The best view in Joburg is from Africa’s tallest skyscraper

2017-11-17 06:00 - Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine
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The bustling City of Gold is a sprawling metropolis with its winding highways, billowing industrial, brown-red skyline and leafy suburbs in the distance - as a deceptively thin layer of fog throws a hazy glow over everything.

The best time to take in this spectacle is just before and after sunset.  As the sun slowly sinks, the city begins to exhale with peak-hour traffic and pretty city lights transforming the buildings and skyline into far sexier forms.

For a real bird’s eye perspective, jet up to the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre via the express lift to drink in this view from its 360-degree viewing deck. This 223m vantage point has been around since the late 60s.

Other than through Google Earth, you will struggle to find a more staggering view of the city, ideally viewed with an ice-cold beverage in hand bought from the cash-only coffee shop and bar.

Top of Africa

In its heyday, back in the 70s and 80s, Carlton Centre was what Johannesburg elite considers Sandton City to be today – the shopping mall to be seen at, and to shop for the best the city can offer. It also used to house the once prestigious Carlton Hotel, which had rolled out the red carpet to the likes of Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Whitney Houston and former French President François Mitterrand, among other noted celebrities and heads of state. Sadly, the hotel closed its doors to the public in the 90s.

Today, the Carlton Centre remains a shopping hive, heaving with commuters, traffic and shoppers as they frequent fast food outlets and popular retailers and its surrounding hawkers.

Join the Hop-On Hop-off Red Johannesburg City Tour or jump off the Rea Vaya, which has a stop close to the centre, or book a Joburg Inner City Tour through Past Experiences to get the benefit of a full, guided walk and talk-through about the hidden secrets of the city.

But for those who don’t live or work in close proximity, it holds the allure of being arguably the tallest building in Africa - or the Top of Africa as it’s become known. It certainly belongs at the top of the list of Jozi’s best sundowner views.

Step out of your comfort zone and discover the beautiful views that Johannesburg has to offer this summer with Heineken. Enjoy a Heineken and indulge in these delicacies while appreciating the beauty of the city #OpenYourCity. 

What to know if you go:

Where: 156 Commissioner Street (bounded by von Wielligh, Kruis and Main Streets, Johannesburg CBD)

When:  Weekdays 9am to 6pm, Saturdays 9am to 5pm and Sundays 9am to 2pm

Cost: R15 for adults and R10 for children, available for purchase at the ticket office

ContactCarlton Centre or 011 308 1331