What to do in Johannesburg

I’ve always thought of Johannesburg as the New York of South Africa. It is the main business hub in SA and has all the characteristics of a big city – tall skyscrapers, traffic, global citizens, an international airport, a thriving nightlife, and crime (unfortunately).  

Joburg or Jozi, as is commonly referred to by the locals always seems to get a bad wrap when compared to the mother city, Cape Town. But if only you immerse yourself in this vibrant metropolis, there is so much to see and do. 

Major tourist attractions

  1. Visit the Apartheid Museum for a glimpse into South African history.
  2. Book a tour of Soweto, which includes the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and sample the local cuisine whilst you there.
  3. Discover the Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves, where the oldest human fossils were found.
  4. Explore Constitution Hill on a short guided tour – a former prison which held people who fought against the apartheid laws and regime, including our former President Nelson Mandela, as well as Oliver Tambo.
  5. Take a short drive from Johannesburg to Pretoria to see the Union Buildings in Pretoria – the official office of the president of South Africa.
  6. Take a stroll along the Sandton CBD, a major business hub and home to one of the biggest malls in South Africa, Sandton City.
  7. Johannesburg Hop On – Hop Off city sightseeing tour (including the JHB CBD)
  8. Montecasino – because it’s an institution in Johannesburg and you cannot miss it. There is something for everyone from restaurants, entertainment, movies, and the casino of course.
  9. Have a meal in Fordsburg – SA’s very own “Little India” 
Apartheid Museum

Where to eat and hangout 

Food Markets

Joburg is popular for its food markets where tourists can immerse themselves in the social scene. Check it out!

Food Markets Days of the weekOpening Times 
Neighbourgoods MarketSaturday09:00 to 15:00
Fourways Farmers MarketSunday 09:00 to 16:00
Market on MainSunday10:00 to 15:00
Waterfall MarketSunday 10:00 to 17:00
Bryanston Organic MarketThursday / Saturday09:00 to 15:00
Sunday morning at the Fourways Farmers Market

Other key dates to diarise:

  • First Thursdays – Art galleries, poetry, and pop up bars are open in Rosebank and Braamfontein from 17:30 to 21:00.
  • First Sundays Melville – Melville is a foodie hotspot in SA, and first Sundays are synonymous for bringing people together, with live music, and good food.

For sundowners with the best views in Jozi

  • Four Seasons The Westcliff 
  • San Deck in Sandton
  • Southern Sun Hyde Park (Friday evenings are a vibe)
  • Marble, Rosebank
Sundowners at Southern Sun Hyde Park

Recommended bars with a cool vibe

  • A Streetbar Named Desire
  • Social Parkwood
  • Social on Main
  • Tiger’s Milk
  • Living Room Jozi
  • Churchill’s Bar
  • Rockets Bryanston
  • The Beach Rivonia
  • 360 Lounge at Montecasino
  • Milk and Honey at Montecasino
  • Sir James, Kramerville (try them on Wednesdays) 
The Beach Rivonia

High Tea (tried and tested) – what a spoil!

  • The Maslow Hotel – beautiful spot, and they have sushi on the high tea menu! You heard us right. 
  • The Michaelangelo – great variety and value for money.
  • Cafe Hemingway’s – top quality, the cakes are amazing and decor on point. Although i see they closed temporarily.

Spa Day’s (one’s we’ve tried and some we heard that are amazing)

  • Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa 
  • Four Seasons The Westcliff
  • The Saxon Hotel
  • The Marion on Nicol
  • Lavana Spa (one of the best massages we have ever had although it is based in a shopping centre and its indoors – if you don’t mind the location)
Spa days with friends at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel

For when you feel like a picnic

  • Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
  • Zoo Lake
  • Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

Next up on the blog…

  • Attractions within two hours of Johannesburg
  • Best restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner in SA (including meals on a budget). For up-to-date information, you can follow @foodbloggersouthafrica on Instagram and Facebook.

If you wish to contribute or be featured in our next blog, please email travelmyblog@outlook.com. The opinions expressed in this blog are based on personal experience, the details of which were accurate at the time of posting. This is not a sponsored ad.

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