For most travellers visiting South Africa, Johannesburg may seem like just a transit point en route to your final destination. However, this vibrant heart of South Africa offers a tapestry of experiences that beckon exploration beyond a mere layover, and Adventure Destinations can organise the perfect stopover for your clients.

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of South Africa’s Gauteng province lies Johannesburg, a city whose very essence pulsates with the rhythm of diversity and resilience. Founded in 1886 upon the discovery of gold, Johannesburg emerged from the dust of the Highveld as a beacon of opportunity, drawing fortune seekers from far and wide to its golden embrace.

Yet, beneath its gleaming skyscrapers and bustling streets lies a tapestry woven with threads of triumph and tribulation, of apartheid’s shadow and the indomitable spirit of its people. Johannesburg’s story is one of resilience, a narrative etched in the struggles and triumphs of those who call it home.

From the dusty townships of Soweto to the affluent boulevards of Sandton, Johannesburg’s streets bear witness to the echoes of history, where each corner tells a tale of struggle, resilience, and hope. Today, amidst its vibrant neighbourhoods and bustling markets, Johannesburg stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of its people, a city that embraces its past while forging boldly into the future.

It will take more than a day or two to see it all and get a real taste of Johannesburg, so consider adding some time to your South African trip in the city of Johannesburg.

What to do in Johannesburg

Lebo’s Soweto Tuk Tuk Tour. Image: Kate Webster

Delve deep into the heart of Johannesburg and you will uncover the layers of history and culture that define this dynamic metropolis. From its humble beginnings as a mining town to its emergence as the economic powerhouse of Africa, Johannesburg invites exploration, offering a journey through time and tradition unlike any other.

Here are some of the top experiences to have in Johannesburg:

Tuk Tuk Tour of Soweto with Lebo’s Soweto

Embark on an immersive journey through the historic streets of Soweto aboard a colourful Tuk Tuk with Lebo’s Soweto Tours. Experience the rich tapestry of this township, stopping by iconic landmarks such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial, Nelson Mandela’s former home, and the vibrant Vilakazi Street. Discover more on Lebos Soweto Tuk Tuk Tour here.

Walking Tour with Curiocity

Explore the urban landscape of Johannesburg on foot with a guided walking tour by Curiocity. Dive deep into the city’s history, art, and culture as you meander through its streets, discovering hidden gems and local hotspots along the way. Hosted by a local, you will be surprised at the hidden gems and history this tour uncovers.

Johannesburg – Curiocity Walking Tour. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Lunch at FourWays Farmers Market

Indulge in a culinary adventure at the FourWays Farmers Market, where an array of artisanal food stalls awaits. Sample flavours from across South Africa while soaking in the lively atmosphere of this bustling market.

Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton

Pay homage to South Africa’s beloved leader at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. Admire the towering bronze statue of Madiba as you wander through this vibrant plaza, lined with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Apartheid Museum

Delve into South Africa’s complex past at the Apartheid Museum. Through immersive exhibits and multimedia displays, gain insight into the country’s journey from apartheid to democracy.

Maboneng Precinct

Experience Johannesburg’s creative spirit in the vibrant Maboneng Precinct. Maboneng is a seSotho word meaning “place of light”, a fitting name for a district that has fast become a centre of creative energy for Johannesburg’s urban artists. Explore eclectic art galleries, trendy boutiques, and hip cafes, immersing yourself in the city’s contemporary art scene.

Johannesburg – Curiocity Walking Tour. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Savour Local Cuisine

Indulge in the flavours of South Africa with a culinary journey through Johannesburg. From traditional braais (barbecues) to fusion cuisine, tantalize your taste buds with a diverse array of dishes reflecting the city’s multicultural heritage. A visit to Marble Restaurant is a must for a delicious dinner with a scenic sunset. Situated in Keyes Art Mile, the growing art and food hub of Rosebank, Marble Restaurant will boast a grand wood-fired grill imported from Grill Works situated in Michigan as the focal point of the restaurant. The concept combines the open-fire trend seen internationally with an added dose of good South African flair.

Getting Around Johannesburg

Getting around to visit the sights in Johannesburg is easy. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Navigating Johannesburg is made easy with the efficient Gautrain system, connecting key destinations including the airport, Sandton, and Pretoria. Additionally, Uber provides a reliable and safe option for getting around the city, offering convenience and affordability for travellers.

Where to Stay

Johannesburg – Fairlawns Hotel & Spa. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

There are plenty of accommodation options in Johannesburg from backpackers all the way up to luxurious private residences. Sandton and Rosebank are popular areas for tourists and give easy access to shopping and dining precincts.

For a central stay, consider voco Johannesburg Rosebank, ideally situated in the vibrant Rosebank precinct, offering stylish accommodations and exceptional service. Alternatively, immerse yourself in tranquillity at Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa in Sandton, where indulgent spa treatments await amidst lush gardens and elegant surroundings.

Top Tips for Visiting Johannesburg

Johannesburg – Curiocity Walking Tour. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Safety First: While Johannesburg offers a wealth of experiences, it’s essential to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, particularly in certain areas. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, and avoid displaying valuable belongings openly.

Dress Appropriately: Johannesburg’s weather can vary, so be sure to pack layers for cooler evenings and sun protection for sunny days.

Explore with Purpose: Take the time to engage with locals and learn about their stories and experiences. Johannesburg’s people are its beating heart, and their insights can offer invaluable perspectives on the city’s past, present, and future.

In conclusion, Johannesburg is not merely a stopover but a destination brimming with culture, history, and endless exploration. So, extend your stay, delve deeper, and uncover the myriad wonders that await in this dynamic cityscape.

For more on Johannesburg, visit or South Africa Tourism at

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