Museum Africa provides the ultimate Joburg museum tour experience. Situated in the heart of jazzy Newtown, it offers a unique Afrocentric perspective on all things historical - from the first African civilisations through to our more recent politically volatile past. The museum is four storeys high, so make sure to book out your whole day to explore. Our favourite floor is the very top one, which showcases quirky science exhibitions and other miscellaneous wonders. You will leave this place feeling thoroughly enlightened.
Details: 121 Lilian Ngoyi St, Newtown, Johannesburg | 011 833 5624
Just a few blocks away from Museum Africa, you will find the Worker's Museum. This museum pays homage to the migrant workers of the early 1900s, who left behind their families for the promise of wealth and prosperity in the city of gold. Instead, they were met with incredibly harsh living and working conditions under the reprimand of tyrannical compound managers. The museum displays the original workers dormitories, with their cold concrete bunk beds. There is also an exhibition that reveals the "punishment room". While not for the faint of heart or sensitive of spirit, this museum offers an introspective look into the cruelty of humanity.
Details: Rahima Moosa St, Newtown, Johannesburg | 011 492 0593
Now this is one for the whole family. The James Hall Transport Museum showcases the most comprehensive land transport collection in South Africa. Their display includes animal-drawn vehicles dated from 1870-1910, bicycles and motorcycles from 1786-1960, buses and coaches, fire engines from 1877-1960, motor cars from 1900-1980, steam-driven vehicles and trams and trolley buses from 1896-1986. There are a few picnic areas around the museum, so pack a picnic bag to take along with you. Booking is essential for group tours.
Details: Pioneers' Park, Rosettenville Road, La Rochelle, Johannesburg | 011 435 9718 | [email protected]
The Wits Life Sciences Museum is the only natural history museum in Johannesburg. The museum displays include research and teaching laboratories, a large herbarium and live plants and animals. The main display area has skeletons, models and preserved specimens. Just outside the building there is an abundant garden with a peaceful water feature. Also hidden inside a glass display case, a lazy iguana sits waiting to surprise those passing by. Museum tours take place only on weekdays, so be sure to book your visit in advance.
Details: 33 Station St, Braamfontein, University of the Witwatersrand, East Campus, Johannesburg | 011 717 1000
Just a skip away from the Life Sciences Museum, the Wits Art Museum presents a wholly different set of archaeological treasures. This gallery space celebrates pan-African art and work produced in the diaspora. They frequently host international artists for exhibitions as well. Free museum tours take place between Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM - 4 PM. If you are new to the world of art, tag down a nearby arts student (they will most likely be sitting off quietly to the corner thinking about the meaning of life). Alternatively, pop into the WAM Cafè for a bite to eat. Their mini quiches are to die for!
Details: University Corner, Corner Bertha and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | 011 717 1365 or 011 717 3158 | [email protected]
The Adler Museum is situated in Parktown, on the Wits Medical School campus. The museum houses a vast collection of medical documents, art installations related to medicine and displays depicting the history of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy through the ages. Visit the exhibition dedicated to the development of African traditional medicine, featuring a replica of an African herb shop and a patient consulting a traditional healer. Or, explore your fascinations with the medical world at the museum unguided for free, or pay R20 for a guided tour.
Details: 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg | 011 717 2081 | [email protected]
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is the official home of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Situated in Houghton, the museum offers visitors a vast archive documenting the life, work and writings of the former statesman. The centre was opened in November 2013, exactly three years to the day after Mr Mandela last used the building as his office. His post-presidential office has been kept exactly as he left it.
Details: 107 Central Street, Houghton | 011 547 5600 | [email protected]
The ABSA Money Museum is the country's only banking and money museum. Situated in downtown Joburg, the museum traces the history of money usage back 4 500 years. The exhibition looks to when people exchanged commodities such as salt, seashells, beads and animals for services rendered. Coins and notes from all over the world are also on display. Ironically, for a museum all about money, the entrance here is free. All you need to take along is proof of identification.
Details: Barclays Towers West, 15 Troye St, Marshalltown | 011 350 4167 or 011 350 3003 | [email protected]
Credo Mutwa is one of South Africa's foremost traditional healers, believed to have the ability to foretell the future. He is also a respected artist and sculptor. The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Soweto is an open air museum display of Mutwa's sculptures made between 1974 and 1986. These sculptures and buildings depict African folklore, Zulu and Tsonga chiefs, traditional dwelling places, healing clinics and Mutwa's strange 'aliens'. Although in slight disrepair, this outdoor curation offers a museum experience unlike any other. Entrance is free daily from 6 AM - 6 PM.
