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14 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do in Johannesburg

Written by Karen Hastings Updated Dec 26, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Johannesburg, affectionately called Jo'burg, Jozi, and E'Goli, the "city of gold," is the financial and industrial metropolis of South Africa, built on a rich history of gold mining. The city is rapidly evolving from an edgy safari stopover to a vibrant hub for arts and culture.

Cutting-edge contemporary galleries and the new Maboneng Precinct, with its funky restaurants, cafés, and art studios, now rank among the city's top tourist attractions, along with the poignant Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill.

Glaring disparities – the shanty towns of Soweto, birthplace of the nation's struggle for democracy – still contrast sharply with the walled villas of wealthy enclaves and the city's gleaming skyscrapers.

However, rapid changes are coaxing tourists to linger. Hop aboard one of the new Gautrain trains and buses to explore or take a guided tour, and not far from the city's borders, more adventures await.

You can commune with wildlife at a popular lion park; stroll among the beautiful gardens, parks, and other attractions in Pretoria, the country's administrative capital; and explore the UNESCO-listed Cradle of Humankind, one of the richest paleoanthropological sites in the world. Discover the best things to do with our list of the top attractions in Johannesburg.

See also: Where to Stay in Johannesburg

1. The Apartheid Museum

2. constitution hill, 3. gold reef city, 4. soweto & mandela house, 5. the maboneng precinct, 6. lion & safari park day trip, 7. the cradle of humankind day trip, 8. pilanesberg national park day trip, 9. day trip to pretoria, 10. walter sisulu national botanical gardens, 11. the lindfield victorian house museum, 12. south african national museum of military history, 13. wits art museum, 14. market theatre, where to stay in johannesburg for sightseeing, visiting victoria falls from johannesburg: 3-day tour, johannesburg - climate chart.

The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum graphically portrays the apartheid story through photos, artifacts, newspaper clippings, chilling personal accounts, and film footage. The sights and sounds of the apartheid era assail visitors as they move through the thought-provoking permanent exhibits on an emotional journey through South Africa's history.

Paths follow the country through decades of oppression to the birth of democracy. Reserve at least two hours and preferably longer to get the most out of a visit here. Those interested in learning more about South Africa's struggle for freedom, should also visit Liliesleaf Farm Museum , the former center for the leaders of the liberation movement.

Address: Cnr Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road, Ormonde, Johannesburg

Official site: http://www.apartheidmuseum.org

Constitution Hill

Overlooking the city of Johannesburg, Constitution Hill is a former prison, which provides fascinating insight into South Africa's history. At the site, you can explore provocative exhibits at the Number Four museum, the Women's Gaol museum, and the Old Fort museum. Together, the precinct was once known as The Fort, and it forged a reputation for its brutal treatment of political prisoners, common criminals, and passive resistors; famous former prisoners include Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

Today, the old Awaiting Trial building has been transformed into the Constitutional Court of South Africa, a symbol of freedom that works to protect the rights of all the nation's people. The court welcomes visitors who want to attend hearings and watch the judicial process. Guided tours of Constitutional Hill offer valuable insight into its rich history.

Official site: https://www.constitutionhill.org.za/

Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City, eight kilometers from the city center, takes you back to the gold rush days through a series of thrilling theme park rides and historical exhibits. This family-friendly attraction hosts reproductions of buildings and businesses from the era, and you can also tour a disused shaft of the Crown Mines, one of the richest gold-mines in the world.

Children love the trampoline park, ten-pin bowling alley, and exhilarating theme-park rides, including the twisting and turning Anaconda roller coaster. The park also offers dedicated rides for young children, as well as a petting zoo. Putt-putt golf, sideshow games, and gold panning round out the adventures. If you can't tear yourself away from all the fun, you can stay overnight in the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel .

Address: Shaft 14, Northern Parkway, Johannesburg

Soweto

Soweto (an abbreviation for Southwestern Townships) lies 20 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg and offers a journey into the soul of the fight for freedom. This was an area of planned segregation, where black laborers were housed far from the city center, many in shacks made of corrugated iron. It was also the birthplace of the struggle for democracy. In 1976, the Soweto Uprisings sought to overthrow the apartheid state and spread from here to the rest of the country.

Today, you can see a land of contrasts. Mansions have sprouted up among the shanties, and the democratic government is trying to establish much-needed infrastructure and green spaces. Popular attractions to visit here are Mandela House , where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum , which honors the brave students who protested apartheid during the Soweto Uprisings, some of whom were shot by police, including the museum's namesake, who was only 12 years old.

The easiest – and safest – way to experience Soweto is on the full-day Soweto City and Apartheid Museum tour . A knowledgeable guide will take you into the shanty towns to meet the residents, and you'll have the chance to visit the famous Vilakazi Street and the former homes of two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as explore the excellent exhibits at the Apartheid Museum.

The Maboneng Precinct

The vibrant Maboneng Precinct is a fantastic example of a successful mixed-use urban renewal project. Once a rather run-down neighborhood, Maboneng, meaning "place of light," now fizzes with life. Funky restaurants, cafes, art galleries, shops, hotels, and entertainment venues mix smartly with residential buildings.

A top attraction here is the weekly Market on Main with food from all over the continent. Arts on Main and Revolution House are two of the first developments where warehouses are transformed into artists' studios, galleries, and shops. Other developments host Bioscope, an independent cinema; a community center; designer hotels; and boutiques. This is a wonderful area to wander around, feel the vibe of the city, and grab a bite to eat or a cool drink.

Lions sleeping at the Lion & Safari Park

At the Lion & Safari Park, you can get up-close with some of Africa's famous wildlife less than an hour's drive north from downtown Johannesburg. Animal interactions are the highlight here. You can cuddle a lion cub, take the Cheetah Walk, and hand feed giraffes.

Self-guided tours are permitted, but you can also join a guided game drive in the park's vehicles to see lions, cheetahs, zebras, ostriches, wild dogs, hyenas, and various species of antelope. Nighttime feeding tours and river rafting tours are other popular things to do. Make sure you adhere to all safety regulations and keep your windows up when driving through the park.

Official site: http://www.lionandsafaripark.com/

The Cradle of Humankind

About an hour's drive from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's most productive and important paleo-anthropological areas. One of the top attractions here are the Sterkfontein stalactitic caves, which consist of six linked underground chambers with a lake at a depth of about 40 meters.

Archaeological excavations here unearthed the skull of a humanoid creature known as Australopithecus africanus , estimated to be two million years old, called "Mrs Ples," and in 1998, scientists discovered a skeleton that dates the presence of early humans in the valley at 3.5 million years ago.

Stop by the Maropeng Visitor Center to view related exhibits and learn more about this fascinating site. Better still, explore all the highlights with an expert guide on the Cradle of Humankind Tour from Johannesburg . This eight-hour excursion includes a guided visit of the Sterkfontein caves and the Maropeng visitor center, as well as an open-vehicle game drive at the Lion & Safari Park.

White rhinos, Pilanesberg National Park

An easily accessible 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, Pilanesberg National Park is one of the most popular game reserves in South Africa. You have a chance to see Africa's Big Five here (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino), and the park is known for its extraordinarily rich ecosystems and diversity of wildlife, thanks to its location in a transition zone between the lush Lowveld vegetation and the parched Kalahari desert.

Apart from the Big Five, the park is also home to African wild dogs, sable antelope, zebras, and more than 300 species of birds. Strategically placed photographic hides make it easier to capture close-up photos.

To get the most out of a day trip to the park, it's a good idea to sign up for the full-day Pilanesberg National Park private tour from Johannesburg . An experienced guide will take you into the park for both a morning and afternoon game drive, tracking the animals you most want to see and sharing fascinating details about the wildlife and unique ecosystems along the way.

Official Site: https://www.pilanesbergnationalpark.org/

Pretoria

About 55 kilometers from Johannesburg, Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and is worth visiting for its impressive lineup of historical buildings, monuments, and museums. Ablaze with the purple hues of jacarandas in the spring, Pretoria is also a city of beautiful parks and gardens.

Highlights of a visit here include the Pretoria National Botanic Garden, the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, the large zoo, and a clutch of peaceful nature reserves within the city limits, with diverse wildlife and an abundance of birds.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pretoria

Witpoortjie Waterfall, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens offer a serene slice of wilderness on the edge of the city. Managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the garden is one of nine national botanical gardens in South Africa, and this particular location offers plenty of space and beautiful views of red-rock cliffs.

The garden's centerpiece is the impressive Witpoortjie Waterfall . Sprawling fields surround the falls, with plenty of prime picnic nooks, and a river and hiking trails weave through the well-tended gardens. Highlights include the Cycad Garden, Fern Trail, Succulent Rockery Garden, the Birds and Butterfly Garden, and the Geological Display Garden.

Birders and photographers will appreciate the bird hide, and kids can burn off steam in the Children's Garden. Keep an eye out for the park's abundant birds and insects, including black eagles that nest in the park.

Address: Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort

Official site: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/

Anyone interested in life during the Victorian era will love this "living museum" and Provincial Heritage Site. The current owner, Katherine Love, who has lived here since 1967, dresses in Victorian clothing, greets visitors, and leads them on a tour through the rooms of this beautifully preserved middle-class Victorian home, designed by one of South Africa's most famous architects, Herbert Baker.

Along the way, you can view impressive collections of 19th- and 20th-century furniture, art, and household items and learn fascinating stories about the former residents and how Victorian culture and customs have influenced Johannesburg today.

A tour here takes about two hours and immerses you into the ambiance of the era. After the tour, you can top off the experience with a cup of tea on the veranda.

Address: 72 Richmond Ave, Auckland Park, Johannesburg

Official site: http://lindfield.wix.com/museum#!explore/c1jmx

South African National Museum of Military History

Exactly as its title states, the South African Museum of Military History traces the story of all the country's military conflicts. Highlights here include the World War II fighter planes and bombers, as well as exhibits of tanks, ammunition, arms, and medals.

Particularly interesting is the exhibit on medicine at war, which details the Zulu's use of traditional healing during the Anglo-Zulu war, as well as modern day treatments used on the battlefield. Another exhibit unveils life in the trenches during World War I.

Official site: http://www.ditsong.org.za/militaryhistory.htm

Wits Art Museum exhibit

Opened in 2012, this impressive museum hosts a superb collection of African art with many works from South Africa as well as West and Central Africa. The museum is part of the Wits University Cultural Precinct in the trendy area of Braamfontein , which buzzes with students and university professors. Frequent temporary exhibitions infuse a freshness to the exhibits in this modern, light-filled space.

Museum Africa next to the Market Theatre

The Market Theatre complex housed in a converted market building, plays a major part in Johannesburg's cultural life. It has four live theater venues where some of the finest productions in South Africa are presented. The complex also includes a bookshop, art and photographic gallery, and restaurants.

Kippie's is a popular jazz venue, with music by well-known musicians in the evenings. In the huge parking lot opposite the Market Theatre complex, a large flea market is held every Saturday. Adjoining the Market Theatre, Museum Africa displays reproductions of the huts, tools, arts and crafts, dress, and toys of South African tribes.

Address: 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Johannesburg

In Johannesburg, the upscale northern suburbs, such as Rosebank, Sandton, and Melrose are typically the safest and best areas to stay. Shopping malls, theaters, museums, and restaurants are minutes away, and top attractions such as Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum are easily accessible in about 15 to 20 minutes by taxi or private car. Here are some highly-rated hotels in these affluent residential areas and other appealing locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Perched on a hill overlooking the Johannesburg Zoo and the posh neighborhoods of The Parks, the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is only nine minutes by car to Constitution Hill and not much further to the Apartheid Museum.
  • The recently opened Houghton Hotel, Spa, Wellness & Golf is another good choice. It is a five-star hotel in an upmarket residential complex that boasts an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Rooms and suites are swanky, and there are four swimming pools plus multiple restaurants and a swanky spa.
  • One of the best hotels in Jo'burg, The Residence Boutique Hotel is one of Jo'burg's top boutique luxury properties. It has elegant rooms with free-standing bathtubs and furnished balconies. The suites come with private hot tubs that are perfect for soaking away jet-lag aches.
  • In the upscale residential neighborhood of Melrose, the boutique, eco-chic Peech Hotel feels more like a private house than a hotel with its pool, free parking, and well-appointed rooms.
  • For travelers who prefer all the amenities of a big hotel, the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg features a distinctively African-style decor in the prestigious suburb of Rosebank.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • For those who want to start their safari early, Thaba Eco Hotel overlooks Johannesburg's Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve and offers stunning valley views and guided game walks, yet it lies only 14 minutes by car from the Apartheid Museum.
  • North of the city, is the Georgian-style Garden Court Morningside Sandton , with great-value rates that include complimentary parking, breakfast, and a lovely pool surrounded by lush gardens.
  • Perfect for families, Genesis All-Suite Hotel , also in Johannesburg's northern suburbs, offers luxury apartments for an affordable price, about 17 minutes by car from Constitution Hill.

Budget Hotels:

  • Near the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Sandton, the pet-friendly Premiere Classe Suites , with one- and two-bedroom apartments and bright, cheery decor, is great for families and extended stays. The apartments come with full kitchens, so you can do some DIY cooking, which is especially nice if you have kids with you. The apartments also feature separate living space and a good location in the Melrose suburb.
  • About 30 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from Sandton CBD, the Mercure Johannesburg Midrand offers clean, modern rooms and free parking. There is also a restaurant next door that serves up tasty fare, so you need not wander far.
  • The Road Lodge Southgate , about 12 kilometers south of Johannesburg's city center, has comfy rooms and an outdoor pool.

It's easy to visit Zimbabwe and see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World on the 3-Day Victoria Falls Tour from Johannesburg . This action-packed tour includes a guided walk through Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park to see the spectacular Victoria Falls, as well as a sunset cruise along the might Zambezi River, round-trip airfare from Johannesburg, and two nights' accommodation. An expert local guide is on hand to make sure your trip runs smoothly.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Take a Safari: If a safari is top on your agenda, Kruger National Park is just over four hours's drive from Johannesburg and is one of the best game reserves in South Africa . Thanks to its well-established tourist infrastructure, it's also one of the easiest national parks in Africa to explore on self-guided tours.

