What began as a gold-mining settlement in the 19 century, has become one of the most well-known and visited cities in South Africa. Johannesburg. Joburg. Jozi. Egoli. The City of Gold. A city with many names, many cultures, many unique features, and experiences. Literally, the epitome of a melting pot of diversity. This is the country's biggest city and capital of the Gauteng province. And in this vibrant city that never sleeps, there's plenty of things to do, see, explore, experience, and enjoy, whether you're a local, just visiting for the weekend, or an international traveler looking to make the most of your stay.
Areas Of Johannesburg
Things To Do In Johannesburg
Getting Around Johannesburg
Outbound & Inbound Travel From Joburg
Hotels & Accommodation
Since Johannesburg is such a massive city, it has been split into many different areas, namely Joburg Central; Johannesburg North; Johannesburg East & Ekurhuleni; Johannesburg South; and Johannesburg West and the West Rand. To help you navigate your way through these areas in the city, we have compiled insightful guides to many of the various suburbs that make up each of the areas mentioned. Click on your preference Johannesburg area below and start exploring the city of Johannesburg:
The city of Johannesburg is a beehive of activity when it comes to entertainment and thrills. Visitors and locals can spend their days, evenings, and weekends exploring bustling markets offering stunning handcrafted arts and delicious street food to delight the taste buds. Head to one of the city's exciting casinos and see if Lady Luck is on your side. Explore the buzzing nightlife at many various rooftop bars and pumping nightclubs. Or take a stroll through one of the city's many art galleries and be enchanted by their breathtaking and intriguing artworks. And let's not forget to mention the many theatres scattered throughout Johannesburg hosting productions, shows, and comedy skits that are sure to delight.
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No visit to Johannesburg is complete without delighting your taste buds with incredible dishes from a wide range of amazing restaurants! Each suburb in the city offers something special and unique and you're bound to find something delectable, no matter what you're craving. Visit Joburg Central or Soweto for authentic African cuisine, head to Sandton for some top-notch dining ideal for any special occasion, sip on refreshing and vibrant cocktails in trendy Rosebank, or make your way to Bryanston for some delizioso Italian. The options are endless.
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Need to do your weekly grocery haul? Or are you looking to give your wardrobe a makeover with a selection of brand-new clothing, footwear and accessories? Not a problem! The city of Johannesburg is full of exciting retail hubs that's sure to have everything you need, from on-trend fashion, health and beauty products and cool tech gadgets to all things kids, home and décor, stationery and more. Each suburb in the city has something unique, catering to all budgets, tastes and styles. From Maponya Mall in Soweto and Sandton City in the heart of the richest square mile in Africa, to Bedford Centre in Bedfordview and Ferndale on Republic in Ferndale, Randburg, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to retail therapy in Johannesburg.
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Getting around the city is far easier than you think! If you don't have your own mode of transport, there's many many options available to get you out and about in Johannesburg. For starters, we have the obvious Uber drivers and the many taxi ranks scattered all over the city. There's also the 80-kilometre commuter rail system, Gautrain, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and O.R. Tambo International Airport together with one fast, convenient and efficient service. All you need is a Gautrain card and you're ready to go! There's also the option of car rentals from many reputable rental companies. Getting on the move has never been easier!
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Johannesburg is the ideal location for families due to its wide choice of educational facilities and schools. Whether you're looking to further your studies at a university or tertiary institute, or are looking for a top-notch private or public primary or high school for your children, there's sure to be a school that'll offer the perfect starting blocks in build your or your children's knowledge and pursue their dreams of becoming a lawyer, a doctor, an architect, or even a trendy fashionista designing fashion perfect for the catwalk. A few Johannesburg education institutes worth mentioning includes the well-known St Stithians College in Sandton, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg, King David Schools, St Mary's School in Waverley and St Andrews School for Girls.
