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An Introvert's Guide to Johannesburg

Picture of Carina Claassens
Updated: 27 October 2017
For those who love travelling but the idea of interacting with strangers doesn’t sound exciting at all, then the City of Gold has much to offer. The culturally exciting city is filled with amazing places for those who prefer to soak in the atmosphere solo, so read on to find out what introverts visiting Johannesburg should do.

For the culture vulture

Johannesburg is filled with museums and galleries to feed every passion—whether it is art, politics, or military history. Visit the Goodman Gallery in Parktown to see some of the best contemporary art or take a tour of the South African National Museum of Military History.

The Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg, South Africa

South African National Museum of Military History, 22 Erlswold Way, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

An introvert's guide to Johannesburg_Goodman Gallery
Courtesy of Goodman Gallery

For the reader

The city is filled with quirky bookstores including the largest (and oldest) in the Southern Hemisphere, Collectors Treasury. Spend hours getting lost inside. Another favourite spot for finding peace and quiet is Bridge Books, a store that focuses on African writers and has a comfortable workspace to flip through books or browse the internet.

Collectors Treasury, CTP House, 244 Commissioner St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, South Africa

Bridge Books Maboneng, 274 Fox Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg, South Africa

An introvert's guide to Johannesburg_Bridge Books
Courtesy of Bridge Books

For the nature lover

Housing approximately six million trees, Johannesburg is considered one of the largest man-made forests in the world. It’s no wonder that the city also boasts many lush parks and reserves, ideal for getting into nature. Spend the day relaxing in a rowboat on Zoo Lake or take a drive to the Lion and Safari Park just outside the city.

Lion and Safari Park, R512 (Pelindaba Rd), Lanseria, Broederstroom, Kalkheuvel, South Africa

For the foodie

There’s no doubt that the City of Gold boasts some of the best eateries in South Africa. Whether after a quiet breakfast—complete with people watching—or a delicious dinner in a top class restaurant, be spoiled for choice in Johannesburg. Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar in Melville serves a mean breakfast and afterwards, pop into the many antique stores in the area.

Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar, 2 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa

An introvert's guide to Johannesburg_Pablo Eggs Go Bar
A Middle Eastern inspired breakfast | Courtesy of Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar

For the film enthusiast

From conventional cinemas situated in malls to independent and open-air gems, the Johannesburg film scene has much to offer. Check out the Bioscope Independent Cinema in Maboneng. Enjoy pizza and bottomless popcorn during the movie. They also often host outdoor screenings on their rooftop, where guests lounge around on beanbags surrounded by the city lights.

The Bioscope, 286 Fox Street, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, South Africa,

An introvert's guide to Johannesburg_Bioscope
Rooftop cinema | Courtesy of Bioscope Independent Cinema

For the music fan

Choose between ballet, the hippest local band, or even international acts. The city of Johannesburg comes alive with sound in the evenings, and visitors have so many options it’s difficult to narrow it down. Check out The Orbit, a must-visit jazz club, and keep an eye out for billboards and gig guides as many international theatre productions also tour the city.

The Orbit, 81 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa

An introvert's guide to Johannesburg_The Orbit
Live jazz at The Orbit | ©Tawedzerwa Zhou

For the fitness buff

Keeping fit while travelling isn’t an issue at all when visiting Johannesburg. The city has many amazing gyms and fitness studios to cater to every need from CrossFit to yoga. And, for the ultimate exercise experience, check out Secret Sunrise and bring in the day by dancing in the crisp morning air in a park or on a rooftop. The best part, it’s all done in the form of a silent disco, so listen to great tunes and let loose.