South Africa's biggest metropolis and the seat of its Constitutional Court, Johannesburg or Jo'burg is a place that is constantly brimming with energy. With its towering skyscrapers, wonderful museums, fantastic entertainment complexes, massive townships and a constantly evolving population, it truly is the city of gold.
Best Places To See:
Apartheid Museum: Inaugurated in November 2001, the Apartheid Museum documents the heart-wrenching system of racial discrimination that was a part of the South African society till 1994. The demarcated 'Non-White' and 'White' entrances to the museum will give you an idea of what it was like to be disfavoured because of your skin colour. It is located right next to the Gold Reef City and the entrance fee is 65 ZAR (Rand).
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am till 5 pm.
Gold Reef City: An amusement park that is themed around the 19th Century gold rush of Witwatersrand, Gold Reef City caters to people of all ages. With exciting rides like the Tower of Terror, Miner's Revenge and Golden Loop, an adrenaline pumping adventure is in store for you. The tickets come for 190 ZAR for thrill riders.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 am till 5pm.
MonteCasino: A premier entertainment complex that will remind you of Italy, MonteCasino is home to a massive casino, two opulent theatres, several dozen restaurants, luxury hotels and a bird garden. This Tsogo Sun owned enterprise is located in the Fourways district of Johannesburg. MonteCasino is open 24x7.
Constitution Hill: What was once a fort and a prison complex that serves as an illustration of the unsettling past of South Africa, Constitution hill is now the headquarters of the Constitution Court of the country. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the most celebrated leaders on the planet were imprisoned here during the struggle against the Apartheid.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am till 5pm.
South African National Museum of Military History: Established in 1947 by General Jan Smuts, the South African National War Museum initially documented the country's role in the ravaging Second World War. In 1975, it altered its mission to trace all the conflicts South Africa was involved in. The Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu Wars are prime examples. Aircrafts, tanks, arms, uniforms and medals are important displays.
Opening Hours: Daily: 9am to 4:30pm.
Johannesburg Zoo: Built on a massive plot donated by the South African tycoon Hermann Ekstein, Johannesburg Zoo has more than 300 species of animals ranging from hippos, elephants, Siberian tigers and white lions to chimpanzees, owls and bats. The walk-in aviary is a treat for kids and the night safari is an exciting offering for adults.
Opening Hours: Daily: 8:30am to 5:30pm.
Johannesburg Botanical Garden:
One of the prettiest public spaces in the city, the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is perfect for picnics. Divided into sections like the 'Rose Garden', 'Shakespeare Garden', 'Chapel Garden' and 'Herb Garden' along with the 'Succulent Collection' of cacti and the 'Arboretum' of birches and redwoods, it is almost like a place of worship for botanists.
Opening Hours: Daily: 7:30am to 6:30pm.
Best Places To Stay:
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg: (Rs. 15,000 onwards)