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Your guide to Sandton
All About Sandton
A posh suburb of Johannesburg, Sandton is famous for its luxury shopping centers, business towers, and upscale bars and restaurants. Most of the buildings in the area are distinctly modern. Sculptural glass and steel structures sit alongside complexes with more classic silhouettes, such as Nelson Mandela Square. With five premier malls, shopping is by far the most popular activity here, with a focus on high-end designer brands. Business is another draw, as Sandton became the Johannesburg Central Business District in the late 1990s and is now one of the most important tech and financial hubs in South Africa.
If you’re looking for a little green space, explore Sandton Central Park with its indigenous trees, fountains, and sculptured reading garden. Afterward, consider heading off to have a meal at one of the area’s chic restaurants with ultra-cool interior design, extensive wine lists, and local produce.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Sandton
Sandton’s subtropical climate means relatively pleasant weather all year long, with daily highs that are usually warm to hot except for the winter season from June through August. Summers are from December to March, and they bring high humidity and thunderstorms — be sure to pack an umbrella if you’re visiting between November and January. Warm and dry autumn and winter months are ideal for getting outdoors during the day, but temperatures can drop after sunset, so it’s best to pack a few layers.
Festivals are most prevalent in the cooler months. In July, the annual Turbine Art Fair highlights emerging artists. In late October, Sandton Wine Festival hosts tastings, food pairings, and vendors selling special bottles from South African vineyards.
Top things to do in Sandton
Nelson Mandela Square
This world-class shopping and dining center is one of the most-visited attractions in Sandton, appreciated both for its architectural beauty and top-notch amenities. Browse luxury fashion boutiques, European jewelers, perfumeries, and fine gift shops before enjoying a South African steak and visiting the towering statue of the center’s namesake.
Liliesleaf was once a safe house for the African National Congress activists. After the end of apartheid, the complex became a history museum that pays homage to the movement from 1956 to 1964. You’ll find several exhibits spread throughout a few different houses and buildings, including a moving MK Memorial highlighting the many people who sacrificed so much for a free South Africa.
Sandton Farmer’s Market
About 15 minutes north of the center of Sandton lies this fun community market where local artisans and vendors sell handmade candles, textiles, juice, art, coffee, jewelry, craft beer, and wine. Food trucks are set up around the market’s perimeter, serving up dishes like crepes and burgers. You can enjoy your meal at one of the many shaded outdoor picnic tables. There’s also live music every week, arts and crafts activities, and a play area for kids.