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Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Johannesburg
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Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi.

There are so many posts right now on which is the best city to base yourself for the 2010 World Cup (before we know where our teams are playing, if they make it - I'm Scottish!) that I thought I'd try and summarise my view.

Hopefully we can do a ‘Wiki’ approach – where all posters criticise, critique and contribute so I can summarise it as a tip that can be referred to in the future? It's intended to be a quick, un-biased view so please be constructive: I'm sure I've missed some highlights of your favourite cities. Also, everyone wants different things (budget, culture, party, daytrips etc.), so this is meant to be a general view for football fans.

I haven't attempted to comment upon Polokwane, Bloemfontein or Rustenburg because I don't really feel qualified to comment. However if you want to list your pros and cons for them, please do so.

JOHANNESBURG:

PROS:

> Proximity to large number of games. 4 stadiums within 1 hour (Soccer City, Ellis Park, Loftus Versfield and Rustenburg), 3 within a 4 hour distance (Nelspruit, Polokwane and Bloemfontien), Durban is 6 hours. Until you know where your team will be playing, this is the best ‘bet’.

> Opening games and finals. Soccer City stadium is the 'showpiece’ stadium.

> Because of above, likely to have most: fans coming; fan zones; party atmosphere.

> Big cosmopolitan city with great social scene anyway.

> Good connections (flights, roads) to all of SA (including Kruger and numerous other safari options) and where nearly all international flights land anyway. If want to combine with Botswana (e.g. Okavango Delta), Namibia or Zambia/Zimbabwe (Vic Falls) then most and cheapest flights.

> Gautrain (high speed train) from airport through centre of town.

> It will be sunny for 9 out of 10 days and but very cold (near freezing) most nights.

> Apartheid Museum, Lion Park, De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, Cradle of Humankind plus Madikwe (3-4 hours) is good, malaria-free safari option.

CONS:

> Reputation for crime - but perhaps actually not that different to other SA cities - and reputation worse than reality.

> Many of major, 'chain' hotels are already fully booked.

> Much of the accommodation (in the north of Joburg) is far from the Joburg city grounds (in the centre of town).

PRETORIA:

[Same as Joburg other than...}

PROS:

> Accommodation cheaper

> Interesting history, historical buildings and different culture (very Afrikaans) - in my experience this is very friendly and generous to foreigners coming to experience SA

> Loftus Versfield is a great stadium for watching sport, and there are more obvious 'pedestrian' public areas for fans to get together, e.g. Hatfield Square.

CONS:

> Public transport and connections to other cities and Joburg stadiums not so good, although presumably there will be transport put on for the World Cup.

> Relatively socially conservative - locals may not enjoy fans behaving 'badly'.

CAPE TOWN:

PROS:

> Iconic city of SA and naturally very beautiful - if come to SA, have to see Table Mountain etc.

> Robben Island, climbing Table Mountain, Victoria & Albert Waterfront, Shark Diving, Whale Watching.

> Great beaches (see Cons: weather)

> Stadium in great location - close to city centre and in nice area

> Nearby winelands (great scenery, pretty villages, Cape Dutch architecture, great restaurants)

> Great restaurants

> Very set-up for tourists - many guesthouses, tour companies, hop on - hop off bus service

CONS:

> Weather. Could be warm and sunny, but good chance will also be very wet and windy. The sea will be too cold for swimming.

> Expensive (for pretty much eveything a tourist will want to do)

> Distance from other games if your team isn't playing in Cape Town or qualifies to later stages.

> No good safari options nearby

DURBAN:

PROS:

> Weather. Should have best weather of all host cities - warm (if not hot), not cold at night and importantly the sea will be warm enough to be just about swimmable in.

> Social scene - if rugby games are anything to go by, the parties before, during and after the games (on the beach) will be the best in SA

> Nearest geographically to safari. Not necessarily Kruger (but southern Kruger isn't too far away), but Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Thanda, Tembe, St Lucia, Itala etc. etc.

> Beach - in Durban and nearby. Including great diving and some surfing.

> Other attractions nearby - The Battlefields, Swaziland, The Midlands / Drakensberg

> 'Only' 6 hours drive to Joburg / Pretoria

> Curries

CONS:

> City itself is pretty unattractive (but nice green rolling hills).

> Most guesthouses are away from centre of town (may not be a bad thing).

> Not as set up for tourists as other locations listed - big hotels not too near the stadium.

PORT ELIZABETH:

PROS:

> Nice, friendly coastal city with good beaches and great beaches nearby.