Details: 991 Bochabela Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto | 011 930 1813
Do you know of any other free museum tours in the city? Let us know about them!
No matter whether you're young or young at heart, Johannesburg is sure to have something to delight and entertain. There's plenty of animal sanctuaries and menageries to visit, perfect for a fun-filled day that's not only exciting but educational too. There's also lots of interesting museums to explore as well as loads of fun indoor venues and more. Keep reading to find out more about where to go.
Get a little fresh air and sunshine by taking a stroll through and visiting the animals at the Johannesburg Zoo in Parkview. 54 hectares big and housing over 320 species of animals, this internationally accredited menagerie is highly respected for its high standard of maintenance, animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct. The Joburg Zoo is open 364 days a year including Christmas, New Years and Easter holidays. And to keep the kids entertained, they do host school holiday programmes that's sure to keep them busy.
For a thrilling day out, why not head to Montecasino in Fourways? Not only do they have plenty of entertainment within the complex, ideal for all ages, but they also have the exciting Montecasino Bird Gardens just outside! Here, families can enjoy viewing a wide variety of bird species as well as reptiles, amphibians, small animals and even the local Ring-Tailed Lemurs that roam freely in one of the enclosures. There are also interesting bird shows held in the amphitheatre.
Have a fondness for the critters that are scaly,cold blooded, and even slither and crawl? Then be sure to visit Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park in Chartwell. This is just the place if you're looking to do something daring (like holding a baby crocodile or touching an exotic snake) and different, like also learning about the creatures that call this venue home. There's also a Croc FlyOver Experience designed for the brave at heart. The zip line is an thrilling adventure that allows visitors to fly 5m above the ground over the crocodiles!
Helping in creating awareness of conservation, Lory Park Animal & Owl Sanctuary is a must visit if you're looking to spend an afternoon out and about , admiring and enjoying all the beautiful animals that reside here. Lory Park have an ethical, fun and interactive programme at the zoo. Also, educating the public on conservation has always been the forefront of what they do.
Looking for a relaxing day out with the family, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, surrounded by various different bird species, wildlife and monkeys? Then visit the Benoni Monkey & Bird Park. Also, they have a Tea Garden that overlooks a large kids play area, perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon outing. they also offer party packages if you're looking for a unique birthday party idea for the kids.
Looking to take a journey into the past? Then be sure to visit the James Hall Museum of Transport, the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in the country. Housing thematic displays and exhibits in the various halls, the museum will take visitors on an interesting and rare glimpse into Joburg's transport history, dating back more than a century. There's also an impressive collection of memorabilia, artefacts, special interest vehicles and an extremely rare and exciting steam vehicle collection.
Dabble with science is a fun and exciting way at the world-class, award-winning Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Southern Africa’s largest science centre. This is an edutainment destination offering a broad variety of science and technology related events, activities and programmes for the general public as well as the school community.
Take an adventure back to where is all began! Where humankind started all those thousands of years ago. Maropeng is the official visitor's centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, that presents powerful evidence of this is where our existence began. Other than the unique heritage museum that houses thousands of artefacts and fossils that date back millennia, visitors can also take a tour through the incredible Sterkfontein Caves, that's more than 4-million years old. This is where famous archaeological finds including the 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull of "Mrs Ples" and the 3-million year old almost complete Australopithecus skeleton of "Little Foot" was discovered.
The Ditsong National Museum of Military History is the only museum of its kind in the country. This military history memorial is one of eight world-class museums situated in Gauteng. This one is Joburg’s only Ditsong Museum – the remaining seven are located in Pretoria. The museum boasts a vast collection of more than 44 000 items, all divided into 37 separate categories, including the official South African war art and photograph collections. The aviation collection contains some of the rarest aircrafts in the world.
For paintertainment perfect for the whole family, Artjamming™ is the place to be! Located at various branches throughout the country, Artjamming™ offers guests with an activity where they can play, paint, sponge or spray all over a blank canvas, unleashing all of their inner creativity. Take your pick from 12 different size canvases, a choice of non-toxic acrylic paints on tap, various brushes and tools and get painting!
For a massive jump arena complete with trampoline dodgeball, foam pits, slam dunk tracks, extreme jumping, fitness classes and much more, iJump is an absolute must visit if you're looking for a thrilling day out for all ages. And for younger children, the exciting iKIDZ arena houses over 400 square meters of trampoline and playground reserved exclusively for them. And if you're feeling hungry after jumping around, visit their gourmet in-house eatery, Sliders, for some of the best speciality mini burgers in town.