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There are two airports that serve Johannesburg: the privately owned Lanseria International Airport (HLA) just north of Randburg and Sandton; and Africa's biggest and busiest airport situated in Kempton Park, O.R.Tambo International Airport (JNB). Both airports offer domestic and regional flights throughout the country, while O.R. Tambo International Airport caters to international flights across the global. Not only do these airports offer flights to any dream destination in the world, but they also provide travelers with car hire, hotels, restaurants, stores and much more. You can also explore the country by taking a scenic train ride with the Shosholoza Meyl or catching a Greyhound bus.
Johannesburg is always bustling with international travelers, tourists and businessmen from all over the world. And let's not forget our local visitors who are looking for a quick escape from the rush of everyday living. With this in mind, the city offers a wide selection of hotels and accommodation options that'll suit every need, occasion, and pocket. If you're looking to go all out when visiting trendy and vibrant Sandton, why not book a stay at the stunning five-star Michelangelo Hotel on West Street? Want to explore Johannesburg Central and experience inner city living? Visit the funky hostel, Curiocity Joburg in Jeppestown, and stay in one of their hip dorms or private rooms. There's also the contemporary Once In Joburg 'poshtel' right in the middle of town, surrounded by an eclectic selection of restaurants, shops, entertainment and much more.
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Business makes the world go round, which is why Joburg is full of conferencing venues to ensure that you host productive meetings with your delegates, effortlessly and seamlessly. Looking for something in the middle of the richest square mile in Africa? The Sandton Convention Centre is just the place, not only offering the best in the business but also business breakfasts to treat your guests! And for a space that's not too close but not too far away from all the busy business hubs of the city, why not visit trendy Rosebank, bustling Bedfordview, or even central Randburg, all full of unique restaurants and hotels ideal for your next meeting.
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To ensure that the city keeps running like a well-oiled machine, visitors and locals will be able to find municipal services scattered throughout Joburg and beyond to ensure that they can get all of their administrative concerns taken care of, as well as their well being, safety and health. From SARS offices and SAPS, to Traffic Departments, Home Affairs, public clinics and fire departments, Johannesburg has everything covered. You can find many various branches located in all major suburbs in the city, ensuring convenience and ease of access.
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Planning on making your stay in the city a little more permanent? As in moving to the the bustling and beautiful city of Johannesburg? If you're ready to take the plunge, the city offers a wide variety of property options for you to view, explore and perhaps even buy or rent. There are many homes, flats in complexes, and apartments and bachelor pads available in Joburg, you'll certainly feel spoilt for choice. All you have to do is research which areas you'd consider living in (keeping in mind where you work in the city, what you're willing to spend on petrol while commuting, and entertainment hubs), your budget and what you're looking for in a space to call your own.
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Looking for a new job? You've come to the right city! Joburg is full of exciting opportunities for those who want to start their career or are simply looking on broadening their horizons with a brand-new venture. Part time work, full time 8 to 5 jobs, and everything else in between, you're bound to find the perfect fit in the city of Joburg. So, get that CV ready and apply for amazing work opportunities in one of the busiest and fast-paced cities in South Africa.
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Soweto played a very important part in the country's past. From the gold rush to the uprising, it holds plenty of history. Let's explore that by taking a look at the ample amount of tourist attractions in Soweto. Pack your fanny pack, grab your sunscreen and let's hit the road!
The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is one of Soweto’s many gems, and a must to see for visitors from all over the world who want a taste of deep African cultures and beliefs combined with modern ideas. This is an outdoor exhibition area that is combined with a museum-style, showcasing the works and inspiration of Credo Mutwa.
8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West in Soweto is known to many simply as Mandela House. It was where Nelson Mandela lived between 1946 and 1962. The house is a humble abode of four inter-leading rooms that today contain a collection of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family. Even a pair of Mandela's old boots lie on a shelf for display – insight into the man the country fondly called Tata (father). For today the house functions as a museum. This is one of our favourite tourist attractions in Soweto.
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where 12-year-old Hector was shot on the 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprising that today is a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. The Hector Pieterson Memorial Site is included on any number of tours through the area.
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. This is one of the most important tourist attractions in Soweto.
You can't visit tourist attractions in Soweto without stopping here! Standing in Freedom Square in Soweto, the Kliptown Open Air Museum, dedicated to Walter Sisulu, tells the story of the drafting of the Freedom Charter. And it does so via photographs, art, song, news clipping and narration. It is a thoroughly visual journey made by visitors to the museum, one that emphasises the freedom South Africa fought so hard to achieve.
