Johannesburg is South Africa's most diverse, progressive, and energetic city, the country's best showcase for activism and optimism. There's nowhere better if you want to see the face of modern South Africa, and get a sense of how far the nation's come and where it's going next.Though the city – like the rest of South Africa – is still dealing with the legacy of racial segregation, it has become a truly diverse place. Walk around Johannesburg and you'll hear snatches of Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa, but you may also catch some Urdu, Hindi, or Chinese.High-intensity in everything it does, Johannesburg manages not only to be the country’s biggest and the continent’s richest city but also – at least according to the locals – the world’s largest man-made forest. There are some ten million trees dotted around, lending the place a surprisingly fresh and spacious feel.
English is the official language of Johannesburg and is spoken and understood almost everywhere. It is used in schools, colleges, workplaces, and at the places of tourist attractions. Additionally, Afrikaans is widely spoken all around the city, which has been derived from the two major languages - Dutch and Flemish.
The city's climate experiences regular daily thunderstorms from November to March in the afternoons.Johannesburg is situated on the highveld plateau, and has a subtropical highland climate (KöppenCwb). The city enjoys a sunny climate, with the summer months (October to April) characterized by hot days followed by afternoon thundershowers and cool evenings, and the winter months (May to September) by dry, sunny days followed by cold nights. Temperatures in Johannesburg are usually fairly mild due to the city's high elevation, with an average maximum daytime temperature in January of 25.6 °C (78.1 °F), dropping to an average maximum of around 16 °C (61 °F) in June. The UV index for Johannesburg in summers is extreme, often reaching 14–16 due to the high elevation and its location in the subtropics.
Winter is the sunniest time of the year, with mild days and cool nights, dropping to 4.1 °C (39.4 °F) in June and July. The temperature occasionally drops to below freezing at night, causing frost. Snow is a rare occurrence, with snowfall having been experienced in the twentieth century during May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, and September 1981. In the 21st century, there was light sleet in 2006, as well as snow proper on 27 June 2007 (accumulating up to 10 centimeters or 4 inches in the southern suburbs) and 7 August 2012.
Regular cold fronts pass over in winter bringing very cold southerly winds but usually clear skies. The annual average rainfall is 713 millimeters (28.1 in), which is mostly concentrated in the summer months. Infrequent showers occur through the course of the winter months.
Johannesburg uses the South African Rand.
ATM: ATM facilities can be found throughout the main areas of Johannesburg especially in the shopping centers and CBD areas. If you plan on withdrawing money or using your credit card while traveling, don't forget to notify your bank before you go for security purposes and stick to using ATMs in buildings rather than on the street for safety purposes.
Cash: Before you travel it is important to convert some of your Australian Dollars into South African Rand to have with you when you arrive. South African Rand are available to pre-purchase from Travel Money Oz before you fly.
Credit Cards: For large purchases, it's a good idea to bring a credit card with you on your holiday to Johannesburg instead of carrying a lot of cash. If you don't have a credit card, consider a debit credit card that allows you to access your savings account and the local currency from ATMs and wherever credit cards are accepted.
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Top 10 most visited places:
Johannesburg, affectionately called Jo'burg, Jozi, and E'Goli, the "city of gold," is the financial and industrial metropolis of South Africa, built on a rich history of gold mining. The city is rapidly evolving from an edgy safari stopover to a vibrant hub for arts and culture. Cutting-edge contemporary galleries and the new Maboneng Precinct, with its funky restaurants, cafes, and art studios, now rank among the city's top tourist attractions along with the poignant Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. Hop aboard one of the new Gautrain trains and buses to explore or take a guided tour, and not far from the city's borders, more adventures await. You can commune with wildlife at a popular lion park; stroll among the beautiful gardens, parks, and other attractions in Pretoria, the country's administrative capital; and explore the UNESCO-listed Cradle of Humankind, one of the richest paleoanthropological sites in the world.