> Slightly better weather than Cape Town.

> Addo Elephant Park and Shamwari for nearby safari.

> Proximity to The Wild Coast for a more real 'African' experience, quiet beaches and dramatic coastline.

> Good range of reasonably priced guesthouses in city and surrounding area.

CONS:

> Weather could still be wet and windy.

> Distance from other venues, although nice driving options to / from Cape Town.

> Accommodation may become very over-priced if a 'big' team (e.g. Scotland!) gets drawn there.

> Limited transport infrastructure for tourists.

NELSPRUIT:

PROS:

> Proximity to Kruger National Park, Mozambique beaches and Swaziland.

> Relatively wealthy, friendly city with lots for tourists to do (mainly golf or safari-related).

> Although flights are likely to be very booked up (due to safari), the drives from Johannesburg / Pretoria and Durban are nice and very manageable.

> Weather - should be warm, if not hot.

CONS:

> Small city so limited party scene (but will change with World Cup).

> Distance from other venues.

> Flights likely to be very expensive for distance covered and very booked up.

> The major advantage of location - Kruger - is also likely to be very expensive / fully booked.

Cape Town
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11. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi Rob

Have you got some examples of how dining out (emphasise like-for like) is more expensive in Cape Town. Sure the Waterfront and Camps Bay can be expensive, but that is why most of the posts on here direct visitors to the dozens (hundreds!) of better value places around Cape Town. So let’s go more up market than a Spur and pick, at least by reputation, the two best meat orientated restaurants in the cities. In Joburg, The Butchers Shop and Grill in the Sandton Shopping Centre is supposedly the Iconic Joburg Steak Restaurant – A well aged and hung Sirloin Steak is R97.69 (strange pricing!). In Cape Town IMO (and others on here) the best meat restaurant is Carne SA in a 200 year old building. Italian Butchery, so not the same cuts, but a Lombatella Hangar Steak is R95. A huge Fiorentina Steak (1.2kg) for two people is R180. Butchers Shop includes chips but sauces are extra. Carne includes sauces, as appropriate, but chips are extra. BTW I have eaten in both a number of times and I know which I prefer!

Johannesburg
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12. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi.

You made me hungry! I had a look around online to see official cost of living comparisons but unfortunately the EIU.com doesn't cover Cape Town and decided to go make my steak sandwich rather than look further!

The Butchers Shop in Joburg is in probably the most touristy eating venue in Joburg and specifically targets Western Corporate clients entertaining, so the comparison is a bit unfair.

I don't think 'normal' restaurants are more expensive in Cape Town but the reality is most tourists to eat in Waterfront and Camps Bay despite what the fact that there is better value elsewhere.

I'll make a point of eating out lots on my trip this weekend! Happy to change comment to 'eating out in popular areas for tourists (e.g. V&A) relatively expensive compared to other SA restuarants' or delete entirely if you feel very strongly about it.

Cape Town
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13. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi Rob

Agree with the last statement - perfect. Just shows Capetonians and Joburgers can reach amicable agreement - another Urban Myth down the drain!

On the other hand, Cost of Living Index does not reflect costs for tourists or World Cup attendees. - unless they want to buy a house while their here, which I am acctualy sure some of them will! No disagreement on Joburg House Prices being lower (lots) than Cape Town!

Long Island City...
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14. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

In case this is still relevant - of the top 100 most expensive real estates markets worldwide at the beginning of 2009, Cape Town was 78th in the world and Jo'Burg didnt make the list!

Johannesburg
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15. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi. I've edited it and will create a new post and tip on my travel page next week (in case others want to add comments)so can refer to it in the future. Cheers. Rob. Satpack Travel.

Hi.

There are so many posts right now on which is the best city to base yourself for the 2010 World Cup that I summarized my view. We then did a bit of a ‘Wiki’ approach – where other posters added their comments / criticized etc! It's intended to be a quick, unbiased view and please feel free to add additional comments so I can update it. I haven't attempted to comment upon Polokwane, Bloemfontein or Rustenburg because I don't really feel qualified to comment. However if you want to list your pros and cons for them, please do so.

JOHANNESBURG:

PROS:

> Proximity to large number of games. 4 stadiums within 1 hour (Soccer City, Ellis Park, Loftus Versfield and Rustenburg), 3 within a 4 hour distance (Nelspruit, Polokwane and Bloemfontien), Durban is 6 hours. Until you know where your team will be playing or if you want to maximize your chances of seeing games in the knock-out stages, this is the best ‘bet’.

