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Johannesburg

Culture & history

Our most recommended Johannesburg Culture & History

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

1. Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

Depart from your hotel, heading to the southwest township of Johannesburg. Take a route through Johannesburg's southern suburbs and see the sleek cars and spacious freeways. Next, discover Johannesburg city with its tall buildings, most of them built during the apartheid era, while you make your way to Soweto. Watch the beautiful scenery disappear as you enter Soweto. Pass by 2 iconic landmarks that used to generate power in the township of Soweto and are now normally used for bungee jumping. Drive through Soweto heading to the famous Hector Pieterson Museum with its dark history about the youth uprising in 1976. From here, drive through the township for sightseeing, and finally, head to Mandela House Museum on Vilakazi Street. In the museum, you will learn about the father of the nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who became a world icon. Finally, hop back into the tour vehicle returning to your hotel. On route, you will pass by FNB stadium also known as Soccer City or The Calabash, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

2. Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre departure tour briefing before departing to Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto you pass by the National Football Stadium City, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you visit Vilakazi Street - drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela and past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will have an opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this tour you will pass by the Mandela House. A visit into the museum is optional. You continue your tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University and end your tour with a stop at the largest hospital in the world: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. After Lunch on your own account, you will arrive at the world famous Apartheid Museum. Here you will learn about the history and struggle of South Africa during apartheid. Once you are done with the Apartheid Museum, you head into Johannesburg City and start with the view of the impressive 269 metre Telkom Tower, as seen on many postcards of Johannesburg. You then enter the inspiring Constitution Hill – and Court (when not in session) Political activists like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were once held here. During a tour inside you will learn about some of the legal history of Johannesburg. On your way to Newtown you pass by the longest southern African bridge, named Nelson Mandela bridge. At Mary Fitzgerald Square you can walk on the Jazz Walk of Fame. You end this tour with a visit to the Carlton Centre, also known as the ‘Top of Africa’. There a lift will elevate you 50 stories for an amazing and total view over the city. In short, this tour offers you a unique Johannesburg experience at an affordable rate.

Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

3. Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, your local guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing before departing to the Cradle of Humankind. You will enjoy a guided tour in the Sterkfontein caves, recently made famous in the discovery of the Homo Neledi Fossils and a number of other significant fossils and artifacts. After visiting the Sterkfontein caves, your guide will take you on a short drive to the Maropeng Visitors center for a wonderful journey through the development of the human race. Enjoy a relaxing indoor boat ride and experience the interactive museum artifacts and displays.

Johannesburg: Graffitti and Street Art Guided Walking Tour

4. Johannesburg: Graffitti and Street Art Guided Walking Tour

Add to your experience by joining us our Street Art walking Tour in the Hip and vibrant district of Braamfontein and explore what this creative neighbourhood has to offer! Prepare yourself for an exciting walk through this artsy part of Johannesburg and enjoy the cool market of Market on the weekend. There are galleries, bars, hidden gems and street art in every corner with a raw feel of City life.

Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

5. Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore the urban complex of Soweto on a bicycle. Get to experience the township like a local. Get a glimpse of Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Tutu House. Start your cycling tour in Killarney, an up-and-coming tourist destination in Soweto. Learn how this township was created in 1904 and share the history of these neighborhoods. Ride to Mzimhlophe and visit Mzimhlophe Women's hostel. Continue to Mama Lilian Ngoyi's house, an anti-apartheid activist. Cycle to Hector Pietersen Museum where the Soweto uprising transpired which was one of the turning points of apartheid. This tour will get you closer to all the highlights of Soweto. See the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. Imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. Then, pass by Tutu House on Vilakazi Street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his family once resided. Talk about the Nobel Laureate's contribution to apartheid's downfall in South Africa. Give your feet a break by stopping for lunch. Taste South African sandwiches called kota before cycling back to the starting point.

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

6. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

Discover the birthplace of humanity and see the place where our collective umbilical cord lies buried on a day tour to the Cradle of Humankind. Start your morning with a convenient hotel pickup and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind. Begin your sightseeing adventure with a tour of the Sterkfontein Exhibition Center and Caves. Follow your guide as you explore the exhibition above ground before heading deep into the caves. Learn about the fascinating history behind this archeological site and the discoveries that have been made here, some dating back more than four million years. Next, head to the Maropeng Visitor Center to see the award-winning, world-class exhibition focused on the development of humans and our ancestors. Take a journey through time and learn about the evolutionary processes that worked together to create the world as we know it today.

