Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal. If you find any mistakes or historical inaccuracies, please contact the editor.
The Joburg skyline (or at least hints of it) can be viewed from hundreds of places around the city. There are some spots that provide such an exceptional view and experience that they must be shared. City enthusiasts will be aware of these and many more not mentioned. Please add your favourite spots in the comments section below.
The Hill above the Dutch Reformed Church, Cottesloe
The suburb of Cottesloe is located to the west of the City between parts of the UJ and Wits campuses. On a hill above Annet Road (accessed via Hull Street - click here for a google map) lies the landmark Dutch Reformed Church. If you make your way to the top of the hill you will see a magnificent view of the church with the city skyline in the background. The site is a favourite for photographic groups and some epic sunrises have been captured. In addition to the views of the city, photographers can get great aerial shots of the famous Gas Works.
The Cottesloe Church with the Joburg skyline behind (The Heritage Portal)
The Gas Works (The Heritage Portal)
Contributing to the significance of the site is the Oudstryders Monument. This monument was built in 1938 to honour Boer fighters of the South African War (click here for the full story).
Oudstryders Monument (The Heritage Portal)
Da Gama Park
Da Gama Park is located in Observatory to the north east of the inner city (click here for a map). Kathy Munro has written a beautiful article on the park describing how it is her favourite place for falling in love with Johannesburg (click here to read). Visitors look over the Observatory Golf Course towards the towers on the Yeoville Ridge and then some landmark Joburg structures beyond.
View of the Yeoville Ridge with Ponte behind (Kathy Munro)
Towers from Da Gama Park (Kathy Munro)
If you make your way to one of the high points at Albert's Farm a magnificent vista opens up. This spot is well known to hikers and cyclists in Joburg. Not only can you see the Joburg skyline in the distance but you can catch a glimpse of Rosebank and Sandton as well (Northcliff Hill is one of the best places to go if you want to see all three nodes at the same time).
A more distant view of the City of Gold (The Heritage Portal)
Zooming in on a portion of the skyline (The Heritage Portal)
If there was a poll for the best place to view the skyline, Langerman Kop would probably come out on top. Visitors have been coming here for decades for obvious reasons. Looking through the valley towards the city at sunset is one of the great Joburg experiences. Click here for a map. These days it is probably best to go in groups to ensure safety.
Langerman Kop is one of Joburg's famous viewpoints (The Heritage Portal)
Caledonia Hill is a short distance south of Langerman Kop as the crow flies (click here to view on google maps). It provides an equally stunning view of Johannesburg. Once again it is probably best to go in a group. I have visited this site countless times and never get tired of it. The dreamlike afternoon sun makes a visit a very special experience.
The hill is also home to the famous Scottish Horse Memorial, one of the earliest memorials in Johannesburg (click here for the full story).
Students enjoying Caledonia Hill (The Heritage Portal)
Scottish Horse Memorial (The Heritage Portal)
When visiting Soccer City to watch a game of football or attend a concert make sure you give yourself some extra time to walk around the stadium. In addition to marvelling at the architecture and scale of the structure you can take in the view of the Johannesburg skyline. The open panels invite you to pause and contemplate the city in the distance.
Soccer City with dozens of open panels (The Heritage Portal)
View through one of the open panels (The Heritage Portal)
A wider view through another open panel (The Heritage Portal)
Fans leaving Soccer City (The Heritage Portal)
Various Inner City Buildings
Here you can choose almost any reasonably tall building in the City and the views will be awesome (Carlton Centre, Ponte, Randlords, the Parktonian, Ansteys etc.). Access is often an issue so keep an eye on event listings on The Heritage Portal and elsewhere to take advantage of these opportunities.
View of Hillbrow from the Parktonian (The Heritage Portal)
View from The Franklin (The Heritage Portal)
View from Stuttafords (The Heritage Portal)
View over Gandhi Square from the Carlton (The Heritage Portal)
View from the Metro Centre (The Heritage Portal)
View from Mill Junction (The Heritage Portal)
At the bottom end of Highland Road lies Yeoville Hill (click here to view). When looking out over the city, the buildings often feel so close you could touch them. The hill also has great views over Doornfontein towards Troyeville and Jeppestown. This is a very popular spot for bloggers, photographers and international news stations. [Update - Access to the Hill appears to be restricted at the moment (early 2017)]
View across the City from Yeoville Hill (The Heritage Portal)
View over Berea and Hillbrow from Westminster Mansions which is above Yeoville Hill (The Heritage Portal)
Although not as accessible as the places mentioned above, the window seat of a plane is a wonderful place to view the city. I always try and sit on the left of the plane and hope that the pilot does a city fly-by.
Joburg from a window seat (The Heritage Portal)
There are countless other great spots to view the Joburg skyline. Please add your favourites in the comments section below.