Johannesburg has the reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and the title is not undeserved.
That said, Johannesburg has changed a lot in the past years: new cool neighborhoods are developing, artists and creatives are moving to the city and it is getting safer.
The city cannot be compared to Cape Town but Johannesburg does have a few cool areas worth visiting.
Downtown Johannesburg is not really where the happening is, life here pulses in neighborhoods that are a little outside like Maboneng or Braamfontein.
The downtown area is in a pretty shabby state, many houses are squatted and there are some streets here that you should avoid.
Try to find accommodation in Maboneng and start your ventures to the rest of the city from here. Because Maboneng is one of the coolest neighborhoods in town, centrally located just to the East of downtown, and most importantly safe.
There are lots of cool restaurants and cafes and very modern loft-style apartments. Here you can safely move around at night, although still with the usual common sense.
Apart from Maboneng, Braamfontein is another hip and cool neighborhood. You see a lot of cool young folks around, there are some cafes, bars, restaurants and nice shops in the area.
Women digital nomads will need to take note on the safer areas of Jo'burg and the neighborhoods to avoid. The downtown area used to be Johannesburg’s financial and business center, nowadays many of the old buildings are squatted and decaying.
While its residential life has grown immensely over the past few years, most of the city centre's offerings are best enjoyed in daylight. One street you should avoid is Commissioner Street in the downtown area. Avoid being in the CBD after dark, during weekends or over public holidays.
Johannesburg is great to visit all round the year as the temperatures during various seasons don’t differ too much (dry and sunny climate).