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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.