Located in the Gauteng province, Johannesburg is the largest and most populous city in South Africa, and a must for lovers of history, wildlife, archaeology and even soccer. Want to know more about Johannesburg? Join us for a tour of its must-see sites.
What You Can’t Miss in Johannesburg
1. The Apartheid Museum
This is perhaps the most iconic site in Johannesburg and a reflection of South Africa’s recent history. Upon arrival at the Apartheid Museum, located near the center of the city, you may be randomly given a “white” or “non-white” ticket, which will determine your entry into the museum and the type of experience you receive. In this way, the museum attempts to reflect the racial discrimination experienced in South Africa during the infamous system imposed during Apartheid.
2. Constitution Hill
Once a prison, now the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Historical figures such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were imprisoned on Constitution Hill. You can visit the building where the prison used to be and the current court, in a symbolic journey through the country’s history.
In this thriving district, “the richest square mile in Africa”, you will find the best hotels and financial life in the city. Sandton is also famous for being home to Nelson Mandela Square, with a famous statue honoring the South African leader.
During apartheid, in the “township” of Soweto, the largest in South Africa, much of the city’s population lived in segregation, although today it still houses only the black population. Soweto has hosted two Nobel Prize winners. It is home to Nelson Mandela House, the former home of the former South African president which is now a museum. Desmond Tutu also lived there, another symbol of the struggle against apartheid. To visit Soweto, it is highly recommended to hire a tour and a local guide.
5. The Newton neighborhood
Our tour continues through the creative heart of Johannesburg: the Newton Cultural Precinct. This recently remodeled area has become a trendy place for culture lovers. Attracted by its circuit of theaters, art galleries and historic buildings.
6. Carlton Center: Top of Africa
Do you like panoramic views? At 223 meters, the Carlton Center is the second tallest skyscraper in Africa. On its top floor, this spectacular office building offers a 360-degree view of Johannesburg.
7. Soccer City Stadium
If your passion is soccer, Soccer City will be one of your must-sees. The grand final of a World Cup that we all remember was played in this stadium: South Africa 2010. This event was going to consecrate Spain as the world champion for the first time in its history.
8. The Natural Reserves
And if you visit Johannesburg with a lot of time and an adventurous spirit, why not venture out on a good safari? In this case, we suggest two options to choose from depending on your preferences.
The Krüger National Park, about 7 hours away, is the most famous excursion. But only 2 hours away we find a more accessible option, the Pilanesberg Wildlife Reserve, established in 1979 to support the recovery of the local wildlife. Whichever you choose, in both places you can go in search of the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, black rhino and brown buffalo.
9. The Cradle of Humanity
If you want to go on an excursion but don’t have much time, we recommend the Cradle of Humanity. During a day trip, you can visit its caves, one of the most famous fossil sites in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. Gold Reef City Theme Park
Johannesburg, which owes its beginnings to a mining colony, also has a large theme park built on a former gold mine. With its many attractions, Gold Reef City is an ideal excursion for those looking to escape the city for a day of fun.
So, after reading this blog, are you excited to visit Johannesburg? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.