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Here's What You Can Do in Johannesburg in One Day

Johannesburg in One Day Johannesburg Panorama

Johannesburg is a fast-paced city. It’s the largest city in South Africa and considered one of the largest metropolises in the world. When you arrive in Johannesburg, you will notice that it’s a very modern city. The city is a center for the gold and diamond trade, which dates back to the city’s origins. It has since developed into a vibrant city with lots to explore. Around the entire city is modern architecture with high-rise buildings. Johannesburg is known as a cultural hub of South Africa. You can discover everything from museums to sporting activities to even amusement parks. With only 24 hours, you can expect to be in constant motion to experience as much as you can about the city and explore Johannesburg in one day.

Site Seeing

Johannesburg has a large population so the streets and destinations around the city could get crowded very quickly. Starting the day off with site seeing will give the best opportunity to get to as many landmarks as possible, avoiding any tourism rush. Getting around Johannesburg is very easy thanks to the abundance of transportation available, from public trains to taxis.

You may want to begin site-seeing at a place known as Mary Fitzgerald Square. This square is located in the business center of Johannesburg. It is surrounded by many other landmarks so you have easy access to them. At certain times of the year, this square is where you can see live entertainment, including a popular annual music festival.

Located next to this square is the Museum Africa, or MuseuMAfricA. This museum does a great job at showcasing the African culture, with objects collected from all around the continent. Another place to see great artwork is the Johannesburg Art Gallery. This is actually the largest art gallery in South Africa. It hosts exhibitions ranging from European artwork to South African artwork dating back as early as the 15th Century.

The city of Johannesburg includes the former township of Soweto. The city has historically been affected by apartheid, which was a separation of classes. Soweto is where many of the lower class citizens resided. This area has a lot of history and can be accessed on a short train ride from the city. This is where you will discover the former home of Nelson Mandela, which has since been converted into the Mandela Museum.

Lunch in Johannesburg

After a full morning of venturing around the city, you’ll surely be craving something to satisfy your hunger. South Africa has a very rich cuisine and Johannesburg is the perfect place to experience the best of it. Johannesburg has a variety of lunchtime dining options. You can easily find small local shops, markets, or even food stands around the entire city. For something familiar, Johannesburg also has many of the popular international food chains.

Johannesburg in One Day Boerewors Sausage

South African culture has a large focus on meat dishes as their traditional meals. The most common dish found in Johannesburg is the Boerewors Roll. This meal is comparable to a South African style hot dog. This can be found at nearly every restaurant and even along the street. Other popular dishes that you should try are mogodu and shisa nyama. You can finish these meals off with either puthu cakes or tripe, both local favorite treats.

Things to do in Johannesburg

The best thing to do after dining like a South African is to get active as the meals can be quite filling. Aside from sight-seeing, Johannesburg has a lot to offer to get you moving.

Johannesburg in One Day Johannesburg Wildlife

South Africa is known for its exciting wildlife and Johannesburg has several places where you can see the diverse range of animals and plant life. The Johannesburg Zoo is the largest in South Africa and holds a wide variety of animals. For those seeking a more natural experience. Johannesburg also has many nature reserves which keep the animals in their natural habitat. On these reserves you can discover anything from lions, cheetahs, tigers, and even endangered species.

Johannesburg in One Day Football Stadium Crowd

Sports are very popular in Johannesburg. The most popular sports are football and cricket, both of which have professional teams and stadiums in the city. If you come at the right time, you just may get the chance to check out a game. Johannesburg was the host of recent FIFA World Cup and Cricket World Cup matches. These stadiums are still in use by their respective professional teams.

For those looking for a different kind of fun and excitement, Johannesburg also has a unique amusement park. This park was actually built on a former gold mine so the whole park is themed as such. The park has all the usual attractions including roller coasters, water rides, and a Ferris wheel. If you’re feeling lucky, you could even try your hand at the casino. Another option is to keep your eyes peeled for gold while taking part of their underground mine tour.

Johannesburg in One Day Nelson Mandela Square Shopping

This will be the perfect opportunity to begin looking for some souvenirs to take back after exploring Johannesburg. The city offers lots of shopping options, both for local good or recognizable brands. There are lots of markets located all around the city. These markets are great for finding unique art, handicrafts, and even herbs and spices. Johannesburg also has many modern shopping malls. While shopping, you’ll surely want to make your way to the Carlton Centre. This skyscraper is the tallest building in all of Africa. This building includes its own shopping center. The top floor is also open to visitors to experience its observation deck, presenting you with panoramic views around Johannesburg.

Fine Dining in Johannesburg

Now that you’ve had a full day of exploring Johannesburg, it’s time to really treat yourself. Lunch was a great time to explore one side of the South African cuisine. Dinner can be taken up a notch by trying out some of the more upscale dining options that Johannesburg has to offer. Johannesburg has a range of upscale restaurants, each with their own unique atmosphere.

Johannesburg in One Day South African Pork Meal

Depending on your mood, you can choose to go with anything from an outdoor restaurant with incredible views or a more intimate setting while dining with live music. You can be sure that the food is just as good as the restaurant experience. Johannesburg has amazing restaurants for both their traditional dishes, international food, or a nice mix of both.

Johannesburg Nightlife

For some, dinner may mean the end of the night. For others, it could mean that their night is just getting started. Johannesburg has some of the most dynamic nightlife scenes in all of South Africa. There is essentially something to do for anyone looking to have a great time.

Johannesburg has many venues for those interested in the party scene. There are countless dance clubs, bars, and local pubs around the entire city. Some of the most common areas to find people hanging out at Melville, Rosebank, or Newtown.

Johannesburg is also well known for its performing arts scene. It attracts many international acts across a broad range of industries. The Market Theatre holds many shows in either of its three inclusive theatres. Civic Theatre is complex that hosts many ballet and opera shows. Johannesburg is often a destination for many music festivals and other international events.

If you get the opportunity to visit, Johannesburg is definitely an amazing place to explore. It’s a city that can easily keep you both busy and entertained throughout the entire day. From site-seeing to experiencing the local culture to enjoying a night out in the city, Johannesburg has it all. It’s very diverse so there is something to do for everyone. Twenty-four hours in the city is enough to give you a broad taste of what the city has to offer. Surely after those 24 hours are up, you’ll quickly be planning your follow up trip to explore more of Johannesburg.