> Opening games and finals. Soccer City stadium is the 'showpiece’ stadium.

> Because of above, likely to have most: fans coming; fan zones; party atmosphere.

> Big cosmopolitan city with great social scene anyway.

> Good connections (flights, roads) to all of SA (including Kruger and numerous other safari options) and where nearly all international flights land anyway. If want to combine with Botswana (e.g. Okavango Delta), Namibia or Zambia/Zimbabwe (Vic Falls) then most and cheapest flights.

> Gautrain (high speed train) from airport through centre of town. Rapid Transit Bus System should improve congestion on ring roads and city centre.

> It will be sunny for 9 out of 10 days and but very cold (near freezing) most nights.

> Apartheid Museum, Lion Park, De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, Cradle of Humankind plus Madikwe (3-4 hours) is good, malaria-free safari option.

CONS:

> Reputation for crime - but perhaps actually not that different to other SA cities - and reputation worse than reality.

> Many of major, 'chain' hotels are already fully booked.

> Much of the accommodation (in the north of Joburg) is far from the Joburg city grounds (in the centre of town).

PRETORIA:

[Same as Joburg other than...}

PROS:

> Accommodation cheaper

> Interesting history, historical buildings and different culture (very Afrikaans) - in my experience this is very friendly and generous to foreigners coming to experience SA

> Loftus Versfield is a great stadium for watching sport, and there are more obvious 'pedestrian' public areas for fans to get together, e.g. Hatfield Square.

CONS:

> Public transport and connections to other cities and Joburg stadiums not so good, although presumably there will be transport put on for the World Cup.

> Relatively socially conservative - locals may not enjoy fans behaving 'badly'.

> Traffic to (7-9am) and from (4-7pm) Johannesburg can be very congested.

CAPE TOWN:

PROS:

> Iconic city of SA and naturally very beautiful - if come to SA, have to see Table Mountain etc.

> Robben Island, climbing Table Mountain, Victoria & Albert Waterfront, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Shark Diving, Whale Watching.

> Fascinating history. Many buildings dating back more than 250 years in daily use. Visit The Castle, Georgian Homes, the Muslim Bo-Kaap District...

> Great beaches (see Cons: weather)

> Stadium in great location - close to city centre and in nice area. Expanded Fan area with V&A Waterfront and City Centre Fan Park all directly linked to the stadium.

> Nearby winelands (great scenery, pretty villages, Cape Dutch architecture, great restaurants)

> Great restaurants. Relaxed, liberal city that’s good at partying.

> Very set-up for tourists - many guesthouses, tour companies, hop on - hop off bus service

> Some direct flights from Long-haul destinations, including planned direct flights from US.

> New rapid bus transit system should improve traffic (can be problematic in rush hour if coming into / leaving the city centre)

> Excellent options to stay outside of Cape Town itself, but within easy travelling distance of the stadium. For example Stellenbosch which is the 2nd oldest town in SA, will be quiet due to student holidays, in the centre of the beautiful winelands with more than 140 wineries, excellent restaurants, accommodation and historic buildings. Only 30-45mins from Cape Town (outside of rush hour) and very close to other winelands attractions such as Franschhoek and Paarl.

CONS:

> Weather. Could be warm and sunny, but good chance will also be very wet and windy. The sea will be too cold for swimming.

> Can be more expensive than other host cities due to large number of facilities catering for top-end tourism (and the fact that there is so much to see and do!). Eating out in popular tourist areas relatively expensive.

> Distance from other games if your team isn't playing in Cape Town or qualifies to later stages.

> No good safari options nearby

DURBAN:

PROS:

> Weather. Should have best weather of all host cities - warm (if not hot), not cold at night and importantly the sea will be warm enough to be just about swimmable in.

> Social scene - if rugby games are anything to go by, the parties before, during and after the games (on the beach) will be the best in SA

> Nearest geographically to safari. Not necessarily Kruger (but southern Kruger isn't too far away), but Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Thanda, Tembe, St Lucia, Itala etc. etc.

> Beach - in Durban and nearby. More tropical and ‘African’ than other host cities. Including great diving and some surfing.

> Other attractions nearby - The Battlefields, Swaziland, The Midlands / Drakensberg

> 'Only' 6 hours drive to Joburg / Pretoria

> Curries

CONS:

> The city centre itself is pretty unattractive, with major highways throughout town. But the stadium and many of the best guesthouses are away from the centre in attractive suburbs (leafy green tree-lined streets, old colonial houses and rolling hills)

> Most guesthouses are away from centre of town (may not be a bad thing).