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City Sights: Less than 55 kilometers from Johannesburg, you can explore all the highlights of Pretoria, including monuments, museums, and beautiful botanical gardens. For more urban attractions, check out our articles on things to see and do in Cape Town and Durban .

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The 15 best places to visit in johannesburg.

City of Joburg - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Take a Look a the 15 Best Places to Visit in Johannesburg

1. gold reef city theme park.

Gold Reef City Theme Park - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Gold Reef City Theme Park

2. Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct

Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct

3. Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Apartheid Museum

4. Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Johannesburg Zoo

5. South African National Museum of Military History

South African National Museum of Military History - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @South African National Museum of Military History

6. Mandela’s House

Mandela's House - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Mandela’s House

7. The Wilds Nature Reserve

 The Wilds Nature Reserve - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @ The Wilds Nature Reserve

8. Maboneng Precinct

Maboneng Precinct - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Maboneng Precinct

9. Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

10. hector pieterson memorial.

Hector Pieterson Memorial - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Hector Pieterson Memorial

Explore a few More Places to Visit in Johannesburg:

11. the playground market.

The Playground Market - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @The Playground Market

12. Victoria Yards

Victoria Yards - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Victoria Yards

13. Wits Art Museum

Wits Art Museum - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Wits Art Museum

14. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre - Places to visit in Johannesburg

Source: Facebook / @Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

15. Zoo Lake

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JOHANNESBURG

The 13 best things to do in Johannesburg

Revel in our guide to the best things to do in Johannesburg, including museums, breweries, history and local hangouts

Here’s hoping you like excitement because the best things to do in Johannesburg will have you on the edge of your seat. That isn’t true if you take the Red Bus tour, as you can sit back comfortably and enjoy everything this famous South African city offers. What does it have to offer? Where to begin? Johannesburg is one of the biggest cities in Africa and the biggest in the world not built on a water source. Joburg was actually built on a goldmine, so keep that in the back pocket of your pub quiz team for future reference. Joburg has its problems, but take the proper precautions, and a fabulous city will soon reveal itself.

An email you’ll actually love

Best things to do in Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum

1.  Apartheid Museum

What is it?  A world-renowned documentation of one of modern history’s most shameful eras. An impressive collection of photographs, posters, videos, and oral histories are curated into a sequence of unique and striking displays.

Why go?  South Africa will still be recovering from its past for some time, and this excellent museum explains what happened and why.

Soweto

2.  Soweto

What is it?  The township of Soweto, now home to a third of the city’s population, has a complicated past. It was created in the 1930s as a segregated neighbourhood for black residents pushed out of Jo-burg’s predominantly white suburbs. Today, you can join a local in exploring the town while learning more about the area’s past and present as you go.

Why go?  In many ways, this community is Jo’burg’s heart, so you’d be doing the city a disservice if you skip it. Ask nicely, and you’ll visit a local café for lunch and be served a pile of pap (sticky cornmeal porridge) so big you could use it to build a sandcastle.

Neighbourgoods

3.  Neighbourgoods

What is it?  The food market where all the cool kids are to be found each Saturday lunchtime. Though visitors are welcome, this is very much aimed at locals, and you’ll find a young but very mixed crowd of them eating everything from pokē bowls to pecan pie.

Why go?  As well as superb eating opportunities, there’s shopping to be done; you can buy crafts from independent designers on the top floor. And on your way up, you can grab a craft beer from the rooftop bar.

The Orbit

4.  The Orbit

What is it?  A highly regarded music venue in lively Braamfontein where the schedule is bursting with South African talent virtually every night of the week. The food offering is unadventurous but very reliable.

Why go?  This city pulses with music, and The Orbit is among its best venues. Book a table or look out for one of their free open mic nights, where the standard makes our Britain’s Got Talent finalists sound like the local Primary school’s recorder choir.

Maboneng

5.  Maboneng

What is it?  Fox Street in Maboneng has become an after-hours favourite partly by engineering: local businesses put on security guards after dark to keep their customers safe. That means you’re free to chat, dance and shake your ass in the excellent restaurants and bars until late as long as you’re sensible enough to get an Uber home at the end of it.

Why go?  Incredibly delicious (and incredibly cheap) Ethiopian food from Little Addis; South African food and music at Pata Pata; whatever fun you find in between.

Parkhurst

6.  Parkhurst

What is it?  You can barely compare the hectic, urban city centre to Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, where Mercs line the streets and flowers tumble over the garden walls’ security cameras. Parkhurst is a lovely place to spend an evening bar-hopping and eating very well.

Why go?  Atypical of the flashy neighbourhood (though still quite posh) is Coobs, a restaurant turning mainly their own organic produce into dishes that look fancy and taste extraordinarily good. The restaurant is temporarily closed, but expect it to return with a vengeance at any moment.

Wits

7.  Wits

What is it?  The University of Witwatersrand’s museum of African art has more than 12,000 pieces in its collection and is widely considered the best of its kind. Not one for paintings? No matter. Head straight for the beadwork or ceremonial sticks.

Why go?  As well as works by Irma Stern and Edoardo Villa, you’ll encounter a whole new world of artists rarely represented elsewhere. By the way, it’s pronounced ‘vitz’.

Mad Giant

8.  Mad Giant

What is it?  A massive craft brewery right in the centre of town that offers lighthearted tours of the on-site equipment. The beer garden and spacious bar are mainly built out of strips of giant Meccano, and a massive steel monster towers over the indoor tables. Perhaps Dennis the Menace has retrained as an interior designer?

Why go?  Mad Giant beers are mad good, especially the fruity, hoppy Urban Legend IPA. 

Red Bus Tour

9.  Red Bus Tour

What is it?  You know the deal; a double-decker open-top bus circles the city’s top attractions, and tourists hop on and off as they wish. An audio commentary gives background to the buildings and districts as they pass.

Why go?  It’s easy to be sneery, but in a city where exploring by foot and public transport comes with considerable risks, this is a great starting point. The audio guide’s soundtrack of South African classics might just be your new favourite mixtape.

44 Stanley

10.  44 Stanley

What is it?  A chic little shopping complex supporting independent artists and designers. High-end chocolatiers, jewellery makers, antique shops, clothing designers and beautiful crafts are all interconnected by shaded, calm courtyards.

Why go?  If you don’t have extra space in your suitcase, you can ask about international shipping. You can mull over the decision over craft ciders at one of the cool bars nearby.

Linksfield Ridge House

11.  Linksfield Ridge House

What is it?  A handsome mid-century building that was home to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, for six months in late 1960. His movements in the country were unsurprisingly well documented, so displays tell-all about his prison visits and work in Zimbabwe. Visits must be booked in advance.

Why go?  Apart from the obvious appeal of having a nosy around LRH’s chosen summerhouse, this striking building is like a time capsule. You half expect Don Draper to offer you a Scotch.

Rosebank

12.  Rosebank

What is it?  A shopping mall. Although air con and US brands may not be the main reasons you’ve travelled to a different continent, this mammoth shopping mecca is a great example of South Africa’s modern side.

Why go?  On Sundays, the rooftop car park becomes a craft market, which means unique souvenirs and excellent food, all with sunset views over the city. You can go to H&M or Topshop next time. 

The Living Room

13.  The Living Room

What is it?  A rooftop café and bar that is a self-proclaimed part of inner-city gentrification (which is not as controversial in Jo’burg as in Hackney or Brooklyn). The name references living things rather than settees.

Why go?  Said living things are plants – the décor is wall-to-wall leaves, literally. They used ‘plantscaping’ to create an indoor/outdoor garden that looks an absolute dream in front of the cityscape, especially as the sun sets.

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johannesburg tourist places

Johannesburg

Commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, this is the vibrant heart of South Africa, a rapidly changing city looking optimistically towards the future.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Constitutional Court on Constitution Hill.

Constitution Hill

Do not leave Jo'burg without visiting Constitution Hill. One of South Africa's most important historical sites, the deeply moving and inspirational…

johannesburg tourist places

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. It uses a broad…

Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court

Inaugurated in 2004, with its design based on the African concept of 'justice under a tree', the Constitutional Court is a very real symbol of modern…

Liliesleaf Farm

Liliesleaf Farm

A highlight of Jo'burg's northern suburbs is Liliesleaf Farm. This was the secret headquarters of the ANC (African National Congress) from 1961 until a…

Ponte City building.

Nothing sums up the changing fortunes of inner-city Jo'burg better than Ponte City, which can be visited on tours with Dlala Nje. This 54-storey…

Nizamiye Mosque

Nizamiye Mosque

Built as a replica of the Ottoman Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, the Nizamiye Mosque is a real find in the far-northern Jo'burg suburb of Midrand…

Spaza Art Gallery

Spaza Art Gallery

The home, sculpture garden and small 'matchbox' gallery of artist Andrew Lindsay is extraordinary. The garden is dominated by a mobile phone signal tower…

Anglo American Head Office

Anglo American Head Office

This handsome building, taking up an entire block, has been the mining company's HQ in Africa since 1939. It has an impressive main entrance with delicate…

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Aug 29, 2018 • 5 min read

A massive mural of young black South African woman, with her arms raised to shade her eyes from the sun, stares out from the end of the Isivivana Centre's concrete facade © Simon Richmond / Lonely Planet

Aug 9, 2018 • 6 min read

Stretching over eight rows of parked trains, the brilliantly lit white towers and cables of the Nelson Mandela Bridge stretch towards the skyline © Henrique NDR Martins / Getty Images

Apr 18, 2018 • 5 min read

Cityscape view of residential area, Johannesburg.

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Enjoy a drink with great views of Jo'burg.

Mar 28, 2018 • 6 min read

A distant downtown Johannesburg skyline is fronted by forested hills dotted with homes and the grass-covered Melville Koppies.© Heather Mason / Lonely Planet

Mar 23, 2018 • 5 min read

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Corrine van Vliet

written by Corrine van Vliet

updated 20.05.2024

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Cape Town , Kruger National Park , KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa has some big-hitting sights. But many visitors leave the country’s largest city, Johannesburg , off their itineraries. This is a mistake: it’s the best place to learn about South Africa’s past and look to its future. And if you need a break from the city’s size and energy, you can head off for nearby safaris, adventure sports and glimpses into the history of humanity.

Whether it’s your first visit to South Africa or your 50th, you should make time to feel the Jozi vibes – here is your Johannesburg travel guide to get the most out of your trip.

  • Soak up the energy in Jo'burg

Why should I go to Johannesburg?

How can i get to johannesburg, how can i get around johannesburg, but is it safe to visit johannesburg, how should i spend a day in johannesburg, guide to johannesburg at night, guide to johannesburg accommodation, when should i go to johannesburg, and what if i want to escape the city for a while, soak up the energy in jo ' burg.

Johannesburg is South Africa’s most diverse, progressive and energetic city, the country’s best showcase for activism and optimism. There’s really nowhere better if you want to see the face of modern South Africa and get a sense of how far the nation’s come and where it’s going next.

Though the city – like the rest of South Africa – is still dealing with the legacy of racial segregation, it has become a truly diverse place. Walk around Johannesburg and you’ll hear snatches of Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa, but you may also catch some Urdu, Hindi or Chinese.

High-intensity in everything it does, Johannesburg manages not only to be the country’s biggest and the continent’s richest city but also – at least according to the locals – the world’s largest man-made forest. There are some ten million trees dotted around, lending the place a surprisingly fresh and spacious feel.

Start planning your South Africa trip with our inspiring South Africa itineraries .

With a thriving arts scene, well-established café culture and Soweto, the country‘s most populous township, Johannesburg buzzes with entertainment. Not to be missed is the live music- Johannesburg offers the best nightlife in South Africa, attracting top musical performers from around the country and abroad. While bustling neighbourhood markets give you a taste of the local fields, vineyards, brewers, distillers and artisan foodies, with craft and design thrown in.

Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela Bridge ©  Ehrman Photographic/Shutterstock

Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela Bridge © Ehrman Photographic/Shutterstock

As sub-Saharan Africa’s economic and tourism hub, South Africa is well served with flights from London and the rest of Europe. The majority of these touchdown at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. From North America there are a relatively small number of nonstop flights into Johannesburg, you’ll have to change planes or stop for refuelling. Upon arrival, there is a Johannesburg tourist information booth at the airport.

The fastest and easiest way to get to the city from the airport – especially during the dreaded morning and afternoon rush hours – is on the Gautrain rail link. Shuttle buses, taxis and car rentals are also available but check with your accommodation first to see if they offer a courtesy service.

Johannesburg’s public transport system is improving fast, with the Gautrain rail and bus network and the Rea Vaya Rapid Transit bus (BRT) system being very well received by city residents. However, driving still remains very much the order of the day in Joburg, though the CBD and some suburbs, notably Melville, are easily explored on foot. Most of Johannesburg’s municipal Metrobus routes start and end at the main terminus in Gandhi Square. Buses only run between the suburbs and the centre, so are useless for getting from one suburb to another, unless they both lie on the same route to town.

If you are wanting to venture outside the city- short of joining a tour - the only way to get to national parks and the more remote coastal areas is by car. Likewise, some of the most interesting places off the beaten track are only accessible in your own vehicle, as buses tend to ply just the major routes.

Architecture of downtown of Johannesburg, South Africa © Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

Architecture of downtown of Johannesburg, South Africa © Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

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The short answer is: yes, it’s safe to visit.

The slightly longer answer is that when you explore Johannesburg, some areas are safer than others. The northern suburbs are fine to wander around freely, and downtown areas like Maboneng – a no-go area barely a decade ago – have become safe and exciting models of urban regeneration.

Tourists are most at risk of opportunistic crimes like theft and mugging. The best way to protect yourself is to use your common sense: don’t stand on a street corner with your DSLR around your neck staring at a map; don’t carry all your cash around with you; and if you’re going to a less safe district, hire a local guide.

As you’d expect from a city this size, there’s a lot to do – starting with retail therapy. Other than Melville’s 27 Boxes , a bunch of shipping containers filled with shops and restaurants, the northern suburbs are mostly home to opulent, anonymous malls. Downtown is much more inspiring, Maboneng's Market on Main – a Sunday staple for arts, crafts and street food – and Collector’s Treasury – a labyrinthine, longstanding bookshop – among the best spots.

