carfax boasts a similar vibe, but hosts more exclusive events including art exhibitions and private artist parties, so you'll have to keep your ear to the ground to get yourself a ticket in the door. Nevertheless, these venues are unlike any other in the city and are well worth a visit on your first night out on the town after lockdown.

top Jozi destinations

Stay Over

Being cooped up at home for months can cause serious cabin fever. If you can no longer stand the sight of your own couch, bed or kitchen cupboards, take a few days to recuperate at one of these two awesome Jozi hotels. One is a budget-friendly bakcpacker's haven, the other a world-class, architectural marvel. Whichever you choose, we are sure you will have a ball being away from home for awhile.

Once In Joburg

Once In Joburg is unofficially known as Joburg's only 'poshtel' - a perfect mish-mash of classy hotel and hostel situated right in the heart of Braamfontein. During the national lockdown period, Once In Joburg will be functioning as a safe harbour for health care workers as part of the Ubuntu Beds campaign. However, once things return to normal, we are sure that they will be ready to welcome in adventurous travellers. If you have always wanted to explore your city by night, this is the place to stay over. So, go on and tick those adventures off your bucket list. If lockdown has taught us anything, it's that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch

The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch opened on Sunday, 1 March 2020. Boasting an impressive 306 rooms and modern facilities, this hotel is where consummate professionals and tourists alike can relax, rejuvenate and negotiate all at once. As global travel may be off the cards for a few months to come, book yourself into this luxury hotel for a weekend getaway, right in the heart of the city.

JohannesburgMarriottHotelMelrose_Exterior_Landscape

Explore

Joburg is undoubtedly an urban jungle. Get out into the fresh air once lockdown is over by visiting Joburg's top parks and nature reserves. Our top picks include a protected nature reserve hidden right in the heart of Houghton and the best art and sculpture park in Gauteng. So, get on those hiking books and go on an adventure!

The Wilds

The Wilds has undergone massive reconstruction and revitalisation in recent years. Home to some of Joburg's most unique indigenous plant species, this is the perfect destination to reintroduce yourself to the wild outdoors. Set against the Melville koppies, the park offers adventurers an array of winding paths and hills to explore. This is also a great spot to take a few wildlife snaps and post-lockdown selfies set against the Joburg skyline.

NIROX Sculpture Park

Art imitates life, doesn't it? The NIROX Sculpture Park reflects the dichotomy between man-made art and the natural world with perfect balance. Stroll their expansive sculpture gardens, artist studios and the park's natural wonders on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The on-site restaurant is famed for its generous Sunday afternoon lunches, so bring the whole family along for a post-lockdown celebration feast.

top jozi destinations

Sourced from the NIROX Foundation Facebook page

A Little Bit Of Culture 

Have you been enjoying tons of online theatre, music and visual art content while in lockdown? Unfortunately, there is nothing quite like the real thing. Treat yourself to a night out at the theatre or the cinema and help get the arts community back on its feet after lockdown.

The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre has stood as an icon of South African theatre since 1976. If you've never visited this historic theatre venue before, hop on over the M1 to Newtown as soon as lockdown ends. With its air of urban jazz culture and casual 'coolness', the Market Theatre bar is the ideal place to hang out before the show begins. Here you'll most likely bump into a few famous faces and possibly some new friends. So, put on your peddler's hat and earn yourself a good dose of theatre culture.

The Bioscope Independent Cinema 

Our final top Jozi destination to visit post-lockdown is The Bioscope Independent Cinema. Shortly before lockdown was implemented, The Bioscope made their big move out of the Maboneng Precinct. Their new home at 44 Stanley should be completed once we are all set free, so you can get back to enjoying independent cinema right away. Grab the popcorn and slushies because we are totally ready to go on a big screen adventure!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9Y2EeDDbyH/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Ready to get planning your post-lockdown adventures across the city? Check out these awesome experience packages you can buy now and enjoy later!

What Is It?

Vuka Machel is a revolutionary comedy told by two chicken thieves from Kanyamazane, just outside Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Through the eyes of this infamous pair, the audience is taken on a journey in which Samora Machel wakes from the dead to find his wife married to Nelson Mandela and Mozambique suffering. He thus challenges Mandela to a series of fights. However, he makes the mistake of agreeign to a negotiation at the World Trade Centre where Mandela challenges him to a boxing match. Mandela is notorious for winning all his 50 fights through negotiations.

Written and directed by Market Lab alumnus Mncedisi Shabangu, and performed by Mncedisi Shabangu and Xolile Gama. A must-see!

When Is It?

Thursday, 16 January 2020 - Sunday, 02 February 2020.

Where Is It?

Ramolao Makhene Theatre at The Market Laboratory, 138 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Market Square, Newtown, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost between R100 - R150 per person and are available online via Webtickets.

For more information

Visit the Market Lab website for more information.

Details: 011 838 7498 | [email protected]

What Is It?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back to high school? Revisit your youth this October at the Market Theatre with After School is After School - a fun, interactive game show performance. Come and test your math and science skills, while learning about history and geography. You may also be asked to participate in Physical Education so be sure to wear your running shoes.

