From visiting the poignant Apartheid Museum to experiencing the vibrant Maboneng Precinct – a mecca for the arts – Johannesburg is filled with rich history and flourishing activity that will leave you spellbound.
1. The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum is a must-see for all visitors to South Africa. You will be transported into a journey of the past through emotional exhibits on South Africa’s daunting history. Decades of oppression all the way to democracy is chronicled through photos, personal accounts and footage. The museum even segregates visitors going in, giving you an immediate feeling of what it was like to be a person of colour during Apartheid.
2. The Maboneng Precinct
The newly revamped precinct in the heart of Johannesburg sees old and new come alive. Maboneng means place of light and it’s filled with galleries, restaurants, shops, hotels and entertainment. There is a weekly event, Market on Main, which attracts a youthful crowd on weekends. Sit back, relax and enjoy a locally-made beverage while overlooking the incredible city landscapes.
3. The Cradle of Humankind
Just an hour outside of Joburg, The Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the world’s most productive and important paleo-anthropological areas. Excavations here have unearthed the humanoid creature known as Australopithecus africanus (Mrs. Ples) estimated to be two million years old. Another major attraction is the Sterkfontein Caves. Guided tours are available for both the caves and the Cradle.
4. Voortrekker Monument
It might not be in Johannesburg, but the Voortrekker Monument is a must-see and is just a 45-minute drive from the city. The majestic monument is in Pretoria and commemorates the pioneer history of Southern Africa. It has a Hall of Heroes and it is the world’s longest historical marble frieze. It is also the most visited heritage site in the Gauteng region and the only Grade 1 national heritage site in Pretoria.
5. Johannesburg City Tours
If you have limited time in Johannesburg and want to wrap up the best of what the city has to offer, then book yourself a red bus tour. The hop-on hop-off tour bus gives visitors the chance to experience the main sites the city has to offer. The cost doesn’t include entrance into individual attractions, but you’ll still get to experience the sights and sounds of Joburg’s city.