It's time to jump around! And what better place to do this than at BOUNCE Inc. Here, visitors can enjoy springing here, there and everywhere on more than 100 interconnected trampolines housed within huge, colourful spaces. Also at this urban playground, all of the hard surfaces have been replaced with circus-grade sponge, giant air bags and springs to ensuring less injuries and more fun.
Looking to treat the kids to a fun day out? Want to join them and have a blast together? The Playhouse is an indoor play centre in Alberton, offering both children and adults of all ages and abilities a great way to have some fun and get some exercise. They offer guests a four level indoor play structure, a one-of-a-kind indoor Electric Train, a 16m signature Rainbow slide, tons of soft toys, three ball ponds, a foam pit, and a trampoline to play in and on!
From unique and interesting art galleries and museums filled with history, to fun-filled Sunday markets, the latest blockbusters and hot nightlife destinations offering some of the best cocktails in the city, the suburb of Rosebank has something that'll tickle everyone's fancy when it comes entertainment.
For all the latest blockbusters on the circuit, visit Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau at Rosebank Mall. This is just the spot to drop off the kids if you're looking to do some retail therapy at the mall without them pining about being bored. There's always something exciting on the big screen, just don't forget to grab a few snacks and slushies from the kiosk before your movie starts.
After shopping up a storm at The Zone @ Rosebank, why not visit their Ster-Kinekor, choose a movie, grab a few movie viewing treats and put your feet up for a little bit? This is the ideal spot for an impromptu date night – the latest movies, great selection of restaurants and The Fun Company all within the same vicinity, what more do you need? Visit this cinema to see what they have screening on the big screen. There's sure to be something for any kind of genre you're in the mood for – romance, animation, action, drama, comedy, you name it.
The distinguished and longest-standing Goodman Gallery is an international contemporary art gallery with three venues that can be found in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The Goodman Gallery has been pivotal in shaping contemporary South African art, working with prominent and emerging international artists whose work engages with African and post-colonial contexts. Some of these artists include Ghada Amer, El Anatsui, Candice Breitz, Alfredo Jaar, Kapwani Kiwanga, Shirin Neshat, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mikhael Subotzky and Hank Willis Thomas.
The ever-popular Rosebank Sunday Market offers visitors a true expression of South Africa’s vibrancy, diversity and culture. The market has something for everyone, from a large selection of arts and crafts, antiques, live music, kids entertainment and gourmet delights. This is also a great spot to see stunning views of the Johannesburg skyline and sunsets which compliment the traditional African market experience. Expect to see an array of delicious cuisines and food products, interesting bric-a-brac, original clothing and an eclectic assortment of handmade and creative goodies. Be sure to visit their Facebook page to see when the next market will be taking place.
CIRCA is a beautiful small art gallery that's, in fact, a work of art itself. Pay this gallery a visit and take a wander through their stunning exhibitions. CIRCA showcases highly important contemporary artworks. CIRCA’s curators also arrange installations concerned with technology. Other than the interesting works of art, musical events and lectures are also held at the gallery, so be sure to keep an eye out on their website and social media platforms to stay informed! Also, along side CIRCA On Jellicoe is the Everard Read Gallery, which is Africa's oldest commercial art gallery. The gallery is only a short walk away from Rosebank's diverse array of shopping malls, craft markets, hotels and restaurants.
Take a step back in time and visit the South African National War Museum. Only 7 minutes away from the centre of Rosebank, this museum is a must-visit if you're looking to enjoy interesting historical entertainment. Here, visitors will get the opportunity to view and study an array of relevant artefacts on display, take a guided tour through the museum which is available on request during the week, and even use their extensive library and photographic facilities for research purposes. The museum is a memorial for all South Africans who have died in or as a result of military actions and preserves our nation’s military history.
If you have a love for on-trend local and international art and design, artisan eateries, vibrant shops and spaces, and unique cafés, then the Keyes Art Mile is just the place to visit when you're in the area. New to the Johannesburg scene, the Keyes Art Mile offers visitors an art-focused experience. Talk a leisurely stroll through its unique collection of features, including the Everard Read Gallery, the trendy Marble Restaurant, Mix Cocktail Bar, Akrikoa Cafe and much more entertainment.
