[Updated 20 May 2021]
Jozi’s got it all – the energy, the friendliest people, the freshest ideas and the high-octane lifestyle and unique character which attracts people from all over the world. We want to help you make this your year to explore Joburg with 50 fun ideas that are surprisingly easy on the pocket.
The costs you see below are subject to change at the organisations’ discretion. Contact the organisation directly for the latest prices and information.
In no particular order, here is a list of fun things to do in Johannesburg for under R200:
1. Visit the Locrate Market in Soweto
Entrance is free!
The self-described lifestyle market “to break all markets”, the Locrate Market has “mother trucker” food trucks, live music, poetry readings, bike tours, craft beer and singular designer apparel. Held the first Sunday of every month from 11:00 to 18:00. Its founders’ vision is to empower entrepreneurs and create indelible experiences.
2. Hop on a Red Bus Tour
Cost: A one-day open bus tour costs starts at R149 per adult and R100 per child.
The most cheerful way to discover Joburg is on the roof of a shiny red city sightseeing bus. Hop on, hop off the red bus and choose how you spend your time. The City Sightseeing tour comes with audio commentary available in 15 languages. This tour is a great way to get the best views and vibes of the City of Gold. You should definitely add it to your list of fun things to do in Johannesburg itinerary.
3. Reflect at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Cost: Free. Donations are welcome.
The Centre of Memory can be found at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a non-profit organisation started by Madiba in 1999. Visit the current exhibition which focuses on photography during the State of Emergency. Submit a booking request via the website to visit the centre. You can visit the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 09:30 and 15:30.
4. Grab a drink at the coolest rooftop spot in JHB, the Living Room
Entrance is free. You’ll need to purchase tickets for events held at The Living Room (prices vary).
The Living Room is a rooftop oasis made up of ever-changing vertical gardens. The delicious meze and smoothies are highly recommended. Swing in a hammock or sip a smoothie surrounded by greenery and a spectacular view.
5. Slam dunk with Bounce
Cost: Sessions start at R80 per person. Student and family discounts are available.
Bounce your heart out on 50 interconnected trampolines, do epic slam dunks, flips and serious kicks or enjoy a game of trampoline dodgeball with your mates. There are junior jumping designated areas for kids under six years old and grip socks to keep everyone safe.
6. Rediscover your city with Mainstreet Walks
Cost: Bike rental is R50 per hour, so take in Joburg at your own pace. The East City Cycle Tour, City Skate Tour and Maboneng Precinct Tour are R300 per person.
Feel the pulse of the city, explore its arteries. With many of Johannesburg’s heritage sites and the city’s cultural melting pot on these tours, you’re in for some amazing fun. Book your tour online.
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7. Visit the James Hall Museum of Transport for free
Cost: Free. Donations to keep the museum running are appreciated.
Steam locomotives, penny farthings and ox-wagons will keep kids intrigued for hours. These exciting vehicles can be seen at the James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg. This incredible establishment is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land and transport in South Africa. The James Hall Museum of Transport is a stop on the red city bus tour.
8. Check out Uncle Merv’s in Maboneng
For an awesome vibe, classic shakes and expertly brewed coffee Uncle Merv’s in Maboneng is a great thing to do in Johannesburg for under R200. Open seven days a week, swing past for a coffee and fresh pastry. You can also rent a vintage bicycle from Uncle Merv’s and explore the inner city.
9. Shop at the Oriental Plaza
Entrance is free.
Founded in the mid-1970s, Oriental Plaza is a great thing to do in Johannesburg, to embrace the city’s diverse cultures. The best bargains can be found at this indoor bazaar. 360 Shops offer everything from clothes to rugs, spices, linen, jewellery and appliances. Don’t be shy to try out your bargaining skills. Oriental Plaza is open 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday, and 09:00 – 15:00 on Saturday.
10. Feed the ducks and take a boat out on Zoo Lake
Cost: A minimum charge of R15 per boat.
Take some seeds along and have a lovely afternoon out at Zoo Lake feeding the ducks and geese. You can also rent out a rowboat which fits up to six people. You’ll have a great time paddling about. The boat club is open from 09:30 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. You can also go bowling at the bowling green or have a picnic in the park.
11. Brunch at Milk Bar in Kramerville
Cost: Grab breakfast for under R100. The lunch menu is also super affordable.
Afro-inspired hip hang-out Milk Bar has healthy breakfasts, rotisserie chicken and signature burgers. They open bright and early at 07:00 in the week.
12. Kitchener’s Comedy Night
Cost: Cover charges apply after 19:00 Wednesday – Saturday.
Kitchener’s at the Milner Hotel in downtown Jozi is an institution. It’s over 100 years old and Joburg’s second oldest pub. Enjoy up and coming comedians strutting their stuff at Kitchener’s comedy night. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events.
