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JohannesburgSouth Africa

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.

Where to stay in Johannesburg

Downtown Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Downtown Johannesburg

4/5Very Good!(2 area reviews)

Well liked for its museums and architecture, Downtown Johannesburg is worth a visit. Check out the variety of things to see and do like Carlton Centre and Ellis Park Stadium, and jump on the metro at Ellis Park Station to get around the city.

Downtown Johannesburg
Johannesburg as well as a large group of people

Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area

4/5Very Good!(75 area reviews)

While you're in Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area, take in top sights like Gold Reef City and jump on the metro at Ellis Park Station to see more of the city.

Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area
Pretoria Central Business District, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Pretoria Central Business District

Pretoria Central Business District is noteworthy for its bars, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Church Square and Palace of Justice.

Pretoria Central Business District
O.R. Tambo, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

O.R. Tambo

4/5Very Good!(35 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in O.R. Tambo, Emperors Palace Casino and International Terminal Duty Free Mall are top sights worth seeing.

O.R. Tambo
Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Muckleneuk

3/5(1 area review)

You'll appreciate the restaurants during your time in Muckleneuk and you might want to plan a stop by Loftus Versfeld Stadium and Union Buildings while you're in the area.

Muckleneuk

Top hotels in Johannesburg

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg
5 out of 5
67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Randburg, Gauteng
The price is Rs22,361 per night

This family-friendly Randburg hotel is located in Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area, within 2 mi (3 km) of Johannesburg Zoo, Parkview Golf Club and South ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (255 reviews)

"The services and amenities are excellent. It site on a beautiful hill site of Johannesburg, next to the Zoo. The location is not very convenient, 30 to 40 minutes ride to the airport. There is no public transportation."…"

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2020

Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg
C.A.G The Vantage
C.A.G The Vantage
4 out of 5
Corner Bath and Tyrwhitt Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, Gauteng
The price is Rs3,010 per night

Located in Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area, this apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Rosebank Mall and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Sandton City Mall. ...

4.2/5Excellent! (121 reviews)
chrging stations

"there are not enough power points for charging cell phone etc."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2020

C.A.G The Vantage
Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
4 out of 5
The price is Rs5,934 per night

Located in O.R. Tambo, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of International Terminal Duty Free Mall, Arwyp Medical Centre and Kempton Park Golf Club. Festival ...

4/5Very Good! (999 reviews)

"The hotel was excellent, the breakfast was supurb and being so close to the airport ensures that we will stay there in the future"…"

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2020

Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport

Popular places to visit in Johannesburg

Montecasino
Image for Montecasino

Montecasino

4.5/5(16 reviews)

With shops, theaters and a bird park among the attractions, there’s fun for all the family during the day and night at this Tuscan-themed entertainment center. 

Gold Reef City
Image for Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Thrilling roller coasters, a 19th-century gold mine, cultural shows and a petting zoo provide entertainment for all ages at this popular theme park.

Nelson Mandela Square
Image for Nelson Mandela Square

Nelson Mandela Square

4.5/5(34 reviews)

Indulge in some retail therapy, dine in an open-air piazza and browse the stalls of an antique fair at this commercial and entertainment center.  

Apartheid Museum
Image for Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

4.5/5(22 reviews)

Reflect on the impact and legacy of apartheid and learn about the contribution of Nelson Mandela and others to South Africa's new constitution.

Lion Park
Image for Lion Park

Lion Park

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Experience the adventure of getting up close with Africa’s world-famous wildlife. Observe a pride of lions, walk with cheetahs and feed a giraffe.

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Image for Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

5/5(7 reviews)

Landscaped lawns set against a waterfall backdrop, colorful wildlife and cultural events make this one of Johannesburg’s  favorite public parks.

Reviews of Johannesburg

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
3
5 - Excellent 14.285714285714286%
4 - Good
13
4 - Good 61.904761904761905%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 23.80952380952381%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

14 Mar 2020

I like Jo’burg. It is a bit gritty and you do have to be safety conscious but I felt safe there. I visited a great street food market called Neighbourgoods Market; 44 Stanley is also worth a visit. Melville has fun restaurants, bars and shops too

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

12 Sep 2019

Keep it up

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

28 Aug 2019

I came to visit a church which I watched regularly on the YouTube to see for myself what their services are all about. I saw it and I really enjoyed what I saw. Johannesburg is a very lovely place. I will surely come back.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

4 Jun 2019

Stayed around Melville

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

25 May 2019

Joburg is a bit rundown and whilst we had a great stay it’s a bit intimidating if you aren’t used to it.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 May 2019

An interesting place that deserves some time to properly experience the city. Could be a bit overwhelming.

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