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Johannesburg Travel Guide

Urban renewal is underway in the nation's capital; this is a city that is growing to embody the spirit of modern South Africa. 

Johannesburg is a place set to surprise even the most experienced travellers. Despite a troubled past, the city has some excellent cultural attractions, amazing sites and a diverse population. Although you will still need to be careful when visiting, there are many places where it is quite safe.

To get straight into the action, visit the slowly rejuvenating central business district. Certain parts should still be avoided, but others offer a good glimpse of life in the metropolis. For great views of the city, check out the Carlton Centre’s Top of Africa viewing area. 

Take a guided tour of Soweto to see how many poorer locals live. It’s a series of townships comprised of cheap or make-shift housing and infrastructure. The area might be shocking for some, but most visitors are pleasantly surprised by the lively atmosphere and fascinating culture. It can be rough in places, so don't venture there on your own. Experience Vilakazi Street's unique atmosphere or visit the house where Nelson Mandela once lived. See other important sites such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Regina Mundi Church. 

For a look at some of the older districts in the city, check out Parktown and Newtown. You’ll find historic buildings, a diverse crowd and sidewalks lined with cafés, restaurants and shops. Make your way out to the northern suburbs to see where many of the city’s wealthier residents live. There are upmarket boutiques, bars and restaurants. 

History buffs will definitely want to visit a selection of Johannesburg’s museums. Explore the Apartheid Museum and learn about South Africa’s turbulent history. Take a tour of Constitution Hill to see more evidence of the capital's troubled history at the prison museums. Those with more of an eye for art should visit the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) for a great selection of local and international art. 

To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, stroll through the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. If you would like to go a bit further, go for a hike in the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve or organise a trip to Lion Park to see Africa’s most famous wild animal. 

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.


Guide to Exploring Johannesburg


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City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport CA $147
Reviewed on Aug. 13, 2019
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City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport

City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport

Above Multi-Storey Parkade 2, Level 5, OR Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, Gauteng
     
    4.2 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    As a transit hotel for connecting to an overnight flight, City Lodge is a wonderful place to stay in. The only slight issue we have is not with the hotel but with the airport and more precisely, with the signage that leads to the hotel from the terminals.

    Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport CA $124
    Reviewed on Aug. 7, 2019
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    Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport

    Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport

    Jones Road, Kempton Park, Gauteng
       
      4.0 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Convenience as well as the staff being super friendly

      Protea Hotel by Marriott O.R. Tambo Airport CA $92
      Reviewed on Aug. 9, 2019
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      Protea Hotel by Marriott O.R. Tambo Airport

      Protea Hotel by Marriott O.R. Tambo Airport

      Corner of York and Gladiator Streets, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park, Gauteng
         
        4.1 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Quick shuttle to airport is a big plus. Nice room, good bathroom

        The Aviator Hotel OR Tambo International Airport CA $77
        Reviewed on Jul. 23, 2019
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        The Aviator Hotel OR Tambo International Airport

        The Aviator Hotel OR Tambo International Airport

        Corner of Bosch Street and Kempton Road, Kempton Park, Gauteng
           
          3.9 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Everyone was super nice and accommodating here! I arrived on an early flight and was able to check in when I arrived (at 10:30) despite check in starting at 14:00 and without giving them notice earlier which I greatly appreciated. I didn’t get a chance to try the restaurant downstairs but it looked ...

          Premier Hotel OR Tambo CA $91
          Reviewed on Aug. 14, 2019
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          Premier Hotel OR Tambo

          Premier Hotel OR Tambo

          73 Gladiator Street, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park, Gauteng
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great value for money, clean room with good bathroom facilities. Staff were lovely

            The Maslow Hotel, Sandton CA $133
            Reviewed on Jun. 17, 2019
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            The Maslow Hotel, Sandton

            The Maslow Hotel, Sandton

            Corner Grayston Drive and Rivonia Road, Sandton, Gauteng
               
              4.4 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Loved everything about this hotel except the wifi in my room. It was a weak signal and kept dropping out.

              InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport CA $320
              Reviewed on Jul. 19, 2019
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              InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport

              InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport

              Opposite Int'l Arrivals Hall, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, Gauteng
                 
                4.7 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Returned to the hotel for a night before joining a golf tour. I had left my golf clubs there, and they were all very safely stored for me. The room I was checked into smelt of cigarette smoke, but while I was down at lunch the housekeeping staff put the machine in and when I returned to my room in ...

                Garden Court Sandton City CA $106
                Reviewed on Aug. 9, 2019
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                Garden Court Sandton City

                Garden Court Sandton City

                Cnr West and Maude Street, Sandton, Gauteng
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Closely situated next a big shopping mall and also quite

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