A city of dreams for many, Johannesburg was born from the Gold Rush in the late 1800s. Today, the ‘City of Gold’ is a bustling metropolis that stretches for kilometres beyond Midrand to Pretoria. More than just a stopover en route to visit South Africa’s many charms, there’s plenty of history, culture and entertainment on offer throughout the city, found in numerous suburbs, each with their own personality.
Affluent neighbourhood Sandton, with its ever-changing skyline and plethora of shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and businesses, is one of Johannesburg’s most popular attractions. Other things to do include city tours. Learn about the country’s political history in Braamfontein as you explore Constitution Hill, party until the small hours in the district of Maboneng or take in the view of this lush urban forest from the Four Seasons the Westcliff.
Why tour Johannesburg
- To explore Soweto, once home to Nelson Mandela and other famous political leaders.
- To discover the recently revived, pulsating inner city.
- To learn about the history of the Gold Rush.
- To see a living urban forest, one of the largest in the world.
- To visit the exceptional World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind.
Johannesburg is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and traditions, a cosmopolitan city with a distinct personality waiting to be uncovered in its fascinating suburbs, entertainment destinations and restaurants. Experience this multi-faceted city and enjoy its uniqueness with a Johannesburg holiday package from Thompsons Holidays.
Explore other exciting city holidays that Thompsons Holidays has to offer such as Cape Town holiday packages, Durban holiday packages and Port Elizabeth holiday packages.
A trip to Johannesburg isn’t complete unless you’ve partied till dawn in an inner-city nightclub, dined on local fare in Soweto, and seen the city from up high, a view that stretches all the way to Pretoria and takes in a lush urban forest that is one of the largest in the world. Johannesburg is a vast city, with a wide variety of things to do, so take advantage of the time you spend here to explore, mix with different cultures, find out about its fascinating history and enjoy its many delights.
Sightseeing attractions in Johannesburg
- Visit Constitutional Hill to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for treason.
- Spend time at Gold Reef City and find out about the Gold Rush.
- Discover Maboneng Precinct, an example of urban regeneration.
- Shop till you drop in massive malls like the Mall of Africa and Sandton City.
- Explore Soweto and visit the Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Soccer City.
- Explore eclectic shops in Parkhurst, Melville and Linden.
- Visit the legendary Apartheid Museum and take an interactive voyage into South Africa’s tumultuous history.
- Explore Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves in The Cradle of Humankind.
- Visit the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein on a Saturday for a delicious foodie experience.
- Shop in Rosebank’s traditional African market for excellent souvenirs.
- Enjoy fine dining in a choice of excellent restaurants around the city.
There’s plenty to keep you busy on a trip to Johannesburg. You can take a city tour in an open-air bus, embark on a day safari to a wildlife reserve just outside the city and visit numerous fascinating tourist attractions. Browse our Johannesburg holiday packages and book your trip today.
When is the best time to visit?
- Johannesburg can be visited at any time of the year.
- The city enjoys a rainy summer and cold, dry winter.
Getting there & getting around
- Johannesburg has two airports: OR Tambo International Airport, and Lanseria Airport.
- The city is serviced by the Metrorail and Gautrain, with bus services by Metrobus.
- Johannesburg’s attractions are typically widespread and far from one another; the best way to get around is by car.
- Taxis, minibus taxis and e-hail taxis are readily available in Johannesburg.
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; instead, take fabric shopping bags with you.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Don't wander out on your own.
- Always know where you are going and keep a map (or app) on hand.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.