Rosebank And The Parks Suburbs

The "Old Suburbs" of Johannesburg
The Greater Rosebank Area of Johannesburg, comprises the suburbs of Rosebank, Parkhurst, Parkview and Parktown. From a tourism point of view we like to put Emmerentia and Northcliff together with the Parks trio. This is because this North and North Western areas of Old Johannesburg are quite discinct from other areas of greater Johannesburg. These are the "old money" areas, which have a distinctly different vibe to them, when compared with the "new money" area of Sandton.

All of these suburbs are relatively old, being established during the period from 1896 to 1907. Many wealthy mining magnates lived in these suburbs, and their magnificent mansions are still there today. There are also many very well established parks and leafy roads in this area, as well as some surprisingly extensive viewspots. 

Numerous parks and dams (artificial lakes) were developed during this time, which today make for open areas which are frequented by locals and their dogs - especially over the weekends or during the holidays. There are areas in which evidence of Stone Age man is to be found on the hills in and around this area, and there are some spectacular views to be had. The whole area is now filled with vibey restaurants, antique shops, art galleries, and - in Rosebank - some superb souvenir shops and markets.


What makes Rosebank an ideal tourist destination? Besides the fact that it is a beautiful, upmarket suburb, Rosebank also offers a multitude of shopping experiences and luxurious accommodation. Shopping The Mall of Rosebank is a prestigious shopping centre, catering to high-end consumers of quality products. The Zone @ Rosebank, alongside the mall, offers a fun and casual environment, with a range of stores and entertainment to choose from. Cinema Nouveau, the popular art house cinema, is situated in the Mall as well as a standard cinema complex at The Zone.

Markets, Arts and Crafts

The markets in Rosebank are popular with local and international tourists alike. The Roof-Top Market in Rosebank is known by many as the best flea market in Johannesburg. With over 500 stalls, one would have little trouble finding ceramics, collectibles, arts, and crafts, to name but a few offerings. The Rosebank African Craft Market, which is located next to the Rosebank mall, is a haven for tourists, with a wide offering of all things African. These unique, high-quality, handcrafted African goods cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The craft market captures the essence and talent of Africa, with an offering ranging from wooden masks and animal figurines, stone sculptures, beading, jewellery, paintings, and plenty of other amazing products. These are created by artists from all over Africa.

Location and Getting Around

Although Rosebank is an amazing shopping destination, it is interesting to note that it is the second largest business district in Johannesburg, and one of the most upmarket residential areas as well. Rosebank is on the rise, with all typesof developments taking place. It is conveniently situated for all, with the Gautrain running through the area; therefore transport is rarely an issue. It is also situated only 35 minutes from O.R Tambo International Airport.Getting around Rosebank is a breeze – one can just take a stroll through the area. Oftentimes, tour buses transport commuters to the African Market as well.

Rosebank is a multi-cultural area, with a hive of activity. It is trendy and entertaining, as well as cosmopolitan and sophisticated. It is certainly worth a visit.

Parkhurst - The Village with a Vibe

If you are looking for a hive of activity all bundled into one location, then Parkhurst is the place to be. Once a quiet suburban area, Parkhurst has blossomed into a continental lair for those who want to see and be seen. The synergy between the residential roads and Fourth Avenue is evident as residents out on a stroll settle at one of the many popular sidewalk cafes.

Regardless of the expansion in commercial activity, Parkhurst may still be viewed as a quaint little village, accompanied by a grocery store, library as well as various boutiques and funky old-school antique stores, to name but a few. The two main roads that define this area are Fourth Avenue as well as Sixth Street. Fourth Avenue is alive with the buzzing sounds of sidewalk cafes, whilst Sixth Street is characterised by a variety of décor and design stores.

Parkhurst is virtually situated in the centre of the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg, and is conveniently surrounded by various other popular areas such as Rosebank, Greenside, and Emmarentia. Although the property prices have increased over the years, it is a worthwhile move to make if one is considering a change in everyday suburban life.

Food and Fun

For pub crawlers, the Jolly Roger is a fun and enjoyable hang out, not to mention the fact that their signature pizzas are absolutely scrumptious. Whatever occasion, there will be a place on Fourth Avenue. If one is in the mood for a romantic dinner, head to George’s on Fourth, for a fusion menu, visit The Attic, which also has a separate hip and happening cocktail lounge. For a taste of European Cuisine, there is Espresso, while Ruby Sushi is the place to go if that fishy craving attacks.

In winter, the cafes and bistros are warm and cosy, whilst in summer; there are ample locations available if one desires a cool breeze at a sidewalk café. Whether it’s a quiet breakfast, a business lunch, or a night out on the town, Parkhurst will have it.

If you haven’t yet been, go ahead, give it a try. It will be worth it.

Tourism in The Rosebank area

Because there are very few organized tours to this area, we suggest that you select a route to take you around to your favourite Attractions or Things to Do. The Parks route is one that shows you these older suburbs of northern Johannesburg City, which were the "posh" suburbs of the mining era, during which many architecturally interesting homes were built.

Select the things that you want to do depending on the amount of time you have available. A straight drive from Parkhurst with stops only to view the area would take you as little as 2 hours - but it you spend some time at the zoo, or the shops and restaurants - the trip could take up the whole day. You decide - just click on an icon to see its Profile and then view the Virtual Tour - you'll have a pretty good idea of what you'll be missing if you don't stop in.