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Insiders Guide to Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum
2. constitution hill
3 Market theatre
Montecasino bird garden
6 Market on Main
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Insiders Guide to Johannesburg

story by: Anna Sarjeant

An educational must-do, the Apartheid Museum is haunting at times but fascinating throughout; offering a chilling insight into the emotional struggle of South Africa’s former racial segregation and unjust hierarchy. Overwhelming yet enlightening, with film, text, live accounts and guided tours – don’t miss this.

WHEN: Open every day: 9am – 5pm
There are no guided tours available on Mondays.

HOT TIP: For families who want to maintain their children’s attention, this museum offers little interaction. A great alternative is Constitution Hill...

Learn about South Africa’s turbulent history at Constitution Hill. A poignant reminder of a ​rocky past, gripping exhibits include former jail cells (Nelson Mandela’s included) The Old Fort and justice court, among others.

WHEN: Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm (last tour departs at 4pm)
Wednesdays - Last tour departs at 1pm
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: 10am - 3pm

There’s no need to book unless you’re visiting with ten people or more. 

An enjoyable and safe way to absorb all of Jo-burg’s top spots and particularly good if you’re time-starved, the hop on & off bus stops at 12 sites including Market Theatre, Sci-Bono, Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum. The ticket is valid all day and you can ‘hop on and off’ as many times as you like. We recommend you start as early as 9am – to see as much of Joburg as possible.

WHEN: Buses depart from 9am - 3:40pm
Monday-Friday: Every 40 minutes
Saturday-Sunday: Every 30 minutes

HOT TIP: Take a big bottle of water. A day of sightseeing is a full-on, often hot, experience and there are few opportunities to buy a drink.

Family days out don’t get much better than Montecasino Bird Garden. Home to amphibians, reptiles and mammals, along with an exotic assortment of birds, you’ll also find meerkats, sloths, lemurs, frogs and a six metre Reticulated Python – the longest snake in the world. With scheduled shows, plenty of open space, refreshments and a beautiful cycad collection, it’s a hit for the whole family.

WHEN: Daily: 8am - 5pm 

HOT TIP:Allow a couple of hours to walk through the entire garden. 

Take a tour through the most renowned urban area in Johannesburg and the most infamous of the city's neighbourhoods – Soweto. Discover several key landmarks as well as the street where both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Mpilo Tutu lived. Tour guides are informative yet charismatic – adding a little extra pizazz to the experience.

WHEN: Daily. Ask your HOT travel consultant for exact schedules.

HOT TIP:This is a half day tour so comfortable (and breathable) shoes are key.

A bustling Sunday market held every weekend, Market On Main serves up some of the most delicious and creative food in the city. With huge vats of freshly cooked paella, just-baked bread and all manner of sinfully sweet treats. Between the food and delicacies, you’ll also find artwork and crafts, rooftop bars and fantastic art galleries. 

WHEN: Every Sunday at Arts on Main in Maboneng Mall, downtown Johannesburg. From 10am - 3pm.

HOT TIP: Don’t miss ‘I was shot in Joburg’. A community project that allows local kids to learn and develop their photography skills. Buy yourself some prints – it doesn’t get more original than this!

Enjoy rich African coffee at Motherland café in Rosebank. With a super slick interior and a good selection of fresh salads and wraps, take on the notorious ‘Mothercuppa’ – an XXL mug of coffee made from Ethiopian Sidamo and Rwandan Kivu beans.

WHEN: Monday - Friday: 7am - 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 2pm 
Sunday: 8am - 7pm

HOT TIP:Free Wi-Fi; stay connected, stay caffeinated!

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