13. Head to Pata Pata for a burger, stay for the jazz
Popular 60’s themed jazz restaurant filled with good people, good food and good music. Pata Pata serves traditional African inspired cuisine. Delicious meals on the menu include lamb shank, chicken breasts, crocodile wors and oxtail stew.
Contact: 073 036 9031 | Address: 286 Fox Street, Jeppestown, Johannesburg, 2094
14. Catch a thought-provoking flick at the Bioscope Independent Cinema
Cost: Movie tickets are R70.
Located in Downtown Johannesburg, this innovative and independent cinema takes you back to when the word “bioscope” was the norm. This important cultural space aims to provide a platform for diverse content on screen. The Bioscope is a fun and educative space to get your movie fix. Don’t miss out on their fabulous pizza deal combo. Look out for their amazing rooftop cinema events.
15. Eureka at Science Bono Discovery Centre
Cost: Adults pay R60, children aged 3-16 pay R40. Free for children under the age of three years old.
Winner of numerous travel and education awards, the Science Bono Discovery Centre will capture your kids’ imagination and ignite a life-long love for science. Housed in a repurposed power station, find it on the corner of Miriam Makeba and President streets, Newtown, Johannesburg. It is close to other Newtown attractions such as the Market Theatre and World of Beer. Open seven days a week.
16. For a helluva night out look no further than Hell’s Kitchen
Cost: R160 for the Bad Ass Baby Back Ribs.
At the Melville hangout, food, drink, music and mayhem is the motto. There’s a secret room behind the bookcase, live music on the weekend and an unpretentious vibe.
17. Contemporary cool at Gallery MOMO
Get your fix of the best contemporary South African and international art at Gallery MOMO, set in an airy Parktown house. It was established by Monna and Lee Mokoena in 2003. Open Monday to Saturday.
18. Take in the view from the tallest skyscraper in Africa!
This attraction is temporarily closed.
Ride the elevator 50 floors up to see the awe-inspiring view from the top of the Carlton Centre Good to know: this is a stop on the red bus tour. Open every day but closes at 14:00 on Sundays.
19. Neighbourgoods Market
Cost: That’s up to you!
This legendary Saturday market has the goods to keep you coming back for more. The Neighbourgoods Market is famous for its array of locally sourced food, live music such as Majozi and fun atmosphere. It is the place to be on Saturdays for brunch and mimosas.
20. Find nature within the city at Melville Koppies Reserve
Cost: R80 per adult in the controlled access hiking area.
This nature reserve and heritage site are found in the heart of Joburg. It provides a great vantage point to see how the three-million-year-old ridges that made up the Johannesburg landscape, before the advent of the gold rush. The central area is the safest for hikes as it has controlled access. You can join a hike or guided tour every Sunday at Melville Koppies Central. No booking required. Find out more on the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve website for routes and walking times.
21. Rosebank Rooftop Market
Entry is free!
Joburg is a flourishing city of rooftops and trees (an estimated 10 million). This Sunday market is a fun, family-affair on the roof of Rosebank mall.
22. Chase down the minotaur of the mind at Honeydew Mazes
Cost: R150 per adult, R100 per child. Families consisting of 2 adults and 2 children pay R450 in total.
Kids and parents alike will have the best time exploring the different mazes, secret gardens and completing mind-bending quizzes. From February to May there’s a mielie maze and an elemental reed maze open from June to December. Mazes are open every weekend and most public holidays. Pre-booked events can be arranged for weekdays.
23. Coffee tasting at Bean There Coffee Company
Cost: Cupping mornings cost R180 per perspn.
Located in the trendy 44 Stanley area, Bean There Coffee Company is a great space to grab a coffee on the go or for a casual get-together with a friend. It is the first roaster of Certified Fairtrade in South Africa. Join them for coffee cupping mornings to learn about the process of coffee roasting, from crop to cup, and enjoy a well-paired coffee tasting.
24. Get your adrenaline fix at the Orlando Towers
Cost: From R48 per person.
This is the site of the world’s first bungee jump between two cooling towers. A variety of adrenaline junkie activities are available with the most affordable being the 25-metre rock climbing course (R48 per person) and the group paintball at R200 per person available at the bottom of the western cooling tower. If you’re keen to spend a bit more and you’re feeling up to the challenge, the bungee jump costs R630 per person.
25. High tea at Lindfield Victorian House Museum
Cost: R120 for a tour with tea and cake served afterwards.
Step back in time to the Victorian era at Lindfield House and indulge in a traditional high tea with cream and scones. The historic spaces at Lindfield House make for the perfect space for a High Tea. You’ll need to book at least one week in advance.