Looking for a fun night on the town with friends? Or want to meet up with your colleagues for after work drinks? Katzy’s Live at The Firs is Rosebank's premier music, dining and entertainment venue, offering just the space to have fun and unwind. It boasts resident bands, performing five nights a week, a wonderful wine and cocktail list, and more than 100 different whiskeys, cognacs and bourbons to choose from! And if you're looking to grab a bite to eat, you can order from their sister restaurant, The Grillhouse, right next door. Be sure to arrive dressed to the nines (dress code is smart casual), and enjoy a fun evening out.
Situated in the Keyes Art Mile, Mix Cocktail Bar is just the place if you're looking for fantastic Jamaican / African inspired cuisine, excellent cocktails and stunning sunset views. This is the ideal destination for after work hangouts, sundowners with your mates and even a Saturday brunch. This bar is located within the Keyes Art Mile, complete with exquisite art and design, unique eateries, great music and dance spaces. To keep up to date with the latest events, news and information regarding Mix Cocktail Bar, like them on Facebook.
Sin+Tax offers visitors a world-class cocktail experience that's sure to delight all of their senses. Upping the ante for South Africa’s cocktail scene and pushing the boundaries of innovation and imagination, Sin+Tax is the only bar in African to make it into the World’s 50 Best Bars’ top 100 in 2019. Kick off your weekend with a visit to this speakeasy style cocktail bar in Rosebank.
Looking for one of the most authentic Asian experiences in the city? Then be sure to make a stop at Saigon Suzy PArkwood near Rosebank! This popular spot offers visitors only the best in Asian-inspired cocktails and street food accompanied by top notch, classic rock ‘n roll hits. Delight your sense with authentic flavours straight from their menu. Also, sip on your choice of specially imported Asian beers, sake, gins and whiskeys. And if you’re feeling a little brave, why not head to their No Tell Motel Karaoke when you can sing along to your favourite tunes! It's exciting entertainment you don't want to miss.
What Is It?
For one night, the public is invited to explore Johannesburg's museums and cultural institutions after-hours and of course free of charge. Participating museums are free and open to the public from 17:00 - 22:00 on the night. There are no tickets simply review the programme and decide where you want to go.
Each museum has a primary programme of current exhibitions, supported by a secondary programme of workshops, performances, talks and other activities. Review the detailed programme for each site online or download the printable programmes closer to the event date. But for now make sure you, your family and friends are at this incredible event. This is the first edition of Museum Night in Johannesburg, with a limited museum programme. So make sure you are there! The participating museums are as follows:
When Is it?
Thursday, 19 September 2019 at 17:00 - 22:00.
Where Is It?
Most of the museums around Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
All you need to do is RSVP on their Facebook page.
For More Information
Visit this website for more information.
Once in Joburg exploded onto the Jozi scene at the end of 2016, as the first *poshtel, identified under the umbrella company Once Travel, with sister hotel Once in Cape Town. A poshtel - AKA a posh hostel - combines the luxuries of a boutique hotel with the energy and excitement of a backpackers hostel! It's a unique concept and is definitely something you need to check out if you're looking to experience the best of Joburg. And with the launch of their brand-new “Once Business” concept, it's a new space where you can do it all - sleep, eat, work and explore.
This hybrid accommodation concept boasts both private double and twin standard rooms, and four-bed multi-share dorms, all with en suite bathrooms. All rooms offer basic luxuries such as hair conditioner, crisp white linen, flat screen TVs (privates only), safety deposit box and block out curtains. As for the multi-share rooms, they provide a more budget-friendly option for the solo traveller or a group of friends look for adventure. Costs start from R190 per person*.
Let's move onto the facilities! This includes a cinema room, small conference and meeting rooms, co-working space, communal entertainment area, large open kitchen, free Wi-Fi, free on-site parking, a restaurant and bar, laundry service, bike hire and 24-hour reception. Breakfast is included at the on-site restaurant and bar called The Immigrant.
Once in Joburg is centrally located in trendy downtown Braamfontein. The Braamfontein precinct is up and coming, offering inner-city goers endless options of co-working spaces, art galleries, museums, designer boutiques, vintage shopping, nightlife hot spots, farmer’s markets and so much more.
The dynamic team curates a variety of experiences to showcase the best of our bustling city. Join in on local adventures such as the Braam By Bike tour which is curated, owned and led by Zodwa, a local Sowetan. She will take you around the neighbourhood on a bicycle, uncovering street art, culture, history and cuisine. It's an absolute must! Try a traditional beer brewing experience (umqomboti) set in a family home in Soweto, or attend their monthly First Thursdays with live DJs and film screenings.