To get to grips with Johannesburg, try one of the excellent tours on offer. Maboneng Walking Tour , for instance, you’ll discover the transformation of this creative inner-city precinct. To learn about Soweto, try Johannesburg and Soweto Full Day Tour . The knowledgeable local guides will show you both the township’s struggles and its hopes for the future.

The city’s museums include MOAD, the continent’s first museum dedicated to design, and Newtown’s cavernous MuseuMAfricA, with thoughtful exhibits on Johannesburg’s art and history.

Further from the centre, the Apartheid Museum is a nuanced exploration of the history and legacy of racial segregation in South Africa, which is also the focus at the Mandela House Museum and Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Soweto. To discover these notable displays of history, join the Apartheid Museum Day Tour with entry tickets included.

Johannesburg near Maboneng precinct © pisces2386/Shutterstock

Johannesburg near Maboneng precinct © pisces2386/Shutterstock

Start your Friday or Saturday night in Fordsburg, the historic Indian district, and hit up the night market around Mint Street. Arrive hungry, as you won’t be able to resist just one samosa, a tiny bite of uttapam, a couple of jalebi…

If you’re still (somehow) hungry, head next to Maboneng for memorable African-Asian fusion at Blackanese , a generous Argentine grill at Che , or Ethiopian cuisine at Little Addis Cafe . After dinner, join the young, mixed crowd at Living Room for a sundowner with a view.

Continue your night by exploring Joburg’s thriving jazz scene – Braamfontein institution The Orbit is known as South Africa’s best jazz bar, with Sophiatown’s Afrikan Freedom Station another historic venue. A more recent addition is the Marabi Club , which pays homage to the early 20th-century marabi music scene; the classic cocktails and waistcoated waiters set the vintage vibe.

Get more useful information for your trip with our useful tips for travelling to South Africa .

The northern suburbs offer luxury hotels and prestigious developments, with Sandton the best known – but its international hotel chains and mega-malls could be anywhere. Melville and Parkhurst are less polished, more endearing options with good streetlife and independent businesses; consider Little Forest Guest House and Die Agterplaas .

In the CBD (Central Business District), you could spoil yourself with a stay at the new Hallmark House hotel , in an arresting industrial-style building just outside Maboneng. An excellent budget option is Curiocity Backpackers , right in the heart of the district.

Alternatively, head to Soweto and stay at Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers , run by local Lebo Malepa. This sprawling township – about a third of Joburgers live here – is where the city’s non-white residents were forced to live during apartheid. Its history is one of struggle but also of hope, encapsulated by Vilakazi Street, where you can see the homes of both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

Cheetah Standing on Termite Mount at Kruger National Park, South Africa © Sekar B/Shutterstock

Cheetah Standing on Termite Mount © Sekar B/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Johannesburg depends a bit on what you want to do, but here's a breakdown of what you can expect.

Spring (September to November)

Spring, September , October and November , is one of the best times to visit Johannesburg. The weather is mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The city comes alive with blooming jacaranda trees, creating a picturesque purple canopy. It’s also a great time for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s parks and gardens.

Summer (December to February)

Summer, December , January and February , in Johannesburg is warm, with temperatures between 20°C and 30°C (68°F to 86°F). This season brings afternoon thunderstorms, which can be a refreshing break from the heat. It’s a vibrant time with many festivals and outdoor events. However, it can be humid, so pack accordingly.

Autumn (March to May)

Autumn, March , April and May , is another ideal time to visit. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). The city experiences less rainfall, making it perfect for sightseeing and enjoying the local culture.

Winter (June to August)

Winter, June , July and August , in Johannesburg is mild and dry, with temperatures between 4°C and 20°C (39°F to 68°F). It’s a great time to explore the city’s indoor attractions, such as museums and galleries. The evenings can be chilly, so pack warm clothing.

There are plenty of places nearby to get some breathing space, with the Magaliesberg mountain range particularly popular with Joburgers – head to Hartbeespoort Dam to get a cable car straight up into the mountains. Relax afterwards at Silver Orange Bistro, with its contemporary South African cuisine, wine list long enough for repeat visits, and gorgeous setting in an orange orchard.

If you’re after adrenaline rather than R&R, try Ama Zwing Zwing , a great zipline experience under an hour’s drive from the city; the larger Canopy Tour Magaliesberg is about an hour and a half. For hiking and biking, make a beeline for the forty square kilometres of Kgaswane Mountain Reserve. You can camp overnight and follow the Rustenberg Hiking Trail for a couple of days, or explore one of the shorter routes.

The archaeological sites of the Cradle of Humankind are easily accessible from Joburg; the Sterkfontein Caves, where Mrs Ples and Little Foot (Australopithecus fossils) were found, are a highlight. At the Maropeng Museum you can see the incredible homo Naledi fossils excavated in the area – plus a fascinating video about their discovery in a tiny chamber almost 100 feet underground (claustrophobes should cover their eyes).

Going on safari in the malaria-free reserves of North West Province is another great way to escape the city. Madikwe is an excellent reserve near the Botswana border and is refreshingly uncrowded as no independent day visits are allowed (you have to book through one of the lodges).

To safari independently you should head to Pilanesberg , just a couple of hours’ drive from Joburg. That said, you’ll still get the most memorable experience by staying at a lodge – Kwa Maritane and Bakubung are great choices for their experienced rangers who will impress you with their knowledge on a game drive or bush walk.

This brief Johannesburg tourist guide gives you a solid start to your adventures in this energetic city.

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Home » Africa » South Africa » Johannesburg

10 BEST Places to Visit in Johannesburg (2024)

You might know it as Jo’ burg or Jozi as the locals do, or you may just know it by its full name of Johannesburg. Although in the past the city hasn’t been the most tourist-friendly place, all that’s changing. Now is a great time to visit as the city is still in the process of an urban renaissance. South Africa’s largest city boasts lots of culture and history which you can see in galleries and museums. Some neighbourhoods are embracing the coffee culture and cool restaurants are springing up all over the place. So, there’s something for when you’re feeling less active too.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best places to visit in Johannesburg. Hopefully, it’ll help you make a clear and detailed plan of your trip. With a packed Johannesburg itinerary, you’ll really be able to make the most of your vacation and won’t waste any time bored and searching for things to do!

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighborhood in Johannesburg:

These are the best places to visit in johannesburg, faq on the best places to visit in johannesburg.

newtown johannesburg

Newtown is a bustling neighbourhood located in Johannesburg’s Inner City. Set at the heart of the metropolis, this neighbourhood is where you’ll find many of Johannesburg’s top tourist attractions as well as important art galleries, museums and historic landmarks

  • Explore a world of science, math and technology at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre
  • Spend an afternoon people watching in Mary Fitzgerald Square
  • Enjoy a night of drinks and live jazz at Niki’s Oasis

Johannesburg is BIG and there’s lots to discover, but before you board that plane, be sure to check out where to stay in Johannesburg. We’ve put together our top picks for accommodation and the best areas to explore!

johannesburg tourist places

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#1 – The Apartheid Museum – Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Johannesburg

The Apartheid Museum

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  • Learn about the history of South Africa
  • Read and listen to real human stories from the most shameful time in the country’s history
  • One of the most important and sobering points of interest in Johannesburg

Why it’s awesome: A sobering reminder of South Africa’s not too distant past, the Apartheid Museum can’t be missed off anyone’s Johannesburg itinerary. Photographs, films, and personal accounts document the apartheid era, creating a sobering and thought-provoking experience for the visitor. You’ll witness an emotional journey as you head along South Africa’s path to democracy, seeing decades of oppression. The country is still recovering from the Apartheid era, and this museum gives an excellent account of what happened, and how South Africa is likely to move forward.

What to do there: Such an important museum requires at least two hours of your time, but more if you can give it. Learning about the rise and fall of the Apartheid era can be a chilling experience, but like many museums around the world that deal with tragedy, it actively encourages it from happening again. The museum is a non-for-profit organisation and relies on donations and sponsorships to continue spreading its important message. If you’ve enjoyed your visit to Johannesburg’s most important museum, any donation will be welcomed!

#2 – Gold Reef City – Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Johannesburg

Gold Reef City

  • Theme park and historical exhibits from the Gold Rush days
  • Take an underground tour of a gold mine
  • One of the best attractions in Johannesburg for families

Why it’s awesome: One of the most interesting things about Gold Reef City is that it’s actually a former gold mine! It was closed in 1971 though, and a theme park was built in its place. The giant wheel at the theme park is the perfect place to get a fabulous view of the city skyline and Soccer City. It’s more than just a theme park though, there’s also a petting zoo, mini-golf, and a casino for the adults. This is one of the best Johannesburg vacation ideas as there’s so much to do!

What to do there: Where to start? Well, if you travel to Johannesburg with the kids, they’ll probably twist your arm to head to the theme park. There are rides for all ages – think spinning teacups and Ferris wheels, all the way up to white-knuckle rollercoasters. Mini-golf is a good way to get competitive too! One thing you can’t do at any regular theme park is a tour of the former goldmine. It used to be one of the richest gold mines in the world before its closure and heading down the mine is a cool experience. You can also enjoy exploring the recreations of buildings and businesses from that time!

#3 – Lion Park

Lion Park

  • See more than 80 lions throughout the park
  • Wildlife conservation area that protects Transvaal lions
  • One of the coolest attractions in Johannesburg to take the kids

Why it’s awesome: If you want to see lions when you travel to Johannesburg but don’t have time to get out to Kruger National Park, then there’s an alternative! The family-friendly Lion Park is the perfect place to get up close and personal with these magnificent beasts. In fact, there are around 80 in the 500-acre park, including rare white lions! It’s not just lions either, visit the park to see jackals, hyenas, painted hunting dogs, and antelope. Don’t worry, they’re all kept in separate enclosures!

What to do there: If you’re passionate about animals and wildlife, you can’t miss a trip to Lion Park. It’s one of the best places in Johannesburg to visit as a family too! The kids will love having the chance to cuddle a lion cub, feed a giraffe by hand, and take a stroll along the cheetah walk. You can do a self-guided tour, but even better is a guided game drive through the park. On that, you’ll have the chance to see ostriches, zebras as well as other animals already mentioned. You can also have a go at river rafting and night time feeding adventures at Lion Park!

#4 – The Maboneng Precinct – One of the nicer places in Johannesburg to sightsee!

Maboneng Precinct

  • Formerly a run-down neighbourhood
  • Nowadays, one of the best examples of an urban renewal project in the world
  • Home to some of the best places to eat in Johannesburg

Why it’s awesome: If you’re interested in urban renewal projects, don’t miss heading to one of the best places in Johannesburg: The Maboneng Precinct. The name means “place of light” and while it may not have been in the past, it certainly is now. This hipster-friendly area is one of the coolest spots in town, and it’s got everything you’d expect from a big city in a single district. There are restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, entertainment venues – all in a charming residential area.

What to do there: As well as what we’ve already written, this Maboneng Precinct is a great place for art lovers to enjoy while in the city. The warehouses have been transformed into galleries and studios, and you can even buy some of their artwork if you think it’d make a nice decoration at home! There’s an independent cinema too, a great place to catch a movie, and a community centre where you can find out more about the people and the area. Maboneng Precinct boasts some of the best places to eat in Johannesburg too!

#5 – Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Johannesburg

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

  • A tranquil and peaceful wilderness area on the outskirts of the city
  • Escape the hustle and bustle of city centre Johannesburg
  • One of the best places in Johannesburg to disconnect from everyday life

Why it’s awesome: South Africa is a big country and there are only 9 national botanical gardens across the whole nation. Walter Sisulu is one of those and it’s definitely worth taking a trip to the edge of the city to visit. As well as the usual trees and plants you’d expect from a botanical garden, this one has red rock cliffs and the picturesque Witpoortjie Waterfall. It’s the perfect escape from the busy city!

What to do there: There are some great hikes you can take advantage of in Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. The Fern Trail is a particular favourite! There are a number of cool ways to see animals in the garden too, especially in the bird and butterfly garden. No prizes for guessing which animals call that home! If you’re a keen twitcher, you may even be lucky enough to spot a black eagle. Don’t forget your camera as that will make for a really impressive photo! Even if you don’t spot an eagle, the Gardens are one of the best places in Johannesburg for photographers, as the landscapes are gorgeous.

#6 – Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill

  • Get another insight into South Africa’s history from visiting the former prison
  • Amazing city views and great photo opportunities
  • Take a guided tour to learn more about this fascinating place

Why it’s awesome: What to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi have in common? They were both held at The Fort – the prison on Constitution Hill known for holding political prisoners, passive resistors, and just general common criminals. Unfortunately, they were treated terribly which is part of the reason that this place has such a fearsome reputation. The Court is still located on the hill and you can actually attend hearings and watch the country’s judicial processes. If you’re less into the legal and penal side of things, you can always enjoy views of the most recognisable landmarks in Johannesburg from here.

What to do there: There are three museums to explore on Constitution Hill to get an insight into not only this place’s brutal past but South African history in general. These are the Number Four, the Old Fort, and the Women’s Gaol. The exhibits here are like those of the Apartheid Museum, in a way that they make you think and really stir up emotions. You can take a guided tour of Constitution Hill if you want to get deeply into with the judicial system and history of South Africa.

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#7 – The Cradle of Humankind – One of Johannesburg’s coolest historical sites

Cradle of Humankind

  • A UNESCO World Heritage site
  • One of the coolest and most interesting day trips from Johannesburg
  • The location of some of the oldest hominid fossils ever found

Why it’s awesome: It’s an hour out of the city, but this place is a Johannesburg must-see. The oldest hominid fossils ever found are in this 180-square mile site, and this may just be the location that the human race originated from! It’s so important that UNESCO has labelled it a World Heritage site, as its one of the world’s most important paleo-anthropological sites. Human-like skeletons found here date as far back as 3.5 million years ago, which is pretty mind-blowing. Don’t miss this off your Johannesburg itinerary!

