Things to do in Johannesburg
If you're looking for things to do in Johannesburg, there are plenty of options from shopping to museum hopping to visiting nearby historical sites. Its vibrant and dynamic cultures make it a destination with countless activities.
Art and history lovers may begin by doing an art walk or visiting the Apartheid Museum, the Mandela House and the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Johannesburg Art Gallery rotates its collection of 17th and 18th-century European landscape paintings; works by South African painters; and traditional African objects and retrospectives by black artists. The Market Theater with a bar, an art gallery, three theaters and a restaurant is also a good place to explore. For more history, consider a visit to the Constitutional Hill to explore the Old Fort Prison and learn about the life of Nelson Mandela.
Consider a stop at Mary Fitzgerald Square or a stroll in Melrose Arch to spending an afternoon shopping, dining at one of its restaurants or just spending the night exploring the bars. If you're wondering what to do in Johannesburg with kids, the Cradle of Humankind is just a few miles north of the city. Check out the museum and learn about the earliest human remains discovered there. Visit the Johannesburg Zoo or the Lion Park nature reserve, near Lanseria (you can pet lion cubs!). Also check out the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, near Hartbeespoort, which runs a breeding program for cheetah, wild dog and other endangered species. Stop by the craft markets and haggle for some cool souvenirs at Hartbeesport Dam.
This gallery and shop showcases artworks and indigenous crafts from all over the African continent. Carved wooden masks, figurines, and abstract sculptures; elegant beadwork and painted clothes; and handwoven and printed textiles are just some of the treasures worth browsing here.
The complex, in Milpark, has the area’s best shopping, thanks to its many boutiques that showcase creative young talent.
A full range of spa services—from express mani-pedis, facials, and waxing to full-body table massages—is offered at this sanctuary. Fight off jet lag with a deep-breathing session at the on-site oxygen bar, where the blasts of pure O2 are infused with aromatherapy essences.
The century-old Kitchener's Carvery Bar, in Braamfontein, once hosted the titular commander of Britain’s Boer War force; with a dance floor, disco ball and a healthy supply of the local Castle Lager, it’s now a favorite with the design crowd—and the best place for a toast in this vibrant city.
A safari operator with 70 camps in nine countries, Wilderness has been a champion of responsible travel in Africa for nearly 30 years. Overseeing a portfolio of more than 7.4 million acres of protected land, Wilderness supports 40 projects that benefit 1,250 endangered species, i
Open to all walk-in passengers for a fee of R300 (about $36), this African-style lounge is the perfect place to unwind between flights.
A tour guide and amateur historian who first visited Johannesburg’s impoverished townships in the 1990’s as a peacekeeper, Robin Binckes has since devoted himself to bringing attention—and travelers—to the often-overlooked township of Alexandra, in the city’s north, through his company, Spear of
From Mrs. Ball’s chutneys to locally harvested rooibos teas, this gourmet shop stocks a wide selection of South African food products.
Alongside the Toblerone and Belgian Cote d’Or treats at this duty-free emporium, you’ll find the justifiably famous Chocolats Marionettes—handmade in Knysna along South Africa’s Garden Route.
For handcrafted African-motif housewares and curios with contemporary style, head to the airport outpost of this upmarket South African chain.