Things to Do in Johannesburg

Best Places To Visit in Johannesburg

Guest post by James Smith

Johannesburg is located on the southern slopes of the Witwatersrand, the northeastern region of South Africa. The city is located thirty miles southwest of the country’s capital, Pretoria. If traveling to South Africa and including a city fix is your idea of an ideal vacation then Johannesburg is perfect to include in your adventure. If you’re wondering exactly what to do in Joburg, the city provides an urban exploration hub with many possibilities. From world-class shopping malls to chic bars, Johannesburg is a culture and art destination that draws an aesthetic crowd.

It’s also remembered as a city of gold. It is a popular tourist destination with a mesmerizing aura that invites South African tourists to book flights to Johannesburg. Spend a chilled out day at the luxurious golf course, where you can relax after a business meeting in the sun – there’s something to appeal to all travelers, whether you’re in search of culture, the arts, R&R, or history. Are you looking for the best places to visit in Johannesburg? Below are some of the must-visit places for your trip to the city:

Honeydew

1Situated between Randburg and Krugersdorp, Honeydew is one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in Johannesburg. In Honeydew you’ll find the Heia Safari Ranch, where guests can spend beautiful nights in luxurious Zulu huts. Every Sunday, guests enjoy a traditional braai, during which locally sourced meat will be roasted over an open fire, paired with performances by Zulu dancers. If you are not planning to stay the night, you can go on a sightseeing tour that will allow you to scope out antelopes, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and buffaloes.

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum, Things to Do in Johannesburg

2The Apartheid Museum showcases a recent and incredibly important part of South African history; the rise and fall of apartheid. The museum highlights the discrimination, the relentless struggle of citizens, and the exemplary efforts of Nelson Mandela. The exhibition is a fantastic example of South Africa’s unique political saga, organized by curators, historians, designers, and filmmakers. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00.

Johannesburg Zoo

3South Africa’s largest zoo, Johannesburg Zoo, is a great destination for families to take kids on a mini jungle safari. With a mission to develop, maintain, and conserve public open spaces for future generations, the zoo is part of a larger green initiative in the city. Founded in 1904, the Joburg Zoo houses over 320 species of animals, totaling roughly 2 000 animals with the white lions being a fan favorite. Tours can be used and facilitated with prior notice.

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

Things to Do in Johannesburg

4If you enjoy the outdoors, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is ideal for walking and cycling. Hiking trails are 4, 5, and 10 km long, and mountain bike trails are 8-11 km long. The relief is typical of the Highveld: from broadleaf forests and acacia savannas to Proteus Velds and savannas. The plains are home to many zebras, deer, clownfish, and wildebeest.

Soweto

5If you’re lucky enough to land a flight to Johannesburg, don’t miss a trip to Soweto. Within walking distance is the Hector Peterson Museum, named after the 12-year-old boy who was shot by police on the first day of the 1976 Soweto uprising. Hector became a symbol of the fight against apartheid after a photojournalist photographed his mother carrying her son in her arms. The museum tells the full story of the Soweto uprising and the brutal tactics used by government forces to suppress it, resulting in the deaths of over 550 protesters. It has a range of exhibits, but what sets it apart is the touching personal memories of harrowing events.

Constitution Hill

6Constitution Hill reflects South Africa’s turbulent yet incredible road to democracy. Tourists are shown to the Old Fort prison complex, which presents a real picture of the great struggle in South Africa. From Nelson Mandela to notorious assassin Daisy de Melker, Constitution Hill recounts many colorful and interesting South African characters. The chair also includes the Constitutional Court.

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Things to Do in Johannesburg

7 The city of Johannesburg’s renowned art gallery boasts an extensive collection of famous works by domestic and foreign artists. Since opening in 1915, JAG’s home on the edge of Joubert Park has remained at the center of Johannesburg’s art establishment. The gallery boasts the largest public collection of modern and contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa with some exhibits at the Johannesburg Art Gallery dating back to the 15th century.

Best Time to Visit Johannesburg

Things to Do in Johannesburg

Johannesburg enjoys a mild climate and the weather remains pleasant most of the year with the city remaining dry and sunny almost all year.  The period from September to April is generally considered the best time to visit Johannesburg.


Choose Johannesburg for the perfect vacation and discover its versatility and atmosphere. Flights are available by a variety of carriers with Johannesburg acting as the main hub for transit to Southern Africa. Cathay Pacific offers flights to Johannesburg from Asia Pacific, Europe and beyond. Enjoy a stay that includes the range of important tourist attractions in Johannesburg, or by including Johanessburg in a larger South Africa itinerary.

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort.