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Museum Guide for Johannesburg

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Johannesburg has several world-class museums, the most famous ones dealing with apartheid, and many others highlighting other aspects of local history, African art, human evolution, and even beer.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

11 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

11 Places

Apartheid Museum

Speciality Museums

Origins Centre Museum

Science Museums, Art Museums, Speciality Museums, History Museums

Constitution Hill

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Government Buildings, Historic Sites

Wits Art Museum

Speciality Museums

Sterkfontein Cave

Caverns & Caves

Liliesleaf Farm & Museum

Speciality Museums

SAB World of Beer

Speciality Museums, Beer Tastings & Tours

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Art Museums

Standard Bank Gallery

Art Galleries

Hector Pieterson Museum

History Museums

Satyagraha House

Speciality Museums

Jeroen M's City Tips

  • Johannesburg does not have a museum pass, but admission fees are usually very reasonable.
  • Apartheid Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Most visitors pass through here at some point during their stay in Johannesburg, and rightly so, as the Apartheid Museum gives an excellent overview of how South Africa became such a hellish place for its majority of black inhabitants, and how the system was finally brought down.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Plan to spend at least a few hours here to make the most of the many exhibitions and the film screening.
    • By the exit there's a good museum shop selling books and souvenirs, and a lunch cafe.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Brilliant museum - a must-see for any visitor to South Africa 17/12/2018
    • Certanly clarified the peoples trials 14/12/2018
    • Apartheid Museum
    Address:
    Northern Parkway
    Ormonde
    Johannesburg
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 309 4700
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Origins Centre Museum
    Science Museums, Art Museums, Speciality Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Origins Centre is a fascinating museum dedicated to early evidence of human evolution in Southern Africa (including the world's oldest art), plus is home to a wonderful exhibition about South Africa's amazing rock art.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Both the Rea Vaya bus and the open-top tour bus stop nearby. If you're driving, you'll need to register at the Wits University gate and park behind the museum.
    • The museum has a small cafe serving drinks and snacks.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Extremely interesting and informative 30/10/2018
    • Fasinating, interesting but were we welcome? 30/10/2018
    • Origins Centre Museum
    Address:
    Corner Yale and Enoch Sontonga Roads
    University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein
    Johannesburg 2050
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 717 4700
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$6
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Constitution Hill
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Government Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The real - and rather scary - prison complex that held thousands of criminals and freedom fighters (including Ghandi and Mandela) is now an impressive museum, and has been partly converted into the country's constitutional courthouse. Informative tours take you past all the highlights and into the courtroom.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check ahead for tour times to avoid waiting. You can usually wander around by yourself, but only the tour gets you inside the courtroom.
    • The ramparts of the old fortress, part of the museum, form a safe and fantastic spot for sunset photos across the city center.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A wonderfulNational Monument to visit 05/12/2018
    • Very nice history of this local. 03/12/2018
    • Constitution Hill
    Address:
    Constitutional Court
    Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct
    Johannesburg 2001
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 381 3100
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$6
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Wits Art Museum
    Speciality Museums
    Jeroen M Says:

