Discover the best of South Africa’s largest city

If you’re booking a trip to South Africa, you’ll find there’s far more to do in the dynamic country than a far-flung safari. In fact, planning a long weekend (or week) in Johannesburg is a must. There are plenty of fun things to do in Johannesburg, a destination that has finally shrugged off the shadow cast by its sister city, Cape Town.

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Johannesburg, make an afternoon at the Apartheid Museum the first stop on your itinerary. There, you will learn about South Africa’s tumultuous past and the systematic segregation and oppression, before the country shifted to democracy.

After the museum, head to the Maboneng Precinct—an exciting and revitalized neighborhood known for art, cutting-edge cuisine, and a collaborative, creative atmosphere. Dine at Canteen on the rooftop terrace, and then head to the Biocope to see an indie film or to Common Ground for an open-air concert.

Work off your lunch by taking a leisurely bike ride through the township of Soweto, and stop at Nelson Mandela’s former residence on Vilakazi Street. There is plenty to do and see here, like exploring the street market or stopping for a quick beer at a local brewery.

Coffee fiends should stop in at The Grind Coffee Company, a local shop serving the latest in caffeinated trends: coffee served in a chocolate-lined waffle ice cream cone.

Leave plenty of time to explore the street market scene of Johannesburg. From specialty cheese to fashion lines from emerging designers, the markets within the city are full of culture and fun finds. Our top picks are the Market on Main or Bryanston Organic Market.

Before you depart, get a look at the King of the Jungle with a visit to Johannesburg’s Lion Park. Here, you can enjoy close-up views of lions and cheetahs from the safety of a silent electric vehicle.

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