Are you in the city of gold and need something to get up to? Here is a list of things to do in Johannesburg. The city is the economic capital of South Africa and has it all, from a historic landmarks and museums, to a vibrant nightlife. There is some nuance to making your way around Johannesburg and you can check out or travel guide to get yourself better acquainted with the city if you haven’t been there. Nonetheless, there is plenty to keep yourself busy with and we have listed a few options below.
Our List Of Things To Do In Johannesburg
Ice skating at Northgate Ice Rink is a nice way to spend the day as a family or something to keep the kids busy for a few hours. The rink is great for experts and beginners alike, and a nice one for kids birthday parties. If you are in Johannesburg for long enough, you can enroll in the Ice Skating academy courses where they teach you to skate “the right way” over a few weeks. The age requirements are from 5 years old to adults and the classes are split into different ages and experience levels to make for a comfortable and safe experience.
Just remember to dress warmly as it will be quite chilling during the skating session. The rink is open for two sessions a day, from 10:00 to 17:00, and from 19:30 to 22:30. At the time of writing, entrance is R80 and you can hire a pair of skates for R35. If you have your own skates, you are welcome to bring them along. For more information, visit the official website of Northgate Ice Rink.
Fourways Farmers Market
At the market there are all kinds of stalls for you to buy stuff but the star of the show is mostly the food for this particular market. The Market initially only ran on Sundays but it has become quite a hit with goes and is now also open on Friday as the Farmers Pop Up Café and bar. Fourways Farmer’s Market is family friendly with a playground for the children, and pets are allowed as well.
It does get rather busy on Sundays as the day proceeds though, so if you don’t like a crowd, you can opt for the Friday or make your visit an early one on Sunday. This way you can enjoy what the place has to offer without waiting too long in lines or searching for a spot to sit. If your plan is to sit back and relax, you will want to go as a group and take turns between getting drinks and food, and holding the fort.
Apart from the items on sale, there is a stage with live music to entertain patrons. If you don’t go early, bring a blanket along for sitting and headgear to protect against the sun.
The market opens at 9:00 on Sunday and closes at 16:00.
The apartheid museum is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of South Africa. It gives visitors an insight into South Africa in the 20th century. It illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid through provocative films footage, photographs, and artefacts that relate to the events and human stories of that period. Visitors are given insight into Apartheid by being separated by racial appearance and finer physical features that were used to segregate. One of the exhibit that is currently running and is extremely popular is the recent Mandela Exhibition, which covers his life and had some of his belonging on display.
If you want to have a better understanding and experience some of what apartheid was, then the Apartheid Museum is a must-visit, whether you are a tourist or a South African.
The museum is pretty big and the exhibits in side are widely dispersed so it will take a while to make your way around. We recommend setting aside at least two hours to cover enough ground to on your visit. There is also a gift and curio shop on-site where you can buy items after your tour. The museum is open every day of the week from 9:00 to 17:00.
Further information can be found on the Apartheid Museum website.
Melville Koppies is one of Johannesburg’s heritage sites where you can enjoy natural scenery in the concrete jungle. It is a refreshing way to spends a morning or afternoon, with a hike through indigenous forest. It is comprised completely of indigenous vegetation, exemplified by highveld grasses, flowers and trees that have remained relatively untouched for centuries. The reserve is a protected area and due to its expanse you can get an idea of what Johannesburg would look like without urban development.
There are numerous lookout out points scattered throughout the reserve and you can enjoy panoramic views of Johannesburg all the way to the city centre
There are three different areas to the reserve, Melville Koppies Central, Melville Koppies East, and Melville Koppies West. For travelers and those looking for guided walk, Central is the one to go with. It is an access controlled area and for organized tours and hikes on the weekend. The other two areas are open daily and open to the public.
If you aren’t a local familiar with the area, it is recommended that you do not walk alone and take a guided hike as there are certain parts of the reserve where it might not be safe.
For more information on Melville Koppies and to see the calendar and maps for scheduled walks, visit the official website.
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market
Bryanston Organic Market is Johannesburg’s first outdoor market and has been around for more than 40 years. It is a great place to buy fresh organic produce and other homemade foods.
There is a wide selection of crafts for sale, all with the focus on local production and sustainability through natural materials and ingredients. The items you can buy include jewellery, clothing, and a wide selection of homeware, décor accessories. For the health conscious, there are health and wellness stalls with products from cosmetics to organic remedies.
The market his home to a more mature and a laid back atmosphere than the contemporaries at Fourways Farmer’s Market and Neighbourgoods, which attract a more him and lively vibe.
There are frequently events happening at the market for children and adults alike, from music festivals to workshops on crafting and other exhibitions. There is a calendar on the official website showing all upcoming events and promotions.
It is perfect for those who love the rustic and a warm ambience.
Some of the frequenters of the market have been visiting for over 30 years and it has stood the test of time. The market is open every Thursday and Saturday, as well as on public holidays from 9:00 to 15:00.
Bungee Jumping at Orlando Towers
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, Bungee Jumping at Orlando Towers is good and rather unique option experience. This experience is offered deep in the heart of Johannesburg’s biggest township and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.
Contrary to the usual natural scenery of most bungee jumping sites, at Orlando you jump from a platform between two 100m high towers. The company Soweto Towers offers blood-pumping experiences, with the main one being a bungee jump from the top of the towers. While at the top, you can enjoy unobstructed 360 degree views of the city.
Additional ways to descend the tower like abseiling and SCAD free-falling. The company that offers the event is run by Nico Myburg, who has 20 years of experience in extreme sports and has handpicked and trained jumpmasters at a world-class level.
If the main events are too extreme sports for you, there are other events for the less gutsy, such as wall climbing and paintball shooting. The place is open to visitors from Thursday to Sunday, with the opening time being 10 AM until Sunset. (Opening time on Thursday is 12PM)
For further information and to make bookings, you can visit the official website where you will find contact details.
Visit a Mall
No list of things to do in Johannesburg would be complete without a touch or retail. There are a ton of shopping centres in throughout Johannesburg and some of the top one are well worth a day long visit. At the top end of shopping malls in Johannesburg is Sandton City, which when combined with the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square, makes the larges shopping mall in the city.
There is something for the shopper of every inclination, from the food court with fast food chains to high end boutique stores and outlet for luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and D&G. Not far behind Sandton in terms of scale is Mall of Africa which is the largest single phase mall in Africa and the centre piece of the flourishing Waterfall City.
To round up the selection of shopping destinations is Rosebank. While the shopping centres of Rosebank Mall and The Zone are not as large as Sandton City and Mall of Africa, the Rosebank area makes up with variety and its proximity to the plethora of other popular spots that are in walking distance. This makes it the ideal mall to visit in the evening when you are looking to make moves afterwards.