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Johannesburg Travel Guide

Urban renewal is underway in the nation's capital; this is a city that is growing to embody the spirit of modern South Africa. 

Johannesburg is a place set to surprise even the most experienced travellers. Despite a troubled past, the city has some excellent cultural attractions, amazing sites and a diverse population. Although you will still need to be careful when visiting, there are many places where it is quite safe.

To get straight into the action, visit the slowly rejuvenating central business district. Certain parts should still be avoided, but others offer a good glimpse of life in the metropolis. For great views of the city, check out the Carlton Centre’s Top of Africa viewing area. 

Take a guided tour of Soweto to see how many poorer locals live. It’s a series of townships comprised of cheap or make-shift housing and infrastructure. The area might be shocking for some, but most visitors are pleasantly surprised by the lively atmosphere and fascinating culture. It can be rough in places, so don't venture there on your own. Experience Vilakazi Street's unique atmosphere or visit the house where Nelson Mandela once lived. See other important sites such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Regina Mundi Church. 

For a look at some of the older districts in the city, check out Parktown and Newtown. You’ll find historic buildings, a diverse crowd and sidewalks lined with cafés, restaurants and shops. Make your way out to the northern suburbs to see where many of the city’s wealthier residents live. There are upmarket boutiques, bars and restaurants. 

History buffs will definitely want to visit a selection of Johannesburg’s museums. Explore the Apartheid Museum and learn about South Africa’s turbulent history. Take a tour of Constitution Hill to see more evidence of the capital's troubled history at the prison museums. Those with more of an eye for art should visit the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) for a great selection of local and international art. 

To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, stroll through the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. If you would like to go a bit further, go for a hike in the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve or organise a trip to Lion Park to see Africa’s most famous wild animal. 


Guide to Exploring Johannesburg


Top Hotel Deals

See all 872 Hotels in Johannesburg
Rs.7,868
City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport

City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport

Above Multi-Storey Parkade 2, Level 5, Kempton Park
4.0
of 5, from 195 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Kempton Park, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from International Terminal Duty Free Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of Kempton Park Golf Club and Festival Mall. Value Mall and K90 Shopping Centre are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Rs.3,641
Tshikwalo Game Lodge

Tshikwalo Game Lodge

Plot 88 Klipdrift 90JR, Hammanskraal
2.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Hammanskraal, this tentalow is within 12 mi (20 km) of Pretoria Information Center, Oracle Covenant Church, and Temba City Shopping Centre. Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park and Rust De Winter Nature Park are also within 20 mi (32 km).

Rs.6,797
Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport

Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport

Jones Road, Kempton Park
3.8
of 5, from 42 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from International Terminal Duty Free Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of Kempton Park Golf Club and Festival Mall. Value Mall and East Rand Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Rs.3,932
Premier Hotel OR Tambo

Premier Hotel OR Tambo

73 Gladiator Street, Kempton Park
4.5
of 5, from 364 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kempton Park hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Kempton Park Golf Club and Festival Mall. International Terminal Duty Free Mall is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.

Rs.5,478
Garden Court Sandton City

Garden Court Sandton City

Cnr West and Maude Street, Sandton
4.0
of 5, from 39 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton City Mall, and Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Nelson Mandela Square and The Wanderers Golf Club are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Rs.7,258
Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel Sandton Johannesburg

Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel Sandton Johannesburg

Corner of Rivonia Road and West Street, Sandton
4.4
of 5, from 185 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Sandton, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City Mall, and Sandton Convention Centre. Johannesburg Stock Exchange is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.

Rs.15,544
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport

InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport

Opposite Int'l Arrivals Hall, Kempton Park
4.7
of 5, from 68 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this luxury hotel is 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from Eastgate Shopping Centre and 15.9 mi (25.6 km) from Rosebank Mall.

Rs.3,221
The Aviator Hotel OR Tambo International Airport

The Aviator Hotel OR Tambo International Airport

Corner of Bosch Street and Kempton Road, Kempton Park
3.6
of 5, from 188 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kempton Park hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Festival Mall and Kempton Park Golf Club. International Terminal Duty Free Mall is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) away.

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