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Plan the perfect day: things to do on Valentine’s Day in Johannesburg

January 22, 2019 / South Africa
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February is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is rolling around once again, and everyone’s minds are focused on love and romance – if you’re in a relationship that is. If you’re in Johannesburg for Valentine’s day, you might just have struck gold – in the City of Gold.

Star-crossed lovers of all kinds can find something for them on February 14 in Joburg, with the always huge variety of venues and activities on offer in this global city. Beautiful parks, trendy restaurants, couples’ events, magical sunsets – if the amount of choice is a bit overwhelming, then don’t worry. Our guide to having the perfect Valentine’s day in Joburg will help make sure your date runs smoothly!

A romantic walk

A romantic walk is an essential part of any successful Valentine’s Day. It’s the ideal chance to have one of those conversations with your partner that reminds you both why you got together – and don’t stint on the flirting! Johannesburg’s scenic parks may well offer some of the best locations for just such a relaxed stroll. Zoo Lake is especially glorious at sunset and has many shady groves for picnicking under.

Alternatively, row your beloved across the lake in a brightly coloured boat. Meanwhile, Melville Koppies Nature Reserve supplies a more tranquil experience. This heritage site has an incredible range of flowers, trees and grasses, plus a geology going back billions of years. Take a guided hike in the central or western areas, or stroll by yourself in the reserve’s eastern section.

A massage for two

A mid-afternoon massage is always a great way to unwind after a morning walk and a Valentine’s Day lunch. Johannesburg boasts plenty of spas and massage places. Book up in advance and request a ride to the spa when it’s time to go – or schedule one in advance for hassle-free travel. A few hours of sensual pampering are sure to make your loved one feel special!

Options range from express jet baths to Arabic mud rituals to more relaxing affairs. There’s the award-winning Aronia day spa in Houghton, for example, offering an oasis of tranquillity away from the urban fray. Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Spa at the Westcliff has breathtaking views, a great range of treatments and an infinity lap pool.

Wining and dining

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a candlelit dinner. For a truly glamorous and romantic evening, the Marble Restaurant provides a staggering view across Joburg’s cityscape that you won’t be able to tear your eyes from – that is, until the food arrives. Their main menu, delightfully titled “The Works”, features delicious and eye-catching dishes ranging from crayfish on the coals to flamed quail and game loin prepared in a traditional sosatie.

If you want something a little more low-key but just as stylish, the Marabi Club is the way to go. A sultry, low-light restaurant-cum-jazz-club situated in the basement of Hallmark House, the Marabi Club’s shareable menu and live music makes for a unique and passionate dinner experience. Imagine hands accidently grazing over the calamari, hearts swelling to the sounds of a live jazz band playing up to an expectant audience… does it get any more romantic?

And the rest of the evening…

Watching the sun go down is an obligatory part of any Valentine’s Day experience. One great vantage point for doing this is the Northcliff Water Tower, from where you’ll be able to watch the sun dip against the beautiful backdrop of the city’s skyline. And while you’re up there, don’t forget to take the obligatory panoramic selfie!

For all the single ladies (and gentlemen)

Not found that special someone yet? Don’t worry, you are not forgotten! And you certainly don’t have to be alone. Although some single people may try to forget the occasion exists, it doesn’t have to be that way. Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to celebrate the other relationships in your life. Why not round up your friends, grab an uberX, and hit the town?

You could kick off the evening with dinner and cocktails at the Blind Tiger Café, before rolling onto a good bar like the Beerhouse in Fourways or dancing the night away at And Club’s weekly Thursday-night underground party. If you’d rather settle in and chill somewhere for the evening, the Calexico Vinyl Lounge is perfect for sharing some nachos, wings and drinks with friends, whilst grooving to a live vinyl DJ set.

Whether you’re looking for the top romantic places or fun things to do with your closest friends, planning ahead, especially in terms of things like getting around the city, will help you get the most from every moment of your Valentine’s Day in brilliant Johannesburg.