After School is After School is not all about the fun of reliving your younger days. It asks tough questions about the relevance and effectiveness of the South African education system. Don't miss out and don't forget your packed lunch!

When Is It?

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 - Saturday, 02 November 2019.

Where Is It?

The Market Theatre (Kippies), 56 Margaret Mcingana Str, Newtown, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Tickets cost R90 - R150 per person. Get yours here.

For more information

Visit their website for more information.

Details: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tel: 011 832 1641

What Is It?

The Market Theatre in Newtown presents the Dare 2 Dream Performing Arts Festival. Celebrating excellence in the performing arts by young learners from participating schools. The Dare 2 Dream Frestival has three objectives: to recognize passion where it exists, to encourage collaboration and to provide young performers with an opportunity to perform on stage.

So, come and show your support for young talent.

When Is It?

Saturday, 21 September 2019 at 12:30 - 15:30.

Where Is It?

The Market Theatre, 56 Margaret McIngana St, Newtown, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Email [email protected] for ticket information.

For more information

Follow them on Facebook for more information and event updates - facebook.com/events/2461876024091714

Details: 011 832 1641

What Is It?

Ekasi Lam – An Ode to Kwaito, Un-owed to Kwaito is come to The Market Theatre and we are so excited.

This energetic and witty performance travels on a journey through the South African music genre of Kwaito. We will also go deep into the raw elements and beauty of its lifestyle.

You don't want to miss this.

When Is It?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 - Sunday, 08 September 2019 (Times will depend on day)

Where Is It?

Barney Simon, The Market Theatre, 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

How Much Is It?

Tickets are R90 - R150 per person, get your ticket Here.

For More Information

For more information, visit Here.

The independent theatre scene is heavily underfunded and often battles to secure adequate media coverage. It nevertheless remains a vibrant and ever-developing industry, which offers audiences a reflective look into contemporary South African society. So, why not take a couch-binge break and invest your time by going out into the city to watch an original live performance at one of the niche theatre venues scattered around our streets and suburbs?

To The East...

The quiet East Rand boasts two bustling alternative theatre venues — POPArt Theatre and the Sibikwa Arts Centre. POPArt, which is located to the East of the inner city, in the artsy Maboneng Precinct, is a newly established hive for young creatives looking to showcase their work. The Sibikwa Arts Centre, on the other hand, was established in Benoni during the height of the cultural boycott in 1988.

Regardless of their histories, both of these independent venues offer audiences a wide range of innovative, female-led shows. So, head out to the sleepy East to engage yourself in work that may be a little provocative, but always inspired by a dedication to bring theatre into the communities that need it most.

audience

In The Middle

The centre of Johannesburg brims with live performance spaces, including the iconic Joburg Theatre Complex. Our other favourite independent inner city venues include The Market Theatre Laboratory, The Space.com and the UJ Arts Centre.

These spaces offer everything from classical opera and ballet, to the best upcoming student productions from the most well-renowned drama schools in the city. We recommend you become a frequent visitor to any of these great venues. They produce multiple shows year-round, with tickets often available at discounted prices.

Over in The North...

The northern suburbs of Joburg are home to two alternative theatre spaces: The Olive Tree Theatre and The Auto & General Theatre on the Square. While these venues are relatively close distance-wise, they are miles apart in their creative mission and productive output.

The Olive Tree Theatre is situated in the Alexandra township, which borders the city's fastest growing economic  district, Sandton. This independent arts space seeks to develop township community theatre, with female narrative led stories at the heart of its mission. They also regularly host film screenings, poetry slams and intimate jazz concerts.

On the other side of town, The Auto & General Theatre on the Square sits happily hidden away beneath the Nelson Mandela Square shopping mall and restaurant complex. The venue is decorated in deep cabaret reds, but audiences can expect a range of diverse productions on show. These include classical music performances, comedy shows and the best in post-post-modern South African theatre.

olive tree theatre

On The West Side

Last, but not least, the South-West corner of Joburg offers theatre lovers two grand performance complexes to catch the latest big-budget original musicals, dance shows and school festivals. The Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre are subsidiaries of the Joburg Theatre, which means they are not wholly independent. However, smaller productions are regularly given the limelight at these complexes. Poetry showcases are billed alongside grand symphony concerts, for example.

Do you know of any awesome independent theatre venues in the city that we haven't mentioned? Write to us in the comments section below.

The independent theatre scene is heavily underfunded and often battles to secure adequate media coverage. It nevertheless remains a vibrant and ever-developing industry, which offers audiences a reflective look into contemporary South African society. So, why not take a couch-binge break and invest your time by going out into the city to watch an original live performance at one of the niche theatre venues scattered around our streets and suburbs?

To The East...

The quiet East Rand boasts two bustling alternative theatre venues — POPArt Theatre and the Sibikwa Arts Centre. POPArt, which is located to the East of the inner city, in the artsy Maboneng Precinct, is a newly established hive for young creatives looking to showcase their work. The Sibikwa Arts Centre, on the other hand, was established in Benoni during the height of the cultural boycott in 1988.