What to do there: If seeing skulls that date back more than 2 million years doesn’t quite pique your interest, we’re not sure what will. However, there are some other cool attractions that are worth seeing at the Cradle of Humankind! The Maropeng Visitor Centre is the place to see exhibits and really learn about the place, but there are some great natural attractions on site too. Want to go into an underground cave system? Then the Sterkfontein Stalactitic Caves are the perfect place for you. 6 interlinked chambers 40 metres below the earth may not be great if you’re claustrophobic, but they’re certainly fascinating! An underground lake is also found here. Several tour companies offer day trips to this Johannesburg must-see.

#8 – Neighbourgoods Market – A must-see for foodies

Neighbourgoods Market

  • One of the most popular markets in Johannesburg
  • Saturday lunchtime market with over 100 food choices

Why it’s awesome: As little as ten years ago, many tourists would have had absolutely no reason to go to the once dilapidated Braamfontein Area. However, Neighbourgoods Market has transformed all that and it’s one of the real hotspots in Johannesburg! Every Saturday, the area comes alive with the smells of food from all over the globe, the sound of live music, and the general great atmosphere of this cool hipster haven. Whether you want gourmet food, flavourful street food, or a quality coffee, this is the place to be. A real foodie heaven, Neighbourgoods offers some of the best places to eat in Johannesburg!

What to do there: Well, since this is one of the best places to eat in Johannesburg it would be rude not to snap up some tasty dishes. Although you’ll be welcomed into Neighbourgoods market, this place was initially set up for locals and it’s the perfect place to make new friends and get chatting to people who call the city home. The rooftop market is not only a great place to eat, but for shopping too. You’ll find independent designers and local craft stalls here too, so it’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs! You could even stay nearby in one of Johannesburgs best hostels.

#9 – Top of Africa

Top of Africa

  • The tallest building in Africa
  • Get excellent panoramic views across the whole of Johannesburg
  • See the city’s unusual topography and geography

Why it’s awesome: Incredibly, Johannesburg is the only city of its size that is not located near a major water source. You may not know this before you ascend to the Top of Africa, but you will notice it from the observation deck! The Top of Africa name is very apt, as it’s at the top of the Carlton Centre, the tallest building in Africa. When it was constructed in the early 1970s, it was the tallest building in the southern hemisphere!

What to do there: The Top of Africa is a great place to get stunning views of Johannesburg and the surrounding area. As well as noticing the lack of nearby water source, you’ll probably note the world’s largest urban forest here too. Once you’ve finished at the observation deck, head down into the Carlton Centre. It may not be the luxury hotel that it once was, but it still has a shopping centre on-site where you could pick up some souvenirs!

#10 – Collectors Treasury

  • Africa’s largest used and rare book shop
  • Try and find a space that isn’t occupied by a book!
  • One of the best places in Johannesburg for readers and bibliophiles

Why it’s awesome: This family business was set up above a garage in 1974 but has had to move since then due to stock size. Incredibly, at Collectors Treasury, there are over 1 million used books! Some of them are standard run of the mill books, but some are really rare and cool. You could spend ages getting lost here among the towering piles and walls lined with books. A Johannesburg must-see for readers!

What to do there: You don’t have to be interested in reading or books to visit Collectors Treasury. It does help though! This unusual and intriguing store also collects maps, vinyl records, photographs, and a whole host of other memorabilia from days gone by. You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy the store, just drink in the atmosphere and step back into the past when most modern-day electronics weren’t even thought of!

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Johannesburg

What can you do in Johannesburg for free?

The Maboneng Precinct is a free place to visit and an important district in South African culture.

What is a good place to visit in Johannesburg for couples?

Neighbourgoods Market is a great place to visit in Johannesburg for couples looking for an informal date.

Is Johannesburg a safe place to visit?

Although Johannesburg has a high crime rate, those crimes are seldom directed at tourists. You should always exercise caution, especially if travelling alone.

What is the most visited place to visit in Johannesburg?

The Apartheid Museum is the most visited place in Johannesburg?

Final Thoughts

So, that concludes our list of the best things to do in Johannesburg. We hope that you’ve found our list useful and informative and it really helps with your upcoming vacation! We also hope that now you’ve a bit of an idea about the best neighbourhoods in Johannesburg, you’ll find the perfect place to stay.

After reading our list, you’ll probably have realised that there are a number of cool landmarks in Johannesburg. Whether you’re heading there to sample the food and drink scene, head out to some natural attractions, or just learn about South African history and culture, you can do all that when you explore Johannesburg!

All that’s left is for us to wish you a fantastic holiday. And don’t forget to keep a copy of our best places to visit in Johannesburg list at hand throughout your vacation!

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Johannesburg   Travel Guide

johannesburg tourist places

7 Best Things To Do in Johannesburg

Updated Feb. 11, 2021

History buffs will find plenty to see and do in Jozi. From museums like the South African National Museum of Military History and the Apartheid Museum to historic properties like Constitution Hill and the Mandela House , chances are you'll have a full

  • All Things To Do

johannesburg tourist places

Apartheid Museum Apartheid Museum

For a thorough understanding of South Africa's appalling apartheid era, a visit to Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum is a must. The museum features a series of graphic yet informative exhibits, including an array of hanging nooses that represent the execution of 131 government opponents and a series of televisions that show footage of anti-apartheid residents being attacked and killed. The museum also features several interactive exhibits, such as a room where visitors are invited to move a stone from the right to a pile on the left to show their commitment to fighting discrimination and racism. There's also two museum entrances – one for whites and one for nonwhites – to denote the physical separations once apparent during apartheid.

Although several recent travelers warned that you will feel emotional while making your way through this attraction, many agreed that the Apartheid Museum's heartbreaking atmosphere is necessary to help you truly understand what occurred during this period. And remember to take your time here. With so much information to digest, at least a few hours (if not a full day) is recommended.

johannesburg tourist places

Mandela House Mandela House

Constructed in 1945 in the Orlando West section of Soweto, Johannesburg, the Mandela House became the home for Nelson Mandela (also known as Madiba) and his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase in 1946. Although the pair divorced shortly after, Mandela continued to live in this quaint brick structure. His second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, eventually joined him here in 1948, and together the couple resided at the property with their two daughters. However, due to Mandela's prominence in the anti-apartheid movement, he was forced to leave his family to try to evade government authorities. As a result, Madiba would not return to his home until 1990 when he was released from prison following his arrest in 1962. But after a mere 11 days in the home, Mandela permanently left this Soweto property in favor of a larger, more secure home in Jozi's Houghton neighborhood, where he resided until his death in 2013.

After Madiba left his Soweto home, the property was converted into a museum, which now includes family belongings, honorary degrees and awards given to the former president, original kitchen appliances and furniture, and photographs of Mandela and his family. Although small in size, most visitors appreciate the insight this structure gives into South Africa's most famous politician. Another noteworthy feature: In the home's exterior, bullet holes and fire damage left from petrol bombs used during police raids are still visible.

johannesburg tourist places

Constitution Hill Constitution Hill

Located in the city's Braampark neighborhood, Constitution Hill provides travelers with a mix of old and new Jo'burg. For those looking for historic Jozi, there's the Women's Gaol, the Old Fort and Number Four, three former prisons that were used to separately house female, white and black political prisoners until 1987. Famous inmates of Number Four include Mohandas Gandhi and Robert Sobukwe, while the Women's Gaol once held prominent female activists like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Fatima Meer and Albertina Sisulu. And iconic anti-apartheid leader Nelson "Madiba" Mandela holds the distinction of being the Old Fort's only black prisoner, kept here because of his status and escape concerns.

Also within steps of the former prisons is the Constitutional Court. Known as South Africa's highest court (much like the United States' Supreme Court), the Constitutional Court was founded after apartheid ended in 1994 and continues to serve as the highest court in important legal and constitutional matters. The property also features several noteworthy elements, such as a low-lying window that allows people to look into the court from outside (which represents the court's transparency) and an eye-level judges podium decorated with different Nguni cowhides (indicative of the diversity of the bench and equality between judges and lawyers).

johannesburg tourist places

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johannesburg tourist places

Maboneng Precinct Maboneng Precinct free

Lovers of good food, contemporary art and trendy shops will enjoy exploring the city's Maboneng Precinct. Known for its eclectic vibe (think New York City 's Chelsea neighborhood or the Hackney area of London ), the once unsafe Maboneng Precinct now offers an array of quirky galleries, eateries, clubs and stores, many of which are housed in former factories and warehouses. The majority are located inside of Arts on Main, a multi-purpose building that acts as the neighborhood's central creative hub.

Although many of the shops are open during the week, Maboneng is best experienced on the weekend, most notably Sunday. That's when the neighborhood's popular Market on Main is held, which locals and tourists alike flock to for its array of international fare, live music and fun atmosphere. Another popular time to visit is on the first Thursday of every month — excluding January and April — when the area offers a night market, complete with live music and lots of food and crafts.

johannesburg tourist places

Montecasino Bird Gardens Montecasino Bird Gardens

One of Jo'burg's most popular family attractions, the Montecasino Bird Gardens – which sits about 19 miles northwest of downtown – houses an array of brightly colored birds, reptiles and smaller mammals within a lush garden setting. In addition to strolling through the property's grounds, visitors can feed more than 60 species of birds in the aviary or enjoy a 30-minute bird show at the on-site amphitheater.

Overall, past travelers raved about the Montecasino Bird Gardens. In particular, many appreciated the park's friendly staff, reasonable entrance fee and entertaining bird show. To truly make the most of your visit, reviewers suggested buying some food at the ticket office to feed to the birds.

johannesburg tourist places

South African National Museum of Military History South African National Museum of Military History

Whether you're a history buff, a military enthusiast or just want a place to cool off on a hot South African day, odds are you'll enjoy the South African National Museum of Military History. With an array of military exhibits that include everything from military vehicles and service medals to Anglo-Boer War paraphernalia and a small arms display, there's plenty to peruse. But the standout here is the museum's military aircraft collection, which features iconic planes like a Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter jet, a Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk 50 carrier-borne strike airplane and a de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito combat plane made mostly of wood.

In addition to its informative, attention-grabbing displays, travelers rave about the museum's friendly staff and well-maintained grounds. What's more, thanks to its kid-appropriate exhibits and proximity to the Johannesburg Zoo, the South African National Museum of Military History is a convenient attraction for visitors traveling with children.

johannesburg tourist places

Gold Reef City Gold Reef City

For a bit of heart-pounding fun, families cannot pass up an opportunity to explore Gold Reef City. Influenced by the region's prominent gold mining industry, this Jozi amusement park includes attractions like Tower of Terror (a former gold mine head converted into a freefall ride), Jozi Express (a rollercoaster with sweeping city views and several mine dump drop-offs) and Anaconda (a high-speed coaster ideal for adrenaline junkies). A kids section, multiple water rides and tamer experiences like gold panning and mine tours are also offered.

While some past visitors said the park is merely a wannabe Disney World , others argued Gold Reef City offers plenty of fun for adults and kids of all ages. Additionally, many of the food offerings receive high praise. But if you aren't a fan of long wait times for rides, avoid the park during the holidays. Instead, consider visiting during the offseason on a Wednesday or Thursday when local students are in school.

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></center></p><h2>Tourist Attractions In Johannesburg</h2><p><center><img style=

Whether you’re a local looking to explore Johannesburg like a foreigner or you’re an international traveler looking for the best tourist spots to visit in our beloved city, here’s some of the best attractions in the City of Gold. 

Johannesburg has a rich, diverse and unique history, beginning with being founded in 1886 as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement during the Witwatersrand Gold Rush. And most of the city’s well-known tourist attractions are centred around our eventful past and how our beloved Jozi came to be.

There are many must-visits you need to add to your to-do list when visiting the city of Johannesburg. Take a trip to the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton and take pictures standing next to the 6m tall, bronze statue of former President and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela. Go an a safari drive at a nearby game reserve merely minutes away from the city and have fun spotting the Big 5. Even visit Gold Reef City, not just for their thrilling theme park, but also for their insightful guided heritage tour that’ll take you through the history of the Gold Rush and let you explore an actual gold mine!

What Are You Looking For?  

Heritage Points of Interest Heritage Tours Museums Game Reserves

Points of Interest

Orlando towers.

One of the top highlights of visiting the city of Johannesburg is heading to the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto . Not only are they a beautiful spectacle of street art, but this spot also offers thrilling activities that’ll get your heart racing. Pluck up the courage, get strapped up and secured, and do a 100m bungee between the cooling towers. You can also brave a SCAD freefall or base jumping. Looking for something a little less terrifying? Spend your afternoon enjoy a few rounds of paintball, wall climbing, or taking in the stunning 360 degree views of the city from the top of one of the towers.

Visit the Orlando Towers.

Mandela’s House

8115 Orlando West, corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane Streets, Soweto. An address that has been woven into South Africa’s history. This is where former President Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962, and where you’ll find the Nelson Mandela National Museum today. This world-class attraction preserves the historical heritage and legacy of the Mandela family and presents it with a collection of memorabilia, photographs, paintings and research within the four inter-leading rooms of the home.

Visit Mandela’s House.

Constitution Hill

Take a journey back into South Africa’s turbulent history and travel through the transition into our democracy at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein . Also known as Con Hill, this space is a museum and is the site of the notorious Old Fort prison, Number 4 prison and the Women’s Gaol. It’s also home of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Apart from the exhibitions, the public can also get the opportunity to explore with guided tours. This venue has become an important platform in preserving and showcasing our heritage through education and tourism related programmes.

Visit Constitution Hill.

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Being the largest gallery on the continent, the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) located in the centre of Joubert Park boasts over 9 000 artworks, displayed across 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens. Here, you can expect to see everything from artefacts, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints and lacework to 17th-century Dutch paintings, 18- and 19th-century British and European work, as well as contemporary South African art. Keen on exploring this space? Tours through the gallery are available, but ensure that you make your bookings in advance.

Visit the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Nelson Mandela Bridge

When travelling into Johannesburg Central, be sure to take a drive along the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Linking bustling Braamfontein to vibey Newtown, this is the largest cable-stayed bridge in the country, crossing over the 42 railway lines and carrying two lanes of traffic, two sidewalks, and a bicycle lane. It’s a lovely sight by day, but come night, this bridge lights up the Johannesburg cityscape!