Fancy to visit some tourist attractions in Soweto? Then do it by bicycle! Cycle in Soweto offers private bike tours around world-famous Soweto township. Riding with us lets you escape the bus, experience so much more, have real personal interactions with locals, enjoy the fresh air and you exercise your body (not too much). We tour eco friendly and with the option to just stop for a meet and greet or to take some pictures. Our tours are run by local guides who offer you a unique township experience.
As one of South Africa's largest tourist companies, MoAfrika Tour runs a one day Soweto tour packed to the brim with adventure. A day tour of Soweto offers you the chance to experience the heart and soul of a city that is home to over two million people. It’s a chance to soak up the electric atmosphere of a South African city that has one foot in a turbulent past and one placed firmly in the future. Soweto is a city that vibrates with a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter and better future but continues to pay silent tribute to the price its people paid for their freedom and liberty.
So, what do you think of our list of tourist attractions in Soweto? What would you add to this list? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!
Soweto possesses a vibrant culture and history, a fact that becomes especially apparent when searching for something to do in the area. If you're looking for entertainment, Soweto has attractions as far as the eye can see – quite literally – when you take the spectacular Orlando Towers into consideration!
For the thrill of a lifetime, take to the skies (for a moment) and bungee jump off the top of the Orlando Cooling Towers. If that isn't challenging (or terrifying) enough for you, put on a custom-made straitjacket and bungee jump without the use of your arms!
SCAD (Suspended Catch Air Device) freefalling - sound terrifying? If not, then read on! The world’s highest SCAD freefall takes place inside the Western Cooling Tower. If you are a serious adrenaline junkie in search of entertainment in Soweto, you'll find it at the Orlando Cooling Towers.
Interested in base jumping? Look no further! The Soweto Towers are base jump friendly, offering base jumping as an option for experienced jumpers. If you're a bit less adventurous, but still in search of a thrill, climbing the towers will offer oodles of entertainment and challenge experienced and beginner climbers alike. Try a 25m climbing wall and challenge your abilities!
MadMead Brewery launched Soweto Gold lager and opened the uBuntu Kraal Brewery in Soweto to commemorate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Soweto Gold was named the top craft beer in South Africa, so the brewery is definitely worth visiting for a taste of this brew.
Also worth noting is the fact that the Ubuntu Kraal Brewery is situated in Orlando West, Soweto. This location is of particular historic significance, being home to sites such as:
The site of the brewery was previously a construction site in the late 1980s. Today this former ash dump has been transformed into conference facilities, a cultural village, brewery, entertainment area, bar and restaurants, and private overnight accommodation.
Walter Sisulu Square is situated in the heart of Kliptown, Soweto. This township centre is unique, the first of its kind. Embracing both local and international trends, historical and modern, the Square epitomises the spirit of ekasi and Soweto. Ideal for family excursions, or for a shopping trip unlike any other, Walter Sisulu Square is a place unlike any other - and promises that is entertainment just as unique.
Points of interest at Walter Sisulu Square include:
Kremetart Park opened in Soweto in 2008, and has rapidly become a firm family favourite. The park is equipped with two miniature soccer fields constructed from sand as opposed to grass, in a bid to create an environmentally-friendly play area. The park also includes water features, benches, indigenous trees, and a large space to host events and fun fairs. Kremetart Park is also unique, in that it possesses a big-screen television where World Cup events were previously screened by Ekasi TV, and free broadcasts continue to be screened today.
Mofolo Park is located in Mzilikazi Street in Soweto. It is a popular park amongst Sowetans, and is best known for the vibrant concerts regularly held on its grounds, as well as the celebrations and events which take place there. Mofolo has seen both local and international musicians grace its stage. Notable events have included the first Drum Beat Soweto music concert in 2011, as well as recent Youth Day celebrations. Mofolo was previously a dump site, which makes its conversion into a colourful, beautiful place of artistic expression even more meaningful.