The Hillbrow Tower is a tall tower located in the Hillbrow suburb of Johannesburg. Originally known as the JG Strijdom tower, the structure was completed in 1971 and is one of the tallest constructions in the Southern Hemisphere. The Hillbrow Tower was also a major telecommunications for the city.
Recognized as the unofficial symbol of Johannesburg, the Hillbrow Tower used to be a major tourist attraction for its unparalleled city views, and is often a stop on walking and sightseeing tours.
Standing at 833-feet (269-meters) tall the tower also had a slow-revolving restaurant at the top, as well as another non-rotating restaurant, both of which were ornately decorated with luxury items and tribal wares. Unfortunately, due to security reasons, the tower closed to the public in 1981. In 2010, however, a giant soccer ball was attached to the tower in celebration of the FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Unfortunately, there is no public access to the building and is primarily used as telecommunications office space.
- Once the home of extreme wealth the Hillbrow neighborhood is now a high-crime area, and alleys should be avoided.
- It’s best to visit the area during daylight hours.
- For a cityscape view consider heading to the Top of Africa at Carlton Centre.
How to Get There
Hillbrow Tower is best reached by car and is a 6-minute drive east of Constitution Hill. Tours do not actually approach the tower but rather pick a desirable vantage point to talk about its history and importance to the city.
When to Get There
Again, you cannot enter the building as it is closed to the public, but if you choose to approach the tower do so during daylight hours. The best time to visit Johannesburg is during the low seasons of March through May and September through November, for a less crowded experience.
Get a View of the City from Carlton Centre
For panoramic views of Johannesburg head to the Carlton Centre. Take the lift on the lower level of the shopping mall up to the Top of Africa for a small fee.
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