There's also daily free walking tours, graffiti walks, yoga classes and pub crawls leave from reception – locals are more than welcome to join in! Let's not forget to mention, an artist exchange is offered where a large blank canvas in every room is painted by an artist, both local and international, in exchange for accommodation. It brings people from different parts of the world together to share stories and experiences, as well as culture, music and art. How unique!
If you're a virtuoso, then make sure you hop on an overland truck with Once in Joburg and go on a musical journey to the coolest events around the country, such as AfrikaBurn (Africa’s version of Burning Man: Karoo - April), Bushfire Festival (Swaziland - May), Rocking The Daisies (Darling – September), OppiKoppi (Limpopo – October), and Afropunk which will be returning to Constitution Hill for NYE 2018 – a stones throw from Once in Joburg. Join the festivities: you’re never alone and never without a local.
For bookings or more information about Once In Joburg, call 087 057 2638 or visit www.once.travel.
There are few places in the city that reminds one of our turbulent past in a more poignant way than Constitution Hill. This former prison complex, that’s just about as old as the city of Johannesburg itself, is a living museum which tells a part of the story of our journey to democracy. Today, it is home to the Constitutional Court. The prison, at some time or another, incarcerated a number of world-famous men and women, including Fatima Meer, Albertina Sisulu, Mahatma Gandhi, Joe Slovo, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as well as her former husband, the late President Nelson Mandela.
President Nelson Mandela was one of the most influential politicians to have ever graced the planet. The Nelson Mandela National Museum, also known as Mandela House, was conceived to serve as a constant reminder of his name, memory, spirit and legacy. This is the house in which our late president lived from 1946 to 1962, offering visitors insight into the life of Madiba's days spent living in Soweto. Mandela House strives to be a world-class attraction as well as a leading centre for the preservation of the history and heritage of the Mandela family.
In tribute to and memory of Hector Pieterson and those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom during the 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto, this museum is a symbol of the youth's resistance to Apartheid. The museum houses disturbing evidence in the form of verbal testimonials, pictures, audiovisual displays as well as documents that are related to the events of that day. The sights and sounds and atmosphere will, in fact, have you feeling as though you are right in the middle of the uprising and bloody aftermath.
The Apartheid Museum holds the damning evidence of the darkest era in our history. If you’re looking to understand and experience what it was really like to be a person of colour during that time, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is a must. Expect to see exhibits including photographs, film footage, text panels, artifacts and, of course, heart rendering stories that expose the atrocities committed during apartheid. Now, the museum stands as a beacon of hope for all mankind.
Yes, we know the Cradle Of Humankind is not technically in Johannesburg, but it is amazing to think that the first evidence of the evolution of homosapiens can be found so close to our city. In 1999, it was declared a World Heritage Site. Visit the Sterkfontein Caves which date back over four million years and marvel at the fossils and stone age instruments that have been discovered at this site. Maropeng also offers adults and children a highly educational journey through the ages which every would-be archaeologist will love.
The Wits Adler Museum of Medicine in Parktown houses interesting and invaluable collections of instruments and information on procedures and developments over the ages in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy. You can also study documents, sculptures, pictures and videos, getting to grips with the museum’s library of rare and old books! Go and have a look at how much medicine has progressed over the years. Fascinating stuff.
Constructed in 1914 and situated on Rissik Street, smack bang in the middle of Joburg CBD is the Johannesburg City Hall. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city and it has seen many historical events take place on its steps, from a range of protest marches and political rallies to a bomb blast in the late 80s. It’s rather strange to think that this building has been around since the days of ox-wagons! If you find yourself in downtown Jozi, be sure to admire its Edwardian architecture and solid sandstone walls.
Museum Africa has to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the CBD. And not only is it beautiful, it’s also home to a number of cultural, historic, artistic exhibits that have been sourced from across the country. These exhibits consist of thousands of irreplaceable items of an anthropological and archaeological nature which gives us a better understanding of Africa’s past, present and future. Best of all, entrance is FREE!
Another one of the city’s oldest Edwardian buildings in the city is the Johannesburg Trades Hall. Other than being an architectural asset to our inner city, it also has a historical significance of being the previous Trades Union headquarters. It has been listed as one of the city’s most important heritage buildings.
How about doing a little time travel? Visit the Lindfield Victorian House in Auckland Park. This house was built around 1909 - 1910 and is furnished and decorated, top to bottom, exactly as it would’ve been more than a hundred years ago. You can expect to see all things Victorian, from 19th and early 20th-century furniture and art to objects from the Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods. Talk about stepping back in time!