- The Apartheid Museum: The Apartheid Museum graphically portrays the apartheid story through photos, artifacts, newspaper clippings, chilling personal accounts, and film footage. The sights and sounds of the apartheid era assail visitors as they move through the thought-provoking permanent exhibits on an emotional journey through South Africa's history. Paths follow the country through decades of oppression to the birth of democracy. Reserve at least two hours and preferably longer to get the most out of a visit here. Those interested in learning more about South Africa's struggle for freedom, should also visit Liliesleaf Farm Museum, the former center for the leaders of the liberation movement.
- Constitution Hill: Overlooking the city of Johannesburg, Constitution Hill is a former prison, which provides fascinating insight into South Africa's history. At the site, you can explore provocative exhibits at the Number Four museum, the Women's Gaol museum, and the Old Fort museum. Together, the precinct was once known as The Fort, and it forged a reputation for its brutal treatment of political prisoners, common criminals, and passive resistors; famous former prisoners include Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. Today, the old Awaiting Trial building has been transformed into the Constitutional Court of South Africa, a symbol of freedom that works to protect the rights of all the nation's people. The court welcomes visitors who want to attend hearings and watch the judicial process. Guided tours of Constitutional Hill offer valuable insight into its rich history.
Lion & Safari Park
- Gold Reef City: Gold Reef City, eight kilometers from the city center, takes you back to the gold rush days through a series of thrilling theme park rides and historical exhibits. This family-friendly attraction hosts reproductions of buildings and businesses from the era, and you can also tour a disused shaft of the Crown Mines, one of the richest gold-mines in the world. Children love the trampoline park, ten-pin bowling alley, and exhilarating theme-park rides, including the twisting and turning Anaconda roller coaster. The park also offers dedicated rides for young children, as well as a petting zoo. Putt-putt golf, sideshow games, and gold panning round out the adventures. If you can't tear yourself away from all the fun, you can stay overnight in the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel.
- Soweto & the Mandela Museum: Soweto (an abbreviation for Southwestern Townships) lies 20 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg and offers a journey into the soul of the fight for freedom. This was an area of planned segregation, where black laborers were housed far from the city center, many in shacks made of corrugated iron. It was also the birthplace of the struggle for democracy. In 1976, the Soweto Uprisings sought to overthrow the apartheid state and spread from there to the rest of the country.A popular attraction to visit here is the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, which honors the brave students who protested apartheid during the Soweto Uprisings, some of whom were shot by police, including the museum's namesake, who was only 12 years old.
- The Maboneng Precinct: The vibrant Maboneng Precinct is a fantastic example of a successful mixed-use urban renewal project. Once a rather run-down neighborhood, Maboneng, meaning "place of light," now fizzes with life. Funky restaurants, cafes, art galleries, shops, hotels, and entertainment venues mix smartly with residential buildings. A top attraction here is the weekly Market on Main with food from all over the continent. Arts on Main and Revolution House are two of the first developments where warehouses are transformed into artists' studios, galleries, and shops. Other developments host Bioscope, an independent cinema; a community center; designer hotels; and boutiques. This is a wonderful area to wander around, feel the vibe of the city, and grab a bite to eat or a cool drink.
- Lion & Safari Park Day Trip: At the Lion & Safari Park, you can get up-close with some of Africa's famous wildlife less than an hour's drive from downtown Johannesburg. Animal interactions are the highlight here. You can cuddle a lion cub, take the Cheetah Walk, and hand-feed giraffes. Self-guided tours are permitted, but you can also join a guided game drive in the park's vehicles to see lions, cheetahs, zebras, ostriches, wild dogs, hyenas, and various species of antelope. Nighttime feeding tours and river rafting tours are other popular things to do. Make sure you adhere to all safety regulations and keep your windows up when driving through the park.
Cradle of Humankind
- The Cradle of Humankind Day Trip: About an hour's drive from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's most productive and important paleo-anthropological areas. One of the top attractions here are the Sterkfontein stalactitic caves, which consist of six linked underground chambers with a lake at a depth of about 40 meters. Archaeological excavations here unearthed the skull of a humanoid creature known as Australopithecus africanus, estimated to be two million years old, called "Mrs. Ples," and in 1998, scientists discovered a skeleton that dates the presence of early humans in the valley at 3.5 million years ago. Stop by the Maropeng Visitor Center to view related exhibits and learn more about this fascinating site. Better still, explore all the highlights with an expert guide on the Cradle of Humankind Tour from Johannesburg. This eight-hour excursion includes a guided visit of the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng visitor center, as well as an open-vehicle game drive at the Lion & Safari Park.
