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Johannesburg

20 expert recommended attractions

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Apartheid Museum

Johannesburg 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

You walk chronologically through the apartheid years and eventually reach the country's first steps to freedom. — Fodor's

The museum also recounts the tenacity of the men, mainly "non-Whites", who engaged in a deadly struggle in the hope of obtaining equality, justice, democracy and a better life. — Michelin Guide

Illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. — Lonely Planet

Apartheid Museum is a powerful and extensive museum documenting the rise and fall of apartheid. Constructed on a 16-acre plot of land, the museum's architecture and design are unique. — Afar Magazine

Many visitors passing through this world-class museum find themselves emotionally unsettled by its meticulous chronicling of apartheid history. — Frommer's

Constitution Hill

Johannesburg 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Billed as a living tribute to the country's enshrined freedoms and human rights. — Frommer's

The court is housed in a beautiful building atop Constitution Hill. — Afar Magazine

The site of the Old Fort, built by Paul Kruger in 1886 to resist pressure from the English, is now home to the new South African Constitutional Court — Michelin Guide

Inspiring Constitution Hill is one of the city’s most important attractions. — Lonely Planet

Constitution Hill houses the Constitutional Court, set up in 1994 with the birth of democracy, as well as the austere Old Fort Prison Complex. — Fodor's

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Origins Centre Museum

Johannesburg 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Dedicated to exploring human development... and in particular the tradition of rock art—of which southern Africa has the oldest and some of the richest in the world. — Fodor's

The museum, which opened in early 2006 with the motto "We are what we are thanks to what we were", highlights the historical depth and aesthetic complexity of the San civilisation, known as Bushmen — Michelin Guide

he most formidable collection of rock art in the world, led by the work of the San tribe. An extra-cool offering is a DNA test that traces your ancestral heritage. — Lonely Planet

Focus is... on showing that racial and cultural differences between various groups of people are largely superficial, as we are all unified by a genetic thread. — Frommer's

The Origins Centre, located in Johannesburg's historically and culturally significant University of the Witwatersrand, houses displays and artworks showcasing the origins of humans. — Afar Magazine

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Johannesburg Art Gallery

Johannesburg 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The JAG has the largest art collection in Africa and regularly rotates its incredible collection. — Lonely Planet

This major South African art gallery, in a relatively unsafe area in the city centre, deserves to have a lot more visitors — Michelin Guide

Hosts excellent local and international exhibitions in 15 halls and has collections of 17th-century Dutch art... and paintings by great South African artists. — Fodor's

Predictably, the city's first gallery was financed with the sale of a diamond. — Frommer's

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Gold Reef City

Johannesburg 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Offers a vaudevillian ride through Johannesburg’s gold-rush period. — Lonely Planet

This theme park lets you step back in time to 1880s Johannesburg and see why it became known as the City of Gold. — Fodor's

225 meters below the surface of the earth, visitors make their way through dim passageways that miners in the late 1800s had navigated in search of gold. — Afar Magazine

If you're eager to relive the great epic of the gold rush in the 1890s, check out Gold Reef City — Michelin Guide

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Everard Read Gallery

Johannesburg 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The gallery, known for contemporary South African art, is surrounded by 400 thirty-foot-tall variegated aluminum "fins" that reference a protective Zulu kraal, or livestock enclosure. — Travel + Leisure

The classics are well represented at this nearly 100 year-old gallery, frequented by wealthy art lovers and major international buyers — Michelin Guide

An essential part of the Jo’burg cultural landscape, CIRCA on Jellicoe is both an architectural landmark and a superb gallery hosting contemporary works of art. — Lonely Planet

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South African National Museum of Military History

Johannesburg 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The tall, freestanding South African (Anglo-Boer) War Memorial, which looks like a statue-adorned mini Arc de Triomphe, is the most striking landmark of the northern suburbs. — Fodor's

If you’re fascinated by guns, tanks and aircraft, you can see artefacts and implements of destruction from the 1899–1902 Anglo-Boer War through to WWII at one of Jo’burg’s most popular museums. — Lonely Planet

