27 March 2018 | Carla de Klerk
Johannesburg has a reputation for its hustle and bustle, fast pace and vibrant business and commercial scene. We’d like to show you the fun side of this beautiful city.
First things first: hop on a City Sightseeing red bus, the best way to explore Johannesburg. Read on for our top 10 fun activities in the City of Gold
1. Shop until you drop at The Zone @ Rosebank
Adjacent to the upmarket Rosebank Mall and The Firs shopping and dining hub, The Zone @ Rosebank houses at STOP 1 City Sightseeing’s ticket office and is the perfect place to start your sightseeing adventure. Rosebank is the first stop on our open-top Green Tour, and also our recommended stop to hop on the red bus.
How to get there: Located next to the Rosebank Gautrain stop, The Zone @ Rosebank is easily accessible from all directions. If you’re based in Sandton or Melrose, we also offer City Sightseeing ticket holders a shuttle service from departure points at certain hotels to Rosebank to hop on the red bus.
2. Enjoy a picnic and feed the ducks at Zoo Lake
Zoo Lake is one of Joburg’s best picnic spots and a must-do for the whole family. Go for a stroll around the lake, have a picnic, feed the ducks, or go for a ride on one of the brightly coloured paddle boats available for hire.
3. Greet the king of the jungle at the Johannesburg Zoo
Why travel to a safari park when you can see the Big Five in one convenient location in the city? At the Johannesburg Zoo, you’ll also get to meet fascinating animals from further afield, such as spider monkeys, armadillos and pumas from the Amazon, to name a few.
4. Step back into South Africa’s past – and future – at Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill, a once notorious prison under the Apartheid regime, is now the location of the South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
With the prison complex still intact, you will be able to learn more about the lives of political prisoners and South Africa’s turbulent history in a visual and engaging way. You will be able to enter the Constitutional Court (if there aren’t any formal proceedings underway), soak up the atmosphere and marvel at the impressive artworks and artefacts contributed by famous artists and activists.
5. Enjoy the view from the top of the Carlton Centre
You won’t get a better view of the City of Gold than from the top of the 50-storey Carlton Centre. The building is still the tallest in Africa and offers fantastic views of the FNB Stadium (Africa’s largest), Gandhi Square, the skylines of Braamfontein, Hillbrow and Sandton, and much more as far as the eye can see!
How to get there: Carlton Centre is stop 11 on our City Tour. A City Sightseeing guide will escort you into the building and all the way to the top and point out notable sights from the viewing deck.
6. See the evolution of travel at the James Hall Museum of Transport
There are few kids (and adults) who won’t be mesmerised at the James Hall Museum of Transport. Among the exhibits at South Africa’s largest land transport museum are animal-drawn vehicles, bicycles, penny-farthings, motorcycles, fire engines, cars, steam-driven vehicles and trams and trolley buses from 1786 to 1980.
How to get there: James Hall Transport Museum is stop 12 on our City Tour. Entrance is free, but please make a donation to help maintain the museum’s upkeep as it operates as a non-profit organisation.
7. Take a wild ride at Gold Reef City
Roller coasters! Restaurants! Underground adventures! Enjoy these and more at Gold Reef City. If you don’t have a full day to try out the myriad rides at the theme park, we definitely recommend the fascinating underground mine tour.
How to get there: Gold Reef City Casino Hotel houses a City Sightseeing ticket office and is stop 13 on our City Tour. The Soweto add-on tour also starts at this stop.
8. Toast your adventure with a world-class tipple at SAB World of Beer
The SAB World of Beer offers a new way to experience beer. Go on a tour that explores the beverage’s humble roots and its South African story. Watch how beer is brewed and end the outing with a tasting.
If you’re travelling with kids, also visit the nearby Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, a world-class interactive science museum.
9. Meet your ancestors at the Origins Centre at Wits
Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand’s archaeology department is the only museum in the world dedicated to the modern history of humankind. Here you will learn about the culture, language and ceremonies of South Africa’s first inhabitants, the San people, and see an astonishing collection of fossils, Stone Age tools and rock art.
How to get there: The Origins Centre is at stop 16 on our City Tour.
10. Explore Braamfontein, Joburg’s trendiest neighbourhood
The Grove in Braamfontein is the coolest place to hang out when visiting Jozi. Home to some of the trendiest coffee shops and clothing stores, this place has a buzz that captures the soul of Jozi. En route, you’ll see the striking Nelson Mandela Bridge, the neighbourhood’s most famous landmark. The Neighbourgoods Market on Saturdays is also a must-visit for foodies and fashionistas.
How to get there: The Grove in Braamfontein is stop 17 and the final stop on the City Tour. From here, the bus will return to stop 5 at Constitution Hill, from where you can return to Rosebank on the Green Tour.
Hopping on the red bus is the best way to see Johannesburg. Hop on and off the open-top bus and explore Johannesburg's top sights and attractions with us.
We also offer City Sightseeing ticket holders in Johannesburg a free shuttle service from departure points at certain hotels in Sandton and Melrose to our ticket office in Rosebank, making the red bus even more accessible than before for tourists, business travellers and locals alike. Plan your trip here with our detailed timetable.