Johannesburg Vacations

Joburg, as it's known, is both the wealthiest city in Africa and one with stark poverty and crime. To travel here is to step into a culture inextricably linked with its apartheid past. But the Joburg of today is a city overflowing with art, fashion, and sporting events. There are things to do for every type of traveler. Head to the township of ... Read more
Soweto and book one of the dozens of cultural heritage tours -- by bicycle, van or on foot -- to learn about the history of apartheid, while the Apartheid Museum offers a detailed view into South Africa's troubled past. Out in the swish suburbs, visitors will be greeted with attractions such as zoos, hot air balloon rides, and shopping. There are several nature preserves within Joburg's city limits (and many larger ones nearby), so enjoy a day safari and see rhinos, lions, or antelope. Because of its relatively low costs compared to Europe, Joburg is popular with backpackers. Hotels can be a good value and a plethora of cheap hostels offer something for every price range.

Johannesburg places to stay and top hotels

Johannesburg things to do and experiences

  • Gold Reef City
    Sights and Museums, Entertainment, Landmark, Theme Park
    Popular withAdventureFamilies
  • Apartheid Museum
    Sights and Museums, History Museum
    Popular withHistoryFamilies
  • Johannesburg Zoo
    Sights and Museums, Zoo or Aquarium
    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorsy
  • Soweto
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site
    Popular withHistoryFamilies




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Johannesburg reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Adventure Travelers
  • 8.7
    Business Travelers
  • 8.4
    History Buffs
  • 7.7
    Nightlife Lovers
  • 7.7
    Art & Design Lovers

Member Reviews(87)

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Pro 2018
Bangkok, Thailand

over night stay saw very little but its big very big and sprawling in all directions .. good luck to all that follow and venture further

Recommended for:Budget TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers
San Francisco, California, USA

Johannesburg doesn't have a ton to see, but it is a great jumping off point. Lion Park (where you can pet baby lions and cheetahs) and you can also see Nelson Mandela's last house in Johannesburg.

Recommended for:Business Travelers
Pro 2018
Brooklyn, État de New York, États Unis

Sprawling Johannesburg feels a bit like Los Angeles with barbed wire and armed guards to replace the aspiring actors. The racial segregation and crime problems in this city are palpable and uncomfortable but this city has important lessons to teach regarding racism, gun control, and urbanization. The Apartheid Museum and Braamfontein were highlights -- we loved the Saturday Neighborgoods market. There are also some very luxurious spaces on the other side of the high walls and razor wire.

Unfortunately, there were riots in Soweto during our visit so we weren't able to see it. Security is a major concern here and a guide is highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit the city center. We were told that we would be immediately targeted if we walked in downtown Johannesburg. However, we visited many of the neighborhoods with high crime rates without incident in a car using a local guide.

This city has incredible potential and the areas that have successfully integrated are vibrant and interesting. Unfortunately, the risk / reward of a visit keeps it off of my recommended list though non-whites can probably travel more freely.

Recommended for:History BuffsAdventure Travelers
Sydney, Australia

Understand this, first off: if you know someone in Jo'burg who can show you around, take you to the cool spots and restaurants and parties, you'll have a great time. If, on the other hand, you come on your own, you'll likely find this denucleated, sprawling city with its crime-ridden center and aggressive car culture rather unpleasant. Being lucky, I knew someone here, and found a city with a super-hip music and arts scene, great (and great-value) restaurants, and some of the best parties in the southern hemisphere. Consider staying in Pretoria if you're arriving without a local contact. Otherwise, dive in and have fun in neighborhoods like Rosebank, Greenside, Sandton, and Oaklands. =)


As dangerous as the inner city, it is astoundingly breathtaking with views of a plethora of buildings in and around the inner city. the landscape is spectacular to watch over a great sunset and hopefully while at the 12 decades hotel rooftop at the maboneng precinct. This place is so rich with culture and history at every turn.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness TravelersFoodiesWellnessBackpackersHistory BuffsNightlife LoversTrendstersArt & Design Lovers
Los Angeles, California

The LA of SA. Spread out, car mandatory and very diverse. Knowing locals will help immensely as it's not the most tourist accessible city

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBusiness TravelersHistory Buffs
Basingstoke, UK

I went on a great tour with Very interesting and great for getting a feel for the places and the people. I dont normally do tours, but I would completely recommend this one!

London, United Kingdom

Jo'berg, as the locals call it. If the awe inspiring thunderstorms don't astound you, or the beautiful purple leaved Jacaranda trees that adorn the streets, then surely the people will. Whether it is the bustling center alive with the kind of activity only found on the African continent. Or the placid suburbs with their wide parks and quality restaurants. It is a city alive with activity and a people who make you understand why. Check out Baseline an amazing Dancehall venue in the center and the bars of Melville's 6th avenue.

Pro 2018
Los Angeles, California, USA

A diverse city, difficult to classify, Johannesburg fascinates me. Wealthy suburbs intermingled with the squalor of townships and the on-going revitalization of the central city offer a diversity worth exploring.

Yorba Linda, California

Jo'berg is not for the faint hearted. Locals will tell you that this is a dangerous place to be and to not wander aimlessly, especially not downtown. Crime rate is high and enforcement is not reliable. The good thing about Jo'berg is the weather. It's cool and if you're in the nice parts of town like Sandton, you'll be shielded from the dangerous parts of the city. Other fun stuff to do would be to drive through the animal parks and have lions and leopards walk alongside your car.