There are few underrated travel destinations in this world that have a lot to offer to visitors and Johannesburg is one such city. It is one of the must-visit destinations in South Africa which is always overlooked by people because of low awareness. But when you visit this incredible city, you will come to know what you have really missed so far. Browse through following list of best places to visit in Johannesburg to make your tour epic. This Johannesburg travel guide also covers top things to do in Johannesburg:
- Constitution Hill: Overlooking Johannesburg City, Constitution Hill is a historic jail that offers intriguing insights into the history of South Africa. The Number Four Museum, the Women’s Gaol Museum, and Old Fort Museum are on-site for interesting exhibitions. Together they were previously known as The Fort, and they have established a reputation for their severe treatment of political inmates, common crimes, and quiet resistance; Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were renowned former prisoners. The ancient Awaiting Trial was converted into South Africa’s Constitutional Court, a symbol of freedom that strives to safeguard the rights of all the citizens of this nation. It is one of the best places to visit in Johannesburg.
- Gold Reef City: Gold Reef City is 8 Kilometers from the city center; a variety of exhilarating theme park attractions and historical displays take you back to the gold rush days. The familiar destination is devoted to the recreation of buildings and enterprises of that era and an abandoned Crown Mines shaft, one of the richest gold mines in the world, can also be visited. The children adore the park with the trampolines, a bowling alley with 10 pins, and a thrilling theme park, featuring the Anaconda Roller Coaster. The Park also includes specific rides and a petting zoo for small children, and the top places to visit in Johannesburg. The excursions are rounded up with golf, sideshow games, and gold panning.
- Soweto & the Mandela Museum: Twenty kilometers southwest of Johannesburg is located Soweto (abbreviation for the Southwestern city ships), and the soul is part of the struggle for independence. This was a deliberate segregation zone, where Black workers stood well away from the town center, many in corrugated iron shacks. It was also the origin of the democratic struggle.A land of contrasts may be seen now. Mansions flourished among the shanties, and the democratic system tries to provide much-needed green areas and infrastructure. The Hector Pieterson Memorial best tourist attraction in Johannesburg and celebrates the courageous teenagers who demonstrated apartheid during the Soweto Uprisings.
- The Maboneng Precinct: A great example of a successful urban renovation mixed-use project is the lively Maboneng precinct. Maboneng, once a very downturned district, today has a lot of life, indicating a “bright spot.” Funky restaurants, cafés, and galleries of art mixed neatly with residential structures, stores, hotels, and entertainment venues. The weekly Main market with food from all across the continent is one of the top tourist attractions of Johannesburg. Arts on Main and Revolution House are two of the first initiatives to turn warehouses into studios, galleries, and stores for artistic artists. Other developments include Bioscope, an independent cinema, a community center, designer hotels, and shops.
- Lion & Safari Park Day Trip: Less than an hour’s drive from downtown Johannesburg in the Lion & Safari Park you can get near some of Africa’s famed wilderness. Here, the spotlight is animal interactions. You can snuggle a lion’s cube, walk the Cheetah, and feed giraffes with your hand. You may also have a guided wildlife drive in the park’s cars to observe the lions, guinea pigs, zebras, ostriches, wild dogs, hyenas, and different antelope species. Other popular things to do include nighttime feeding and river rafting trips. Ensure that you comply with all safety requirements and maintain your windows when driving in the park.
- The Cradle of Humankind Day Trip: Cradle of Human is one of the most prolific and important palaeo-anthropologically important sites in the world around an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. One of the popular tourist spots in Johannesburg is the stalactic caverns of Sterkfontein, consisting of six interlinked underground rooms with a lake around 40 meters in depth. A Stop at the Maropeng Visitor Center to explore displays of this intriguing location and learn more about it.
- Pilanesberg National Park Day Trip:Pilanesberg National Park is one of South Africa’s most popular game reserves, an easily accessible 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg. The Park is famous for its exceptionally diverse ecosystems, diversity of animals, owing to its transition zone between the lush Lowveld flora and the dry Kalahari Desert. You have an opportunity to visit the African Big Five (lion, Leopards, buffalos, elephant, and rhino). In addition, the park has more than 300 kinds of birds, including African wild dogs, sand antelopes, and zebras. Photographic conceals strategically positioned make it simpler to take images close up.
- Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens: The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens offer a quiet piece of wilderness on the outskirts of the city, if you want to escape the congestion and bustle of the city, dive into nature. Led by the South African National Institute of Biodiversity, the garden is one of nine South African national botanical gardens and offers plenty of room and lovely views of Red Rock cliffs. The highlight of the landscape is the imposing waterfall of Witpoortjie. The falls are surrounded by extensive fields with several ideal picnic spots and a walking and river route through the well-kept gardens. It is also one of the best places to see in Johannesburg.
- Market Theatre: In a transformed market building, the Market Theater complex plays a significant role in the cultural life of Johannesburg. There are four live theatre locations where some of South Africa’s greatest performances are performed. A Bookstore, art, picture gallery, and restaurants are all included in the complex. Kippie’s is a prominent jazz location featuring evenings of music from famous performers. A major flea market is conducted every Saturday in the enormous parking area beside the Market Theater complex. In addition to the Market Theater, the Museum Africa exhibits replicas of South African tribes’ houses, instruments, arts and crafts, dresses, and toys.
- SAB World of Beer: This Newtown location is owned by the South African Breweries and is one of Johannesburg’s most entertaining spots. There is plenty to do here, from learning about the rich history of the drink to examining its importance in the cultural sphere. Watching a 3D film and drinking the famous beer, while enjoying bar food during the session, all through the Bruyere are the best things to do in Johannesburg.
- The Lion Park: If you came to South Africa and didn’t visit any of the zoos or botanical gardens then you are missing a lot. Johannesburg is known for its extraordinary flora and fauna which you can spot at The Lion Park. Though it is well famous for lions, you can spot several other rare animal species here. While been here, you can plan a complete day safari tour to add an element of thrill to your journey.
- The Apartheid Museum: South Africa has a unique history of freedom struggle and The Apartheid Museum offers you the perfect opportunity to recall all those past memories. The museum demonstrates the entire story through film footage, newspaper clippings, artifacts, photographs and much more. The more time you spend in this museum, the more you end up discovering here. The museum remains open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM. The entry fees vary from ZAR 80 to ZAR 95 according to age group.
- Market Theatre: It is one of the most appealing places to visit in Johannesburg that you must add to your itinerary. It is featured in market building and demonstrates the vibrant culture of South Africa through several unique masterpieces. While been here, you can spot several stores, bookshops, restaurants and art galleries to keep you busy throughout the day.
- Golf Reef City: Situated around 8Km from the main city, it is one of the most popular travel destinations in Johannesburg. From historical exhibits to amusement parks, there are many things you can explore here. If you are an adventure lover then you will enjoy some of the unique rides here. At Gold Reef City, you can also opt for a tour of crown mines and get a perfect glimpse of gold miners.
- Zoo Lake: Johannesburg has several romantic locations and Zoo Lake is one of them. Here you can spend some quality time with your spouse while taking a stroll around the lake. Some other activities you can do here include pool dip, boat ride, and water sports. Peace lovers can enjoy sitting next to fountains and feel nature. The entry to Zoo Lake is completely free and it remains open on all days from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Holy Hill: Holy Hill is a real heaven for photography lovers and there is a reason for it. Situated at the center part of city, it offers some of the most awe-inspiring views that you can consider capturing in your camera. It doesn’t matter how much time you will spend here, you will never get bored. In fact, it one of the most unique places to visit in Johannesburg that can get you rid of monotony and make you feel revitalized.
Visit the Locate Market in Soweto, hop on a Red Bus Tour, reflect about the Memory Center in Nelson Mandela, grab a drink at the coolest rooftop spot in JHB, Slam dunk with Bounce, check out Uncle Merv’s in Maboneng, Shop at the Oriental Plaza, Brunch at Milk Bar in Kramerville, find nature within the city at Melville Koppies Reserve, shopping at Rosebank Rooftop Market are the top 10 things to do in Johannesburg.
What’s next waiting for you?
Though Johannesburg has only few travel destinations to visit, all of them are best in the lot. During your trip to South Africa, you can definitely plan a tour of at least couple of days to this spectacular city. Now you know where to go and what to do in Johannesburg. Browse our other travel guides to check out what other cities of South Africa you can add to your itinerary. Don’t forget to explore these best places to visit near Johannesburg.