- Pilanesberg National Park Day Trip: An easily accessible 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, Pilanesberg National Park is one of the most popular game reserves in South Africa. You have a chance to see Africa's Big Five here (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and white rhino), and the park is known for its extraordinarily rich ecosystems and diversity of wildlife, thanks to its location in a transition zone between the lush Lowveld vegetation and the parched Kalahari Desert. Apart from the Big Five, the park is also home to African wild dogs, sable antelope, zebras, and more than 300 species of birds. Strategically placed photographic hides make it easier to capture close-up photos.
- Day Trip to Pretoria: About 55 kilometers from Johannesburg, Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and is worth visiting for its impressive lineup of historical buildings, monuments, and museums. Ablaze with the purple hues of jacarandas in the spring, Pretoria is also a city of beautiful parks and gardens. Highlights of a visit here include the Pretoria National Botanic Garden, the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, the large zoo, and a clutch of peaceful nature reserves within the city limits, with diverse wildlife and an abundance of birds.
- Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens: If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens offer a serene slice of wilderness on the edge of the city. Managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the garden is one of nine national botanical gardens in South Africa, and this particular location offers plenty of space and beautiful views of red-rock cliffs. The garden's centerpiece is the impressive Witpoortjie Waterfall. Sprawling fields surround the falls, with plenty of prime picnic nooks, and a river and hiking trails weave through the well-tended gardens. Highlights include the Cycad Garden, Fern Trail, Succulent Rockery Garden, the Birds and Butterfly Garden, and the Geological Display Garden. Birders and photographers will appreciate the bird hide, and kids can burn off steam in the Children's Garden. Keep an eye out for the park's abundant birds and insects, including black eagles that nest in the park.
When to Go to Johannesburg:
The best time to visit Johannesburg is May through August, when there is abundant sunshine during winter. Afternoon rainstorms are common in the summer. Though the winter is the sunniest time of year, it can get cold at night but is generally mild during the day. The average daytime temperature throughout the year is 78 degrees; it’s mild since the city is at a high elevation.
Is it safe to visit Johannesburg?
Yes, it’s safe to visit.The slightly longer answer is that some areas are safer than others. The northern suburbs are fine to wander around freely, and downtown areas like Maboneng – a no-go area barely a decade ago – have become safe and exciting models of urban regeneration. Tourists are most at risk of opportunistic crimes like theft and mugging. The best way to protect yourself is to use your common sense: don’t stand on a street corner with your DSLR around your neck staring at a map; don’t carry all your cash around with you; and if you’re going to a less safe district, hire a local guide.
Johannesburg is a sprawling city. Still, urban life tends to spread across various suburbs, each with its own distinct identity and style. Johannesburg has a large public transport system, although it doesn’t reach nearly as many places as we would like and it is not always reliable. However, the city's transport network is currently (and constantly) being upgraded and services like the Gautrain have proven particularly popular.
- Public Transport: Much of the city's new public-transport infrastructure, such as the Gautrain rapid-rail and Rea Vaya bus service, is safe, efficient, and relatively easy to navigate. The Gautrain is most useful for getting between Sandton, Rosebank and Park Station and its network of feeder buses puts some of the suburbs, and particularly Monetcasino, within easier reach for non-motorists. The other great selling point of the Gautrain is its quick link to O.R.Tambo airport - just 15 minutes flat from Sandton station. The Rea Vaya bus is a steadily developing network of buses which links the inner-city with Soweto and western suburbs such as Auckland Park. With a circular route through the city it is a particularly useful mode of transport for those who want to explore the City Centre without a car.
- Taxis and cabs: Uber/Bolt: Uber have become the Joburg ride-hailing system of choice. Generally speaking, it is extremely safe, quick, and reliable and much more competitively priced than regular transfer and meter taxi companies. Uber's main competitor is the local ride-hailing service Bolt, which is cheaper but has a poorer reputation for customer service and safety.
