Braamfontein is an eclectic business district that is located to the north of Johannesburg central. While it is now a culturally diverse part of the city, an area where businessmen like to work, play and live, the history of Braamfontein is somewhat tumultuous.
Having started life humbly as a vast Witwatersrand farm in 1886, over time Braamfontein became fully immersed in the vibrant business hub that was Johannesburg central. During the 1950’s, however, the decline of the centre saw the spread of urban decay to the inner city suburbs. This decay saw the mass relocation of businesses and tertiary institutions to Sandton City and the wealthier suburbs found up in the north. In 2002, a multi-million rand restructuring programme was put into place to revive Braamfontein, when it was realised that the suburb was central to the survival of the local economy. Today, the revamped suburb is home to an assortment of office blocks, retail outlets, student accommodation and chic starter homes for young corporates.
While an affordable place to live, Braamfontein offers cheap accommodation to holidaymakers. Enjoy a night’s stay at one of the many hotels in the area, establishments that offer both luxury and comfort to guests on a budget.
The Nelson Mandela Bridge connects Braamfontein to the city centre. In close proximity to Johannesburg Central is the buzzing and vibrant area that is known as Newton. While a safe and attractive area to work and visit, Newton is known for its thriving jazz scene. Kippies, a local club, has hosted many of the country’s musical greats over the years and continues to do so. Head on over during the weekends, and listen to some sultry blues and soulful tunes by some of South Africa’s top performers.
The Johannesburg Planetarium is located in Braamfontein. Children and adults spend many hours looking up at the stars and learning all there is to know about Astronomy. Daily shows teach audience members about star signs, the movement of the moon and other fascinating tidbits.
The University of Witwatersrand, affectionately known as WITS, is an acclaimed tertiary institution. The size of WITS has grown exponentially over the years, comprising of five separate campuses. The residences for students from out of town and abroad are found in Braamfontein and comes with all the basic amenities one might need.
If you’re a theatre stalwart; your visit to Braamfontein should include a night out at the Johannesburg theatre. The venue is Africa’s premier home for live entertainment, offering a wide spectrum of performances and productions to enthusiasts, which includes anything from classic ballet and comedy to drama and pantomime.
Another Braamfontein attraction includes the weekly Neighbourgoods Market. The aims of the community-driven initiative are to provide locals with fresh produce and delectable cuisine from around the world. Peruse through various food stalls, and nibble on a selection of homemade country-style food, spicy Mexican dishes and platters of Sushi.
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