Flights to Johannesburg

Cheap Flights to Johannesburg

The streets of Johannesburg are laid out in the same grid that was established when the city was founded in 1886. With the addition of skyscrapers and the combination of new and old buildings, the narrow streets now resemble tunnels which lead you through a discovery of a range of 20th-century architectural styles. The city began as a gold mining settlement and has been home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

The rich and sombre history of Johannesburg is told through the city’s monuments such as the Apartheid Museum and the former prison complex at Constitution Hill. Nelson Mandela’s former residence can now be visited as the Mandela House Museum.

Johannesburg is one of the world’s youngest major cities where there is no overarching plan for the preservation of historic buildings and landmarks. The result in this young and rapidly growing city is a combination of gabled Victorian buildings from the 1890s sitting beside 20th-century buildings such as the Supreme Court, and the Johannesburg Art Gallery which reflects the city’s position in the British Empire.

Airlines flying to Johannesburg

You can fly directly from Australia into Johannesburg with:

  • Qantas
  • South African Airways

Or you can take an indirect flight from Australia to Johannesburg with:

  • Emirates
  • Qatar Airways
  • British Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Air Mauritius
  • Virgin Australia
  • Etihad Airways
  • Air China

Getting to and from the airport

The busiest airport in Johannesburg is Oliver Tambo International, which sees over 13 million passengers every year. Oliver Tambo International Airport is just 14 miles from the centre of Johannesburg making transfers to your hotel easy.

The cheapest way to get to and from the airport in Johannesburg will be by bus. You can access public transport buses and private minibuses directly outside of the international terminal. You may also want to travel on the Rea Vaya rapid transit bus which designed to be safe, affordable and secure. The Rea Vaya also has a dedicated bus lane for a fast transfer.

If it’s your first time to Johannesburg, you may want to choose a taxi from the airport to avoid getting lost. Look for a metered taxi with a yellow ‘taxi’ light on the roof. You will find a taxi rank outside of the arrivals area of Oliver Tambo International Airport. Metered taxis are often too expensive for the locals, however, you will find them the fastest and easiest way to get to an from the airport in around 45 minutes.

There is also a new train link from the airport out to the suburbs of Sandton and Pretoria. You can access the train station directly from the upper level of the airport.

Getting to Johannesburg

Travelling around Johannesburg in metered taxis can become expensive quickly. Luckily there are a number of rideshare apps available. If you are looking to book an Uber in Johannesburg you may not be able to be picked up directly from a train station or airport, as the competition between taxis and ride-sharing apps has extended to South Africa. Instead, you will be picked up and dropped off just down the street.

The Taxify app can be useful to help you get around Johannesburg, as it can pinpoint your location even if you don’t know the exact address. You’ll also see an estimated cost for your ride before you’re picked up, and you have the option to pay through the app, or with cash.

Zebra Cabs is Johannesburg’s local version of Uber. You can book through an app or online, or call if you want, and you can identify your vehicle by its zebra stripes. All the zebra cars are well maintained, have air-conditioning and leather seats. They’re also fitted with external cameras and a tracker. Again, you can pay through the app or with cash.

What to do in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is not the capital of South Africa but it is the country’s largest city. The city is cultural and diverse, where you may want to visit the National Symphony Orchestra or the Art Gallery which showcases Africa’s finest collection of European Impressionists. There is a vibrant theatre culture too, where the 1,100 seat Civic Theatre hosts European and American musicals. The smaller theatre companies are dedicated to developing the talents of local actors and playwrights, both white and black.

The Johannesburg Public Library has history waiting to be discovered in its extensive network of branch libraries. At the museums, you will see displays on geology, Africana, military history, archaeology, costume and Jewish ceremonial art. At the Gold Reef City amusement park, you can delve into the gold mining history upon which the city is built. You can then end your day of exploration in the city at one of the vibrant jazz clubs which regularly host local and international performers.

Johannesburg has a temperate climate with minimum temperatures in winter dropping to only around 13C, and summer averaging around 24C when most of the rainfall occurs. Therefore there are a range of outdoor activities to enjoy in the city, from bird watching, picnicking and a passion for many sports, including rugby, soccer, cricket, golf and tennis.

What to eat in Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s restaurants are as diverse as the rest of the city, and are sure to delight with family favourites, gastronomic adventures and authentic local flavours. Places you may want to try in Johannesburg include:

  • Lucky Bean, where you will be served generous portions of South African comfort food and you can choose between the ostrich burger or the vegan burger.
  • Dosa Hut in Fordsburg serves traditional Indian street food at affordable prices, around R35 for a meal.
  • Humble Harry’s is where the locals go for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with generous portions and pies, pasta and burgers on the menu.
  • The Potato Shed is a trendy modern local restaurant in New Town where you can enjoy slow-roasted Jozi beef, soy glazed mushrooms and crispy potato skins with saffron mayo. On Sundays, you may even be able to enjoy live music.

Check if you need a visa to travel

It is a requirement for most nationalities to have a visa to enter for more than 72 hours.  Visa information can be found here.

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