- Mini-bus Taxis: Commonly known quite confusingly as 'taxis', mini-bus taxis are by far the most widely used public transport option in Joburg. Running throughout the city is a complex system of privately owned mini-bus which ferry commuters to all corners of the city, which can be very confusing to navigate without the help of a local. A complex system of hand/finger signals is used by passengers waiting for a 'taxi' to show to passing drivers which direction they want to go.
- Tuk–Tuks: A fun transport option for a short journey are the enterprising fleets of tuk-tuks based in Sandton Central and Melville. While speeding around corners and chugging up steep hills on the back of a glorified motorbike might not be to everyone's tastes, they do make traveling between suburbs much easier. Fares start from R40.
- Driving and car rental: If you have a driving license the easiest way to explore Joburg is by car. There are numerous car rental companies at both Joburg airports, and most offer drop-off or pick-up points in Rosebank or Sandton. When driving, plan your route before setting off, and store valuable items out of sight. South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road, passing on the right (usually). Maximum speed is a nippy 60km/h on urban roads, 100km/h on national roads and 120km/h on highways.
- Metered Taxis: Metered taxis in Johannesburg are expensive but essential if you plan a wild night out. Except for outside hotels, there are very few places where you can hail a taxi in the street. It is best to call and book in advance.
Navigating the city: Navigating the city can sometime be tricky. Street signs are not always visible, and many addresses are given as the corner of two streets rather than as a numbered single-street address. Always check whether numbered street names, such as 1st or 2nd, are streets or avenues.
Johannesburg is Africa's greatest melting pot, with immigrants hailing from Europe, Asia, and all over Africa. This cultural diversity translates into food diversity: Joburg offers an amazing array of dining options featuring cuisine from around the world.
- Pap: Pap, a softly cooked maize-meal, is a main staple in South African food history, especially in the interior plateau region where Johannesburg is located. It is served alongside anything from meaty stews to braai meat to creamy spinach. It was traditionally cooked for large gatherings in three-legged iron pots on an open fire. Today, it’s still the staple of choice for any dinner or gathering. Most Joburgers prefer it to be quite soft, using the palms of their hands to roll it up into little balls.Pap is everywhere in Johannesburg; you don’t have to look for it.
- Chakalaka: Where pap is the staple for any dinner or braai in Johannesburg, chakalaka is the mandatory side dish. This spicy salad (in South Africa, we are generous with our definition of salad) is primarily a mixture of sauteed canned beans, grated carrots, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. Chakalaka will elevate any plate of meat, vegetables, or starch from blandness. As a result, there are many different variations, and secret family recipes are passed down through generations. If you're a lazy millennial like I am, you're more likely to buy it off the shelves and tweak the flavors by adding your spices and condiments.
- Achar: South Koreans have kimchi, the Germans have sauerkraut, and Nordic folk have pickled herring; in Johannesburg we have atchar. There are many variations of South Asian achars (in South Africa it is usually spelled atchar), made with pickled vegetables or fruits in brine, but in South Africa the most popular variant is made with a blend of unripe green mangoes and chillies. It usually comes as a condiment to dishes such as braais, stews, curries, or even just a slice of white bread.
- Kota: The kota (derived from the word “quarter”) is quarter-loaf of bread, hollowed out and stuffed with anything and everything from French fries, polony (similar to baloney) cheese, atchar, etc. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of the kota, but it is popular in townships around Johannesburg and in Gauteng province. The kota is the same family as the Cape Town Gatsby sandwich: a foot-long roll usually layered with similar ingredients. It also bears some resemblance to the Durban Bunny Chow—also a half or quarter loaf of hollowed bread but filled with hot and spicy meat or vegetable curry—thought to have originated with the Indian-descended communities in and around Durban. What is clear is that the kota is a classic Jo’burg take-away meal: a resourceful solution for people always in a rush to get somewhere where money can be made, filled with flavors and textures absorbed from different cultures.
- Braai/Shisanysama: Where cattle were mainly used for the production of milk, they preferred to roast mutton, goat, or game. Another important protein supply for the Khoisan—a somewhat inadequate umbrella term for the non-Bantu tribes that were South Africa's earliest inhabitants—in particular, were grilled insects such as Mopani caterpillars, locusts, and termites. Today, standing around a fire and preparing grilled meat is a unifying part of Johannesburg culture, enjoyed by people across different ethnic backgrounds.
