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Johannesburg Attractions: Top 10 Things To See & Do In The City of Gold

Johannesburg, more fondly known as Jozi or Joburg is a city built on diversity, culture, history and beauty.

Formed around the discovery of gold, the bustling metropolis is one of the biggest cities in South Africa. And the interesting thing about it is that it is the world’s largest city not built on a coastline.

If you are visiting Joburg for the first time, or even if you are a local and want to explore your city, then we have put together the ultimate tourist guide to Joburg. The best part is that you can cram most of these into a three-night stay in this colourful city, although we recommend at least a week - trust us, this is a city to fall in love with...

1. The Apartheid Museum

If you want to really get to know the history of Joburg and South Africa, then there is no better place to do that then at the Apartheid Museum.

This interactive and incredibly descriptive museum will give you an inside look into the rise and fall of the Apartheid era.

Film footage, text panels, books, artwork, photographs and a variety of unique artefacts tell the story of the struggle and in turn, the freedom that came from such a prominent time in South Africa’s story.

2. Gold Reef City Theme Park

This gold-inspired theme park is located on an old gold mine that closed in 1971. The park offers a range of thrilling rides, and the opportunity to learn about the mining history of Joburg. Immerse yourself in the times of gold through an underground tour of a real gold mine.

The Casino is also a great attraction, encouraging you to try your luck at some of the gambling games in the city of gold.

3. Cradle of Humankind

You need a full day to visit the Cradle of Humankind.

This is known as the birthplace of humanity, and something not to be missed. A place where the fossils from the earliest forms of life were found, including Little Foot and Mrs Ples - the early ancestors of the human race that lived over 2 million years ago.

The great thing about this heritage site is that you can take a guided tour underground in the Sterkfontein Caves. It’s advised that you book in advance and make a day trip as the location of the Cradle is roughly an hour’s drive out of Joburg.

4. City Sightseeing Bus Tour

This amazing Hop on - Hop off bus tour is not to be missed. Discover and explore incredible sights of the city on a red, double-decker, open-roof bus.

“With over 16 stops, and taking you to over 20 of Johannesburg's top attractions, the bus allows you to hop-on and hop-off at your leisure. Safe, fun, educational and convenient.”

5. SAB World of Beer

Take a tour of the SAB World of Beer through an interactive, intriguing and entertaining journey exploring the history of beer and the role it has played socially, culturally and economically.

6. Montecasino Bird Garden

Known as the only bird park of it’s kind in Africa, the Montecasino Bird Park is a popular family entertainment attraction.

Walk along wooden elevated walkways and marvel at the magnificent garden and colourful birds, reptiles, mammals and other creatures from around the world.

The bird show is something spectacular. Watch as the host works with the birds (many of which are rescues and in rehabilitation) and educates you on the marvels of these animals.

7. The Living Room

This rooftop venue is based in Maboneng and gives you an incredible view of the city. Sip on a cocktail, eat something delicious and marvel at the gorgeous skyline at sunset, while surrounded by an abundance of plants and great music.

8. Mountain Sanctuary Park

Spend a day at this mountainous park located in the Magaliesburg area. Swim in the natural rock pools and escape to nature.

This park is 1000 hectares in size (which is rather large) and boasts some fantastic hiking trails for those nature-enthusiasts.

9. Maboneng Precinct

Spend a Sunday in this buzzing area of the city Maboneng, which means place of light. Shop around and enjoy a gin and tonic at Market on Main (open on Sundays only), and immerse yourself in the culture of the city of gold.

There are also a variety of restaurants and shops to explore (Living Room is also just around the corner)!

10. East City Cycle Tour

Cycle through iconic areas of the city. This guided bicycle tour includes a pedal through Jeppestown, Maboneng, Doornfontein, Victoria Yards and Troyeville.

Showcasing urban living, history, architecture, public arts and an experience unlike any other.

Not sure where to start?

If it all feels a little overwhelming, if you are staying at Dunkeld Manor we can help guide you through the top spots, where to start and what to focus on.

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