According to sunglassestracker, as the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg has long been a favorite destination among tourists. Logical, because the city has so many sights and highlights to offer. Not only in terms of culture and history, but also if you are a lover of a vibrant nightlife or impressive landscapes and nature, you are in the right place here. In Johannesburg, the contrasts among the population and their lifestyles are clearly visible. You get to know lavish entertainment centers and residential areas, but you also come face to face with the poorer residential areas. During a visit to Johannesburg you can become acquainted with the rich history of the country in the various museums. You can have fun in Maboneng Precinct or visit Gold Reef City. All in all, you should not miss Johannesburg if you are staying in beautiful South Africa.
Top 10 things to do in Johannesburg
#1. Apartheid Museum
During your visit to Johannesburg, a visit to the Apartheid Museum should not be missing from your list of sights. The museum takes you back to the horrific times when apartheid played a major role in the country. You will experience this firsthand because you are already divided into groups at the entrance of the museum. White or not white. You can find the museum south of the city of Johannesburg. Inside you can view various exhibitions where impressive and often gruesome images are not shunned. If you look up, you will see more than 120 slings hanging from the ceiling. These symbolize the number of political prisoners who died in the apartheid era.
#2. Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill guarantees a monument that you will find right in the center of the South African state. The monument was built like a fortress and represents the situation between the end of apartheid and the Boer War in Johannesburg. Where the fort used to mainly serve as a defense, Constitution Hill now has a completely different function. The Constitutional Court is located in one of the rooms, where the constitutions are protected. To see everything about this special monument, you can join a tour. This will show you, among other things, the old fortress that used to house a notorious men and women prison. Especially blocks 4 and 5 were notorious. Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, among others, spent some time in this prison. Constitution Hill also gives you a good view of downtown Johannesburg.
Soweto is located just outside Johannesburg on the outskirts of the city. A real township where only “non-whites” were allowed during and before apartheid. Soweto can now call itself a real city with more than 1 million inhabitants. The contrast in Soweto is still great. This way you can clearly see a difference between the poor and the rich population and in which neighborhoods they live. Soweto is of course best known because Nelson Mandela lived here. You should definitely not miss a visit to the city when you are in Johannesburg. You will learn everything about South African life, but also about the interesting culture. Especially the towers of Soweto, the house of Mandela and the Hector Pieterson Memorial are more than worth a visit. For this it is best to book a tour that you can follow both walking and cycling.
#4. Johannesburg Art Gallery
With more than 9,000 works of art, the Johannes Art Gallery can rightfully call itself an extensive museum. You can find JAG in the Joubert Park. Within the gallery you can admire various collections of artists from South Africa and Europe. The works of art range from sculptures to textiles and from valuable artifacts to admirable paintings. You can see weeks of famous names such as Rodin, Monet and Picasso. The Johannesburg Art Gallery also has an impressive collection of sculptures that you can view in the courtyard.
#5. Maboneng Precinct
If you are a lover of going out, good food and entertainment then you should definitely visit Maboneng Precinct. Maboneng Precinct emerged from a renewal project. The area consists of modern residential houses, trendy restaurants, boutiques and hotels. At Market on Main you can get acquainted with various culinary delights from various corners of the world. You can wander for hours through the cozy streets of Maboneng Precinct, but you can also choose to have a drink in one of the cozy cafes and bars. In addition to various entertainment venues, you will also find various studios and galleries here where you can soak up the South African culture.
#6. Hector Pieterson Museum
The museum in Johannesburg bears the name of the student who was killed in an uprising in 1976. The uprising had everything to do with introducing Afrikaans as a compulsory subject at school. The photo in which the dead body of 12-year-old Hector was carried away by a classmate is now the symbol against Apartheid. In the Hector Pieterson Museum, photos and video material give you a unique insight into the system that was used in schools at the time. It is remarkable that the sister of the murdered boy gives guided tours here. A tour by Antoinette Sithole not only impresses, but can also be called admirable.
#7. Neighborhoods Market
An attraction that you really should not miss when you are in Johannesburg is the Neighbourgoods Market. This market is full of local specialties, but you’ve also come to the right place for a unique fashion accessory or vintage item. The Neighbourgoods Market is open every Saturday and is located in an old office building. You can spend hours wandering past various stalls with delicacies such as meat, olives and freshly made South African dishes. The market, which spreads over no less than two floors, is lively and bustling. On the roof terrace of the building you can buy nice souvenirs, but you can also enjoy a view over the Golden City.
#8. 44 Stanley
44 Stanley can be found just outside the city in a now bustling neighborhood. The area around 44 Stanley used to be known as an industrial and derelict area. How different is that now. The district has been completely transformed into a hip place to be and houses various design studios, funny boutiques with fashion, antiques and other gadgets. Even if you are a lover of a snack and drink, you have come to the right place. After hours of walking through the lively streets of 44 Stanley, it’s time for a refreshing drink on one of the many terraces in the area. Here you will experience life in Johannesburg as it was meant to be. Colourful, friendly and soothing.
#9. Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City is located just south of downtown Johannesburg, near the Apartheid Museum. However, this theme park has much more to offer than rollercoasters and spectacular water attractions. The park symbolizes a mining town and has also been recreated in this trend. In the park you can even make a descent into a famous mine shaft that has yielded a total of more than 1.4 million kilos of gold. During an interesting tour you will learn everything about the work in the mines and the living conditions of the miners. In Mill Reef City you can also visit several nice shops where you can buy both gold and precious stones.
#10. SAB World of Beer
Beer lovers will get their money’s worth at the SAB World of Beer in Johannesburg. Not only will you become acquainted with the rich history of African beer, but you will also have the opportunity to taste the different flavors. During the tour of the beer brewery you will learn everything about how beer was introduced to South Africa and why the country immediately embraced this golden yellow juice. The SAB World of Beer can be found in Newton Johannesburg and is definitely recommended for beer lovers.