How Couples Can Explore Johannesburg

Johannesburg has much to offer romantics
Johannesburg has much to offer romantics | © Désirée Fawn / Unsplash

South Africa’s bustling City of Gold isn’t necessarily associated with romance but the vast metropolis offers a plethora of experiences couples can enjoy. From unmatched views over the expansive skyline to remote day trips, Johannesburg has something for everyone.

Find some quiet at the many art galleries

Johannesburg has no shortage of art galleries, and visiting one is the perfect opportunity for taking a stroll through a quiet space while checking out local and international talent. The city boasts one of the biggest galleries in sub-Saharan Africa, JAG, as well as many contemporary galleries displaying the best of local artists. Whether you’d like to spend hours browsing art or pop in and out of different galleries, most are situated in busy areas so grabbing a bite to eat before or after is easy. Make a day of it and explore the city’s trendy neighbourhoods.

Contemporary work on display

Picnic in the botanical gardens

Few things are more romantic than a picnic set in a beautiful garden and the city boasts not one, but two botanical gardens ideal for lazing around. The Johannesburg Botanical Garden and the Walter-Sisulu National Botanical Garden are both important green lungs and offer beautiful landscapes filled with fauna and indigenous flora. If you want to step up your game, get in touch with Dial-a-Picnic – they offer ready-made baskets filled with mouthwatering treats and will even lay it all out, so all you have to do is show up.

Spend some quality time over a picnic

Stargaze at the planetarium

A visit to the Wits Planetarium will earn you major brownie points as it’s an unusual and unforgettable experience. A knowledgeable astronomer will share fascinating facts about the galaxy while you stare up at the stars above you. One of the best parts is when guests are shown what the stars above Johannesburg would have looked like if there was no light and air pollution. The planetarium lights up during this display and is sure to fascinate everyone present.

Spend a day relaxing

From budget-friendly to over-the-top, there’s a whole range of spas to choose from. One of the most recommended is Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa. The beautiful Balinese-style spa offers a wide range of therapies including signature Asian-inspired treatments and the heated plunge pool, spa bath, steam rooms and sauna allow you and your SO to completely relax.

The manicure and pedicure lounge at Fairlawns is the ultimate treat

Get into the wild

If you’re after a bit of adventure, grab your safari outfit and wander just outside of the city where you’ll find a game reserve filled with wildlife and unmatched experiences. Situated in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve calls itself “the nearest faraway place”. The privately owned game reserve is home to many different animals, including rare and endangered species. Guided walks are on offer and a visit to the Neck & Deck Café will allow you to get up close and personal with one of Africa’s most majestic creatures, the giraffe.

Meet a giraffe or two

Treat your tastebuds

Take your pick of fine dining restaurants in Johannesburg. Patrons can try everything from local fare to international cuisine all while seated in a beautiful space and being waited upon by the best trained staff. At DW Eleven-13 you can enjoy experimental cuisine and traditional dishes with a twist, while Level Four at 54 on Bath is all about classical dining with contemporary influences. The list goes on and on, just take your pick and remember to make a reservation.

Level Four at 54 on Bath in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is situated in a boutique hotel and serves innovative dishes

Watch the sunset while listening to live music

Rooftop bars are scattered all over the city, and over weekends most have live music to perfectly end a balmy summer’s day. Crafter’s Rooftop Bar in Norwood is buzzing with creativity and is one of the best rooftop bars to enjoy delicious craft drinks. At Skye Bar situated on the ninth floor of the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sandton, you’ll have panoramic views complemented by niche cocktails. And let’s not forget Living Room, a rooftop favourite in the trendy Maboneng neighbourhood, decorated with plenty of greenery and set against an urban backdrop.

The Factory on Grant aims to be an alternative to large shopping malls

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article