19 December 2014 by Roy Barford

Why Johannesburg is the Rough Guides' top city 2015

Arts and culture put South Africa’s biggest city ahead of everywhere else on the Rough Guides’ travel shortlist.

Johannesburg is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a huge amount to offer. Image South African Tourism

Rough Guides, which has been providing travel advice since 1982, picked Johannesburg ahead of Malaga (Spain), New Orleans (United States), Hamburg (Germany) and Nizwa (Oman) as the best place to visit in 2015. 

This follows last week's announcement that South Africa is the World's Best Safari Destination according to the World Travel Awards and the previous week's announcement that Durban is one of the New7Wonders Cities, and provides further encouragement to visit South Africa.

The Rough Guides website states: 'Joburg has a reputation problem. But South Africa’s biggest city is finally beginning to break free from the chains of its troubled past, and parts – like the arty Maboneng quarter – have rooted themselves as exciting cultural hubs. New clusters of forward-thinking museums, galleries and shops are set to emerge in 2015, though better-known attractions like Constitution Hill and the poignant Apartheid Museum should still be on the to-do list of any first-time visitor.'

Johannesburg has vastly upgraded its transport systems in recent years, with innovations such as the Gautrain making travel faster, simpler and safer. The introduction of the CitySightseeing bus tour has also provided a cost-effective way of visiting top inner-city attractions. 

Below are some photos of the Rough Guides' top city 2015.

A local dish in Maboneng. Image courtesy of <a href= A local dish in Maboneng. Image courtesy of @agentcikay
Dancing in Soweto. Image courtesy of <a href= Dancing in Soweto. Image courtesy of Nagurjun Kandukuru
Maboneng street art. Image courtesy of <a  href= Maboneng street art. Image courtesy of Charlie Hindhaugh
The city at night. Image courtesy of <a href= The city at night. Image courtesy of Julian Schroeder

Read about 20 fun things to do in Johannesburg for less than R200 (about $18).

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