Must see attractions in Gauteng

  • Top ChoiceSights in Johannesburg

    Constitution Hill

    Do not leave Jo'burg without visiting Constitution Hill. One of South Africa's most important historical sites, the deeply moving and inspirational exhibitions here are split across four locations: the Old Fort, which dates from 1892 and was once a notorious prison for white males; the horrific Number Four Jail, reserved for nonwhite males; the Women's Jail; and the Awaiting Trial Block – now mostly demolished and replaced by the Constitutional Court. Tours depart on the hour and provide essential context.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Johannesburg

    Apartheid Museum

    The Apartheid Museum illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. It uses a broad variety of media to provide a chilling insight into the architecture and implementation of the apartheid system, as well as inspiring stories of the struggle towards democracy. It’s invaluable in understanding the inequalities and tensions that still exist today. Located 8km south of the city centre, just off the M1 freeway.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Johannesburg

    Liliesleaf Farm

    A highlight of Jo'burg's northern suburbs is Liliesleaf Farm. This was the secret headquarters of the ANC (African National Congress) from 1961 until a dramatic raid in 1963 that saw the capture of several of the organisation's leaders including Nelson Mandela. Free tours provide all the background, but you can also explore at your own pace, learning the story of South Africa’s liberation struggle through a series of high-tech, interactive exhibits.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Ponte City

    Nothing sums up the changing fortunes of inner-city Jo'burg better than Ponte City, which can be visited on tours with Dlala Nje. This 54-storey cylindrical skyscraper was hijacked in the late 1980s by squatters and rapidly declined into a vertical urban slum. Flash forward a couple of decades – the building's owner, Kempston, has taken back control and refurbished the structure, which is now safe and home to an ethnically mixed community of working- and middle-class South Africans.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Cradle of Humankind

    Sterkfontein Caves

    One of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, Sterkfontein Caves include a permanent hominid exhibit and a walkway down into the impressive caves and past the excavation site. Tours leave every 30 minutes (the last tour is at 4pm).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Cradle of Humankind

    Maropeng

    Partly housed in a building that looks like a giant grassy mound on one side and shiny modern steel on the other, Maropeng is an all-in-one information centre, visitor attraction and entertainment complex. The fascinating series of interactive exhibits here cover the history of the human race since its very beginnings. A new exhibition showcases the 2013 discovery of the Homo naledi species in the Rising Star caves.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Johannesburg

    Constitutional Court

    Inaugurated in 2004, with its design based on the African concept of 'justice under a tree', the Constitutional Court is a very real symbol of modern South Africa. Incorporating some 150,000 bricks and the former stairwells of the Awaiting Trial Block that was demolished after the end of apartheid, the court houses a highly impressive contemporary art collection showcasing both local and international art. The court is open to the public: Lucky visitors may even hear a case being argued.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Pretoria

    Freedom Park

    This stunning park and museum honours fallen South Africans in all major conflicts and adopts an integrated approach to African history. It is a place of architectural imagination and collective healing. Start at //hapo, the museum covering Southern African history at the bottom of the hill; then proceed up the hill to the main park, which provides wonderful views of the city.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Nizamiye Mosque

    Built as a replica of the Ottoman Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, the Nizamiye Mosque is a real find in the far-northern Jo'burg suburb of Midrand. Looming beside the M1 Hwy, it was built by hundreds of Turkish artisans – with 100% Turkish materials – transported to South Africa by Turkish businessman Ali Katırcıoğlu. Inside the mosque, the hand-woven carpets and massive tiled dome are awe inspiring.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Spaza Art Gallery

    The home, sculpture garden and small 'matchbox' gallery of artist Andrew Lindsay is extraordinary. The garden is dominated by a mobile phone signal tower covered with thousands of plastic bottles. Mosaics and wooden sculptures are found amid the lush foliage and in one corner is the tiny gallery where you can buy affordable art drawn and painted on matchboxes (including Lindsay's illustrated guide to Jozi in a matchbox) or printed on tea towels and aprons.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Anglo American Head Office

    This handsome building, taking up an entire block, has been the mining company's HQ in Africa since 1939. It has an impressive main entrance with delicate metalwork, soaring etched glass panels, and stone steps flanked by carved friezes of African flora and fauna.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Lam Rim Buddhist Centre

    Located on the site of an old Afrikaans Dutch Reformed church in a hard hit neighborhood in Jo'burg's western suburbs, the Lam Rim Buddhist Centre is an unexpected surprise. The former church tower is painted in jaunty shades of yellow and red, and inside is a stunning, kaleidoscope-coloured Tibetan Buddhist shrine. The Centre, founded in 1993 by the Venerable Geshe Damcho Yonten and visited by the Dalai Lama in 2004, offers free meditation classes on Thursdays at 7pm.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Goodman Gallery

    One of Jo'burg's most prestigious private art galleries, Goodman shows the work of William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa, and many more of South Africa's leading visual artists. Located in Rosebank's "Art Mile" on Jan Smuts Avenue, where most of Jo'burg's top galleries are clustered, Goodman is always guaranteed to have an exhibition worth seeing.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Wits Art Museum

    Completed in May 2012, this is one of the leading museums of African art on the continent. Although it has an extraordinary collection of 10,000 works – which it shares with the Johannesburg Art Gallery – you'll only see a tiny fraction here, as there is a dynamic program of events and exhibitions including ones of international artists.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Newtown Pillars

    The massive concrete pillars holding up the M1 Highway in Newtown have become an outdoor art gallery, featuring ever-changing graffiti murals by some of South Africa's top street artists. Over the years, the graffiti has also spilled over onto the surrounding streets. The pillars are a popular spot for photoshoots, but do keep a close watch on your valuables in this area.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Yukon House

    A Victorian mansion built between1906 and 1911, Yukon House was home to two Johannesburg mayors during the early 20th century. Today, owners Loretta and Henry Chamberlain have lovingly restored this heritage building to its former glory and host regular tours and events. Loretta's afternoon tea is among the best in town. Call ahead for an events schedule and booking details.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Soweto

    June 16 Memorial Acre

    Opposite one of the schools from which students marched on 16 June 1976 is this stunning open-air memorial to the bloody events that presaged the Soweto Uprising. The key artwork here is the memorial wall that documents the fateful day, hour by hour, in a panorama of gut-wrenching images.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Soweto

    Hector Pieterson Museum

    This powerful museum, named after the 12-year-old boy shot dead during the student protests in Soweto on 16 June 1976, illuminates the role of Sowetan life in the history of the independence struggle. It's a major stop on all tours of Soweto and thus is almost always busy.

  • Sights in Johannesburg

    Gandhi Square

    in 2002 Van der Bijl Sq was revamped and renamed Gandhi Sq in honour of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi. Look out for the bronze statue representing him as a young lawyer, gown flowing in the wind like a superhero. Gandhi Sq is home to several historic buildings including the recently renovated Somerset House, now a bar and events venue.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Pretoria

    Voortrekker Monument

    The imposing, art-deco-style Voortrekker Monument was constructed between 1938 and 1949 to honour the journey of the Voortrekkers, who journeyed north over the coastal mountains of the Cape into the heart of the African veld. Surrounded by a 3.4-sq-km nature reserve, it's 3km south of the city and clearly signposted from the N1 freeway.