26. Ubuntu Kraal Brewery, Soweto
This atmospheric brewery serves up excellent food (gourmet boerie and apple ale pork ribs) and that liquid elixir- Soweto Gold beer. You may get to meet the “Mad master brewer” Ndumiso M. Madlala himself. The beer garden is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 until late. You can also book the old train carriage for private events.
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27. Channel your silly side and Zorb around in a giant inflatable ball at Jozi X
Cost: ZORBS are R150 per person for one roll.
Jozi X has the longest zorb ride in South Africa. Climb into the 3-metre diameter inflatable ball and roll down the 200-metre long slope. Jozi X also has slacklining to practise your balancing skills and develop core strength, the crazy sport of Bubble Soccer and the Big Air Krush Kushion Jump. This will get you practising serious tricks, flips and rolls on skateboards, BMX bikes and snowboards. Call ahead during the week to book a session.
28. Visit the largest flower market in the southern hemisphere
The 50,000-square-metre specialised flower warehouse, the Multiflora flower market, sees one million flower stems pass through its doors in just three to four hours! Private shoppers are welcome to browse through the largest flower market in the southern hemisphere.
29. The Market Theatre
Cost: Tickets prices vary.
The Market Theatre was an integral part of the struggle and continues to produce strong, forward-thinking performances. Award-winning pieces in the past include Woza Albert, Asinamali, Bopha, Sophiatown, You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock, Born in the RSA, Black Dog. The superb standard of theatre continues with cutting-edge performances on offer.
30. Drive over the Nelson Mandela Bridge
The bridge is symbolic of Nelson Mandela’s role in uniting South Africa by bridging the racial divide of apartheid. This awesome bridge has incredible views of the city, especially when it’s lit up at night! Note the red city tour does drive this route.
31. Think quick in the Escape Room
Cost: Slightly over budget at R590 for a group of two, but totally worth the splurge!
The antidote to rainy-day boredom, this is the ultimate puzzle game for adults and kids. Each puzzle requires two to seven players. You will have 60 minutes to work as a team to puzzle your way out of the room.
32. See Verreaux’s Eagles at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens waterfall
Cost: Adults R65, free for children under the age of six years.
Take a break from Jozi’s bustling city and venture into the peaceful cover of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, a 30-minute drive from the CBD. If luck is on your side you may spot the nesting pair of Verreaux’s (black) eagles in the cliffs by the Witpoortjie Waterfall. Don’t miss out on stargazing in early September and October.
33. Keeping it cool at Northgate Ice Rink
Cost: Entrance fee – R80, skate hire – R35.
The Northgate Shopping Centre ice rink is a great place to cool off while getting in some fun exercise. Keep an eye on their Facebook page as they often hold fun events.
34. Wits Origins Centre
Cost: From R40 per person
This unique museum is dedicated to celebrating the origins of humankind, including fascinating rock art. You’ll find this mindblowing museum on the University of Witwatersrand campus. Go on a journey dating back over 80,000 years with profound information about ancient art and culture. There are audio tours available at the Wits Origins Centre. On occasion, there are public lectures in the evenings. Open every day from 10:00 to 17:00.
Good to know: If you are willing to spend a bit more there is a “test your own DNA” tour on offer.
35. Bryanston Organic Market
Live music, handmade goods, a tea garden and craft activities for the kids. This is a great option especially if you are looking for a weekday market. The market is open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 09:00 to 15:00.
36. Wednesday nights at Sir James van der Merwe’s
Climb the steep staircase up to the distinguished bar. The view of Sandton and the decor is exceptional. Sir James van der Merwe forms part of Katy’s Palace, the magical event venue which is a sister venue to the famous Emily Moon restaurant in Plettenberg Bay. This fantastic bar has gained world recognition, as it is listed on Bloomberg’s “35 cocktails to try around the world”.
37. 27 Boxes
This avant-garde shopping centre is constructed entirely out of shipping containers. 27 Boxes is dedicated to uplifting the lives of the community and supporting their entrepreneurs. This is the perfect place to source a unique gift and sip on freshly-pressed juice or homemade ice cream.
38. The Military History Museum for fascinating military planes and other relics
Cost: Pay R45 for adults, R30 for children with your SA ID.
The South African War Museum is regarded as the symbolic home for all soldiers and veterans in South Africa. See awe-inspiring artefacts from Umkhonto-we-Sizwe, the Anglo-Boer war, the Anglo-Zulu war and various other historical battles on display. There are programmes and activities designed for all age groups. Open daily from 08:30 to 15:00.
Now that you’re familiar with some fun things to do in Johannesburg under R200, it’s time to book your ticket and head to this hip-and-happening city. Sign up for Travelstart’s newsletter and be the first to know about cheap flights to Johannesburg and flight specials to other local destinations.
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