Explore Johannesburg: One Day South Africa Adventure

Johannesburg, South Africa

1 days

Nelson Mandela square
Towers of Sandton City
Skyline of Sandton City at night
Modern suspended bridge
Botanical gardens

About Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, is a vibrant hub of art, music, and history. Known as the "City of Gold," it offers a unique blend of rich cultural heritage and modern urban energy. Visitors can explore the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill for a historical journey, or enjoy contemporary art at the Maboneng Precinct. The city is also a gateway to safari adventures, with the Lion Park and Kruger National Park nearby. Johannesburg's culinary scene is diverse, offering everything from traditional African cuisine to modern fusion. Shopping enthusiasts will love the bustling markets and upscale boutiques. With its warm, sunny climate, Johannesburg is a year-round destination.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Johannesburg's History, Nature, and Cuisine


Start your day by visiting the Apartheid Museum. This museum is a beacon of history, offering a deep and insightful look into South Africa's past. It's a must-visit for anyone interested in the country's history and the struggle against apartheid.


Enjoy a traditional South African lunch in a local restaurant. Try some local delicacies like boerewors, a type of sausage, or biltong, a dried, cured meat. Don't forget to pair your meal with a local wine.


After lunch, head to the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens. This beautiful park is home to a variety of plant species and offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a picnic, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.


For dinner, enjoy a meal at a restaurant offering a fusion of African and European cuisines. Try dishes like bobotie, a spiced, baked meat dish, or malva pudding, a sweet and sticky dessert.


End your day with a visit to the Johannesburg Planetarium for a mesmerizing stargazing experience. The planetarium offers shows that will take you on a journey through the cosmos, making it a perfect end to your day.

Attractions in Itinerary (3)

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum is a museum complex in Johannesburg dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa.

Cultural Experiences
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is located in the suburb of Emmarentia in Johannesburg, South Africa. The gardens were established in 1964 and cover 125 hectares.

Johannesburg Planetarium

Johannesburg Planetarium

Located in Braamfontein, at the University of the Witwatersrand, it's a place where you can discover the wonders of the universe.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A popular South African snack, Biltong is a form of dried, cured meat that originated in Johannesburg. It's often compared to beef jerky but is unique in its flavors and preparation method.



Boerewors is a type of sausage popular in Johannesburg. It's traditionally grilled as part of a barbecue and is a staple at social gatherings and sporting events.



Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish that originated in Johannesburg. It's often served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries.


Pap is a traditional porridge made from mielie-meal (coarsely ground maize) and a staple food in Johannesburg. It's often served with a tomato and onion sauce or with meat and vegetables.



Melktert is a classic South African dessert. It's a sweet pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar, and eggs.

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is a South African fast food dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. It's a popular street food in Johannesburg.


Koeksisters are a traditional South African dessert. They are twisted or braided doughnuts, deep-fried and soaked in syrup, popular in Johannesburg.



Potjiekos is a traditional South African stew. It's slow-cooked in a round, cast-iron pot over an open fire, a common cooking method in Johannesburg.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea is a herbal tea that is a favorite in Johannesburg. It's caffeine-free and high in antioxidants, and can be enjoyed hot or cold.



Umqombothi is a traditional African beer made from maize and sorghum. It's a popular homemade brew in Johannesburg.



Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. It's a well-loved dish in Johannesburg.

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding is a sweet and sticky baked dessert. It's a classic Johannesburg dessert, often served with custard or ice cream.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Johannesburg, South Africa, is during its spring and autumn months, which are from September to November and March to May respectively. During these periods, the weather is very pleasant, not too hot or too cold, making it perfect for sightseeing and other outdoor activities. Additionally, these seasons offer the chance to witness the city's beautiful jacaranda trees in full bloom or the vibrant autumn colors.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

March 21


Human Rights Day

March 29


Good Friday

April 1


Family Day

April 27


Freedom Day

May 1


Workers' Day

June 16


Youth Day

June 17


Day off for Youth Day

August 9


National Women's Day

September 24


Heritage Day

December 16


Day of Reconciliation

December 25


Christmas Day

December 26


Day of Goodwill

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Johannesburg. It provides the most flexibility and convenience, especially for those who plan to visit places outside of the city. There are many car rental companies available at the airport and throughout the city.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Bolt are widely used in Johannesburg. They are a safe and convenient way to get around the city. You can book a ride using their respective mobile apps. These services are available 24/7.

The Rea Vaya BRT is a city bus service that operates in Johannesburg. It has dedicated lanes, making it a fast and efficient way to travel around the city. The buses are modern and comfortable, and they run on a regular schedule.

The Gautrain is a state-of-the-art rapid rail network in Gauteng. It connects Johannesburg with Pretoria and the OR Tambo International Airport. The trains are fast, safe, and punctual. Gautrain also operates buses that connect to the train stations.

Minibus taxis are a common form of public transport in Johannesburg. They are a cheap and quick way to get around, but they can be crowded and the routes can be confusing for newcomers. It's recommended to ask locals for help with routes and stops.

Metered taxis are available throughout Johannesburg. They can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. They are more expensive than minibus taxis, but they offer a more comfortable and private ride.