- Biltong: Long before iceboxes and refrigerators were invented, the Khoisan and Bantu people of South Africa were curing and preserving game meat. It was common practice to eat the more perishable meat organs such as liver and kidney first, and then cure, dry, and cut the bigger cuts of meat to be enjoyed later.
- Melktert: The melktert (milk tart) is a delicious baked-egg custard tart made of a fluffy mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar, sometimes thickened with flour, filled into a light, crunchy and sweet pastry case. Topped with a generous dusting of cinnamon, the melktert is perfect when it's given time to settle and cool in the fridge. Its Cape Dutch origins can be attributed to the Dutch mattentaart: a round tangy cake with cheesecake consistency set inside a puff pastry. The cinnamon is an ode to the Javanese slaves that were brought to the Cape of South Africa by the Dutch East India Company. It’s often eaten as a dessert, or as a treat with tea. As per tradition in Johannesburg, you will also find melktert being sold at almost any food market.
- High Tea: It wouldn't be high tea in Johannesburg without a garden view accompanied by scones with jam and clotted cream, savory bites, and a selection of fruity and black teas.
Top ten things to do:
Nelson Mandela Square
Johannesburg, nicknamed ‘Joburg’ or ‘Jozi’, is one of South Africa’s largest cities and a prime tourist destination. Trying to decide what to do in this vibrant city can be overwhelming, so we have come up with a comprehensive list of the best things to do and see in Johannesburg that will guarantee you a fun-filled trip.
- Go to Nelson Mandela Square: Formerly known as Sandton Square, Nelson Mandela Square was renamed in 2004 in honor of the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist, the late Nelson Mandela. A striking statue of Nelson Mandela was erected in the square, which lures many visitors who want to take a picture next to the iconic president. The square also boasts a sprinkler fountain, which provides great entertainment for children.
- Visit Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park: How many opportunities will you get to see a crocodile farm? Situated close to the Lion Park, Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park is one of the world's favorite wildlife filming venues for crocodiles and other reptiles. The park provides a great experience for the whole family. Don't miss feeding time as the crocodile’s wrestle each other for chickens. Best of all, you can have a photo taken holding a baby crocodile or a snake. Be sure to check out the snake show, and once you’ve seen everything the park has to offer you can go for a meal at the pizza restaurant.
- See the Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe: The ruins of Mapungubwe were discovered in 1932. They provide evidence not only of the early smiting of gold in southern Africa, but also of the extravagant wealth and social differentiation of the people of Mapungubwe. Among the ruins a gold foil rhinoceros was found molded over a soft core of sculpted wood. A replica of the gold rhinoceros was erected on Fox Street, just opposite the Hollard Street pedestrian mall. The Limpopo province, where the discovery was made, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many people stop by The Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe to take a photo with this historical gem.
- Place your bet at Montecasino: If you find yourself in the Sandton area you could make a trip to Montecasino. The leisure and casino complex covers 26 hectares of land and buskers and street performers are wandering around entertaining visitors. Montecasino was first opened on November 30, 2000. It presently attracts 9.3 million visitors annually who are amazed by the theatrics and high-quality entertainment. The main casino building boasts a fake sky painted on the roof that goes from light to dark from one side to the other.
Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park
- Spend a Day at Lesedi Cultural Village: A visit to Lesedi Cultural Village is always fulfilling, as the place allows visitors to get a glimpse of the different South African tribes and cultures. Located near the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Lesedi Cultural Village reproduces traditional houses and offers demonstrations of dances and other traditions of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, Nguni and Ndebele people. For a reasonable price you get to sleep in colorfully decorated traditional huts equipped with bathrooms. You can also sample authentic African cuisines prepared by talented local cooks.
- Dine and shop at Fresh Earth Food Store: Located on Komatie Street, Fresh Earth Food Store was established to foster a new understanding of healthy eating and sustainability. Its delicious vegetarian dishes are prepared from scratch and they don't contain any artificial additives, sweeteners, colorants, or preservatives, so the meals are nutritious and healthy. Not only does Fresh Earth offer tasty vegetarian treats, but here you can also shop for healthy groceries, supplements, and baby food. It also stocks cleaning products and kitchen equipment. One bonus is the detailed vegetarian recipes available for free at the store.
