Known affectionately as Joburg, Johannesburg is one of South Africa’s premier cities and the most populous in the country. It is the capital of South Africa’s wealthiest province Gauteng, and a rapidly-flourishing city housing world-class food and entertainment amenities. Johannesburg is home to a number of famous people including actors Sharlto Copley and Brian Murray.
Where to go
A thriving city of culture and modernity, Johannesburg is brimming with exciting discoveries to be made. For an unforgettable cultural encounter, head to CIRCA on Jellicoe, a contemporary museum with a stark but ethereal façade. This spiral artistic centrepiece showcases a wide selection of eccentric sculptures, sketches, and installations from across the world. When you’ve combed through the museum’s unusual exhibits, unwind on the fanciful roof deck that overlooks west-Johannesburg’s urban forest sprawl.
For a complete immersion into the country’s recent history, a must-visit is the Apartheid Museum, which traces South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression. The museum delves into a haunting chronicle of the apartheid system, and provides inspiring memoirs of the nation’s struggle towards democracy. Particularly chilling is the chamber where 131 nooses are suspended, representing the government opponents who were executed under antiterrorism laws.
Take a trip to the cultural district of Newtown for a more upbeat turn to your Johannesburg discovery. The streets here are teeming with lively chatter from theatres, restaurants, museums, and jazz clubs. Wander farther into the inner city suburbs, where Braamfontein draws foodies to the city’s favourite public market.
Or, if you’re feeling a little lazy, explore the sights of the city from the comfort of a coach! The Hop-on Hop-off pass allows you to ride with any of the designated double-decker buses for one or two days, while the Half-Day Sightseeing Tour covers an expansive area of Johannesburg in just three and a half hours.
As the city is the transport hub of South Africa, it is fairly easy to get around. Public buses are the easiest way to travel, with the city’s network run by Metrobus. The rapid train service, the Gautrain, links up all major areas of Gauteng, including Johannesburg. Car hires and taxis are also available to get around the city with.
Getting to Johannesburg
The city is served by OR Tambo International Airport, which processes the most number of international carriers in southern Africa. Airlines fly here from many major cities around the world, including those in Europe and Southeast Asia. The Airport also handles domestic flights from a number of airlines, including Airlink (South Africa).
From the Airport, a number of transport options can take you to the city. The fast and efficient Gautrain links up to Johannesburg. Simply follow the signs that will lead you to the station between Terminals A and B. City buses and informal minibuses can be found outside the international and domestic terminals. But if you’re not familiar with the city, you might wish to take a taxi instead. Metered taxis can be spotted by their yellow “Taxi” roof lights.