Johannesburg, City of Gold

Johannesburg, City of Gold

The city of gold, Johannesburg, known as the financial and industrial hub of South Africa is soon emerging as an important tourist destination. The city has a rich culture and history that is waiting to be explored. Art galleries galore and the latest Maboneng Precinct with its diverse saga of restaurants, studies, exhibition centers are drawing tourists from all over the world in recent years. Well connected with the rest of the world, tourists can explore not just art and architecture but also exotic wildlife, beautiful landscaped gardens and gel with the extremely friendly locals. Come, delve into the major tourist attractions of the city and enjoy the Johannesburg renaissance.

The Apartheid Museum

One of the must-see places in Johannesburg that beautifully highlights the sage of South Africa's era of segregation and oppression. Opened in 2001, it speaks the Apartheid story very succinctly using different media. Visitors are taken through the chilling insights of the apartheid system along with the stories of valour in its struggle for democracy. The depiction of discrimination is exhibited even at the ticket window where visitors are assigned random races and made to go through separate gates for whites and blacks. A room in the museum displays the 131 nooses representative of the 131 government opponents who lost their lives for fighting for democracy. The Apartheid Museum is located some 8 km from the main city.  

Constitution Hill

The Constitution Hill stands for the freedom struggle that the countrymen went through to get their independence. This place is a major attraction among the tourists and it houses the Constitution court, Women's Prison, Old Fort, and Number Four Jail. The Constitution Fort had served as a prison to the great political activists like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The present-day architecture has preserved some of the old prison walls and tourists can watch the court proceedings. The Old Fort once housed the white prisoners and the appalling Number Four Jail was reserved for non-white males.  There are regular tours to the Constitutional Hills and visitors are exposed to the atrocities faced by the prisoners back then. Regular concerts and cultural shows are also held at Constitution Hill.

Gold Reef City

Located a few kilometers away from the main city, the Gold Reef city was built on an ancient gold mine and it is a traveller's delight offering numerous modern theme park rides, golden exhibits, shops, hotels and the city's first stock exchange. It is a paradise for gold lovers and draws a huge number of tourists. One can even take a tour to the abandoned gold shaft to understand the craft of gold mining.

Soweto and the Mandela Museum

The South Western Township that is called Soweto, in short, is a suburb in South Africa was the birthplace to the freedom struggle in Africa.  It was the home of the black labourers who were not allowed to mingle with the urban crowd of Johannesburg in the past. Soweto is also famous in history for the Mandela House where the great political activist lived before he was imprisoned. This house is converted as the Mandela Museum and the four rooms of the house would attract your attention with its display of photographs, paintings and other memorabilia of the Mandela family.  The Museum also houses the numerous awards and recognition conferred to Nelson Mandela.

Lion Park

Johannesburg is also home to the two kilometer long wildlife sanctuary, the Lion Park, and it is a haven for animal lovers. African wildlife is world famous and the lion park provides an exotic experience to visitors with its offering of rare animals like African white lion, elephants, hyena, and reptiles. Lion and cheetah tours are the most popular ones in the lion park and it is usually packed with tourists throughout the year. 

 South African National Museum of Military History

The South African National Museum is like a chronicle that has detailed records of the South African military history. Tourists can learn about the military conflicts that existed in the past and the challenges faced by the Army. Chief among the exhibits are the World War II weapons, fighter planes, medals and uniforms preserved there. An interesting segment highlights the traditional medicines used at the time of Anglo-Zulu war as well as modern treatments used in wars.

Market Theatre

The Market Theatre is a great place to experience the feel of the city and its culture. It is housed in the converted Market Building and is a major attraction among the tourists. The theatre has four live theatres which showcase the finest productions of the land. Unlike regular museums and buildings, the Market Theatre was a wonderful vibe in it and includes bookstores, art galleries, and restaurants. Tourists flock here to witness the skits and admire the acting skills of local participants.

The Maboneng Precinct

The Maboneng Precinct that loosely translates as  “place of light” is a perfect example of the amalgamation of ancient and modern. Filled with energy and positivity, this place draws visitors in hoards who love to soak in the culture of the place. The Precinct houses a variety of restaurants, bars, cafes and art galleries apart from residential buildings. The chief highlights include Market on Main which is a high-end restaurant that serves the best local cuisines of the place.

Cradle of Humankind

Another must-see in the outskirts of Johannesburg is the The Cradle of Humankind,  one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa. This is renowned as the place where humankind originated.The area has 13 evacuation sites that comes under national heritage sites. The sites are an hours drive from Johannesburg. 

Some of the other popular tourist places in Johannesburg include the Holy hill with its picturesque view. The SAB World of Beer is another popular destination for beer lovers. If you are a romantic at heart, the Zoo Lake is sure to appeal to your senses. This place is ideal for a stroll or a boat ride with your loved ones.

Nightlife & Shopping

Johannesburg offers an exciting nightlife in the form of food, fun, and adventure. Bars and dance clubs galore and if you love to party deep into the night, you will be spoilt for choices; Night Shift and Carfax being the most popular. The food scene is amazing there and Mandela Square has a line of lively restaurants and bars. Additionally, there are plenty of theatres and live music too happening every evening. 

Johannesburg is a trending city for tourism and soon becoming a shopper's paradise. Be it posh designer boutiques with all international brands to local crafts, they have it all. Malls are abundant in every corner of the city and the more interesting weekend markets lure tourists who love to check out the stalls bursting with local brands and cuisines. Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square is a shopping hotspot of Johannesburg where various up market malls are located. Other popular malls are located in Rosebank, Neighbor Goods Market, and Fourways, where apart from shopping for everything under the sky, there are lively eateries and open spaces for people to spend quality time.

So, if you like your holiday to be a combination of history, culture, wildlife and adventure, Johannesburg is the perfect destination for you.