The bridge, whose modern design has a lightweight appearance, consists of two vehicle lanes and has pedestrian walkways on either side. Thanks to the bridge, it's now easier to get between attractions such as the SAB World of Beer, the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Mary Fitzgerald Square, the Civic Theatre, the Market Theatre, and the 1913 Museum Africa.
The bridge can be viewed from one of Johannesburg's most popular roads, the M1 highway. Sightseeing tours of the city typically include a photo stop at the bridge—a great way to squeeze in a visit between other attractions such as Carlton Centre and Constitution Hill.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Nelson Mandela Bridge is a great option for spontaneous travelers as visiting requires little planning.
- There is a bicycle lane that cyclists can use.
- The bridge is open all hours.
How to Get There
Take Jan Smuts Avenue (M27) in the direction of the Johannesburg city center. Drive straight through Braamfontein and keep right at the fork to drive over the bridge. The bridge is just a 15-minute walk from Constitution Hill and Johannesburg Railway Station.
When to Get There
The entire bridge is illuminated at night with varying colors creating something of a light show that can be seen from the Johannesburg city center. Due to safety concerns, it is, however, recommended that visitors who want to walk over the bridge do so only during the day.
Braamfontein Connected to Newtown by the Nelson Mandela Bridge, Braamfontein, or ‘Braam,’ is one of the city’s hippest areas. The area is filled with students—and the University of Witwatersrand’s East Campus—as well as a number of young creative types. This is a great place to visit restaurants, coffee shops, contemporary art galleries, and design and fashion stores, and catch live music at venues such as The Orbit.