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Sandton Introduction

Sandton is Johannesburg's answer to New York City's Manhattan. This upscale suburb has long eclipsed the Johannesburg Central Business District as the city's economic hub. The neighbourhood is often referred to as South Africa's richest square mile, the phrase referring to the ultra-expensive and opulent properties within it. Sandton is also a lifestyle hub, as it's home to many of Johannesburg's high-end shopping centres and entertainment venues. It's also known for its vibrant art, food and nightlife scene, a big draw for the hip and rich.

Hotels in Sandton

Sandton is where you'll find many of the 4- and 5-star hotels in Johannesburg. These hotels try to outdo each other in terms of luxurious decor, generous services and topnotch facilities. Amenities you can expect to find at such establishments are full-service spas and fitness centres, gourmet restaurants, fully equipped business centres and chauffeur services. Many of these hotels offer family-friendly services like in-room childcare as well. Nevertheless, it's possible to find budget-friendly accommodation in Sandton, as the suburb also has affordable guesthouses. There are also self-catering holiday apartments which are convenient for those travelling with families or in groups.

Where to stay

If you're looking to splurge on a 5-star hotel, you can check out the picks on offers in Sandton CBD. Though it's primarily a business centre, the CBD has a number of galleries and museums, not to mention great restaurants. If shopping is part of your Sandton itinerary, you should check out Sandown. Sandown is where you'll find Sandton City, the suburb's premier shopping, dining and entertainment complex. The neighbourhood is also known for its large, gated private homes and communities. Melrose is a charming neighbourhood with wide, tree-lined avenues. Many of these avenues have cosy cafes, trendy restaurants and quaint shops.

Things to see

Sandton City is the leading shopping, dining and entertainment complex not just in Sandton but in the whole of Johannesburg. This shopping centre houses 300 shops, many of which are flagship stores of international luxury brands. It also has 11 cinemas and numerous eateries ranging from fine dining venues to fast-food chains. Sandton City is just 1 of the elegant, upscale buildings around Mandela Square. The piazza-style square's focal point is the 6-metre statue of Nelson Mandela. The square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and more shops. Near Mandela Square is the Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa's leading events and exhibition venue. The centre boasts 22,000 square metres of exhibition space spanning across 12 floors. The Melrose Bird Sanctuary is a 10-hectare haven in the middle of James and Ethel Gray Park on Melrose Road. Around 120 species of birds call the sanctuary home.

How to get to Sandton

Driving is the best way to get to Sandton from any point in Johannesburg. As long as you can follow the signs and be patient in the face of massive traffic, you can easily find your way to Sandton by car from anywhere in Johannesburg. Car rental kiosks are available at the OR Tambo International Airport, and these car hire companies have depots in the city. Alternatively, you can call a metered taxi to pick you up. Locals typically take mini-buses. However, it's a lot safer to not use public transport if you're a tourist, unless you're travelling with a local.