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You’ve heard it a million times before: Joburg is an incredible city – if you have money. Well, we beg to differ. From brilliant budget restaurants to picnics in some of the prettiest parks, from amazing free art exhibitions to cosy cheap hotels, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself in the City of Gold without parting with all of your hard-earned cash.
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Champagne lifestyle … lemonade budget
With spiralling living costs putting the brakes on the concept of ‘spare cash’, not many of us can eat out as much as we’d like to. Don’t worry though – Joburg’s best cheap eats will help remedy that. Our top picks of meals under R100 include handmade ground beef burgers from BGR; fresh, filling poké bowls from Ono Poké Eatery; highly aromatic biryanis from Dosa Hut; and filled Turkish bread from Galata Bakery & Café. Table for two? Try Piza ē Vino’s Date Night with Bae special every Monday and Tuesday, which includes two selected pizzas or pastas and two selected drinks for just R189.
Nothing’s better than a picnic
The sun’s out, so grab a picnic and make a meal of it! It’s so easy to see why The Wilds nature reserve on the outskirts of Houghton is so popular during long and sleepy summer afternoons thanks to those breathtaking views across the city. But it’s not just the skyline that makes this a popular picnic destination – there’s also artworks by artist James Delaney, an abundance of fauna and flora plus waterfalls, fountains and stone-cut paths. Even in winter, the park is evergreen with wild red aloes to provide colour against grey skies. You’ll find guarded parking on Houghton Drive.
Take Joe Slovo Drive from the inner city or Houghton Drive from the north
Listen to your art
Looking at awe-inspiring art shouldn’t cost the same as buying it. With a shedload of free exhibitions in Jozi, admiring some of the best photography, wandering through sculptures and being blinded by neon needn’t cost a penny! Check out renowned contemporary art gallery, Gallery Momo; David Krut Projects for alternative contemporary art culture; inspiring creative hub, Arts on Main; Circa on Jellicoe for a celebration of art and architecture; arts and crafts gallery, Ngwenya Arts and Craft Gallery; and Spaza Art Gallery – a mosaic enthusiast’s heaven.
READ MORE ON TRAVEL HERE.
Room service? Send up a larger room!
Sure, Joburg has big names in hospitality, but there are also loads of great cheap hotels that you needn’t trek out to the sticks to find. Book a room at The Bannister Hotel for between R695 and R845 (including breakfast) per night so you can save your pennies for exploring. Slap bang in the middle of Braamfontein, this vibrant hotel has quirky décor everywhere, a bistro offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a bar. Add to your culture intake with a short stroll to Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Constitution Hill, SAB World of Beer and other prime sightseeing spots nearby.
9 De Beer Street, Braamfontein
READ MORE ON SHOPPING HERE.
Candice is the coffee-drinking, fashion obsessed editor behind Hello Joburg Magazine. She’s a self-confessed foodie and champagne enthusiast who also loves all things beauty, travel and home and décor.