    Wits University museum showcases its huge collection of Africa art in ever-changing exhibitions. There's also plenty of interesting modern art and photography on display here.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • With the bars and restaurants of the Braamfontein student district nearby, this is a good early-evening option just before you go out for the night.
    • You'll need to register with the doorman before you're allowed into the museum.
    • The university cafe, in the same building, is a great and affordable place for coffee or snacks.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    • Surprizingly great kids day out 22/10/2018
    • Great visit 06/09/2018
    • Wits Art Museum
    Address:
    1 Jan Smuts Avenue
    University of the Witwatersrand
    Johannesburg 2001
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 717 1365
    Hours:
    Wed - Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Sterkfontein Cave
    Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Sterkfontein Cave is the place where scientists found some of the oldest humanoid remains on the planet, and you can read all about it in the Sterkfontein Visitor Center and at the mound-like Maropeng Museum nearby. While the originals are too rare and valuable to display here, you can see replicas, and the cave tour is excellent.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Cradle area, an hour west of Johannesburg, is best reached by private transport, and is well-signposted.
    • The interactive displays and boat ride inside the Maropeng Museum make it very suitable for young children, looking to learn something about the earth's history.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One word: Amazing! 11/12/2018
    • Beautiful cave tour 05/12/2018
    • Sterkfontein Cave
    Address:
    Sterkfontein Caves Rd.
    Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 14 577 9000
    Price range:
    US$165 - US$165
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Liliesleaf Farm & Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Those who would like to know more about the struggle against apartheid can visit this former farm, which functioned as the secret headquarters for the ANC until the police raided it, leading to the famous Rivonia trials. It's now a large and excellent museum, with modern displays.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • It's best to travel here by private transport or taxi, as it's slightly hard to find, located in the northern suburbs.
    • The museum has a very good cafe on-site, with a lovely rooftop terrace.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Rivonia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not anything like it was 11/12/2018
    • Excellent inforrnation about a hidden past 14/11/2018
    • Liliesleaf Farm & Museum
    Address:
    7 George Avenue
    Rivonia, Sandton 2191
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 803 7882
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Sat - Sun
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • SAB World of Beer
    Speciality Museums, Beer Tastings & Tours
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    SAB's exhibition dedicated to beer may be corporate, but there's a great tour of various scenes relating to how beer is made, and you get to drink a few sips of traditional African along the way.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The admission includes a few bottles of beer at the bar at the end of the tour; you can choose between all the global SAB brands.
    • Book ahead to be sure of a spot on the tour.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 23 Food & Drink in Johannesburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An interesting Tour spoilt by a poor meal 19/11/2018
    • They ran out of beer 19/10/2018
    • SAB World of Beer
    Address:
    Entrance on Becker St. 15 President Street
    Newton Cultural Precinct
    Johannesburg 2001
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 836 4900
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery
    Art Museums
    Jeroen M Says:

    It's worth looking up specific exhibitions at this old museum in central Johannesburg, as they're often dedicated to local artists of varying interest. The museum is free however, and it's a great place to rub-shoulders with young locals who are browsing the artworks.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Get local advice on how to reach the museum, or use private transport.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #70 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    • Fun day out for the whole family 06/11/2018
    • A very sad and neglected gallery. 21/09/2018
    • Johannesburg Art Gallery
    Address:
    Joubert Park
    Johannesburg
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 725 3130
  • Standard Bank Gallery
    Art Galleries
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The private collection of this major bank are on display here in their own gallery. The exhibitions are always well done, with surprising modern artworks from across Africa.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Exhibitions change regularly, check in advance to see what's on.
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    • Art Gallery in Joburg city 24/07/2018
    • exceptional exhibition by GORDON FROUD 23/05/2018
    • Standard Bank Gallery
    Phone:
    +27 11 631 4467
  • Hector Pieterson Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    A must-see museum in Soweto, this large exhibition shows the background and events of the Soweto student uprising of 1976; the young Hector Pieterson was one of many children killed during that time.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Outside there's a memorial for Hector Pieterson, and you can follow a series of artworks along the route to his former school on Vilakazi Street.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Soweto
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Confronting!! 11/12/2018
    • Interesting and Moving History 03/12/2018
    • Hector Pieterson Museum
    Address:
    8287 Khumalo St
    Soweto, Johannesburg
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 11 536 2253
    Other:
  • Satyagraha House
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The house where Ghandi spent a few of his Johannesburg years is now an excellent little museum dedicated to his life and development in South Africa.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Satyagraha House is also a guesthouse, with fabulous rooms and great vegetarian meals.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 157 things to do in Johannesburg
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A short visit 08/11/2018
    • Great ambiance 06/11/2018
    • Satyagraha House
    Address:
    15 Pine Road
    Johannesburg 2192
    South Africa
    Phone:
    +27 82 673 5671
    Other:
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