The South African National Museum of Military History presents the country's military history in the 20C. It recounts, among others, the enlistment of South African troops, composed of... — Michelin Guide

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Standard Bank Gallery

Johannesburg 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A wonderfully light-filled building featuring regularly changing exhibitions by important South African artists. — Lonely Planet

At the home of the Standard Bank African art collection you can admire contemporary South African artwork. — Fodor's

An exhibition space set up in the bank's basement features all the different trends in South African modern art, and famous artists such as Picasso. — Michelin Guide

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Maropeng Visitor Centre

Johannesburg 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This is one of the richest paleontology sites in the world. These sites team with scientists uncovering hominid fossils aged as old as 2 million years. — Afar Magazine

It provides information about the various fossil sites in the area. — Fodor's

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Hector Pieterson Museum

Johannesburg 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Opposite Holy Cross Church, a stone's throw from the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Vilakazi Street, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum is a crucial landmark. — Fodor's

The museum is well designed, and although it isn't huge, there's a lot of information to take in — Afar Magazine

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Liliesleaf Farm & Museum

Johannesburg 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Possibly the city's most underrated museum, Liliesleaf Farm was the secret headquarters of the ANC (African National Congress) during the 1960s and reopened as a museum in 2008. — Lonely Planet

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Cycle in Soweto

Johannesburg 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Walk up the street and you'll encounter vendors, dancers and all of the other things that cater to tourists. Soweto is a bit touristy but definitely worth a visit. — Afar Magazine

Famous the world over, Soweto (South Western Township) is remembered as one of the key places of the anti-apartheid rebellion in the 1970s-1980s — Michelin Guide

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Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg 75 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A worthwhile outing for the beautiful old trees. — Lonely Planet

The Zoo offers families a great place to have an educational day together. — Afar Magazine

Smaller than its Pretoria counterpart but no less impressive, the city's zoo makes for a pleasant day-trip, and with plenty of lawns and shade, it's a good place to picnic. — Fodor's

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Top of Africa

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The entrance is via a special lift one floor below street level. Pick a clear day to enjoy awesome city vistas. — Lonely Planet

One of the tallest buildings in Africa provides a great view of Johannesburg's unique geography.  — Atlas Obscura

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SAB World of Beer

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Take a 1½-hour tour jaunt through the history of beer at this jovial museum. — Lonely Planet

SABMiller is Africa's largest brewing company, and its unusual museum is dedicated to that great South African favorite—beer. — Fodor's

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Johannesburg Planetarium

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This planetarium, dating from 1960, has entertaining and informative programs on the African skies and presentations that range from space travel to the planets. — Fodor's

You can look around for free, or attend shows on Friday (8pm), Saturday (3pm) and Sunday (4pm). There’s an extra ‘space travel’ show on Saturday mornings at 10.30am. — Lonely Planet

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Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The large and beautiful botanical gardens here are five minutes from Greenside. — Fodor's

Emmarentia Dam, part of the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, has a vast network of both paved and unpaved paths that attract walkers, runners and cyclists. — Lonely Planet

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Orlando Towers

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Originally a coal-fired power station, the site has been transformed into an adrenalin junkie's paradise, where you can do base and bungee jumping from the top of the 33-story structure. — Fodor's

The Orlando Towers Vertical Adventure Facility, offers a wide variety of extreme activities which include bungee jumping, a power swing from the sky bridge inbetween the towers. — Afar Magazine

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Museum Africa

Johannesburg 73 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This museum is housed in the impressive old Bree St fruit market. — Lonely Planet

Founded in 1935, this was the first major museum to acknowledge black contributions to the city's development. — Fodor's

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Nelson Mandela Square

Johannesburg 71 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Built two days after Mandela’s 85th birthday in 2003, this cable-stayed bridge is the longest of its kind in Southern Africa and an icon of the rejuvenated city centre. — Lonely Planet

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