44 Stanley is Johannesburg's best kept secret. What was a series of industrial buildings is now a relaxed meander through 25 specialty boutiques, restaurants, design and art galleries. The synergy of creative souls, 1930s architecture and authentic products make for an ambiance that is refreshing, as it is quintessentially Jo'burg.
For the arts and culture aficionado, the city has a thriving art scene, straddling European and African genres, the latter increasingly from all over the continent. You can also see the city's growing public art which reflects a variety of artistic expressions. The carved wooden heads in Newtown, the giant eland in Braamfontein, Kentridge's 13-metre high statue opposite Metro Mall and the sports figures outside Coca Cola (Ellis) Park are among the many artworks worth seeing. Art lovers are seriously spoilt for choice as more galleries are popping up, reflecting the growing interest in local art and artists. You can choose from fine art to contemporary art to African art, all abound in the city's galleries. A number of galleries house permanent collections (like Johannesburg Art Gallery) while most have temporary exhibitions where work can be viewed or purchased. The best way to be notified about new exhibitions is to get onto the gallery's mailing list. That way you'll be invited to openings and get to sip wine with the arty types. If you're not sure where to start, head to the gallery strip in Parkwood and Rosebank where you'll find big galleries like Everard Read and the Goodman Gallery with exciting smaller ones down the road. The city boasts several corporate collections too: one of these, held by Absa bank, is said to be the largest such collection in the world.
Joburg is often described as the "New York of Africa" and with good reason. The city is a major destination for many of those living on the African continent, all with one thing on mind -- shopping! The city has a plethora of shopping malls, especially in the northern suburbs. Most are quite exclusive, housing top international brands and a number of popular local ones. Local department stores, such as Edgars, Truworths and Woolworths, are widespread. Mall hours are usually Monday to Saturday 9 am to 5pm and 9am to 2pm on Sunday. Most malls will have extended hours during the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™ and at special times like Christmas. It's worth looking out for the exciting locally designed décor and fashion. Many have their own stores in areas like Rosebank and Parkhurst, some can be found in the malls at stores like YDE. If you're looking for fresh food, antiques, curios, crafts, organic products, clothing or interesting gifts then try one of the many markets dotted around the city. A number of markets focus solely on food and fresh produce like the Jozi Food Market in Parktown North or the Organic Market in Bryanston, while others, like Bruma African Market, cater for tourists with craft from all over Africa. A number of streets in Joburg have become known for their collection of stores or restaurants. Head to Parkhurst for sidewalk café eating and décor stores. Kensington's Queen Street has some of the best antique stores, Melville's 7th Avenue is good for books, and Parktown North's 4th Avenue is lined with décor and local fashion boutiques. Joburg is a shopper's paradise. Whatever you're looking for, it has it all.