Johannesburg has a growing network of cycling lanes. Renting a bicycle can be a fun and healthy way to explore the city. There are several bike rental shops in the city, and some hotels also offer bike rentals to their guests.

Walking is a good option for short distances and to explore the city's neighborhoods. Johannesburg has a pleasant climate for most of the year, making it a good city for walking. However, it's recommended to stay vigilant and avoid walking alone at night.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

CurrencyR ZAR

Time zoneUTC+2

Driving sideLeft

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 10177; Fire: 10177; Police: 10111

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type MPower socket type N

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Johannesburg, South Africa as a first time visitor


Johannesburg is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so its seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer is from November to February, autumn is from March to May, winter is from June to August, and spring is from September to October.


The city is at a high altitude, about 1,753 meters above sea level, which can affect those with respiratory problems. It's recommended to take it easy for the first few days to acclimate.


The official currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have some cash on hand for smaller vendors.


English is widely spoken in Johannesburg, but the city is multicultural and multilingual, with 11 official languages in South Africa.


Johannesburg is generally safe for tourists, but like any large city, it has areas that are best avoided. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places.


Tipping is customary in South Africa. A tip of 10-15% is standard for good service in restaurants. It's also customary to tip taxi drivers, tour guides, and hotel staff.


Public transportation is available but can be unreliable. The Gautrain, a modern rapid rail service, is a safe and efficient way to travel between the airport, Johannesburg, and Pretoria.


Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in South Africa. If you plan to rent a car, an international driving permit is required.


Johannesburg is not a malaria risk area, but if you plan to visit national parks or rural areas, you may need to take precautions.


Tap water is safe to drink in Johannesburg, but bottled water is readily available if you prefer.


South Africa uses Type M plugs, so you may need a travel adapter for your electronic devices.


Johannesburg has a high UV index, so it's important to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days.


The city is known for its sudden afternoon thunderstorms in the summer months. Always check the weather forecast and plan your day accordingly.


South Africa has a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 15% which is included in the price of goods and services. Tourists can claim a refund on this tax at the airport upon departure, provided they have the necessary documentation.


The emergency number in South Africa is 10111 for the police and 112 from a mobile phone for an ambulance.


Johannesburg is in the South Africa Standard Time zone, which is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).


South Africa has strict regulations on traveling with children under 18, including presenting an unabridged birth certificate at immigration.


The city has a vibrant nightlife. However, it's advisable to use a reliable taxi service when traveling at night, rather than walking.


Johannesburg has a high-quality healthcare system, but travel insurance is recommended to cover any potential medical costs.


South Africans are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Don't hesitate to ask for help or directions if needed.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Sweater or jacket for cooler evenings

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Swimwear (if your accommodation has a pool)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-sized body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic wipes, tweezers)

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other form of ID

  • Credit and/or debit cards

  • Cash in local currency (South African Rand)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and/or car rental reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for your phone

  • Universal power adapter

  • Camera

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Travel guidebook or map

  • Travel pillow and blanket for the flight

  • Umbrella or rain jacket

Weather Conditions

Johannesburg, South Africa, is known for its temperate climate, making it a great destination for tourists year-round. However, it's important to note that the seasons in Johannesburg are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. The city experiences its summer from October to April, with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 30°C). During these months, you can expect afternoon thunderstorms, which are quite common. Therefore, it's advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat when you're out exploring. Despite the rain, the summer months are great for outdoor activities like visiting the Johannesburg Botanical Garden or the Lion Park. Winter, from May to September, is dry and sunny. Temperatures during this period can range from 35°F to 70°F (2°C to 21°C). The nights can get quite chilly, so it's recommended to pack some warm clothing. This is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the rain and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or visiting the Apartheid Museum. Regardless of the season, Johannesburg is known for its high UV index. Therefore, it's essential to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Remember, Johannesburg is located at a high altitude, so it might take a few days to acclimate to the altitude, especially if you're planning on doing any strenuous activities. Stay hydrated and take it easy for the first few days of your visit. In conclusion, Johannesburg's weather is generally pleasant, but it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip to pack accordingly.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


30° / 15°

January is one of the hottest months in Johannesburg, with occasional thunderstorms in the afternoon.


29° / 15°

February is also hot, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms, making it a great time for indoor activities.


28° / 14°

March sees a decrease in rainfall and temperature, making it a good time for outdoor activities.


24° / 10°

April is the start of autumn in Johannesburg, with cooler temperatures and less rainfall.


22° / 7°

May is a dry and cool month, perfect for exploring the city and its surroundings.


20° / 4°

June is the coldest month in Johannesburg, with clear skies and low temperatures.


20° / 4°

July is also cold but dry, making it a good time for wildlife viewing.


22° / 6°

August marks the end of winter in Johannesburg, with temperatures starting to rise.


26° / 9°

September is the start of spring, with beautiful blooming flowers and increasing temperatures.


27° / 11°

October is a warm month with occasional rainfall, perfect for enjoying the city's parks and gardens.


28° / 13°

November is a hot month with frequent thunderstorms, making it a great time for indoor activities.


29° / 14°

December is a hot and wet month, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

Did you know?

Did you know that Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa by population?

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