2-Day Solo Local Experience: Sightseeing, Food & Shopping in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa

2 days

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

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.

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Johannesburg's History and Culture


Start your day with a visit to the Apartheid Museum, where you can learn about South Africa's history of apartheid. The museum offers a deep insight into the country's past and helps you understand its present.


Enjoy a traditional South African lunch in a local restaurant. Try the 'bobotie', a local dish made from minced meat and spices, or 'boerewors', a type of sausage popular in South Africa.


Spend your afternoon exploring the Neighbourgoods Market, a vibrant market offering a variety of local crafts, food, and wine. It's a great place to shop for souvenirs and try local delicacies.


Have dinner at a local restaurant offering South African cuisine. Try 'bunny chow', a fast food dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.


End your day with a visit to the 'Joburg Theatre', where you can catch a local play or musical. The theatre offers a variety of performances, from traditional African music to contemporary dance.


Start your second day with a visit to the Constitution Hill, a former prison that now serves as a museum and the seat of the Constitutional Court. The site offers a poignant reminder of the country's past.


Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Try 'pap and vleis', a traditional dish consisting of maize porridge and meat.


Spend your afternoon exploring the Maboneng Precinct, a revitalized area known for its art galleries, shops, and restaurants. It's a great place to soak up the city's vibrant culture and arts scene.


Have dinner at a local restaurant. Try 'potjiekos', a slow-cooked stew made in a traditional pot.


End your day with a visit to the Montecasino, a large entertainment complex offering a variety of activities, from gambling to theatre shows.

Attractions in Itinerary (5)

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
Neighbourgoods Market

Neighbourgoods Market

A popular weekend market in Braamfontein, offering a mix of food stalls, local fashion, and craft goods.

Food and Drink
Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past and, today, is home to the country’s Constitutional Court.

Cultural Experiences
Maboneng Precinct

Maboneng Precinct

Maboneng Precinct is a rejuvenated district of Johannesburg. It is packed with trendy coffee shops, restaurants, art galleries, shops, hotels, and entertainment venues.

Cultural Experiences
Food and Drink


Montecasino is a leisure and casino complex covering 26 hectares of land located at No.1 Montecasino Boulevard in Fourways, Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. It was designed by American company Creative Kingdom Inc. and built by South African architects Bentel Associates International at a cost of R1.6 billion. It first opened its doors on 30 November 2000 and it currently attracts over 9.3 million visitors annually. It is themed after an old Italian village.

Food and Drink

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

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Swimwear

  • Light jacket or sweater

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size toothpaste

  • Toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash and coins

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks

  • Bottled water

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel guide for Johannesburg

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

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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