Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg was once an industrial wasteland that has rapidly become the definition of successful urban renewal project. Maboneng, meaning the “place of light” in Zulu, is a hip hub full of bars, restaurants, local designers, museums, and street art galore. For the younger backpackers, this is the area you want to be. Here is a map to Maboneng to help get you started.
Staying in Maboneng
Curiocity is the hostel in Maboneng that brings foreigners in to meet the locals. This hostel you will find just as many locals as you will foreign residents at the bar. It’s very easy to make new friends and have locals take you to their favorite spots.
Airbnb the 12 Decades Hotel. If you have a group or want something affordable, I recommend looking up an Airbnb located in the 12 Decades Hotel. T “hotel” is home to residents and rentals alike. Each floor has a different theme that caters to each room.
Both places are on Fox Street which is the main street of Maboneng Precinct.
Map to Maboneng Things to Do
Maboneng itself is well worth walking around as it has heaps of local shops and museums. Make sure to walk the blocks and see all the different street art that has made Maboneng famous. You will definitely want to check out:
- Arts on Main – market every Sunday and where the revitalization of the neighborhood started
- AGOG Gallery – two floors of local South African art
- Museum of African Design – is a trans-African cultural center, and the continent’s first design laboratory
- Spook Clothing – a South African streetwear company that has some really cool gear
- Maboneng Art Walk
- I was shot in Jo’burg – unique gift shop
Places to Eat Mabnoneng
Mabnoneng has a variety of food that is influenced from every part of the globe. I was really impressed with all the different places I had the pleasure of eating. Here are the top places to grab a meal.
- The Living Room – an aweomse roof top resaturant
- Che Aregntian Restaurant
- James XVI Ethiopian Cafe
- Pata Pata – no matter what time you walk by this place is packed
- Chalkboard – a great cafe and craft beer spot
Going Out in Maboneng
Maboneng is full of bars and hang out areas that have pretty fun nightlife. There’s a place for every occasion, so whether you want some cute one on one time or go party, Maboneng has you covered.
- Shakers – the main club in Maboneng. Located in the middle of shipping containers is a fun outdoor club where you will see people getting down.
- Lenin’s Vodka Bar – a bit more of an intimate and laid-back cocktail lounge
- Zebra Inn – a low-key bar that is completely covered in taxidermy animals that the owner has personally made trophies out of.
- The Hideout Bar – the bar that is located in Curiocity hostel where you’ll meet foreigners and locals alike
The area is constantly evolving with new shops, restaurants, studios, and bars added constantly. Make sure to walk down the side streets where you will find a new hidden gem. Don’t be afraid to ask any of the locals you see passing by, they will be glad to give you advice. Be sure to create your own person map to Maboneng!