Johannesburg: Maboneng Street Art Tour

7. Johannesburg: Maboneng Street Art Tour

Discover why Johanessburg’s artistic hub is recognized worldwide as a booming creative center on this 2-hour guided walking tour. You’ll see some of the best street art from around the world and even meet some of the artists themselves. Hit the streets of Maboneng Precinct and Jewel City to see why South Africa has long been recognized for its exciting modern art. Your guide will take you to meet the locals and explore Joburg subcultures, learn about the artists, their motivations, and the different techniques they use.  You’ll walk through individual pieces and get an overview of these colorful pieces, experiencing first-hand just how street art is changing the perspective in these local communities.

Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

8. Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

After being collected from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing, before you depart for Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, you will pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You will then enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you will then visit Vilakazi Street, where you will drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela, and past the current home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also have the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising that occurred on the 16th of June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this Soweto tour you will pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. A visit into the museum is also optional (at an extra cost and payable on arrival). You will continue your Soweto tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you will get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You will then drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University, and end your tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

9. Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

This short tour will let you experience day to day life in the township. Meet your local tour guide and start the bike tour. You will be able to visit famous spots including Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, Vilakazi, Orlando stadium, and the Hector Peterson memorial. Learn about the incidents that happened on the fateful day of 16 June in 1976 when Hector Peterson was shot and killed by the police during the student protests. This tour includes a little bit of exercise and is eco-friendly. You get to cycle on the most famous street on the African continent, Vilakazi Street. Interact with locals and see how life goes in South Africa's most famous township. You will have the opportunity to support local small businesses on the way. You can bring small change or items that you would like to donate. 

Johannesburg and Soweto Night Tour

10. Johannesburg and Soweto Night Tour

Discover the city center of Johannesburg with its geometrical designs and high skyscrapers. Drive past the historic buildings of downtown and experience a view of the cities nightlife. Stop at Maboneng Precinct, the coolest neighborhood in Johannesburg. With a mix of restaurants, coffee shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, and retail and studio spaces, the precinct draws the inner-city public as well as the chic, art-going crowd of the city’s suburbs. Explore the well-known attraction sites such as the Mandela House Museum, Soccer City stadium (FNB Stadium), the Hector Pieterson Museum and the Orlando towers. Stop for a brewery tour in a local beer and lager garden where you will get a chance to taste South African brewed beers. End your evening dining in the famous Vilakazi street at a well-known local restaurant for a traditional meal, followed by a drop-off back at the hotel.

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 247 reviews

Looking for a REAL African meal experience that leaves both your stomach and your heart full? Then look no further than a pan-African cooking experience with Nonhlanhla “Noni” Godole. From all home grown and acquired fresh ingredients from around the continent we learned about the spices & the history of our meal. We cooked outside over wood fires in both a concrete oven and over a long grill with many pots going at once. From the welcome native drink to the wonderful dessert we were treated with such warmth and laughter that we felt a comfort and friendship. I highly recommend this activity and suggest that you request Noni as your instructor and guide in order to gain an amazing authentic dining experience.

We booked this Food Experience at short notice and were surprised that we were the only participants. Tye and Shawn were excellent guides and shared interesting stories about the history and culture of this diverse neighbourhood. Most importantly, we felt very safe, especially as it's not recommended to see this place on your own. We visited four different restaurants, representing food from Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana and Cameroon. The food was really tasty although we're not used to eating with our fingers. We can highly recommend this tour which stands out from the "normal" walking tours in Joburg!

Our mural walk tour with Kultwano was great. He was well informed and very enthusiastic about the artists and their work. Although the area does not have the best reputation, the meeting place was safe and Kultwano ensured that we were not approached or followed by anyone when we walked. It was a very enjoyable and informative walk and I highly recommend participating in this very cool and different activity as you will get an opportunity to learn more of the heart of the people.

A Day never to forget !! Soweto walking tour is an experience to do whenever you in Johannesburg I really had fun and had the best guide ever ''Tebogo'' wish you guys get to meet him you'll get the real feel of Soweto and Johannesburg as a whole !!! He has exceptional knowledge of the area and is extremely informative. I highly recommend this tour.

Our guide Pascal, was incredibly knowledgable, very warm and caring toward my children, and ensured a seamless and wonderfully informative tour of J'Bourg. It could not have been better !!!