Johannesburg

Most travellers consider Johannesburg only as being their port of entry when on a luxury South African holiday. Most people just stay here for one night and travel onwards to the next destination as soon as they can. However, it may be worthwhile reconsidering just a little bit: Johannesburg is a bustling city with all amenities and facilities not inferior to a modern European city. There are huge shopping malls, great nightlife, theaters, museums, fine restaurants and hotels of great quality. Therefore, when you are staying longer than just one night in Jo'burg (for example during a business trip or because you want a little extra time to recover from the long flight from Europe) then you will certainly not be bored. On this page you will find an overview of our Johannesburg attractions.

johannesburg south africa

When you have more than one night to spend in Johannesburgm we recommend visiting the impressive Apartheid Museum, the Soweto township and Johannesburg Zoo. Want to escape the bustle of the city? Take a taxi to the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and unwind in this calm mini nature sanctuary.

Want a taste of nightlife in Johannesburg? The main theater is located in the center of the city town and is called the "Market Theatre". The up-market district of Sandton provides the hottest nightlife with trendy clubs and discotheques. Usually local Jo'burgers are dressed pretty chic when venturing out in nighlife, so please be aware of that. Another tip from our side: the best place to visit for live jazz and blues is Club Bassline, in the Newtown district. Our other favourites are Tokyo Sky (in Sandton), Movida (Sunninghill), and Roxy's Rhythm Bar (Melville). Be sure to wear your dancing shoes!


Our insider top tips in Johannesburg:

Apartheid museum


apartheid museum johannesburg south africa

A very interesting place worth visiting is a museum that takes you back into the complex historical period that not only marks the past, but also the modern South Africa. The Apartheid Museum (near Gold Reef City) is a walk through history. Entering the museum already is disturbing and confronting: as was common in apartheid South Africa there are separate entrances for 'blankes' (whites) and' nie blankes (non-whites). The permanent exhibition of the museum -compiled by a multidisciplinary team of filmmakers, historians and architects- are not afraid of seeking confrontation. So be aware that you will not step out of the museuum emotionally untouched. A visit to this museum is essential if you want to better understand the current South Africa in all its complexity. The exhibition is in chronological order and therefore logically ends in 1994, the year of the first democratic general elections in which any inhabitant of the country could participate.

Soweto


johannesburg soweto south africa

For those travellers that want to discover the 'real' Africa, we recommend a visit to the South Western Townships (Soweto) in Johannesburg. Visiting Soweto means visiting a historical plaxe: Soweto was the center of resistance against apartheid oppression. It also means visiting a place of great contrasts. Rich and poor live together here, you will se small houses made out of plastic and wood, but also large three story stone mansions with a pool in the front garden. The best way to see Soweto is when you are being accompanied by a guide. Together with your guide you can walk the lively streets of Soweto. Nelson Madela lived in Soweto for many years, and a visit to the house when making an excursion is pretty much always included. In the same area you will find the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is the only street in the world where two winners of the Nobel Peace prize lived. By visiting these sites you will get an understanding of the place where the struggle against apartheid concentrated. You will get to see the most important historical places, but for instance also the Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the southern hemispere. During the walk through Soweto's streets there is also plenty opportunity to meet and talk to the local people, who are always very hospitable. It is a real eye-opener talking to the people here and it seems everyone has a story to share with you.

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Did you know?

gold zuid afrika

Large quantities of gold -just under the earth's surface- were discovered close to present day Johannesburg in 1880? Thos brought in a real gold rush with thousands of fortune hunters flocking into the area. For this reason Johannesburg is also affectionately named 'Egoli', meaning 'place of gold". This is why Johannesburg's spectacular growth has made ​​it what it is today: South Africa's largest city and richest province. It has the largest economy of any region in the whole of sub-Sahara Africa. Jo'burg is also the largest city in the world not situated on the banks of a river, lake or sea.

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