- Go to Johannesburg Zoo: The Johannesburg Zoo sits on 140 acres of land and is home to about 2,000 animals of 320 different species. The zoo has been around since 1904 and was formerly owned and operated by the Johannesburg City Council. However, it has recently been turned into a corporation and registered as a non-profit organization. Though often overlooked by tourists, the zoo has been upgraded over the past few years and is definitely worth a visit. Here, you’ll be able to see pygmy hippos, primates, reptiles, monkeys, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, rhinos, antelope, and leopards among other animals.
- Visit the Old Fort Prison Complex: One of the attractions in the Constitution Hill area of Johannesburg is the Old Fort Prison Complex, which dates from the late 19th century. The prison buildings were built by the Boers (Afrikaans speakers) starting in 1896 as the place to put any British invaders who were captured. During the Second Boer War, the tables were turned when the British took over the Old Fort and used the prison to hold (and execute) captive Boers.Later, during apartheid, the main part of the Old Fort was a “whites-only” prison. An exception was made for Nelson Mandela, who was held here briefly in 1962 before his Rivonia Trial. Gandhi was also among those held in another part of the prison complex.
- Origins Centre Tours: The Origins Centre museum traces the beginning of human history in Africa, and then places visitors in the human timeline with DNA testing. Located in the Braamfontein area of Johannesburg as part of the University of the Witwatersrand, Origins Centre opened in 2006. As the name suggests, the museum's exhibits of fossils, artifacts, and rock art take visitors through history to the origins of humankind some 80,000 years. Interactive displays enhance the experience for all ages. Visitors are also invited to take a DNA test to trace their own ancestral history in addition to a tour of the Origins Centre.
- Museum Africa: Museum Africa, Johannesburg's main cultural and historical museum, occupies an imposing building that was once the city's main fruit and vegetable market. Its inner-city location is key; Museum Africa concentrates on urban living, and thus complements the numerous cultural displays which show life as it has been lived for centuries in rural areas.One of the most interesting interactive displays examines the importance of gold for South Africa – not just the prosperity it has brought, but the high human toll of the mining industry.
- Tourists are recommended to use only bottled water for drinking. You can find it in all grocery stores and supermarkets. Tap water is not harmful to health, but the use of it can exacerbate the process of acclimatization.
- Tourists should make excursions around the city only when accompanied by a guide or in a group. Soweto, Alexandra, Hillbrow, and Kettlhong are considered the most unsafe areas for walking and sightseeing.
- Tourists, who plan to travel around the city by car, in no case should stop in solitary places and leave their car unattended. If during your journey you see the «DO NOT STOP! » sign, this means that drivers are allowed not to stop even if there’s a red stoplight.
- All valuable items should be stored in your guestroom’s safe. When going out, it is recommended not to wear jewelry and watches. Cellphones are advised to wear inside a bag and not in your hand. Any valuable item can attract thieves.
- Holiday-makers are not recommended to use public transport. Many special tour buses ply around the city every day. Travelers can also get a taxi or rent a car with ease.
- Smoking and consuming alcohol is prohibited in public areas. Violators of this rule will be charged heavy fines. Appearance on the streets of the city in a drunken state may also be the reason for a monetary penalty.
- Travelers, who expect to dedicate much time to shopping, are recommended to pay in cash. When using a credit card, tourists are likely to become victims of fraud. It is also better to ask money in small denominations in banks and exchange offices.
- Tips are not officially accepted in restaurants and bars of the city, but any monetary reward will be appropriate. As a rule, a tip of 10% of the total order is enough.
- The periods from the beginning of December to the end of January and from July to September are considered the high season. At that time, prices in hotels, restaurants, and shops are always increased substantially.
- Items made of precious and semi-precious stones and jewelry remain one of the most popular souvenirs with tourists. The best way to purchase jewelry is to visit specialty stores. Tourists are not recommended to buy expensive items from individuals and sellers at the market.