There's no better way to get to know a city than by visiting its markets. Today on the Radisson Blu blog, we're looking at three favourites in Johannesburg.
Whether you prefer sampling craft cuisine or bagging a bargain, there's a market for everyone in bustling Johannesburg. Here’s a roundup of the top three for you to explore.
The Neighbourgoods Market
Open Saturdays from 9am-3pm, there's no better way to start your weekend than browsing the Neighbourgoods Market. Just a short jaunt south of our Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton, Johannesburg, you'll find it in the Blaamfontein neighbourhood, one of the city's most vibrant new cultural hubs. With a host of artisanal goodies to sample, it's best to go on an empty stomach. You'll find tastes of handmade mozzarella and raw cocoa at the indoor market, or exotic Namibian oysters shucked to order (and served with a little hair of the dog if you're recovering from a late night on the town). Be sure to check out well-known South African artist Eduardo Villa's 15-storey mural on the wall, a stylish example of the burgeoning design movement in this area. Check in advance for the weekend's events; the We Love Real Beer festival and Barrel & Vine festivals are just two of the popular Saturday specials previously hosted by Neighbourgoods.
Mai Mai market
While Neighbourgoods is a firm favourite with Johannesburg's hipster set, the Mai Mai market appeals to those in touch with their spiritual side. This traditional healers' market is a stone's throw from Maboneng and it's open daily. Stalls sell all kinds of exotic wares: tribal costumes, hand-crafted statues and masks of animal deities, intricately carved walking sticks, and traditional African shirts and shoes made from recycled materials. Of course, it's not all about shopping here. Traditional healers are on hand to prescribe natural cures for any ailment - physical or spiritual - and you might even spot a medium offering to help you make contact with the spirit world. It's well worth a visit, though perhaps not on an empty stomach this time - some of the more potent cures might just leave you without an appetite. Remember, photography is forbidden here; the market is considered a spiritual site.
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market
Located in a peaceful clearing, Johannesburg's oldest outdoor market has offered a tree-filled respite from the urban sprawl for the past 36 years. Held every Thursday and Saturday, this is where you'll see families stocking up on organic veggies, often fresh from the producer. Lucy's Fruit and Veg is a particular favourite; regulars have known Lucy Madundza for 20 years and trust her hand-picked selection from local farms. Most of the crafts are locally sourced too, everything from natural cosmetics to handmade leather sandals and silk-screened fashions. Even if you're just browsing, stop off at the shaded open-air cafe, where live musical performances are sure to get your toes tapping.