Johannesburg

Travel Guide
Johannesburg - Gauteng showing a city, skyline and a high rise building
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

City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport
City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport
3 out of 5
Above Multi-Storey Parkade 2, Level 5, OR Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, Gauteng, 1627
The price is $78 per night from Jan 4 to Jan 5
$78
per night
Jan 4 - Jan 5
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Kempton Park. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,005 reviews)
"I stay at this property quite often. I have never been disappointed. Staff is always friendly and willing to help. The food at the restaurant is great. Service is always with a smile."

Reviewed on Dec 1, 2022

City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport
Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
4 out of 5
Jones Road, Kempton Park, Gauteng, 1620
The price is $82 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 10
$82
per night
Dec 9 - Dec 10
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Kempton Park. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a free airport shuttle. Our guests praise the breakfast and ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,005 reviews)
"3min shuttle ride from the airport; great service; friendly staff; amazing breakfast; reasonably priced."

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2022

Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport, an IHG Hotel
5 out of 5
Opposite Int'l Arrivals Hall, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, Gauteng, 1627
The price is $245 per night from Dec 30 to Dec 31
$245
per night
Dec 30 - Dec 31
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Kempton Park. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the restaurant in our ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (662 reviews)
"I stayed here for a night to rest before my tours. The hotel was clean and comfortable, and the staff were very helpful"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2022

InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
MINT Express Sandton View
MINT Express Sandton View
3.5 out of 5
Coner 4th Street and Arkwright Ave, Sandton, Gauteng, 2090
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Sandton. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Popular attractions Melrose Arch Shopping Centre and The MARC are located ...
3.9/5 Good! (10 reviews)
Unpleasant experience
"Rude receptionist, room wasn't ready when we arrived and the receptionist was rude and unapologetic. She told us to wait outside, in the hot sun. Didn't give an ETA of when the room would be ready. The room was decent and the beds noisy but comfortable."

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2022

MINT Express Sandton View
The Leonardo
The Leonardo
5 out of 5
75 Maude Street, Sandton, Gauteng, 2196
Stay at this 5-star luxury aparthotel in Sandton. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Popular attractions Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Nelson ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (12 reviews)
"The property is wonderful and suitable for a family stay with excellent location"

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2022

The Leonardo
Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg, Melrose Arch
Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg, Melrose Arch
4 out of 5
42 The High Street, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Gauteng, 2076
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly aparthotel in Johannesburg. Enjoy free internet, free valet parking, and an outdoor pool. Popular attractions Melrose Arch ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (16 reviews)
"From the moment we arrived we were treated like Kings and Queens from the entire staff. Each day we were taking care of the utmost professionalism. We felt like we were leaving family when it was time to go back to America. We didn’t want to leave!!!"

Reviewed on Sep 3, 2022

Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg, Melrose Arch
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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