Johannesburg

Sandton

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View of Sandton's skyline from Kramerville

You’ll know Sandton by its gleaming towers and the profusion of construction cranes towering above the central suburb as it cements its status as a global business capital. Sandton means business with most of South Africa's top companies, and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, headquartered here. Central Sandton is Johannesburg's premier shopping district, wall to wall with international high street and luxury labels. It's also the location of many of Johannesurg's top business hotels and a high-profile conferencing destination. If you have money to spend then you'll want to be in Sandton. Plus it's just a 15-minute trip from OR Tambo International Airport if you travel with the high-speed Gautrain.

More than 50 years ago this area was the ‘mink and manure’ heartland and the hunt would set off from Inanda Club, today an exclusive members-only polo club. It’s often quoted that the then head town planner for the area described Sandton as a "community of 30,000 whites and 15,000 horses”. From rolling farmland and a pastoral idyll, Sandton later became a rest stop between Pretoria and Johannesburg city centre. The first hotel - Balalaika Hotel, today Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton - opened its doors in 1949 as a tea garden with a few rondavels (thatch-roofed African-style huts) for overnight travellers. Today the lush gardens of this 330-room hotel are still a refuge, but now from the busy business district beyond the door.

Beyond the central business district Sandton spreads north with a variety of suburbs and diverse attractions. Among them is historically significant Rivonia which is home to Liliesleaf - the secret headquarters of the banned African National Congress's Armed wing led by Nelson Mandela in the 1960s - and now an impressive museum. Rivonia is also well-know for it's many Asian food restaurants. In Fourways the vast Montecasino complex is a major drawcard with its offer of 24/7 bright lights and a multitude of attractions, including a range of hotels, a theatre, comedy club, tons of restaurants and a bird garden. Closer to Sandton Central is Kramerville, a hub for interior design that has developed into an after-hours hangout with quirky bars and great views of Sandton's skyline (see above).

Click on the categories below to find your way around Sandton.

EDITOR'S PICKS & FEATURED VENUES

The Bull Run

 Protea Hotel Balalaika, 20 Maude St, Sandton
EDITOR'S PICK

Lord's Cigar Bar

 Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton, 20 Maude St, Sandton Central
EDITOR'S PICK

Bryllianta Diamonds & Tanzanite

 16th Floor, Office 06, The Forum of Sandton Square (2 Maude St), Sandton Central
FEATURED

Lindt High Tea at Piccolo Mondo, Michelangelo Hotel

 Michelangelo Hotel, 135 West St, Sandton Central
FEATURED
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