Ellis Park Stadium in Gauteng Province, Johannesburg, South Africa (Walter Knirr/SA Tourism)

Skyline and view of Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa (SA Tourism/Walter Knirr)

Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa (User-submitted)

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What to do in Johannesburg

Johannesburg—sometimes called Joburg, or Jozi, or eGoli (“City of Gold”)—feels a little bit like Los Angeles. There are four-lane freeways, skyscrapers, swaths of poverty, glittering malls in the suburbs, and a sprawling metro-area population of 6.2 million. But it doesn’t take long to realize that Joburg is definitely not California. Despite being spread across a dry inland plateau, the city has more than ten million trees, making it the biggest man-made forest in the world. A booming economy has led to an explosion of niche neighborhoods, from Newtown’s jazz clubs to Melville’s vegetarian delis to Yeoville’s cafes. Johannesburg hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, but many tourists only get a superficial look at this dynamic metropolis before jetting off to a Kruger safari or a Cape wine tour. Their loss.

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