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

Get a little fresh air and stretch those legs at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens at the Emmarentia Dam. It’s a lovely space to explore, view and admire all the greenery, fauna and flora. It boasts one of the finest plant collections in the world, complete with over 30 000 trees, a large rose garden, indigenous variants and succulents, and herb garden. It’s also a lovely spot where visitors can get their daily dose of exercise, enjoy a lovely picnic with the family, or even watch the Summer Sunset Concerts featuring a lineup of local and international acts that’s sure to delight.

Sandton City

One of the most visited and prestigious shopping destinations on the continent, boasting world-class shopping, amazing restaurants and only the best in local and international brands, the ever-popular Sandton City Shopping Centre is an absolute must on your to-do list when visiting Johannesburg. This retail hub attracts visitors from across the country and the world, all within close proximity to busy business centres, top-notch accommodation and other nearby entertainment

Visit Sandton City.

Nelson Mandela Square

Adjoined to the well-known Sandton City Shopping Centre is Nelson Mandela Square , which is home to a 6m tall bronze statue of former President and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela. This statue attracts visitors from all over the world, just for the opportunity to get a picture standing next to this popular feature on the square. After taking photos of and admiring the statue, why not dine out at one of the lovely restaurants scattered around the square?

Visit Nelson Mandela Square.

Heritage Tours

City sightseeing johannesburg & s oweto.

One of the best ways to explore Johannesburg and all of its unique points of interest is hopping on and off the red double decker City Sightseeing bus! There’s a variety of ticket options for you to choose from, ranging from one day trips to combo deals, ensuring that you experience the exciting parts of the city with ease. with over 16 stops and over 20 of Johannesburg’s top attractions to visit, City Sightseeing Johannesburg & Soweto is a safe, fun, educational and convenient way to venture into the city.

Visit City Sightseeing Johannesburg & Soweto.

Gold Reef City

Other than the buzzing casino and thrilling theme park, Gold Reef City offers local and international visitors the opportunity to explore a Joburg’s heyday. Joburg is known as being the hive of activity during the 1886 Gold Rush, and what better way to get insight into and explore this exciting period of our past than with Jozi’s Story Of Gold heritage tour? Descend into an old gold mine and discover the riches of our country’s history. Plus, you’ll also get the opportunity to experience the magnificent glow of a live gold pour.

Visit Gold Reef City.

Cycle In Soweto

Explore the famous Soweto township by bicycle with Cycle in Soweto . These private bike tours allows tourists and locals to experience the area in a whole different way, give the opportunity to have real personal interactions with the Soweto locals, enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, and even get a little bit of exercise while pedaling from one stop to the next. This is a unique township experience that you certainly need to add to your adventure bucket list.

Visit Cycle In Soweto.

Wits Origin Centre Museum

For a unique history lesson, the Wits Origin Centre Museum explores and celebrates the history and evolution of modern humankind. Visitors will be able to explore and view collections of ancient stone tools, artefacts of symbolic and spiritual significance, and visually striking rock art.

Visit Wits Origin Centre Museum.  

Lindfield Victorian House Museum

The Lindfield House Victorian Museum in Auckland Park will take you back in time to the days of a bygone era, offering a unique and interesting tour you won’t experience anywhere else in the city. This is one of Joburg’s best-kept secrets and an absolute must-visit if you’re looking to do a little time travelling! And as if the tour of this ‘time capsule’ isn’t amazing enough, you’ll get to enjoy delicious sausage rolls, fluffy scones with jam and cream, and scrumptious cake at the afternoon tea. Click here to find out what more to expect.

Visit the Lindfield Victorian House Museum.

Absa Money Museum

Explore the history of money in South Africa at the Absa Money Museum situated in the Johannesburg CBD. This is home to the most complete collection of South African numismatic items in the world. The museum’s history goes back to the beginnings of trade in the city. Displays include ranges of early money forms such as Cowrie Shells and Venetian glass beads, as well as golden coins retrieved from sunken ships.

Visit the Absa Money Museum.

The Ditsong National Museum of Military History

The Ditsong National Museum of Military History is a treasure trove of military-related journals, weapons and photographs from a number of wars in South African history. There’s also an impressive collection of fighter planes, tanks and even a submarine for you to view. The museum is also regarded as the spiritual and symbolic home and memorial for all the brave South African soldiers and veterans.

Visit the Ditsong National Museum of Military History.

James Hall Museum of Transport

The James Hall Museum of Transport in La Rochelle is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in South Africa. This museum offers motor enthusiasts and inquisitive children insight into what transportation in early Johannesburg was like. Once you have thoroughly explored the displays, head over to the museum’s gift shop. Here, you can find postcards and transport-related trinkets to take home.

Visit the James Hall Museum of Transport.

The Adler Museum of Medicine

Have an interest in medicine and its history? Then be sure to visit The Adler Museum of Medicine , housed at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Medical School Campus in Parktown. This museum preserves the history of the health sciences in South Africa and showcases interesting and invaluable collections of medical items from the fields of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

Visit the Adler Museum of Medicine.

Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind offer visitors plenty of activities and exhibits to explore. Start off your visit at the world-class Maropeng Visitor Centre, that will take you on a journey through mankind’s development over millions of years. This offers visitors the chance to view world famous fossils and interesting stone tools discovered in the Sterkfontein Caves. Famous fossils includes the discovery of Mrs Ples and Little Foot. You can also explore these caves for yourself!

Visit the Cradle of Humankind.

Game Reserves

One of the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa involves travelers and locals alike, heading out into the bushveld and enjoying safari drives, spotting the Big 5 and reconnecting with nature. For all of your outdoor and safari needs, take a look at our extensive destination lists below:

  • Game Viewing Within Driving Distance From Johannesburg
  • Nature Reserves Around Johannesburg
  • Game Farms Around Johannesburg

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36 Hours in Johannesburg

By Lynsey Chutel Updated March 23, 2023

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A view over a cityscape as the sky is turning orange. In the foreground is a spindly tree with spiky-looking leaves.

For too long, Johannesburg was a victim of its own reputation for violent crime, with citizens retreating behind high walls and socializing in shopping malls. A culture shift — partly spurred by the city’s strict pandemic lockdowns — has many Joburgers rediscovering the outdoors and the city’s Goldilocks weather (not too hot, not too cold) to dine and dance under the open sky. Over a weekend in this modern, contradictory city, wander through changing neighborhoods that are embracing galleries and sidewalk cafes, pull up a plastic chair at a market for unfussy barbecue, or sing along at a theater with a rich history of protest performance. And no longer the no-go area for tourists, as it was during the apartheid era, Soweto is a testament to Black South Africa’s contemporary creativity and unbridled joy. Take a turn, or as South Africans say, a “short left,” and be rewarded in Joburg.

Recommendations

  • 44 Stanley is a collection of interesting boutiques, galleries and cafes, all centered around a canopied courtyard. The Drum Archive Shop , with its apartheid-era magazine covers, and Chocoloza , a creative chocolatier, are two worthy stops.
  • Konka , a day-to-night club in Soweto, celebrates car culture, barbecue and music.
  • 1947 on Vilakazi Street is a Soweto restaurant offering refined South African cooking and local wines.
  • The Shortmarket Club is a brasserie serving European and Asian dishes, with some South African touches.
  • Marble is a stylish restaurant with a no-reservations bar area that offers a fabulous view at sunset.
  • Peachy , a restaurant and bar awash in pastels, is perfect for soaking up the afternoon sun.
  • Bean There , a cafe and roastery, sells ethically sourced African coffee.
  • Sakhumzi Restaurant has a daily buffet in Soweto where you can try a traditional “seven colors” lunch.
  • BKhz , a gallery in the Rosebank district, highlights work by emerging South African artists.
  • Kwa Mai Mai , originally a traditional medicine market, is a dizzying and vibrant destination for real-deal chisa nyama (South African barbecue).
  • Thesis Lifestyle is a store by Thesis Brand , a streetwear label, and a gathering place for the township’s young, creative scene.
  • The Market Theater , in a former fruit market downtown, has a long history of staging protest plays.
  • Joburg Theater , also downtown, has a program encompassing dance, theater, music and children’s shows.
  • Vilakazi Street in Soweto draws visitors to see the Mandela House , where Nelson Mandela and his family lived, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum , which commemorates the 1976 Soweto student uprising.
  • Joburg Places offers half-day walking tours that follow in the footsteps of famous South African figures, as well as highlighting the migrants who shaped the city.
  • Alternatively, Bridge Books , an inner-city bookshop, leads tours through the lens of the city’s literary history, while Dlala Nje ’s food tours hop from one African eatery to another.
  • 54 on Bath is a luxury hotel in Rosebank offering a tranquil atmosphere amid the bustle of a growing business district. Double rooms start at around 3,655 rand, or about $197, a night.
  • Nearby is Voco Johannesburg Rosebank , an upscale hotel that opened in 2022 with an all-day restaurant and bar and a remote-working hub. A standard double room with breakfast starts at around 2,700 rand.
  • If you decide to spend the night in Soweto, Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers offers simple, safe accommodation. Four- and six-bed shared dorm rooms start at 220 rand per night, and private double rooms with an en suite bathroom start at 545 rand.
  • For short-term rentals , look at Rosebank as well as the Parkhurst and Parkview neighborhoods, which are close to the city center and offer an array of sidewalk cafes.
  • Johannesburg is a sprawling city with unreliable public transportation. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt are good options. Although Soweto is tourist-friendly these days, Ubers may not be dependable and it can be confusing to navigate if you’re driving yourself. Ask your hotel to recommend a driver for the day, which should cost around 1,500 rand.
  • While the city is relatively safe for tourists, it’s important to stay vigilant, especially for pickpockets in crowded areas. Avoid walking around at night outside the designated pedestrian zones.

Two people walk down concrete steps during the daytime. They are both looking to their left, and one person is talking on a cell phone. Near the steps is a large art display featuring swirling, colorful patterns.

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  • 15 Places To Visit In Johannesburg That Prove There’s More To The City Than Meets The Eye

23 Mar 2023

Colloquially popular as the ‘city of gold’, Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa that has mostly been known for being Nelson Mandela’s home or for its astonishing museums. But, there’s more to the city than meets the eye. There are places to visit in Johannesburg like Zoo Lake and Market Theatre that would change anyone’s opinion about the city being an attraction only for the history buffs.

15 Places To Visit In Johannesburg

So, if you have been holding the same opinion, it’s time you take a look at these 10 best places that prove Johannesburg is as much a hub for the romantics, art-lovers & culture-vultures as it is for the history buffs.

1. Market Theatre 2. The Lion Park 3. Holy Hill 4. Wits Art Museum 5. The Apartheid Museum 6. Gold Reef City 7. SAB World of Beer 8. Mandela House 9. Zoo Lake 10. Mary Fitzgerald Square 11. Constitution Hill 12. The Maboneng Precinct 13. Lindfield Victorian House Museum 14. South African National Museum of Military History 15. Pilanesberg National Park

1. Market Theatre

market theatre

Image Source While in Johannesburg, points of interest for tourists are innumerable, the Market Theatre complex is one place you cannot afford to miss. Housed in a converted market building, this place portrays the vibrant culture of the city by showcasing some of the finest productions in its theatres. Not just this, but it also has a bookshop, an art & photograph gallery, a number of restaurants, and more where you can chill even after the sun sets.

Entry Fees: ZAR 30 Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday, and 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Tuesday to Sunday Location: 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newtown, Johannesburg

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2. The Lion Park

lion park

Image Source Located in the Gauteng Province, the Lion Park is one of the most essential places to visit in Johannesburg, South Africa. While the Transvaal lions here are the major point of interest for the visitors, the park also houses a number of other animals that are indigenous to Africa. And apart from interacting with the lions, you can also indulge in fun activities like a safari expedition, a tour of the four lion pride camps, and more.

Entry Fees: ZAR 195 for adults, ZAR 100 for senior citizens, and free entry for kids Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all the days Location: R512 Pelindaba Rd, Hartbeespoort, Broederstroom

Suggested Read: Best Safari In South Africa: Adrenaline Pumping Experiences In The World’s Wildest Corner

3. Holy Hill

holy hill

Image Source One of the most beautiful places to visit in Johannesburg , the Holy Hill is definitely worth a visit. Located in the center of the city, this not-so-popular place offers the most soul-stirring views that will definitely leave you in awe. You can spend hours sitting or capturing moments here, and you won’t get tired. After all, what’s a holiday worth without witnessing breathtaking sights?

Entry Fees: There is no entry fee for visiting this place.

4. Wits Art Museum

wits art museum

Image Source Opened in 2012, the Wits Art Museum houses a great collection of African art, which makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Johannesburg . Being a part of the Wits University Cultural Precinct, this place also has temporary exhibitions, which you can admire for hours before you head out for a meal at the nearby popular cafe.

Entry Fees: There is no entry fee for visiting this place. Timings: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from Wednesday to Sunday (closed on Monday & Tuesday) Location: University Corner, Jorissen St & Bertha St, Johannesburg

Must Read: 10 Things To Do In South Africa To Convince You For Your Next African Adventure!

5. The Apartheid Museum

apartheid museum

Image Source Of all the Johannesburg attractions , the Apartheid Museum is one place that might s boring but actually isn’t. Spectacularly portraying the apartheid story through photographs, artifacts, newspaper clippings, film footage, and more, this museum is the most intriguing place to visit. If you ever wanted to learn about South Africa’s freedom struggle, do visit this place.

Entry Fees: ZAR 95 for adults, and ZAR 80 for pensioners, university students & children Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all the days Location: Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road, Ormonde, Johannesburg

6. Gold Reef City

gold-reef-city_24th oct

Image Source Located some 8 km away from the city center, the Gold Reef City is one of the most famous places to visit in Johannesburg . From thrilling theme park rides to historical exhibits, there are so many things here that would take you back to the country’s golden days. You can also take a tour of the disused shaft of Crown Mines to get a glimpse of the talent gold miners had.

Entry Fees: The fees would depend on the experience you choose. Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on all the days Location: Shaft 14, Northern Parkway, Johannesburg

Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do In Johannesburg That Bring Out Its Vibrant Charm

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7. SAB World of Beer

SAB World of Beer

Image Courtesy: South Africa Tourism Owned by the South African Breweries, this attraction located in Newtown is amongst the most fun places in Johannesburg . From learning about the drink’s rich history to exploring its significance in the cultural space, there’s a lot to do here. You can take a tour of the whole brewery, watch a 3D movie, taste the famous beer, and savor the bar snacks during the session.

