South Africa’s bustling capital is a growing metropolis with great shops, bars and galleries, and many museums exploring the city’s turbulent past.
Visit lion parks, art galleries and fine-dining restaurants in Johannesburg. The capital of South Africa has had a turbulent history, but the city continues to renew itself. Today you'll find a diverse population, many cultural attractions and fascinating historic sites that will challenge and surprise even experienced travellers.
Get a bird’s-eye view of the central business district from the Carlton Centre's Top of Africa viewing platform 50 stories up. The heart of the bustling metropolis is quite safe for visitors, although care should still be taken and some areas avoided altogether.
Soweto is a poorer area of Johannesburg that lies west of the city centre. Sign up for a guided tour of the township to discover another aspect of the city's culture. See where Nelson Mandela lived in the 1940s and ’50s along lively Vilakazi Street. Museums, historic sites and sculptures line the 1-kilometre (0.62-mile) strip. Visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Regina Mundi Church to learn about the Soweto uprising during apartheid. Many locals still live in make-shift housing and some areas of the township can be dangerous, so don't make the trip on your own.
Many of Johannesburg's wealthier residents live north of the city centre. Venture to Newtown to stroll along footpaths lined with theatres, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Parktown is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Johannesburg and features many impressive homes. While here, visit up-market boutiques and bars.
There are many museums worth exploring. Start at the Apartheid Museum for an overview of South Africa's troubled past. Visit Constitution Hill to learn about the country's struggles and transition to democracy. Here, you can tour former prisons and learn more about the life of rights activist Nelson Mandela. Excellent local and international art is on display at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG).
Get a taste for South Africa's incredible scenery and wildlife at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden northwest of the city centre. Further out, you can go hiking in the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve or see the country's most famous animals at Lion Park.