With a work-hard, play-hard mentality, the lifestyle in Johannesburg is sometimes fast-paced. To balance out the stresses of the job, many of Johannesburg's residents enjoy spending their hard-earned money in the city’s shopping centres and markets, as well as on nights out and fine dining.

Expats in Johannesburg will have a lifestyle that is fairly typical to South Africans around the country, and should find it easy to befriend both locals and fellow expats. Everybody in the city is influenced by its wealth and natural beauty.

Shopping in Johannesburg

There is no shortage of options when it comes to shopping in Johannesburg. From designer boutiques to bargain buys at local markets, mega malls and department stores, the city has it all.

Sandton City, at the heart of Johannesburg's financial centre, is a good place to start. Almost anything can be found at one of its hundreds of stores and, as if that isn't enough, shoppers can catch their breath at the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square, which offers fine dining and luxury shopping options of its own.

Those wanting a more personal shopping experience can head to one of the city's markets, a popular pastime on Sundays and public holidays. The Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein is definitely worth a visit, along with Sylvia's Market in Fairmount and the Rosebank Sunday Market.

Nightlife in Johannesburg

Joburgers have mastered the balance between hard-working days and glamorous nights of excess. As one might expect of one of the richest cities in Africa, there is a fairly wide selection of clubs, bars, theatres and cocktail lounges. Expats can go for a night out on the town in trendy Melville, artsy Newtown, mellow Linden or ritzy Rivonia. Those with more refined tastes can also head to Hyde Park, Sandton or Melrose Arch to rub shoulders with local celebrities and the city's wealthy and well-heeled.

Outdoor activities and sports in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is known for being a premier shopping destination, but it is also a city that celebrates sport in a big way. The city is home to the calabash-shaped FNB Stadium, which hosted the FIFA World Cup Final in 2010; Ellis Park, where the Springboks famously won the Rugby World Cup in 1995; and the Wanderers Stadium, venue for the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup Final.

Many of the locals and expats in Johannesburg look to escape the hustle and bustle of the city on weekends. There are many places within the city that fit the bill, such as the Johannesburg Zoo, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden and Zoo Lake. Other options include weekend getaways to nearby small towns such as Hartbeespoort, Clarens, Dullstroom and Cullinan.