Airport layovers are the bane of any traveler. However, airports often offer attractions for those weary travelers stranded in between flights, and Johannesburg is no exception. South Africa’s varied and often turbulent history offers much for the traveler to experience, with multiple attractions within half an hour of the airport. For those layovers or cancellations that become extended find great hotels near Johannesburg Airport.
Nelson Mandela’s home
The human right’s giant’s home has been turned into a museum now. In a poignant quote from his book The Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela mentions how freedom tasted palpable and real to him when he was finally able to return to his old address after his long prison stay. A curiosity of note is that on the same street where Mandela lives is Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s home — two Nobel prize winners on the same street.
Chronicling the violent and horrifying past of South Africa, Apartheid Museum. The entire museum can be seen within two to three hours, and it features chilling photographs of the atrocities committed by man on his fellow man during that time. Showing not only the aftereffects of apartheid, but also the causes that led up to the event, the Apartheid Museum is the perfect visit for anyone with any interest in human rights or history.
For a break from historical attractions, the Emperor’s Palace, a casino and entertainment complex. The best place to get your roulette or slot groove on, Emperor’s Palace has a child entertainment area for your to leave children at while the adults have fun. If gambling doesn’t interest you, then there are plenty of restaurants and bars to while away the hours.
Bruma Lake Craft Market
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, check out the Bruma Lake Craft Market. With hundreds of stalls selling wares that range from clothing and jewelry to electronics and food, this market offers a little something for everyone. Frequented by locals, the Bruma Lake Craft Market is the best chance to get an authentic South African experience in a short time. With covered stalls, this attraction is great to visit no matter the weather.
East Gate Shopping Mall
For more modern shopping, the East Gate Shopping Mall is the place. With all the amenities of any mall in a city like Paris or Moscow, the East Gate Mall gives tons of options for dining and entertainment no matter your age.
Gold Reef City Theme Park
Is the place to go if you have a lot of time to kill. A theme park built into the midst of a massive entertainment area, you will never run out of things to do. Boasting numerous roller coasters, water rides, and more gentle attractions like putt putt golf, Gold Reef City Theme Park is the absolute best choice for entertainment for those with extra long layovers.
Elite Park Stadium
For the soccer fans among you, the site of the Fifa Cup games. With a capacity of 70,000 spectators, this stadium is absolutely enormous — almost as big as South Africa’s love of soccer. Indeed, if given the chance to watch a game while in the area, you’ll feel the frenzy and fandom that soccer fans are famous for.