Regardless of their histories, both of these independent venues offer audiences a wide range of innovative, female-led shows. So, head out to the sleepy East to engage yourself in work that may be a little provocative, but always inspired by a dedication to bring theatre into the communities that need it most.

audience

In The Middle

The centre of Johannesburg brims with live performance spaces, from the iconic Joburg Theatre Complex to the less well-known Gauteng Opera residency at the Tin Town Theatre. Our other favourite independent inner city venues include The Market Theatre Laboratory, The Space.com and the UJ Arts Centre.

These spaces offer everything from classical opera and ballet, to the best upcoming student productions from the most well-renowned drama schools in the city. We recommend becoming a frequent visitor to any of these great venues. They produce multiple shows year-round, with tickets often available at discounted prices.

Over in The North...

The northern suburbs of Joburg are home to two alternative theatre spaces: The Olive Tree Theatre and The Auto & General Theatre on the Square. While these venues are relatively close distance-wise, they are miles apart in their creative mission and productive output.

The Olive Tree Theatre is situated in the Alexandra township, which borders the city's fast-growing economic Sandton district. This independent arts space seeks to develop township community theatre, with female narrative led stories at the heart of its mission. They also regularly host film screenings, poetry slams and intimate jazz concerts.

On the other side of town, The Auto & General Theatre on the Square sits happily hidden away beneath the Nelson Mandela Square shopping mall and restaurant complex. The venue is decorated in deep cabaret reds, but audiences can expect a range of diverse productions on show, including classical music performances, comedy shows and the best in post-post-modern South African theatre.

olive tree theatre

On The West Side

Last, but not least, the South-West corner of Joburg offers theatre lovers two grand performance complexes to catch the latest big-budget original musicals, dance shows and school festivals. The Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre are subsidiaries of the Joburg Theatre, which means they are not wholly independent. However, as smaller productions are regularly given the limelight at these complexes, with poetry showcases being billed alongside grand symphony concerts, we have added them to this list.

Do you know of any awesome independent theatre venues in the city that we haven't mentioned? Write to us in the comments section below.

What Is It?

The BBC Arts Hour tour will be stopping over in Johannesburg soon. This monthly programme travels the world stopping at different cities across the world, profiling their artists. The presenter, Nikki Bedi, will share the stage with some of South Africa's most-talented artists.

Joining her will be multi award-winning novelist and architect Yewande Omotoso, Filmmaker Jahmil XT Qubeka, musician Moonchild Sanelly, theatre director Clara Vaughan, poet Lee Mokobe and one of Trevor Noah's hand-picked comedians, Tsitsi Chiumya.

The programme will be recorded at The Market Theatre and will air on BBC World Service on 29 October 2018.

When Is It?

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 at 19:30

Where Is It?

Market Theatre, 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newtown, Johannesburg

How Much Is It?

Entrance is free.

For More Information?

For more information, visit The Market Theatre website here.

What Is It?

Get ready because we are going on a trip (and you bet I am singing Little Einstein's jingle). Market Theatre is bringing you their exclusive tour to help you familiarise with the place. The newly built Market Square brought a new dynamic to the heart of art in Newtown. Come join in on getting first-hand information about some exciting facts about the Market Theatre.

When Is It?

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 - Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Where Is It?

Market Theatre, 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newtown, Johannesburg

How Much Is It?

Ticket prices are R 20 per person, click here to get yours

For More Information

Visit their website here www.markettheatre.co.za

Pieter Toerien

One of the most important figures in South African theatre, Pieter Toerien once sat outside German actress Marlene Dietrich's house for days on end to convince her to have a word with him, and eventually persuaded her to sign a tour contract with him. Due to his persistence and dedication to the craft, the coolest theatres around now bear his name, and the Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino has been the stomping ground of many a production in Johannesburg.

Market Theatre

Located in Jozi's art district of Newtown, the Market Theatre opened in 1976, operating as an independent, non-racial theatre during the country’s apartheid regime. And what was once deemed a 'grey' area by the National Party is today a shining light and brilliant example of what the Rainbow Nation is all about, acting as the launchpad of the next generation's theatrical talent. The Market Theatre's vision is to create an authentic Mzansi cultural experience while providing the highest level of artistic excellence in all aspects of the performing and visual arts.

Joburg Theatre

Run by the City of Joburg and home to The Mandela auditorium, the Joburg Theatre is the flagship of the city's theatre scene. This famous stage also showcases productions of the Johannesburg Ballet and it's here that you can enjoy Janice Honeyman's annual festive season pantomimes.

POPArt Theatre

Independent theatre is the lifeblood of the performing arts. POPArt in the Maboneng Precinct on Fox Street is at the forefront of the indie scene and is run by a handful of dedicated craftsmen and women. It's also a personal favourite of the Joburg.co.za crew, also for its social upliftment efforts. The theatre is passionate about reaching out to inner-city children by entertaining and educating them.

Soweto Theatre

From dress parade to curtain call, the Soweto Theatre is the hip, youngster on the theatrical performance block. The theatre's architectural aesthetics resembles a life-size Piet Mondrian painting and productions include everything from live music performances to township-style Shakespeare.

 

magnifiercrosschevron-down