Johannesburg Sights

Johannesburg epitomizes South Africa's paradoxical makeup—it's rich, poor, innovative, and historic all rolled into one. And it seems at times as though no one actually comes from Johannesburg. The city is full of immigrants: Italians, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindus, Swazis, English, Zimbabweans, Nigerians, Zulus, Xhosas. The streets are full of merchants. Traders hawk skop (boiled

sheep's head, split open and eaten off newspaper) in front of polished glass buildings as taxis jockey for position in rush hour. Sangomas (traditional healers) lay out herbs and roots next to roadside barbers' tents, and you never seem to be far from women selling vetkoek (dollops of deep-fried dough) beneath billboards advertising investment banks or cell phones.

The Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area is massive—more than 1,600 square km (618 square miles)—incorporating the large municipalities of Randburg and Sandton to the north. Most of the sights are just north of the city center, which degenerated badly in the 1990s but is now being revamped.

To the south, in Ormonde, are the Apartheid Museum and Gold Reef City; the sprawling township of Soweto is just a little farther to the southwest. Johannesburg's northern suburbs are its most affluent. On the way to the shopping meccas of Rosebank and Sandton, you can find the superb Johannesburg Zoo and the South African Museum of Military History, in the leafy suburb of Saxonwold.

Read More

Browse Sights

View All 15

(15 out of 15 results)

Fodor's Choice

Area

View All 51

Pretoria 15

City Center 9

Soweto and the South 8

Cradle of Humankind 6

The Magaliesberg 5

Parktown, Parkview, Saxonwold, and Westcliff 2

Greenside and Emmarentia 2

Roodepoort 2

Madikwe Game Reserve 1

Pilanesberg Game Reserve 1

Show More +
Category

View All 51

Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 2

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Cave 2

Dam 1

Garden/ Arboretum 3

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 2

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 1

Information Center 1

Local Interest–Sight 1

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 2

Mine 2

Museum Village 2

Museum/ Gallery 16

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 8

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Observatory/ Planetarium 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

Park/ Playground 1

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 3

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 5

Show More +
Best For

View All 16

Family 12

Advertisement

Johannesburg Sights

Showing 15 out of 15 Results

Filter Results
Clear All Filters

Sort By:

  • Alphabetical
  • Fodor's Choice

Church Square

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Anton van Wouw's statue of President Paul Kruger, surrounded by sentries, dominates this pleasant square, which is flanked by some of...

City Hall

  • Government Building

This imposing structure has an Italianate style that borrows freely from classical architecture. A tympanum on the front, by Coert Steynberg...

Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History

  • Museum/Gallery

This museum offers an insightful look at the country's indigenous cultures. You can marvel at San rock art, African headdresses, clay...

Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

  • Museum/Gallery

This massive natural-history museum has an extensive collection of land and marine animals from around the world, with an emphasis on...

Freedom Park

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

Opened in 2013, the 129-acre Freedom Park is dedicated to the struggle for freedom and humanity, as well as other aspects of South African...

Kruger Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

This was once the residence of Paul Kruger, president of the South African republic between 1883 and 1902 and one of the most revered...

Lillian Ngoyi Square

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

This square, once called the J. G. Strijdom Square, was in apartheid times dominated by a huge bust of former pro-apartheid prime minister...

Melrose House

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Built in 1886, this opulent structure is one of South Africa's most beautiful and best-preserved Victorian homes, furnished in period...

National Zoological Gardens

  • Zoo/Aquarium

The city's zoo, covering nearly 200 acres, is considered one of the world's best, with about 9,000 animals from almost every continent...

Pretoria National Botanical Garden

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

Natural grassland and lawns fringed by indigenous flowers provide a welcome contrast to city life in Pretoria. Within the main garden...

Advertisement