Johannesburg is a bustling city that oozes progression, excitement and optimism. There are so many vibrant cultural attractions to see and these really make their mark when it comes to highlighting the modern side of South Africa. The location of the city allows for easy access to nearby safari trips, adventures activities and history tours.
A city that has really come of age in recent years, Johannesburg is filled with a buzz and pace unlike anywhere else in the world. The city sprawls across a significant portion of northern South Africa and it’s worth keeping its size in mind when exploring the various regions. Thankfully, bus services are frequent and reliable for getting between districts. Jo’burg’s central business district (CBD) is home to futuristic office buildings and trendy loft apartments. Move outside the CBD and you’ll find hip neighbourhoods with street art and performers that are friendly and welcoming.
Flying from London to Johannesburg is relatively straightforward. The easiest way to get from London city to the airport is by using the Heathrow Express. This dedicated train service gets you to the airport in around 15 to 20 minutes. The train stops at terminals 2, 3 and 5. If your flight is from terminal 4, there’s a free transfer to take you there after getting off the train.
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London to Johannesburg: Useful things to know before you travel
- Airport connections: The quickest and easiest way to travel from the O.R. Tambo International Airport to Johannesburg city centre is by using either the metro system or a taxi. The journeys take around 20 minutes and 40 minutes respectively.
- Best times to visit: Jo’burg’s summer months of January and February are the ideal time for trying out some of the exciting adventure activities on offer. For those who prefer things a little cooler, May and June are pleasantly warm, setting the perfect conditions for some city sightseeing. The colder months, such as July, are the best time of the year to spot some wildlife. The cool weather is preferred by most of the animals, meaning they’re a lot more active during the daytime.
- Navigating the city: Despite its size, getting around in Johannesburg is fairly easy. Local buses are reliable and tend to stick to their timetables more stringently than the underground trains. Jo’burg’s hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses are great for seeing the city’s attractions in comfort. These buses usually run from around 9am to 6pm.
Jo’burg’s top tourist spots
Arguably the most energetic and diverse city in the country, Johannesburg offers a number of unique, must-see attractions.
- Apartheid Museum
- Constitutional Hill
- Liliesleaf Farm
The Apartheid Museum is simply a must-see when visiting Johannesburg. It’ll spark your interest, shock you and inspire you. The museum uses a variety of media methods to illustrate the history of the apartheid regime, as well as real life stories from locals who struggled through it. Due to the amount of material and information in the museum, it’s best to schedule at least an hour and a half there, to give yourself time to take it all in.
One of the most significant historical sites in South Africa, Constitutional Hill is another spot that’s not to be missed. This is an extremely moving area, with exhibitions that are split across four different historical prisons. Tours normally last one hour and are incredibly moving, however, visitors always leave Constitutional Hill with a deeper understanding of South Africa’s historical struggles.
Located in the northern region of Jo’burg, Liliesleaf Farm is another interesting cultural and historical hotspot. Former headquarters of the African National Congress, the building is now a museum that offers free guided tours. The option to explore the building and grounds on your own is also available.
These are just a small selection of the top attractions that await you, after your flight from London to Johannesburg.
London - ZurichFlight duration: 01:50 hrs total, Frequency: Sun,Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri
Departure LondonTerminal: 2Counter opening time: 2 h prior to departure
Airbus A321-111Height: 11.80 mLength: 44.50 mSeats: 176-200
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 5
Transit Zurich (ZRH)Arrival: 11:40Transit time: 11h 00m
Zurich - JohannesburgFlight duration: 10:40 hrs total, Frequency: 2 x daily
Airbus A340-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 219
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 10
Arrival JohannesburgDistance to city centre: 22 km