Joburg is a melting pot of arts, culture, and entertainment. Home to a booming art scene, local fashion boutiques, trendy rooftop bars and restaurants, and more recently residential inner-city-style apartments, the Maboneng Precinct offers a plethora of art entertainment for anyone any day of the week. First established as an art precinct in 2010, Maboneng – the Sotho word for “place of light” – injects art into every detail: its atmosphere, architecture and identity. Be sure to look up as you explore the precinct on foot to catch magnificent street art and large murals by South African artists like Faith 47 and international artists like Roa.
Feel like a show? The POPART Performing Arts Centre is Joburg’s go-to fringe theatre space, showcasing dance, drama, stand-up comedy and more every week from Thursday to Sunday. Book online for a discount – be warned, weekend shows sell out fast! For the film lovers and those interested in South African and African cinema, just walk out of the POPART theatre and into The Bioscope, Joburg’s most popular independent cinema. Grab a special combo ticket and savour a delicious pizza while you sit back and enjoy the movie. The cinema even occasionally hosts outdoor movie nights – check out their website to make sure you don’t miss out!
Looking to sleep over for a night or two? The Curiocity Backpackers is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere and regular live music events. This inner-city backpackers’ hostel offers affordable and comfortable accommodation within walking distance from the best that Maboneng has to offer. Backpacking not your style? No worries. The 12 Decades Art Hotel is located on the top floor of the Main Street Life building and offers luxury accommodation inspired by the history of the city. Each room is uniquely designed according to a decade in Joburg’s history, ranging all the way from 1886 to 2006. No two rooms are the same, so take your pick and enjoy arty accommodation at its finest.
Time for a drink? Whet your thirst for excellent ethically-sourced coffee at Origin Coffee, where you can experience a cupping session, chat to the artisan baristas and taste the unique character of every blend. Why not stop at The Cosmopolitan, newly revamped and ready to delight your taste buds whether you stop at Firebird Coffee, the Yswara Tea Room or a have leisurely drink at The Cosmopolitan Bar in the Cube Tasting Kitchen, which still has some of the building’s original fixtures! Don’t forget to browse in the locally-owned stores and art studios that share the rest of this history-filled building. Hungry? Tuck into pizza at the quirky homegrown At Joe’s, a designer sandwich at Uncle Merv’s or just spoil your sweet tooth with a treat from Cocobel!
Want to get out for a Sunday adventure? Make your way to the Market on Main, an oasis of food and culture every Sunday at the Arts on Main complex on Main Street. The variety of food stalls offer many African dishes and delicacies, from Ethiopian to Mozambican – and, if you’re looking for something familiar, even regular fish and chips. Head to the second floor of the market for some local fashion and vintage stalls and purchase the perfect souvenir or gift from Joburg. Tired of shopping? Walk through the market and into several gallery spaces featuring David Krut, William Kentridge and the Nirox Foundation – just to name a few – and explore Joburg’s contemporary art scene. End off the day with a sunset salsa dance on the rooftop of the Canteen restaurant. Missed the market, but still want to take to the floor? Adventure up the road to Che Argentinian Grill on the first Tuesday of every month for Tango Tuesdays!
Often called the epicentre of Joburg’s inner-city renaissance, Maboneng is guaranteed to surprise and delight. Whatever your art appetite, the precinct is a definite MUST on your Joburg to-do list! #explorejoburg