Melville was once the vibrant and trendy centre of Johannesburg’s bohemian life. Although shifting populations and an economic downturn have dimmed its image somewhat, it still maintains a buzz with a busy student population, great restaurants and funky bars. It’s also home to the lovely Melville Koppies Nature Reserve.

Did you know?

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its archaelogical significance.

Once upon a time Melville, a small suburb in the west of Johannesburg, was the princess of bohemian life, known as one of the city’s nightlife hot spots.

Today, the princess has cast off her chic image, as shifting populations and an economic downturn in the area have frayed her once fine clothes.

But Melville still boasts a terrific location – close to town, close to two universities (the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg) and with the lovely Melville Koppies Nature Reserve on its doorstep.

Melville still comes alive at night, when students pack the place and visitors wander down its main artery – 7th Street – choosing between cocktails at Buzz 9, great food at Lucky Bean or simply browsing through the many bookshops and antique shops that line the streets.

If you're energetic and want to dance the night away to live bands or a DJ then head to Roxy's Rhythm Bar in Main Street. Here you’ll also find Catz Pyjamas, a 24-hour bistro serving food round the clock.

Check the local press for when the next Farmer's Market at the Bamboo Lifestyle Centre takes place. Everything sold is organic and free-range, from meat raised in meadows to handmade farmhouse cheeses. There's always scrumptious food to eat there or take away.

A stroll through the lovely Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is a must. Enjoy the flora, small mammals and over 200 species of birds, the spectacular views over the city from the grassy ridges or discover the history of the area – including Stone Age and Iron Age archaeological sites – with a local guide.

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