Entry Fees: ZAR 127 for adults, which include a tour, a souvenir glass, bar snacks, a halfway beer, and two drink vouchers Timings: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from Sunday to Monday, and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM from Tuesday to Saturday Location: 15 Helen Joseph St, Newtown, Johannesburg

8. Mandela House

mandela museum

Image Source Located in the Soweto Street, this museum was once home to Nelson Mandela, the hero of the liberation movement. Irrespective of whether you are a history buff or not, this place is an intriguing attraction to visit in Joburg. The four rooms in the house showcase an array of photographs, paintings, and more of the Mandela family. Not just this, but it also exhibits the awards & recognitions earned by Nelson Mandela.

Entry Fees: ZAR 40 for local tourists (adults), ZAR 60 for foreigners (adults), and ZAR 20 for kids Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Location: 8115 Vilakazi St & Ngakane St, Johannesburg

Suggested Read: 6 South Africa Travel Tips That Are A Must For Every Traveler

9. Zoo Lake

zoo lake

Image Source If you’re looking for romantic places in Johannesburg , don’t worry because the city would never disappoint as it’s home to the surreal Zoo Lake. An all-time favorite amongst the Joburg residents, this place is ideal for enjoying a stroll together, a boat ride, and even taking a dip in the pool. And if you feel doing nothing, you can just sit across the fountain and soak in the bliss of serenity.

Entry Fees: While there is no entry fee, the activities like boating and swimming are chargeable. Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all the days Location: Lower Park Dr Parkview, Johannesburg

10. Mary Fitzgerald Square

Mary Fitzgerald Square

Image Courtesy: Afro Tourism Named after the country’s first female unionist, the Mary Fitzgerald Square is one of the best places to visit in Johannesburg for free . As per popular review, anybody who visits here surely has the time of his or her life. This square also marks the start for the Jazz Walk of Fame, which a walkway that pays tribute to the country’s most eminent jazz musicians.

Entry Fees: There is no entry fee for visiting this place. Timings: NA Location: 120 Lilian Ngoyi St, Newtown, Johannesburg

Suggested Read: 7 Places For An Adventurous Bungee Jumping In Johannesburg

11. Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill in Johannesburg Africa

Image Source Constitution Hill is among the most scenic places in Johannesburg owing to the fact that one can gaze at marvelous views of the entire city from here. Once a prison, this site now provides insightful information about South Africa’s history. Representing the brutal treatment of political prisoners and criminals at that time, this erstwhile prison features rather provocative exhibits at its museums like Number Four, Women’s Gaol, and Old Fort. These former prisoners even included Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi at that time. Apart from transforming this prison into a museum, the old Awaiting Trial building has also been renovated and made into the Constitutional Court of South Africa, which stands as a symbol of freedom and operates on the aim of protecting the rights of this nation’s people.

Location: 11 Kotze St, Johannesburg, 2017, South Africa Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM Constitution Hill Entry Fee

12. The Maboneng Precinct

The Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg Africa

Image Source Johannesburg’s brilliant multi-use urban renewal project, the jolly Maboneng Precinct is was once a rather a normal, shabby neighborhood. Maboneng literally means the “place of light,” and what it has now been transformed into represents just that. Lit and fizzing with life, this site now has chic cafes, restaurants, art galleries, hotels, shops, and various entertainment hubs, all thrown into one single mix rather smartly to make this part of the town hip and happening. One of the top attractions here include the Weekly Market on Main where you can get food from any part of the continent. Art lover? Get to Arts on Main and Revolution House where you’ll find warehouses-turned-art-studios, along with shops where you can buy art pieces. Among other attractions are the Bioscope Cinema, classy hotels, a community center, and various boutiques. It’s a wonderful place for youngsters to hang around amid a cic and lively vibe while gorging on their favorite African food and drinks.

Location: 276 Fox St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa Timings: 9 AM – 11 PM

Suggested Read: An All-Inclusive Guide To Johannesburg Botanical Garden

13. Lindfield Victorian House Museum

Lindfield Victorian House Museum in Johannesburg Africa

Image Source This “living museum” is one of the most queer, yet exciting sites in Johannesburg. What delights visitors here is the fact the current owner of the museum, Katherine Love, dresses up in Victorian clothing to match the vibe and purpose of the museum, and very courteously shows them around the whole place, leading them from room to room of this brilliantly preserved middle-class Victorian house. One of the best Johannesburg museums and attractions , it houses an impressive collection of 19th and 20th-century Victorian furniture, art, and common household items that all tell tales of the how this culture and heritage is influencing Johannesburg even today. After your two-hour tour inside this museum, you can indulge in a fine cup of tea in the verandah while looking over the Johannesburg city.

Location: 72 Richmond Ave, Auckland Park, Johannesburg Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM Entry fee: INR 250/- (guided tour)

Suggested Read: Johannesburg Zoo: A Guide To This Fun-filled Place In South Africa

14. South African National Museum of Military History

South African National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg Africa

Image Source Reciting the story of Africa’s military conflicts over the years, the South African Museum of Military History is among the most fascinating Johannesburg museums and attractions for those who love to hear war stories. The highlights of this museum include World War II fighter planes, tanks, arms and ammunition, bombers, and even medals. Visitors’ favorite section includes the exhibit on medicine at war, which showcases details of the Zulu’s method of traditional healing during the Anglo-Zulu war, along with modern day treatments employed on the battlefield.

Location: 22 Erlswold Way, Johannesburg, 2132, South Africa Timings: 9 AM – 4:30 PM Entry fee: INR 125 (adults) | INR 75 (children)

15. Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg National Park in Africa

Image Source Located a mere 2.5-hour drive away from Johannesburg city center, the Pilanesberg National Park is among the most celebrated game reserves in South Africa. Other than giving wildlife enthusiasts a chance to spot Africa’s Big Five, the park also acts as one of the most scenic places in Johannesburg owing to its amazingly rich ecosystems, a wide array of wildlife, and its lush location smack in the middle of the Lowveld vegetation and the Kalahari Desert. Other than the lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, and leopards, one shall also be able to spot African wild dogs, zebras, sable antelopes, and over 300 bird species at this park. But don’t just rely on the photographic hides here. In order to ensure you sight most animals at the right place and time, you must opt for the full-day Pilanesberg National Park private tour that comes with an experienced safari guide.

Location: Bojanala, North West, South Africa Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM Entry fee: INR 400/-

Further Read: The Only Pilanesberg Game Reserve Planning Guide You Need

So, which of these places have you already added to your bucket list? Do let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to include them in your trip itinerary by customizing your South Africa holiday package with TravelTriangle!

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Johannesburg

Want to know more about the park? Take a look at these common queries travelers put up:

Which are the best places to visit in Johannesburg for couples?

For couples looking for a relaxing time together, Zoo Lake is the one of the romantic places to visit in Johannesburg.

Which are places to visit in Johannesburg for the day?

Apartheid museum, Gold reef city, Mary Fitzgerald Square are some of the best places to visit in Johannesburg for the day.

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69 Fun Things To Do in Johannesburg | Updated Activities For 2022  

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69 Fun Things To Do in Johannesburg | Updated Activities For 2022

Johannesburg is the economic heart of our country, but more than that, it is a rapidly changing city with a vibrant and eclectic urban culture — a truly cosmopolitan experience.

If you find yourself at a loss for what to do in Johannesburg (known locally as Jozi, Jo’burg or even Egoli — the City of Gold), then look no further. Our comprehensive guide for the urban prospector will show you exactly where the gold mines are.

SAVE by purchasing DISCOUNT vouchers for activities in Johannesburg through our partner fomo .

  • Visit our guide to Annual Festivals, Big Events and Parties in Joburg .
Don't forget to check what’s happening in Joburg today

Activities and Adventures

While Johannesburg is more of a concrete jungle than a green one, there are still many activities and adventures to enjoy.

Interesting flora fact: With over 6 million trees, Johannesburg is often referred to as the world’s largest man-made forest.

SkyDive The Ranch | Weekend 11 000 Ft Tandem Jump

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We are honoured to introduce first timers to the sport of skydiving at our beautiful working farm.

Skydive the Ranch is a premiere destination for great weather skydiving all year long. The countryside

offers idyllic views at 11000ft before freefalling from the Atlas Angel aircraft at an invigorating 200km/h!

SAVE by purchasing DISCOUNT vouchers for SkyDive The Ranch through our partner fomo .

Action Park | Zipline Experience for 2

Plan a day out with a zipline experience at Action Park at Cedar Square in Fourways.

Action Park, great for any age, brings you a rope adventure course and outdoor entertainment area you can enjoy for the entire day. Have lunch at The High Wire Café which offers delicious food and beverages.

SAVE by purchasing DISCOUNT vouchers for Zipline experience for 2 people through our partner fomo .

Orlando Towers - Bungee Jumping

The colourful murals of the Orlando Towers in Soweto form the backdrop for this 100m bungee jump.

A suspension bridge linking the two towers is where the jump happens, giving you incredible views of Johannesburg and the surrounding suburbs.

  • R550 per person
  • Thurs-Sun, 10am–6pm
  • Contact Number: 071 674 4343
  • Address: Chris Hani Rd, Johannesburg
  • More Info: Website

Noble Adventures 

Noble Adventures is an adventure outdoors experience for all ages. They cater for individuals as well as groups, excursions, outings, birthday parties and team building experiences.

Located at the Noble Village which is a Craft Beer and Gin Taproom and Eatery situated on the R96 in Hekpoort, +-25 minutes drive from Krugersdorp.

They offer an array of activities for all ages to enjoy (paintball, archery, pedal cars, tractor rides) the most exciting of which is the Sky Climbers obstacle course, which is suspended 5m above the ground and requires navigation from tree to tree over various obstacles wearing safety equipment. This is a great day out of the city for the everyone!

  • Operating Hours: Sat & Sun, 8am - 5pm
  • Address: R96 Rd (782.34 mi) Hekpoort, Gauteng
  • Contact: 072 142 5130
  • More Info: Facebook Page

City Sightseeing Joburg Bus

City Sightseeing offers city tours in a hop-on, hop-off format. This gives you the freedom to decide where you go and how long you stay for.

On the bus, the informative audio guide keeps you entertained, teaching you a thing or two you may not have known about the city.

The red city tour takes you through the city centre with stops at the following places and more:

  • The Apartheid museum (next to Gold Reef City)
  • Carlton Centre

SAB World of Beer

  • Constitution Hill (link to the green tour)
  • James Hall Museum of Transport

You can ditch the tour bus for a minibus and take an extension tour of Soweto. This tour includes visits to the FNB Stadium, the Hector Pieterson Museum and the colourful Orlando Towers.

The green tour stops at:

  • Constitution Hill (linked to the red tour)
  • The National Museum of Military History
  • Johannesburg zoo

The company offers three tours in Johannesburg. They run throughout the day according to this timetable .

Tip: City Sightseeing also offers free city walking tours in Johannesburg!

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is a world-class science centre. They offer dynamic learning experiences with 400 permanent exhibits as well as temporary and travelling exhibits (such as Body Worlds and The Cycle of Life).

The exhibits are interactive and visitors are encouraged to touch, feel, press and play to their heart’s content.

  • Adults - R45
  • Mon-Sun, 9am - 5pm
  • Contact Number: 011 639 8400
  • Address: Helen Joseph Street, Johannesburg

The SAB World of Beer has twice been named the number one tourist attraction in South Africa. You can take a tour that explores the rich history of beer and the role it has played (culturally, socially and economically) in South Africa.

Alternatively, opt for a tour of the largest brewery in South Africa, the Alrode Brewery, do a beer tasting, or even a beer pairing. If you love beer, then this is the place for you!

  • If you're planning a visit, have a look at their website

First Thursdays

On the First Thursday of every month, something special happens in Rosebank, Braamfontein and Maboneng.

Johannesburg’s city art galleries, cultural attractions and restaurants stay open late allowing residents to explore the city and experience art and culture on foot. First Thursdays is an opportunity to experience local culture for free while enjoying an evening with friends.

  • You can plan your own route by visiting the First Thursdays' website .

Picnic At The Vaal Dam

Although not technically in the city, a mere 1 hour’s drive south of Johannesburg will bring you to the Vaal Meander. This spot brings some refreshing tranquillity back into the hustle and bustle of city life.

The surrounding area is well known for its craft factories, outdoor adventure centres, entertainment, animal attractions, sporting facilities, boating and world class conference venues. The banks of the dam are often frequented by picnic goers, as it is the perfect picnic spot in JHB.

Plenty of delightful bed & breakfasts, self-catering establishments and romantic wedding venues are available on the banks of the Vaal River, making it the perfect place to stay a while.

Hiking Trails in Johannesburg

Whether you're an avid hiker or more of casual walker, Joburg has some spectacular in nature walks.

Hennop Hiking Trail

A popular trail in the Gauteng area is the Hennop Hiking Trail, It is a two day hiking trail that can be started from either the Zebra Trail or the Krokodliberg Trail.

The trail itself passes the Hartbeespoort Dam, a busy watering hole for the indigenous wildlife, then meanders through the mountain.

  • Starting Point: Hartenbees Dam, Krokodilberg Trail

Sugarbush Hiking Trail

If two days spent in the mountain is not your cup of tea there are day hike alternatives not too far from JHB city centre. The Sugarbush Trail is one of those. It is a 9km relatively easy walk that runs along the escarpment of the West Rand.

The land itself is protected by the Cradle Of Human Kind World Heritage and runs through both reserve and private land. The summit will find you at the top of the Magaliesburg mountains.

  • Starting point: Robert Broom Drive
Tips: The trail isn’t very shaded so be sure to have protection from the sun. A great family hike but keep a watchful eye on your children as the land was previously used for mining.

Places to Visit & Tourist Attractions

Joburg has many great places to visit and tourist attractions so get ready to make a sightseeing checklist!

