Joburg at a Glance
Welcome to Joburg, a fascinating, multifaceted metropolis which offers visitors plenty of colourful and diverse experiences across a broad spectrum of interests.
From its humble beginnings as a gold mining boomtown in 1886, Joburg has blossomed and grown into the cultural and commercial hub of the African subcontinent in the short space of 127 years.
Towering skyscrapers, museums and art galleries share busy streets with gorgeous gardens teeming with trees, fabulous shopping malls and theatres; and very importantly, a broadly multiracial and multicultural population, making it one of the most colourful and culturally cosmopolitan destinations on the African continent.
Everyone who visits Joburg will tell you about the people, their warmth, enthusiasm and vibrancy; making it the remarkable place that it is.
We invite you to visit Joburg and stay a little longer, enjoy discovering why the people who live here love it and those who visit our great city, never forget it.
Notes for the urban traveller
Joburg’s status as the financial and commercial capital of Southern Africa, as well as being the major access hub for air transport, has led to the development of an urban tourism culture in the City. This centres around places of historical, cultural, economic and political interest, as well as leisure and lifestyle, including retail, fashion, music, sports and entertainment. Johannesburg’s legendary shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife is complemented by fabulous weather, as well as an astonishing array of facilities like spectacular golf courses, gyms, spa’s and wellness centres which add to its appeal as a destination.
Joburg is indeed a global, year-round business and leisure destination, brimming with special events, attractions, tastes, sights and sounds to encourage visitors to stay longer, spend more and enjoy exploring further afield. From The Joburg Open golf tournament in January, the Joburg Fashion Week in March, the Africa Cup Polo and Joy of Jazz in August, Arts Alive, Joburg Shopping Festival and SA Fashion Week in September, to Africa Fashion Week and the Sansui Summer Cup in November, Joburg has a calendar jam-packed with special consumer and lifestyle events, festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
Johannesburg is Africa's most popular destination
Johannesburg is set to be the most popular destination in Africa, with a projected 2.54 million international visitors expected to visit the city in 2013, according to the third annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Despite a marginal 5.5% increase in the number of international visitors from 2012, Johannesburg’s substantial 53.6% growth in international visitors from 2009 to 2013 has propelled it into the Index’s top 20 fastest growing cities globally. Johannesburg also comes out tops in Africa in terms of international visitor spending, with US$2.7billion estimated to be injected into the city during 2013, a slight increase (1%) on 2012’s expenditure.
Joburg's top visitor attractions
Red Bus Tour
Gold Reef City
The June 16 Trail Route
The Struggle route
As the African continent’s leading business metropolis, tourism in Johannesburg pivots on business. Johannesburg is the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent. The city generates 16 percent of South Africa's GDP and employs 12 percent of the national workforce.
Its infrastructure matches leading first world cities, yet the cost of living is far lower. The city is recognized as the financial capital of South Africa and is home to 74 percent of Corporate Headquarters. South Africa’s only stock exchange, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) rates as one of the top 20 exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalization.