Sandton Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: September - November Read More

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"Financial Hub and Luxury Shopping"

Sandton Tourism

Sandton is an affluent suburb neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, known as the financial centre of the city. Sandton is a major centre with the largest stock exchange in Africa, significant financial institutions, and South Africa's biggest shopping centre, Sandton City Mall. The area is one of the four wealthy localities in Johannesburg and has upscale stores, hotels, and great dining options, making it a popular place for luxury experiences.

Visitors can explore attractions like Nelson Mandela Square, Montecasino, Sandton City Mall, and the Sandton Convention Centre, which hosts various conferences and exhibitions. Additionally, nearby attractions include the Johannesburg Zoo, the Apartheid Museum, and Constitution Hill. Sandton's vibrant atmosphere and variety of activities make it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

Must Know Before You Travel to Sandton

  • Avoid Rush Hour: Avoid travelling to or from Sandton between 7 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 7 PM on weekdays to reduce delays.
  • Local Transportation: Travelers can easily get around Sandton using metered taxis, buses, and rental cars.
  • Metered Taxis: Taxis can be found at entrance 12 to Sandton City. Remember that hailing a taxi is illegal, so book one in advance either in person or by phone. Metered taxi zones are the only exception.
  • Cheap WiFi: Affordable Wi-Fi is available at Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, and Sandton Convention Centre.
  • ATM Safety: Be cautious of using ATMs at the airport, as criminals may target tourists. It's safer to wait until you arrive in town to use ATMs or currency exchange services.
  • Beware of Scams: Be cautious of people posing as Tourist Police; they are not real authorities. Do not allow anyone to inspect your bags, especially if they claim to be officials.
  • Drinking Water: The tap water in Sandton is safe to drink.
  • Business Hours: Normal business hours in South Africa are from 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. Some offices may close earlier on Fridays.
  • Explore Nearby Cities: Johannesburg and Pretoria are close to Sandton and offer additional opportunities for exploration.
  • Pilanesberg National Park: If interested in a safari experience, consider visiting Pilanesberg National Park, which takes around 3.5 hours to reach from Sandton.

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Shopping in Sandton

Shopping in Sandton is a delightful experience with a wide range of options. Visitors can find high-end luxury brands, designer boutiques, and a large shopping centre at Sandton City Mall. Nelson Mandela Square is a popular area for upscale shopping, and the Sandton Craft Market offers unique African arts and crafts. It's a great place to shop for fashion, electronics, and traditional handmade goods.

Nightlife in Sandton

Sandton's nightlife is vibrant and upscale, offering unique rooftop bars and lively pubs. Nelson Mandela Square and Mushroom Farm Park are popular areas for bars and clubs. Sandton's nightlife also includes iconic spots like Taboo and Alto234 Bar at The Leonardo, which boasts Africa's highest sky bar. Altitude Beach, Amazon nightclub, and Hard Rock Cafe are must-visit venues for a thrilling night out. For a more relaxed experience, head to Island Bar at Southern Sun Hyde Park Hotel or San Deck, where you can enjoy the city's nightlife amidst a chic and laid-back ambience.

History of Sandton

In the late 1960s, Sandton started as a farming community with about 30,000 people and 15,000 horses. It became a busy business district after the construction of Sandton City in 1974. In the 1980s, more commercial space was developed as an affordable and lifestyle-oriented option compared to the Johannesburg CBD. Rivonia's existence is due to its historical role as a stop on the old wagon road to Pretoria, separate from Johannesburg's growth.

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How to Reach Sandton

How to Reach Overview

By air, O.R. Tambo International Airport is about 30 kilometres away, and taxis or ride-sharing services take around 30-45 minutes from the airport to Sandton. By road, it's a 20–30-minute drive from Johannesburg city centre. Public buses, minibuses, and the Gautrain bus service also connect Johannesburg to Sandton. The Gautrain rail service takes approximately 15 minutes from the airport and 20-25 minutes from Johannesburg Park Station.

How to reach Sandton by flight

Sandton is conveniently accessible from O.R. Tambo International Airport, located about 30 kilometres (approximately 18.6 miles) east of the city. Travellers can take a taxi or use ride-sharing services like Uber, which typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes and costs approximately $16 - $20.

Flights to Johannesburg can be booked through Skyscanner for international and FlySafair, AirLink, and South African Airways for domestic flights.

How to reach Sandton by road

Sandton is well-connected by roads and highways. From Johannesburg city centre, it is around 15 kilometres (approximately 9.3 miles) away, and the journey usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, via De Villiers Graaff Motorway.

How to reach Sandton by train

The Gautrain is a popular rail service that connects various parts of Johannesburg, including Sandton. From O.R. Tambo International Airport, the Gautrain takes approximately 15 minutes to reach Sandton and costs around $10 - $15. From Johannesburg Park Station, the train journey to Sandton takes about 20-25 minutes.

How to reach Sandton by bus

Public buses and minibuses (taxis) also operate between Johannesburg and Sandton. the Gautrain bus service also operates routes connecting different parts of Johannesburg to Sandton.

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Sandton Photos

The three original farms, Zandfontein, Driefontein and Rietfontein, and later two additional farms, Witkoppen and Cyferfontein, upon which Sandton was founded.
Sandton City Mall in Johannesburg.
Maude Street adjacent to Sandton Convention Centre

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