Stop 1: Kick off with breakfast at Haas (67 Rose Street, Bo-Kaap, +27 21 422 4413), a design store with a groovy little café attached.
You could end up losing yourself while browsing the artworks on display and sipping one of the eight in-house coffee blends. The Haas Gallery is directly across the road.
Stop 2: Bo-Kaap’s famous for its cobbled streets and rows of candy-coloured Georgian houses, which make for a great picture. It’s also known for being the place where the descendants of the free slaves settled after emancipation. Learn about their story at the Bo-Kaap Museum (71 Wale Street, +27 21 481 3939).
Stop 3: From Bo-Kaap, follow Wale Street down into the city and browse the galleries and boutiques on Long, Loop and Bree streets. Be sure to dip in and out of the little laneways that link these three parallel arteries.
With its wide array of work by new and established artists BRUNDYN + GONSALVES (formerly iArt) (71 Loop Street, +27 21 424 5150) is one of the best.
Stop 4: This part of town has a few cool places to grab lunch; we recommend Café Mozart (37 Church Street, +27 861 623 263) – its tables spill onto the pedestrian walkway between the casual antique and vintage market stalls on Church Street. Church Street itself is packed with galleries and African arts and crafts stores.
Stop 5: The Woodstock district has got countless galleries and his home to a number of creatives. In many ways it’s similar to Williamsburg (New York) or Shoreditch (London), except it hasn’t yet been gentrified. Negotiate a rate with a taxi for the afternoon and ask the ferry you around.
Don’t miss the Goodman Gallery (3rd Floor, Fairweather House, 176 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, +27 21 462 7573) or Stevenson (Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, +27 21 462 1500), both of which exhibit work by the country’s finest working artists.
Meanwhile, for newer, emergent artists, there’s Whatiftheworld / Gallery (1 Argyle Street, Woodstock, +27 21 448 1438). It’s built on imaginative curatorship, so chances are you’ll see something edgy and unexpected.
Stop 6: The Old Biscuit Mill (373–375 Albert Road, Woodstock, +27 21 447 8194), is one of the trendiest hangouts in the city, not least on Saturday mornings when it hosts a superb “neighbourhood” style food market.
Most of the converted factory site is home to high-end boutiques selling great clothes, antiques and arts and crafts. It’s a great place to bring a long, culture-filled day to an end.
Like this? Read Johannesburg in 4 stops
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…