Johannesburg

Travel Guide
Photo provided by South African Tourism
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

New Pedestrian bridge over Grayston

Sandton

A noteworthy feature of Sandton is its popular shops. While you're in town, be sure to stop and check out Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City Mall.

Sandton
in Johannesburg, South Africa

Rosebank

Rosebank is known for its ample dining options, and you can make a stop by Rosebank Mall and The Zone @ Rosebank Shopping Center while in the area.

Rosebank
Johannesburg, South Africa
A great place to hang out...

O.R. Tambo

4/5(135 area reviews)

While visiting O.R. Tambo, you might make a stop by sights like International Terminal Duty Free Mall and Emperors Palace Casino.

O.R. Tambo
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Midrand

You'll enjoy the gardens and spas in Midrand. You might want to make time for a stop at Mall of Africa or Kyalami Racetrack.

Midrand
Johannesburg Botanical Garden which includes a park

Randburg

Unique features of Randburg include the golf courses and gardens. Make a stop by Johannesburg Botanical Garden or Cresta Shopping Centre while you're exploring the area.

Randburg
Gold Reef City showing a garden, a pond and rides

Johannesburg South

You'll enjoy the mountain views and museums in Johannesburg South. You might want to make time for a stop at Gold Reef City Casino or Apartheid Museum.

Johannesburg South
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
The price is $81 per night from Jun 16 to Jun 17
$81
$96 total
includes taxes & fees
Jun 16 - Jun 17
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Kempton Park. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast (surcharge), and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the breakfast ...
8.6/10 Excellent! (1,179 reviews)
"The property was nice but the room had a few issues.The phone in the room did not work … very unsafe when you are staying in a foreign city scary no phone service in an emergency. The desk did not tell us the phones were not working. The air conditioner did not work. Guest were having a party until ..."

Reviewed on May 16, 2024

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
The price is $80 per night from May 26 to May 27
$80
$92 total
includes taxes & fees
May 26 - May 27
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 ...
8.2/10 Very Good! (1,002 reviews)
"This property was a pleasant surprise. I was better quality than I expected. Actually it was nice. The only downfall I saw was they don’t pre-authorise your creditcard to allow for accidentals such as room service, washing clothes. So the room service you have to pay separately and the washing of ..."

Reviewed on May 13, 2024

Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport
Premier Hotel OR Tambo
Premier Hotel OR Tambo
4 out of 5
73 Gladiator Street, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park, Gauteng
The price is $71 per night from May 24 to May 25
$71
$82 total
includes taxes & fees
May 24 - May 25
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Kempton Park. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful ...
8.6/10 Excellent! (1,003 reviews)
"Great rooms and prices."

Reviewed on May 17, 2024

Premier Hotel OR Tambo
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.
BlackBrick Sandton Two
BlackBrick Sandton Two