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8 Great Reasons to Visit Johannesburg

If South Africa is your next travel destination, then you must consider visiting Johannesburg. Johannesburg is a bustling city full of attractions, historical sights, and tasty food. There are lots of reasons to visit, but here’s why you should make it your next destination. From the urban attractions of historic South Africa to art, fashion and street style, music, film, food and restaurants. Johannesburg offers unlimited things to do, there is something for everyone here. See our guide and list of the top reasons to visit Johannesburg, South Africa.

We also recommend our guide to the 15 busiest airports in Africa.

Budget-friendly destination

Busiest Airports in Africa
Airplane landing at the O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa | © O.R. Tambo International Airport

Most think international travel is that it is going to cost a fortune, while flights can typically account for the biggest expense, you’ll find that Johannesburg is a very budget-friendly destination. Whether you are a budget or luxury traveller, the city offers budget accommodation and eating inexpensively options that can bring down costs significantly. And, most importantly, most attractions and some of the historic sights are free of charge. In terms of where to stay, yes, Johannesburg is home to various international and luxury hotel chains, but you can find if you are more of an Airbnb person, renting an entire apartment can cost you around $40 per night.

Johannesburg is rich in history

Nelson Mandela art at the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg. © Daryll Muller

South Africa’s biggest city is one of the historic cities in Africa, therefore it boasts lots of historical sites for you to explore. Ruled under the system of apartheid, the city still hides traces of those eras in its backstreets. You can visit Mandela’s home and get your head around history and his role in South Africa’s independence. Museums here are cheap as well as various art galleries. Museum lovers will enjoy their vacation here because there are dozens of museums to visit in Johannesburg.

There’s street art everywhere

Arts On Main, Berea St, Maboneng, Johannesburg. © Adamina/Flickr

Street art and murals in Johannesburg are a sight to behold, with new artists emerging and making contributions every day. The graffiti you’ll see here are as professional as in other parts of the world. Various local and international street artists do a gorgeous job at decorating various buildings all across the city. Arts On Main is known for being one of the Johannesburg’s prominent creative hubs. It features art galleries, artists’ studios, eateries, shops and more. And if you’d like to know more about murals in Johannesburg, check out our guide.

There’s market everywhere

Weekend Market JHB, a flea market in Johannesburg. © Weekendmarketjhb/Instagram

There is a market for everyone in the vibrant city of Johannesburg. Walk down the streets of Jozi, and you will notice small and big markets, stalls pretty much in every corner. Vegetables, fruits, souvenirs, and household stuff are all sold by farmers or weekend markets as well as second-hand dealers. The items sold in markets are relatively cheap compared to supermarkets and other shops. Always a great bargain for locals and tourists alike.

Beautiful and diverse architecture

The beautiful Circa art gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa | © Artevia/Flickr

Its rich, turbulent and history combined with its diverse colourful present day, make it possible to find architectural examples of each period of the country’s existence. Johannesburg perfectly blends those architectural styles within its city, making the city a unique place to travel and create moments through pictures. The diverse architecture in Africa’s most visited tourist city has always been a source of inspiration to creatives. Pictures of the most beautiful buildings here can hardly do justice to some of the most breathtaking structures in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Excellent and diverse eateries

how to make Mutton Bunny Chow recipe
Bunny chow, South Africa street food | © Keenanblake/Instagram

If you like to eat out, Johannesburg has everything from South African street food to elegant international restaurants. Majority of the restaurants here offer a menu with international cuisinesBut it’s more likely that you’ll want to try all the local meals. Street food is everywhere with pop-up food stalls and farmers markets serving food to locals and tourists. Therefore, make sure to try the bunny chow, vetkoek, biltong, and wash it down with some of the finest wines and beers brewed locally.

Festivals throughout the year

For those of you who love attending festivals, Johannesburg should be on your radar. Something is always happening here. From music to food to drink, there are several festivals held throughout the year. So be sure to choose which one suits you best, and take advantage of the public holidays and long weekends in March, April, May, June, August, September and December.

Indulge nature and wildlife adventure

If you like to combine your city breaks with a safari, then take a day trip Pilanesberg National Park, a nature reserve that’s home to a diverse wildlife. Here, tourists have the chance to spot the big five here – that’s lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo – as well as hippos, giraffes, hyenas and exotic birds. When the good weather arrives and the sun shines, it’s time to make the most out of the weather and get outdoors. Johannesburg and its surrounding area are full of scenic gardens and green parks to walk around. And there’s no shortage of picnic spots.


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