We've made it a little easier for you to start checking things off by putting together a comprehensive guide of places to visit and things to see in Joburg. Some of these include:

  • Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
  • The Financial District (JSE)
  • Maropeng: Cradle of Humankind

For the full list of memorable places and things to do in Joburg, click on the link below:

  • Places to Visit & Tourist Attractions in Joburg

Museums & Art Galleries

Johannesburg is home to several fascinating museums that focus on its social, political and cultural history. It is also has an impressive selection of art galleries featuring the work of both local and international artists.

Our guide to the best galleries and most prestigious art galleries in Joburg will ensure you know exactly where to go. Some of these include:

  • The Apartheid Museum
  • The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Gallery Momo
  • Goodman Gallery
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery

For the full list of informative museums and captivating art galleries in Joburg, click on the link below:

  • 21 Museums & Art Galleries in Joburg

Theatre & Live Shows

Joburg has a rich cultural scene that is filled with talent and history. Whether you enjoy a live music performance or watching a play, there's something for everyone.

Joburg's theatre and live show scene is so brimming with history and talent that it has its own guide. In it you'll find some of the best and most prestigious performing stages in Joburg, including:

  • The Lyric Theatre
  • Joburg Theatre
  • Market Theatre
  • Rumours Rock City

For the full guide, click on the link below:

  • 8 Spectacular Theatres & Live Shows in Joburg

Movies & Cinema

Find the latest movies and showtimes in Joburg. See Trailers, Reviews, Ratings. Release Dates & More - (2D, 3D, IMAX & IMAX 3D, Scene XTREME & VIP, PRESTIGE, IL GRANDE)
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  • Ster Kinekor Riversquare (Vereeniging)

Nature & Game Reserves

If you're wanting to organise a weekend away or if you're in the mood to immerse yourself in the bush, Joburg has a host of experiences to accommodate your needs.

We've complied a list of terrific nature reserves, game reserves and game lodges in Joburg. These include:

  • Mabula Game Lodge
  • Pilanesburg National Park & Game Reserve
  • Groenkloof Nature Reserve
  • Wonderboom Nature Reserve
  • Monateng Safari Lodge

For the comprehensive list of the best game reserves and lodges in Joburg, click on the link below:

  • Game and Nature Reserves Near Pretoria and Joburg

Food & Craft Markets

The saying “shop till you drop” really does apply here, as Johannesburg is home to a plethora of markets and malls. Whether you prefer malls or love a good market, you can get your fix of retail therapy in Jo’burg.

Much like Cape Town, Johannesburg has a thriving market culture with something for everyone. That’s why it makes our guide of things to do in Johannesburg. Our guide includes:

  • Neighbourgoods Market
  • Market on Main
  • Blubird Wholefood Market
  • Bamboo Farmers Market
  • The LoCrate Market

For a comprehensive break down of food and craft markets in Joburg, click on the link below:

  • Johannesburg Markets: Food, Farmers, Organic & More - Guide 2017.

Things to Do with Kids

Joburg is filled with an impressive amount of activities and things to do with kids that will appeal to the whole family.

From paintball wars and waterparks to the Johannesburg Zoo, Joburg knows how to keep you an the little ones entertained. We've put together its own guide which includes:

  • Yeesh! Fun for Kids
  • Johannesburg Planetarium
  • Honeydew Mazes
  • Hashtag Escape

For the entire guide, click on the link below:

  • Fun Things to Do with Kids in Joburg | Family-Friendly Activities

Restaurants & Coffee

While Cape Town is considered the coffee capital of South Africa, Johannesburg is a close second. Try out some of these hip coffee spots in Johannesburg.

Cube Tasting Kitchen

This modern restaurant has two different venues: one in the hip Maboneng and the other in Parktown North.

Boasting a 10-course tasting menu, Cube Tasting Kitchen is a unique and modern dining experience. The restaurants feature open kitchens and emphasize fresh produce.

  • Tue-Sat, 6am - 10:30pm
  • Contact Number: 082 422 8158
  • Address: 24 Albrecht St, Johannesburg

Atholplace Restaurant in Sandton

Atholplace is a five star, boutique hotel in the heart of Athol — a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Sandton.

It’s a little oasis that boasts manicured gardens, exquisite décor, gorgeous art, incredible food and serves as the perfect spot for a meal even if you're not a hotel guest.

  • Mon-Sun, 7:30am - 9:30pm
  • Contact Number: 011 783 3410
  • Address: 90 Pretoria Ave, Athol

Moyo - Melrose Arch

Moyo is a multi-level restaurant, with an African feel, that features live bands to indulge you while dining. Just like Africa, this venue is colourful and friendly with smiles all around.

Modern touches are noticed throughout yet they stick to their African roots and culture. They are famous for their warm welcoming staff and a sense of excitement fills the air.

  • Daily from 11:30am-11pm
  • Contact Number: (011) 684 1477
  • Address: Melrose Arch, Shop 5, The High Street, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg

Bean There Coffee

Bean There Coffee Company sells fair-trade coffee at their branches in Braamfontein and Milpark.

They strive to make a sustainable difference in the lives of African coffee producers while providing employment in South Africa. Coffee with a conscience.

  • Contact Number: 087 310 3100
  • Address: 44 Stanley Ave, Milpark

Father Coffee

Father Coffee in Braamfontein and Rosebank is another innercity hotspot that offers great coffee (they say the best) as well as pastries and snacks.

  • Contact Number: 082 513 4258
  • Address: 177 Oxford street, Rosebank

Origin Coffee

Origin Coffee Roasting in Maboneng offers the full coffee experience. You can taste, buy, participate in courses and even get something to eat.

  • Contact Number: 011 334 1000
  • Address: 40 Berea Rd, Johannesburg

Shopping Malls

Joburg has a variety of shopping experiences to offer. Browse international brands and explore unique shops. When you've had enough of shopping, have a bite at their great restaurants.

Mall of Africa

Imagine this: Hundreds of stores, beautiful architecture, stores like Woolworths, Checkers, Topshop and H&M.

All these are included in the Johannesburg shopping scene, the Mall of Africa .

  • Mon-Sun, 9am–8pm
  • Contact number: 010 596 1470
  • Address: Magwa Crescent, Midrand
  • More info: Website

Sandton City Mall

For a refined shopping experience, look no further than Sandton City, in the prestigious suburb of Sandton in Johannesburg. This mall is a unique shopping destination that infuses international shopping and brands with a South African flair.

There are over 300 leading local and international retailers such as Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Carrol Boyes and Apple.

After your spree, take a well-earned break at one of the world class cafés and patisseries where you can sip on the world's finest coffees, enjoy a French croissant, or a slice of local milk tart.

Sandton City is conveniently located within walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station and within easy access from highways and main roads within Sandton CBD.

  • Mon-Sun, 9am - 8pm
  • Contact Number: 011 217 6000
  • Address: 163 5th St, Sandton, 2031

A collection of specialty health, food, fashion, and furniture showrooms are at 44 Stanley, in restored 1930s industrial buildings in Milpark. The old spark of the place combined with the modern showrooms and fashion stores create a vibrant atmosphere.

You could grab some coffee from Bean There Coffee, shop for textiles at Mungo, have lunch at Vovo Telo, and browse the antiques at Antiques and Heritage of Europe.

  • Mon-Sun, 7:30am - 4pm
  • Contact Number: 011 482 4444
  • Address: 44 Stanley, Milpark

Other Shopping Malls in Johannesburg

Discover some smaller, unique malls with stores catering to your more niche shopping needs.

Eastgate mall is the people’s mall. It houses over 270 stores and is conveniently located close to OR Tambo International Airport.

  • Mon-Sun, 9am - 6pm
  • Contact Number: 011 479 6000
  • Address: 43 Bradford Road, Bedfordview

If you are looking for small odds and ends you would find at your local R5-store, try the China Mall Johannesburg. The only difference is that instead of one store, there are over 500 for you to peruse!

  • Mon-Sun, 8:30am - 5pm
  • Address: Cnr Main Reef Road, Johannesburg

For an eastern bazaar experience (without paying for the plane ticket), pay a visit to the Oriental Plaza. This mall resembles an Indian market with over 250 individual stores, independently owned and run, selling everything from curries and spices to fabrics and homeware.

  • Mon - Sat, 9am - 5pm
  • Contact number: 011 836 6752
  • Address: 38-60, Lilian Ngoyi Street, fordsburg

Relax & Unwind

After all the active fun you’ve had browsing all the shops, markets and adventure parks, it’s time to unwind with some more relaxing things to do in Johannesburg.

Spas in Johannesburg

After a day filled with exploring Joburg, you might be in need of some TLC. Why not pay a visit to one of Joburg's superb spas.

Melville Wellness Centre Day Spa

Melville Wellness Centre is a sanctuary for relaxation and unwinding. Neighbouring the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, feel at one with the earth at this day spa. The Spa offers couples treatments and visitors can enjoy a relaxing soak in the jacuzzis.

  • Tue-Fri, 7am-6pm
  • Sat and Mon, 8am-4pm
  • Contact Details: (011) 477 5866
  • Address: 37 Arundel Road, Johannesburg

Life Day Spa Rosebank

Life Day Spa in Rosebank is one of the newer editions to Life Day Spa range.

They provide the same level of professionalism and class their other branches display. Some of the facilities they have available are:

  • Heated Indoor Pool
  • Flotation Pool

With the excellent reputation behind them Life Day Spa has all your rejuvenation needs covered.

  • Mon-Thu, 8am-7pm
  • Fri and Sat, 8am-5pm
  • Sun, 9am-5pm
  • Contact Details: (011) 447 2255
  • Address: 26 Bolton Road, Johannesburg

Four Seasons Spa

The Four Seasons Spa aims to bring the beauty of nature indoors with a modern sophisticated feel. The main attraction is their infinity pool that is easily viewed from the couples treatment rooms.

The spa tempts you to return with their amazing treatments and packages. The staff are helpful and well-trained and there is never a towel left out of place. Special attention to detail gives this spa a five star rating.

  • Daily from 6:30am-9pm
  • Contact Details: (011) 481 6450
  • Address: 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg

Golf in Johannesburg

If you enjoy hitting the green, have a look at our list of the best places to play golf in Joburg.

Dainfern Golf Estate

The Dainfern golf course in Midrand was designed by the renowned Gary Player and Phil Jacobs. The course is challenging and beautiful with stunning views, a tranquil setting and six river crossings.

The course also has a golf shop, restaurant and driving range (250m). Rates vary, depending on the number of holes you want to play, so visit the Dainfern website to find out before you go.

  • Mon-Sat, 7am-11pm
  • Sun, 7am-10pm
  • Contact Number: (011) 875 0400
  • Address: 633 Gateside Avenue, Dainfern, Midrand

Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate

The Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate, only 15km from OR Tambo International Airport, offers you an African golfing experience. The estate boasts not one, but two courses, both designed by Jack Niklaus. The estate also has a golf shop, golf academy and a restaurant.

Tip: You may qualify for a discount if you’re accompanied by a member, are a member of another club or a member of a sister club.
  • Daily from 6am-Late
  • Contact Number: (011) 552 7207
  • Address: R21, Johannesburg

Huddle Park

Huddle Park is a free, public golf park and so much more. It is a place for golf, running, CrossFit, walking and has a restaurant to satisfy your ravenous appetite after sports.

So, whether you fancy practising your swing or just enjoying a walk on the green, give it a try.

  • Tue-Sat, 7am-6pm
  • Sun, 7:30am-6pm
  • Mon, 12pm-6pm
  • Contact Number: (011) 640 6693
  • Address: Club Street, Linksfield

Things to Do at Night

Johannesburg is an energetic city that is young at heart and the nightlife doesn’t disappoint. Get ready for information on the best pubs, clubs, dance and party spots in Johannesburg.

There is such an impressive selection of things to do at night in Joburg that we made it into 2 separate guides! These include:

  • The VIP Room
  • Social on Main
  • The Orbit - Jazz Bar

For the comprehensive guides, click on the links below:

  • Clubs in Sandton: Premium Nightclubs, Lounges & Bars
  • Clubs in Johannesburg: Premium Nightclubs, Lounges, Bars & Pubs

Gauteng Getaways

When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, escape for a weekend getaway. Our guide includes ideas for family getaways, romantic escapes and solo retreats.

Our comprehensive guide offers ideas for great weekend getaways in Gauteng. Some of these include:

  • Magaliesburg
  • Pilanesberg National Park
  • Muldersdrift

For the full guide to awesome weekend getaways, click on the link below:

  • Weekend Getaways Near Joburg and Pretoria 2017

Transport & Weather

Summers run from October through April and visitors can expect hot sunny days with frequent afternoon thundershowers and cool evenings.

In winter, which runs from May to September, sunny days are dry and the nights are cold. Jozi is also notorious for its hailstorms. Golf ball-sized chunks have been known to fall on the city, resulting in a fair amount of damage.

Temperatures are at around 25°C in summer and 16°C in winter, with occasional highs of 40°C and lows well below freezing.

  • For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit AccuWeather's website .

Transport in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, also affectionally called Jozi or Egoli by locals, is a major urban metropolis which makes getting around more challenging than travelling in a compact space like Cape Town.

Most tourists book their flights to Johannesburg as its the business hub of Southern Africa and then make their way to the many tourist spots around the country.

Here are several options to make it easier:

A new and exciting service, the Gautrain is a direct line between the major hubs of Johannesburg.

Built to alleviate major traffic problems, it connects the OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton and Rosebank as well as to Hatfield, Pretoria, Midrand and Centurion.

A map of the Gautrain routes is available online, as is the schedule and other information. Gautrain fares vary so check their website out for more detailed information.

  • Opening hours: Daily, 4:45am - 9:30pm
  • Contact number : 0800 428 87246
  • More info : Website

Minibus Taxis

Used by thousands of locals, minibus taxis are South Africa’s answer to a cheap trip from A to B. They typically operate along main roads and by flagging down a taxi going in the right direction using this infographic on Joburg taxi hand signals, you can get to within walking distance of your destination for a few bucks.

Be warned though, this is South African style transport which means there is always room for one more passenger, no matter how full the taxi is!

For longer journeys, large groups, or if you prefer to make your own way around Jozi, car hire is probably your best bet.

  • Check out these for car rental options in Johannesburg.

