Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. The city is flourishing. Its centre is smartening up and new loft apartments and office developments are being constructed at a rapid pace. The cultural district of Newtown, with its theatres, restaurants, museums and jazz clubs, is livelier than ever. Other inner city suburbs like Braamfontein and Doornfontein continue to gentrify since the World Cup and now house the coolest club, bars and cultural spaces.
A thriving black middle class has risen up from the ashes of apartheid, both in the suburbs and in the famous township of Soweto.
However, the wealth divide remains stark. The affluenza of Rosebank and Sandton breeds discontent in desperately poor, neighbouring townships such as Alexandra and Diepskloot. Politicians stagnate while crime continues to disrupt daily life.
Still, Jo’burg is an incredibly friendly, unstuffy city and there’s a lot to see here, from sobering reminders of the country’s recent past at the Apartheid Museum to the progressive streets of Melville.
Best places to stay in Johannesburg
South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland travel guide
Africa’s southernmost trio offers adventure, beach-bumming and everything in between, with lions roaring in the bushveld, vineyards climbing mountainsides, diverse African cultures and open roads through sublime scenery.
Revamped: 10 neighbourhoods that have had incredible makeovers
Some neighbourhoods are effortlessly charming while others bring new meaning to the phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. From gritty to glossy, these 10 neighbourhoods around the world have been completely revamped into coveted places to live, work and play. Grünerløkka cafe...
South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland - Gauteng (Chapter)
Gauteng, formerly the Boer Republic of Transvaal, remains the pulse of the South African nation. Johannesburg (Jo’burg) is the country’s largest and most happening city, where gold was discovered in the late 19th century and where fortunes are...
Illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. The museum uses film, text, audio and live accounts to provide a chilling insight into the architecture and implementation of the apartheid system, as well as inspiring accounts of the struggle towards democracy.
Johannesburg Tour: Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre Observation Deck and Soweto Bike Ride
See Johannesburg city sights in the morning and then pedal your way around Soweto – the city’s vibrant township from where Nelson Mandela hails. Led by a friendly guide, your full-day tour starts with a visit to the Carlton Centre’s 50th floor for dramatic city vistas, and then continues inside Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum to learn about the country’s complex history.
The ‘South West Townships’ have evolved from an area of forced habitation to an address of pride and social prestige. Travellers come to witness the welcoming township life and to visit the former home of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, and the Hector Pieterson Museum.
Johannesburg Super Saver: Soweto Sightseeing Tour plus Johannesburg Sightseeing Tour
With this Johannesburg Super Saver, you'll get to best-selling tours at one discounted price. Spend the morning in Soweto, get an insight into South Africa's turbulent past. See two former Nobel Prize winners' previous residences, the Hector Peterson memorial and Freedom Square. In the afternoon enjoy a 3.
Southern Africa travel guide
Southern Africa rings with legend: the Okavango Delta, the Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, Kruger, Victoria Falls, Cape Town - these are just a few of the iconic destinations that unfurl African dreams.
Neighbour Goods Market
Cape Town’s wondrous community market has come to Braamfontein to continually ‘reinvent the public market as civic institution’. The two-storey brick warehouse fills with artisan purveyors and their foodie fans, who scoff on healthy brunches, ‘slow’ beer and stiff coffee. Upstairs you can grab a bench and watch the sun shine off city buildings.
Johannesburg Walking Tour: Carlton Centre Observation Deck, Museum Africa and Market Theatre
Explore vibrant Johannesburg on a 5-hour tour that showcases the city’s countless cultural highlights. After enjoying bird’s-eye views of the metropolis from the Carlton Centre’s observation deck, get up close to Johannesburg’s city sights on a walking tour.
CIRCA on Jellicoe
This remarkable addition to the Jo’burg cultural landscape will soon be its artistic centrepiece. Overlooking the northern suburbs, the spiral structure houses unusual sculptures, sketches and contemporary work from across South Africa. The public space on the rooftop is superb.
Top things to do in South Africa
Best places to stay in South Africa
South Africa's top safaris
Southern Africa - South Africa (Chapter)
When Archbishop Desmond Tutu called South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation', his words described the very essence of what makes this country extraordinary. Certainly, the blend of peoples and cultures that his oft-used moniker referred to is...
Africa - South Africa (Chapter)
South Africa’s blend of cultures is evident, but its diversity stretches far beyond its people. Sleep under the stars in the deserts, hike to snowcapped peaks or surf and sunbathe in Cape Town. Bucolic Zululand and the Wild Coast provide an...
Kruger Camping Safari
Short and to the point, if you're already in Joburg or simply hungry for a taste of South Africa's exceptional wildlife and culture, this 4-day safari adventure will certainly hit the spot. Starting in Johannesburg, you'll head into world-renowned Kruger National Park—one of the largest and most diverse wildlife areas in Africa and home to zebras, elephants and lions.
Drakensberg and Kruger Walking Safari
Hike the Drakensberg and wildlife tracking on foot in the Kruger
Kruger Park Extension
On safari in Kruger National Park enjoy a comfortable wilderness experience capped by incredible wildlife
Kruger Experience - Lodge (4 days)
Get a taste of one of the most famous game reserves in the world on this 4-day safari in Kruger National Park. Staying in a beautiful lodge on the edge of the park, spend days searching out the remarkable animals that make their home here – leopards, lions, giraffe, rhino, hippos, antelope, buffalo are just some of the wild and wonderful creatures to see.