The Wikivoyage page for Johannesburg, South Africa says that by looking up at Hillbrow and Brixton, the city’s two towers, you can figure out which part of town you’re in. Here on Hack Your City, that kind of navigation trick—not as crucial in Smartphone Times, but still helpful for a visitor getting their bearings—is extremely our shit.

This week we’re going to Johannesburg, an economic center, home to millions and Africa’s most popular travel destination, but for all its wealth and recent improvements, still a city deeply affected by its history of Apartheid. We want to know how to navigate Johannesburg both physically and socially, staying safe while also staying open to new experiences and cultural exchange.


We’re also asking all our usual Hack Your City questions:

What’s underrated? What places deserve a few more discerning visitors? And what hacks can turn an okay attraction into a great one? What would you recommend to someone who thinks they’ve seen “all” of Johannesburg? What’s the weirdest thing you like in the city?

How should a visitor approach the city? What attitude should they adopt? What local traditions, behaviors, and laws should they be aware of? What should they know about the city’s past and present? How friendly are the locals, and how can visitors get along with them?


What’s it like long-term? What do you love and hate about the city? What do you recommend to other residents? How do you hack your commute, what’s your daily lunch spot or the best spot to people-watch? What mistakes do new residents make—any shibboleth street names or weird parking regulations? And where do you go when you want to get out of the city for a day or a week?

Lastly, how has the city’s vibe changed over the past few years? What old travel advice no longer applies here, and what new advice does?

Leave your tips in the comments below, and we’ll highlight the best ones. (Read some other comments first to make sure yours is unique.) Then come back Thursday for a new post with the highlights.


About the author

Nick Douglas

Staff Writer, Lifehacker | Nick has been writing online for 11 years at sites like Urlesque, Gawker, the Daily Dot, and Slacktory. He lives in Park Slope with his wife and their books.

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I love to travel and I love reading and writing about traveling, that is why I started 2traveling. I want everyone to see the wonderful places around the world and experience everything that is awesome about it.