Johannesburg

City Centre

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The Johannesburbg City Centre (or CBD, as locals call it) is still the victim of a poor reputation, having fallen into decay in the mid-1990s when big business moved out to the new Sandton CBD, leaving behind empty, neglected buildings and increasingly unruly streets. Fortunately the often misunderstood Johannesburg City Centre has been on the up ever since. In recent years many big corporations have returned to the area, bringing with them shiny new buildings and amenities like cafes and coffee shops that an urban white-collar workforce demands. Many of the neglected buildings which had been illegally 'hijacked' are slowly being reclaimed and cleaned up and residential life has grown immensely over the past few years. With its rich history, colourful street life and impressive architecture the Johannesburg City Centre is well worth spending a few hours exploring by day, and there are many local tour companies who offer excellent and insightful walking tours of the area, as well as the hop-on hop-off City Sightseeing bus which stops at many of the most signficant places of interest.

First time visitors to the inner-city will find that the historic Ferreirasdorp area and the attractive pedestrianised Main Street Mining District are the most easily accessible areas to explore on foot. For those looking for traditional African clothing or cuisine, you'll find traditional medicine (muti) on Diagonal Street, delicious Ethiopian food in Little Addis and beautiful African shweshwe fabrics and kanga cloths on sale in the Fashion District. The best view of the entire city can be found from the Roof of Africa viewing platform on the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre building, while Joburg's oldest pub The Guildhall, is still running a busy trade on Beyer's Naude Square after more than 100 years.

Here we have defined the City Centre as stretching from Ferreirasdorp (the historic location of the city's very first mining claims) in the west, to the Absa banking district in the east, with its northern most boundary being defined by Park Station and the southern boundary marked by Frederick and Anderson Streets.

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