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10 Best Things to do in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Johannesburg, also known as Joburg, Jozi, or eGoli, is the capital city of the province of Gauteng in South Africa. It is the largest metropolitan city in the country and it is full of vibrant people from diverse backgrounds. The city is the entertainment hub of South Africa, boasting of a buzzing art scene, incredible restaurants that serve delicious cuisine, breathtaking nature spots, and more.

If you’re headed to the largest city in southern Africa, be sure to add the following top 10 activities to do in Joburg on your travel itinerary:

1. Gold Reef City

By Nolween – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Common

Calling all the adrenalin junkies… Gold Reef City is an amusement park in Ormonde, Johannesburg. It consists of 18 adult rides, 13 kids’ rides, a trampoline park, restaurants and food stalls, petting zoos, as well as history on the gold rush and mining that began in 1886 in Johannesburg.

The biggest ride is the Anaconda, which is made for dare-devils! Other rides include the Golden Loop, the Miner’s Revenge (it’s as scary as it sounds!), the Jozi Express, and more.

There is also a casino, arcade, and hotel on the other side of the theme park, which is considered great activities to partake in at night.

If you’re a thrill-seeker or want to try your luck at the slot machines, you’ll definitely love Gold Reef City.

2. Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum forms a part of the Gold Reef City complex. It depicts a detailed history of Apartheid, delving into the gross human rights violations that occurred during the time.

This is a great tourist destination as it’ll help you understand why South African society is the way it is, particularly its multi-culturalism, racial diversity, and the issues the country faces to this day.

 

3. Constitutional Hill

By The Heritage Portal – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Common

Constitutional Hill is a former prison complex that imprisoned many freedom fighters during Apartheid. In present-day Johannesburg, Constitutional Hill is a heritage museum that commemorates the struggle for freedom and keeps a record of the atrocities of Apartheid.

If you’re a history buff that’s keen on understanding South Africa’s dark past, head down to Braamfontein for a tour of Constitutional Hill.

 

4. Explore the city on a City Sightseeing Red Bus Tour

If you want to see the streets of Jozi and marvel at the fast-paced life of the inner-city, taking a City Sightseeing Red Bus Tour is your ideal activity.

You’ll be able to sit comfortably on a double-decker bus while being driven around the city. It’s the perfect way to get an in-depth look of the city’s people, landmarks, and attractions without leaving the comfort of your seat.

 

5. Maboneng

Credit: Courtesy of The Living Room

Located in the inner-city of Johannesburg, Maboneng, meaning ‘place of lights,’ is a precinct renowned for its top restaurants, events, and cultural scene.

Here, you can eat at some of the best restaurants in Johannesburg and indulge in local cuisine, attend art events where you can socialise with eccentric, artsy people, and purchase memorabilia from the merchants on the street.

 

6. View Johannesburg from the Top of Africa

What if you could view the city of Joburg from one of the tallest buildings in Africa? Carlton Centre, a building which houses offices and retail shops, was previously dubbed the ‘highest building in Africa,’ a title held since the late 1960s. It has since been overtaken by The Leonardo in Sandton.

Despite Carlton Centre losing its title for the highest building in Africa, seeing the city of gold from that height is exhilarating and undoubtedly unforgettable.

 

7. Catch a show at the Market Theatre

By Bobbyshabangu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Common

South Africa is well-known for its theatre productions. Support the local music and art scene by booking to see a live show at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

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Chances are, even if you aren’t a ‘theatre kid,’ you’ll appreciate the talent and dedication that the performers display on stage.

 

8. Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens consist of 7 different district gardens, each displaying a different species of plant life. It is located in Emmarentia and is a great place to have a picnic, ride a bike or take a walk.

It’s easy to forget that South Africa is home to diverse plant species and incredible wonders of nature when you’re in a concrete jungle like Johannesburg, so visiting the Botanical Gardens is a great reminder of just how beautiful the nature in the country is.

Come here to rejuvenate the morning after a hectic night out on the town or during a lazy Sunday.

 

9. Northgate Ice Rink

Ice skating is a fun activity for both young and old, meaning all members of the family can have a great time. Added to that, the Northgate Ice Rink sometimes hosts themed events which include celebrity or DJ appearances as well as foam parties.

 

10. Take a hike at the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

By Claidheamhmor – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Common

In the south of Johannesburg lies the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve which consists of 640 hectares of vast land. There are many plant and wildlife species at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve and you’re bound to spot either a zebra, wildebeest, duiker or blesbok while on your hike.

The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is a great place to commune with nature.

Johannesburg is not only full of diverse people, but it also offers an array of activities for tourists to partake in. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure at a theme park, a nature enthusiast looking to spot some wild game, or a foodie looking to taste the local delicacies, Johannesburg certainly has something for you to experience.

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