PORT ELIZABETH:

PROS:

> Nice, friendly coastal city with good beaches and great beaches nearby.

> Slightly better weather than Cape Town.

> Addo Elephant Park and Shamwari for nearby safari.

> Proximity to The Wild Coast for a more real 'African' experience, quiet beaches and dramatic coastline.

> Good range of reasonably priced guesthouses in city and surrounding area.

CONS:

> Weather could still be wet and windy.

> Distance from other venues, although nice driving options to / from Cape Town.

> Accommodation may become very over-priced if a 'big' team (e.g. Scotland!) gets drawn there.

> Limited transport infrastructure for tourists.

NELSPRUIT:

PROS:

> Proximity to Kruger National Park, Mozambique beaches and Swaziland.

> Relatively wealthy, friendly city with lots for tourists to do (mainly golf or safari-related).

> Although flights are likely to be very booked up (due to safari), the drives from Johannesburg / Pretoria and Durban are nice and very manageable.

> Weather - should be warm, if not hot.

CONS:

> Small city so limited party scene (but will change with World Cup).

> Distance from other venues.

> Flights likely to be very expensive for distance covered and very booked up.

> The major advantage of location - Kruger - is also likely to be very expensive / fully booked.

new jersey
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16. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

No love out there for Polokwane or Bloemfontien????

On another thread a few of the SA experts posted suggestions for places to stay near Polokwane (they looked very attractive options BTW), but, given the distance from Jo'Burg, I asume some would want to stay near those stadiums- at least for a few nights.

So any suggestions for these cities????

Johannesburg
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17. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Hi.

My perspective on Bloemfontein but (but have only been a few times).

I've only ever driven through Polokwane, but my impression is of a relatively poor, unattractive rural city. But accommodation should be cheap and it has a very 'African' vibe. The weather should be warmer than all host cities other than Durban and Nelspruit and accessible for the northern Kruger National Park which should be a lot quieter (and therefore cheaper than the south) however there are less 'big five' mammals.

BLOEMFONTEIN:

PROS:

> Historic city with attractive buildings and churches in centre of South Africa.

> Different culture (very Afrikaans) - in my experience this is very friendly and generous to foreigners coming to experience SA.

> Cheap accommodation, including very nice guesthouses and farmstays.

> 'Only' 4 hours drive to games in Johannesburg area

> It will be sunny for 9 out of 10 days and but very cold (near or below freezing) most nights.

> Bloemfontein Celtic football fans renowned nationwide for creating the best atmosphere at games.

> No significant traffic problems.

CONS:

> Distance from other games, major attractions and transport connections (other than flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town)

> Relatively socially conservative - locals may not enjoy fans behaving 'badly'.

Cape Town
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18. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

Another PRO for Bloem :

>Short drive to Lesotho a very different experiance to South Africa and good for visitors that "collect countries".

Can't think of any others ;-)

Agree with general comments on Polokwane itself (although it is the birthplace of the New, New South Africa!) but the area to the East is well worth a visit. See some earlier posts on places to visit and stay for an overnight during the WC :

The area between Haenertsburg and Tzaneen - between about half an hour and an hour out from Polokwane in a region called the Magoebasklof is really lovely and unlike areas you will have seen elsewhere in SA. Wooded, almost sub-tropical, hills with lush valleys with lakes in between. This is one of the main tea growing areas in SA. Some very nice country hotels here which might be worth looking at. Try the Glensheil Hotel just after Haenertsburg (some of the best Trout fishing in South Africa near here) aatravel.co.za/static/establishments/establi…

or a bit further on and more upmarket, The Coach House at Agatha

http://www.coachhouse.co.za/?x=index

I agree with Van_de_Caab.

The distance from Polokwane to Magoebaaskloof is approx 70 km and definately worthwhile going to.

There is a very quaint old hotel called the Magoebaskloof hotel and situated right next to the main road.

http://www.magoebaskloof.co.za/

Have stayed there myself with my family for a weekend and was very impressed with the staff and hotel. It is simple but quaint.

The trip would not take you very long.

The area is also breathtaking, in my opinion and definatly worthwhile seeing while you are so close.

If you would like, please see my writeup of the hotel on this site.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g312624-d116313…

19. Re: Attempt to agree PROs and CONs of World Cup Host Cities

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