In conclusion, Johannesburg is a vibrant cosmopolitan community where you get to indulge in the best of all worlds. There is something to do for almost everyone when visiting the city of Jo’burg.

Whether you want to shop for global brands, expand your mind by soaking up the history of mining and South Africa in general, are looking to taste the best cuisine on the continent or simply want to relax with friends, this dynamic city has it all.

Our vision at Vibescout is to provide the most relevant, current and comprehensive information.

If you feel we've missed something amazing or have any suggestions regarding our system, we would love to hear from you! Contact: info (at) vibescout.com

Things To Do In Johannesburg

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1. Visit the Apartheid Museum

Visit the Apartheid Museum

5 km from city center 1 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Apartheid Museum is established in the southern part of Johannesburg and is one of the must-visit attractions. It displays paper clippings, films, documents, photos and other historical artefacts exhibiting the history of Apartheid. The entrance is different depending on whether you are white or non-white.

2. Learn South Africa's History at Constitution Hill

Learn South Africa's History at Constitution Hill

2 km from city center 2 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Located in northern Johannesburg, Constitution hill aptly describes South Africa's transformation to democracy and signifies the great freedom struggles for the country's independence. The sight is an abode to Constitution court, Women's prison, Old Fort and Number Four prison.

3. Visit Mandela House in Soweto

Visit Mandela House in Soweto

14 km from city center 3 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Located almost twenty kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, Soweto opens the historical chapters of freedom fights. Also the birthplace of the struggle for democracy, it was home to black labourers, who were kept away from most of the urban and suburban Johannesburg. Soweto also has the Mandela House museum, where Mandela used to live before he was imprisoned.

4. Have a Fun Day at Gold Reef City

Have a Fun Day at Gold Reef City

5 km from city center 4 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Gold Reef City offers a spectacular sight with countless theme park rides, historical antiquities and marvellous golden exhibits. The unique spot hosts numerous edifices and businesses, including shops, stores, hotels, the Royal Theatre and Johannesburg's first stock exchange.

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Explore Cradle of Humankind

27 km from city center 5 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

A paleoanthropological zone in Gauteng, about 50km northwest of Johannesburg, Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its dolomitic limestone caves. These caves feature fossilised remains of the old forms of plants, rocks, animals and hominids.

6. Explore Modern Johannesburg at the Maboneng Precinct

Explore Modern Johannesburg at the Maboneng Precinct

1 km from city center 6 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Maboneng Precinct lies in the city's heart and is a fantastic example of a successful mixed-use renewal project. You can find numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries and shops. The area is a bright combination of both commercial and residential buildings and imparts the cheerful vibe of the city.

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7. Day Trip to Lion & Safari Park

Day Trip to Lion & Safari Park

44 km from city center 7 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Located about 40 minutes from Johannesburg in Gauteng, the Lion and Safari Park is part of the Cradle of Humankind and is known for its numerous indigenous species. The best way to explore the park is through one of its informative safaris and tours. River rafting through the Crocodile River, horse riding, quad biking and mountain biking are also popular activities here.

8. Experience Local Culture at Market Theatre

Experience Local Culture at Market Theatre

2 km from city center 8 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Market Theatre is housed in a converted Market Building and has a great significance in Joburg's culture, attracting several tourists. The theatre has four live theatre venues where the finest productions are held. The building includes a book store, art and gallery, and restaurants.

9. Visit Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Visit Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

1 km from city center 9 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is South Africa’s largest science centre, located at Helen St. Joseph in Johannesburg. It has over 350 interactive exhibits on math, science and technology. The mini planetarium inside is stunning and enjoyable to learn about the universe.

10. See Verreaux's Eagles at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

See Verreaux's Eagles at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

24 km from city center 10 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens is a nature reserve in Roodepoort near Johannesburg. It is popular for a pair of Verreaux's eagles that reside in the Roodekrans Ridge and the beautiful Witpoortjie waterfall. It is also popular for birdwatching, with over 240 species of birds here. Guided tours are available.

11. South African National Museum of Military History

South African National Museum of Military History

5 km from city center 11 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The massive museum contains every minute detail of the South African military history. Tourists come and get informed about the military conflicts and complications which existed a few decades back.

12. Enjoy Panoramic Views from Carlton Centre

Enjoy Panoramic Views from Carlton Centre

1 km from city center 12 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Carlton Center in the Central Business District of Johannesburg is a 50-storey building and shopping centre and also the country’s third tallest building. It houses almost 180 stores along with some food outlets. The 50th floor of the Carlton Center, called the Carlton Panorama, has an observation deck that offers marvellous views of the city.

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13. Day Trip to Pilanesberg National Park

Day Trip to Pilanesberg National Park

148 km from city center 13 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Pilanesberg National Park is famous for its unique terrain as it lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which erupted over 1000 billion years ago. It is located north of Rustenberg. It is home to all the Big Five game animals in Africa, including lions, leopards, black rhinoceros, African bush elephants, and African buffalo. Hot Air Balloon Ride over the park is popular.

14. Hector Pieterson Museum

Hector Pieterson Museum

15 km from city center 14 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Hector Pieterson Museum & Memorial is a museum in Orlando West, Soweto, Johannesburg. It is dedicated to Hector Pieterson, a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed during the anti-Apartheid Soweto Uprising and other young children. There is also an engraved granite memorial stone inside.

15. Walk Around Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

Walk Around Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

6 km from city center 15 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

A beautiful lush green area and a Johannesburg City Heritage Site, the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is situated next to the Johannesburg Botanical Garden. The reserve is divided into Melville Koppies East, Central and West. It is an excellent place for walking, hiking and walking dogs.

16. Boating in Zoo Lake

Boating in Zoo Lake

5 km from city center 16 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Zoo Lake is a beautiful lake and public park that is part of the Hermann Eckstein Park opposite the Johannesburg Zoo. There is a 1.2km long walking path around the lake. It is also an excellent place for picnics, boating and canoeing. The famous Coronation Fountain built in honour of King George VI’s coronation is located here.

17. Drive Through Nelson Mandela Bridge

Drive Through Nelson Mandela Bridge

2 km from city center 17 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela Bridge is the largest cable-stayed bridge in South Africa. Spanning almost 300 m, it connects Braamfontein and Newtown. It is a major landmark in Johannesburg and is popular for night drives. The buildings surrounding the bridge are decorated with beautiful artwork and murals.

18. Explore Biodiversity at Johannesburg Botanical Garden

Explore Biodiversity at Johannesburg Botanical Garden

0 km from city center 18 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is located in the city’s Emmarentia neighbourhood. It is divided into different gardens, which feature a variety of indigenous and exotic plants, trees and flowers. The park is commonly used for jogging, walking, picnics, dog walking etc. and for events like Summer Sunset Concerts and kite-flying competitions.

19. Bird Watching at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Bird Watching at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

9 km from city center 19 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is a stunning nature reserve situated about 10 km south of Johannesburg. It is the largest nature reserve in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area. It is popular for bird watching since it is home to about 230 bird species. It also houses over 240 large mammals.

20. Eat & Shop at Rosebank Sunday Market

Eat & Shop at Rosebank Sunday Market

6 km from city center 20 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Rosebank Sunday Market is hosted every Sunday at the Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg. Although it hosts over 300 stalls, it is most famous for its food stalls that offer everything from elaborate curries to nacho cheeseburgers. Some stalls sell handmade arts and crafts, vintage items, clothing and other apparel.

21. Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo

4 km from city center 21 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

The Johannesburg Zoo is situated in the Randburg area of Gauteng and is home to about 320 species and over 2,000 animals worldwide. The zoo is divided into different enclosures such as Amazonia, Madagascar, Ape House and Cheetah Slopes that house other species. The best way to explore them is via Ferry Tours.

22. Explore Restaurants at Vilakazi Street

Explore Restaurants at Vilakazi Street

17 km from city center 22 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Vilakazi Street is one of the most famous and iconic streets in Soweto and Johannesburg, housing many markets and restaurants. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu used to live here. The café where both of them used to meet is now a favourite among locals.

23. Relax at Gillooly's Farm

Relax at Gillooly's Farm

9 km from city center 23 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Gillooly’s Farm, located in Bedfordview, is a nature retreat famous for its nature trails and an artificial lake. It is the perfect location for picnics, birdwatching, and taking a calming walk in nature. A variety of birds and fishes can be spotted here as well.

24. Ride the Gautrain

Ride the Gautrain

8 km from city center 24 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Gautrain is a 50-mile express commuter rail that links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Ekurhuleni. Explore famous attractions by travelling through Gautrain; visit Africa’s richest square mile, Sandton City or get down at Park Station to visit Constitution Hill.

25. The Playground

The Playground

3 km from city center 25 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

​​The Playground is a weekly market that takes place every Saturday on Juta Street, Johannesburg. The market features live musical performances, gourmet street food and a display of local fashion items.

26. James and Ethel Gray Park

James and Ethel Gray Park

8 km from city center 26 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

James and Ethel Gray Park is the most popular picnic spot in Gauteng and is located in Birdhaven, just South of the Melrose arch. The Sandspruit River flows across the park, and its steep banks provide panoramic views of the city. It has two playgrounds for children, numerous trails for walking, jogging and biking, and four ziplines.

27. Gandhi Square Johannesburg

Gandhi Square Johannesburg

0 km from city center 27 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Gandhi Square is a major landmark of Johannesburg, where Mahatma Gandhi once had legal offices. It is located off Rissik street. Today, it is a bustle of activity with many stores and eateries located around the square. There is an imposing statue of Gandhiji in his lawyer’s garb in the centre of the square.

28. Regina Mundi Church

Regina Mundi Church

19 km from city center 28 out of 28 Things To Do in Johannesburg

Regina Mundi is the largest Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, situated in the Soweto township of Johannesburg. The church is home to several artworks, including The Madonna and Child of Soweto painting which features a black Virgin Mary holding a black baby Jesus.

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  1. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Johannesburg

    4. Gold Reef City. 1,881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

  2. 14 Top-Rated Attractions and Things to Do in Johannesburg

    2. Constitution Hill. Constitution Hill. Overlooking the city of Johannesburg, Constitution Hill is a former prison, which provides fascinating insight into South Africa's history. At the site, you can explore provocative exhibits at the Number Four museum, the Women's Gaol museum, and the Old Fort museum.

  3. The Ultimate 50 Best Things To Do In Johannesburg

    Welcome to Johannesburg, the vibrant and diverse "City of Gold" and one of South Africa's top tourist destinations! Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, this guide will show you some of the best things to do in Johannesburg. You'll find attractions that highlight Johannesburg's rich history and culture. These landmarks are essential […]

  4. The 15 Best Places to Visit in Johannesburg

    Take a Look a the 15 Best Places to Visit in Johannesburg. 1. Gold Reef City Theme Park. Source: Facebook / @Gold Reef City Theme Park. Gold Reef City Theme Park is a must-visit attraction in Johannesburg. This popular theme park offers thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and glimpses into the city's gold mining history.

  5. 23 BEST Things to Do in Johannesburg

    One of the most popular attractions in the city is the Johannesburg Zoo, equally beloved by both locals and tourists. Dating back to 1904, Joburg Zoo is home to over 320 animal species and a total of 2,000 animals. The zoo offers a variety of cool tours, including a night tour called the 'Zoo Snooze,' during which you can hear the lions roar.

  6. The 10 Best Things to Do in Johannesburg

    4. Gold Reef City. 1,881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

  7. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Johannesburg (UPDATED 2024)

    4. Gold Reef City. 1,881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

  8. Must-see attractions Johannesburg, Gauteng

    Pretoria. Discover the best attractions in Johannesburg including Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, and Constitutional Court.

  9. 13 Best Things To Do in Johannesburg

    Best things to do in Johannesburg. Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/ Georgia Popplewell. 1. Apartheid Museum. What is it? A world-renowned documentation of one of modern history's most shameful eras.

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    64,857. PLAN YOUR TRIP Johannesburg. Johannesburg is the place to go to mix big-city culture, shopping, dining and nightlife with outdoor adventures, up-close wildlife encounters and visits to historical sites. Explore caves and nature reserves, or visit a traditional village by day, then enjoy dinner at a hip cafe or five-star restaurant.

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    Get to the heart of Johannesburg with one of our in-depth, award-winning guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance. Shop Our Guidebooks. Explore Johannesburg holidays and discover the best time and places to visit.

  12. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Johannesburg (UPDATED 2024)

    4. Gold Reef City. 1,881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

  13. 14 Things To Do In Johannesburg That Are Really Amazing

    The Best Things To Do In Johannesburg Visit the Apartheid Museum. This is one of the best places to visit in Johannesburg. You see, museums that explain the history of a country are a great way to familiarize yourself with it. So, much like the Museo de los Derechos Humanos in Chile, Yad Vashem in Israel and the Museo de la Revolucion in Havana, Cuba, the Apartheid Museum of Johannesburg is a ...

  14. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Johannesburg (Updated 2024)

    4. Gold Reef City. 1,881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

  15. A First-timer's Guide To Johannesburg

    Spring (September to November) Spring, September, Octoberand November, is one of the best times to visit Johannesburg. The weather is mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The city comes alive with blooming jacaranda trees, creating a picturesque purple canopy.

  16. 10 BEST Places to Visit in Johannesburg (2024)

    Newtown. Newtown is a bustling neighbourhood located in Johannesburg's Inner City. Set at the heart of the metropolis, this neighbourhood is where you'll find many of Johannesburg's top tourist attractions as well as important art galleries, museums and historic landmarks. Places to visit:

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    26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget. Ranking of the top 7 things to do in Johannesburg. Travelers favorites include #1 Apartheid Museum, #2 Mandela House and more.

  18. Tourist Attractions In Johannesburg

    Johannesburg has a rich, diverse and unique history, beginning with being founded in 1886 as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement during the Witwatersrand Gold Rush. And most of the city's well-known tourist attractions are centred around our eventful past and how our beloved Jozi came to be. There are many must-visits you need to add to your to-do list when visiting the city of Johannesburg.

  19. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Johannesburg

    4. Gold Reef City. 1 881. Amusement & Theme Parks. Gold Reef City is a premier entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg, reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town which is conveniently situated close to the centre of Johannesburg or just 20 minutes from OR Tambo Airport.

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