Johannesburg, affectionately known as Joburg or Jozi, is one of South Africa’s largest cities and popular tourist destinations.
The city was built on a history of gold mining. Over 100 years ago, gold was discovered in Witwatersrand. Today, 40% of the world’s gold is found in Joburg, giving the city the nickname of the City of Gold.
Filled with culture and heritage, this economic hub has it all. For those visiting the city, we have compiled an exciting list of the top 10 things to do in Johannesburg that will guarantee you an incredible trip!
Visit the Apartheid Museum
A trip to the Apartheid Museum is an incredible experience for visitors who are eager to learn about the history of South Africa and the country’s path to liberation.
Opened in 2001, The Apartheid Museum documents the rise and fall of the oppressive apartheid system. The museum displays a variety of film footage, photographs, text panels and artefacts that bear witness to the chilling events that took place during the regime. Visitors interested in learning about South Africa’s struggle for freedom should also visit Liliesleaf Farm, the secret meeting centre for the leaders of the liberation movement.
If you love museums, check out our post on the best museums, monuments and cultural experiences in South Africa.
Explore Art in the Keyes Art Mile
Situated in Rosebank, the Keyes Art Mile is an exciting new art district that shares a space with Circa Gallery and Everard Read Gallery; two of the best art galleries in Joburg.
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@smac_gallery are excited to share their @fnbartjoburg presentation with you at Booth G-2 in the main section. Featured artists include: - Chechu Álava Lhola Amira Margaret Courtney-Clarke Galia Gluckman Frances Goodman Kate Gottgens Georgina Gratrix Masimba Hwati Cyrus Kabiru Alexandra Karakashian Gabrielle Kruger Wallen Mapondera Mostaff Muchawaya Mongezi Ncaphayi Albert Newall Gareth Nyandoro Jody Paulsen Usha Seejarim Mary Sibande Marlene Steyn Simon Stone Pierre Vermeulen - #smacgallery #fnbartjoburg #artjoburg #johannesburg
The Trumpet building is a contemporary space focused around a collection of local art, galleries, design stores and showrooms. The upper part of the building is a creative hub and meeting place for people to connect and is particularly lively during First Thursdays.
Visit the Cradle of Humankind
Roughly an hour from Johannesburg’s city centre lies the Cradle of Humankind. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important paleoanthropological sites for the history of the development of humankind. One of the popular attractions in the area is the Sterkfontein Caves, which consists of several underground caves where scientists have discovered the skull of a humanoid creature known as “Mrs Ples”. The bones date back to 3.5 million years ago.
Another top attraction is the award-winning museum and interactive learning centre called the Maropeng Visitor Centre. Discover the origins of early hominid species with the Cradle of Humankind Tour.
Take a tour of Constitution Hill
One of South Africa’s most infamous heritage sites is Constitution Hill. Set between the two neighbourhoods of Hillbrow and Braamfontein, Constitution Hill, now a museum, housed a number of notorious prisons, the Old Fort is one of the most well known.
Thousands of people passed through the doors of the prison units. Along with regular prisoners, a number of key freedom fighters and political figures spent time in teh prison, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Go to Nelson Mandela Square
Nelson Mandela Square was named in honour of the former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist, the late Nelson Mandela. Located in the bustling shopping centre of Sandton City, a prominent statue of Nelson Mandela stands in the outdoor square.
The statue invites many visitors and tourists to take pictures with the iconic president. Sandton City offers many fine-dining restaurants, fantastic shopping experiences and striking water fountain, which provides exciting entertainment for the children.
Go shopping at Sandton City
Shop at Africa’s leading and most prestigious shopping centre Sandton City. Located in Sandton, this glamorous shopping mall offers the world’s most sought after brands with over 300 local and international retailers.
The vibrant hub offers guests an international, cosmopolitan shopping experience with an opportunity to dine at the many stylish restaurants. The mall is near popular five-star hotels including the Saxon, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and The Residence.
Eat at the best restaurants in Joburg
Fast-paced Jozi offers some of the most diverse dining experiences in South Africa. A cosmopolitan city that does not shy away from experimenting with unusual ingredients and international flavours, visitors are guaranteed to leave with satisfied bellies.
From quaint cafes, fine-dining restaurants, fusion kitchens and local cuisine, the city is filled to the brim with a plethora of choices to satisfy your inner foodie. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, supper, tapas time or happy hour, you are sure to find a trendy spot to please your cravings. Some of the top restaurants in Johannesburg include.
- Epicure by Chef Coco
- Cafe del Sol
- Marble Restaurant
- DW Eleven-13
- View Restaurant
Explore the Maboneng Precinct
The electrifying Maboneng Precinct is a fantastic example of a successful renewal project. This once forgotten piece of industrial land was transformed in 2009, and has now become a dynamic hub for innovative restaurants, art galleries, designer hotels, boutiques and cafes.
One of the main attractions at the Maboneng precinct is the weekly Market on Main that takes place every Sunday from 10 AM to 3 PM. The market attracts a diverse and vibrant crowd, selling a selection of organically produced and locally designed products. Are you heading to Maboneng? Discover the top 10 things to do in Maboneng Precinct.
Visit the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature, then the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens is the place for you.
Named in honour of the late ANC freedom fighter Walter Sisulu, the garden offers a slice of serene wilderness within the concrete jungle. The garden is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Withpoortjie waterfall, which invites an abundance of wildlife into the garden. Extended over 300 hectares, the area consists of a lush rockery garden, cycad garden, medicinal garden, fern trail, wildflower area as well as a bird and butterfly garden.
Bungee jump off the Orlando Towers
Not for the faint-hearted, this activity is strictly for the adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers!
Experience the exhilaration of bungee jumping between two colourful cooling towers!! The jump is 100m (33 stories high) from the ground and overlooks the greater Soweto. Get ready for one of the most thrilling views of Soweto ever! Book your jump with Soweto tours here.
Johannesburg is one of our favourite cities in South Africa and we can’t help but adore the electrifying energy the city brings!
With a taste for the finer things, a rich political history and a vibrant cultural heritage, Joburg is sure to satisfy your travel bug. Contact us now to book your next trip to the City of Gold, Johannesburg!