Johannesburg Travel Guide

You’ll likely hear this store before you see it. Celebrating the African continent’s vibrant voices, the CDs here—in heavy rotation as well as for sale—include Freshly Ground, Johnny Clegg, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Xhosa pop singer Simphiwe Dana.

The museum, south of the city center, is an invaluable primer on apartheid-era race divisions, as well as the 19th-century gold rush that brought prospectors from around the world.

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

For handcrafted African-motif housewares and curios with contemporary style, head to the airport outpost of this upmarket South African chain.

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.

The Barnes & Noble of South Africa carries international fashion magazines, novels, story collections, cookbooks, and more.

The gallery, known for contemporary South African art, is surrounded by 400 thirty-foot-tall variegated aluminum "fins" that reference a protective Zulu kraal, or livestock enclosure.

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.

From Mrs. Ball’s chutneys to locally harvested rooibos teas, this gourmet shop stocks a wide selection of South African food products.