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Why Fly to Johannesburg?
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and serves as one of the continent's most important economic and cultural centers. The city of nearly 4 million has the unique distinction of being the world's largest urban area not situated on a river, lake or coastline. Instead, this inland metropolis offers tourists one of the most modern and luxurious getaways of any city in southern Africa. Tall skyscrapers fill the Johannesburg central business district, which is home to a number of large international corporations and banks. Here, business and leisure travelers alike can find luxurious hotels and dine at upscale restaurants. There are also numerous cultural attractions in Johannesburg, including internationally acclaimed museums and art galleries. In fact, the Johannesburg Art Gallery is the largest of its kind in Africa and maintains a sizeable collection of local and international works. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is another popular destination. Here, guests can pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the 740-acre park. Many travelers venture to the suburb of Soweto. Located in western Johannesburg, this township was the site of several watershed events in the struggle against Apartheid. The Orlando West area of Soweto is home to several historically important museums, including the Nelson Mandela National Museum. If you're looking for high-end shopping, head to the affluent suburb of Sandton, located in the northern part of the metro area. This township boasts more retail space than almost any other city in the Southern Hemisphere. Travelers can compare flights and hotel deals in Johannesburg using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Johannesburg?
The OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) serves the Johannesburg metropolitan area. Two airlines provide direct flights from select U.S. destinations. Travelers can search for affordable airfare from Atlanta on Delta. You can also buy plane tickets from New York and Washington, D.C., on South African Airways. Another option is to fly to an alternative international departure city and find cheap flights from there. For example, travelers can compare discount airfare from London on British Airways, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Meanwhile, Air France provides flights from Paris, Lufthansa provides flights from Frankfurt, Iberia provides flights from Madrid and KLM provides flights from Amsterdam.
Popular Johannesburg Flight Routes
Johannesburg Flight Tips
You can also divide your time in South Africa between Johannesburg and Cape Town, another popular tourist destination. You can compare flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg on 1 Time, British Airways, Kulula.com, Mango and South African Airways.
Quick Travel Guide to Johannesburg
Begin your trip to Johannesburg with a visit to the central business district. This central area, along with the swank suburb of Sandton, is the commercial heart of Johannesburg. Here, you will find many local boutiques and vendors selling their wares. Pay a visit to one of the district's markets. The Mai Mai market is the oldest of its kind in Johannesburg. Vendors at this bazaar specialize in herbs and natural remedies. Or head to the western part of the downtown area and visit Oriental Plaza to browse items from the Far East. The plaza features more than 360 independently owned stores.
If you're traveling with children, head south of the central business district to Gold Reef City. This large amusement park is situated on an old gold mine and is thematically based on the late 19th-century gold rush that occurred in the area. Park attendants dress in period costumes, and park architecture is inspired by buildings of the time. In addition, Gold Reef City features numerous rides, hotels, restaurants, a children's science museum and a movie theater. For an added thrill, take a tour of the deepest gold mine in the world.
Those wanting to get up close to Africa's natural wildlife can visit Lion Park. This 500-acre wildlife conservation enclosure is located just outside of Johannesburg and is home to more than 80 lions as well as an assortment of other species, including cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, antelopes and zebras. Visitors can view the animals and even pet a lion cub.
Or learn about Johannesburg's history by visiting the Apartheid Museum. Located southwest of the central business district, this institution is home to an assortment of exhibits that convey the nation's turbulent past. Displays include video footage, pictures and artifacts from throughout the 20th century. Travelers can also take a tour to the township of Soweto. Here, you can visit the former house of Nelson Mandela and its companion museum, the Hector Pieterson Museum, which details the events of the historic Soweto Uprising.
For a luxurious outing, head north to Sandton. The wealthy Johannesburg suburb is home to two of the city's most popular shopping destinations, Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square. These two areas boast dozens of upscale local and international stores. Nelson Mandela Square in particular features a variety of dining options, such as handmade ice cream, sushi and steaks.
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