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Things to do in Soweto

Our most recommended things to do in Soweto

1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour

1. 1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour

Discover the top 20 attractions in Johannesburg with a 1 or 2 day ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Described as the New York of Africa, take your time exploring the exciting city. On board, you will learn about the history of Johannesburg from the prerecorded audio commentary in 15 languages. Ride the double-decker bus through the city's historic neighborhoods and fascinating attractions, many related to the struggle against apartheid. See the world's biggest man-made forest and learn about why Johannesburg should never have been built where it was. Get on and off as much as you like. Two of the 20th century’s most famous liberation heroes started their legal careers and then their political careers in Johannesburg; Mahatma Gandhi with the Passive Resistance (Satyagraha) movement, and Nelson Mandela with the Defiance Campaign. Trace some of their footsteps between Chancellor House and Gandhi Square in the city center. Join the tour at Rosebank and travel through the city's leafy suburbs to Constitution Hill. Change here to the downtown route for a first-hand visit to authentic inner-city Johannesburg. All of the tour stops are safely located and staffed as necessary to ensure you will have a great time in the city.  Hop-on hop-off stops: Green Tour:  1. Rosebank  2. Melrose Arch 3. Mandela Foundation 4. View from Munroe Drive 5. Constitution Hill 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  1. Rosebank return Red City Tour: 1. Constitution Hill 2. Mining District 3.  Gold Reef City Casino Hotel (join the Soweto extension tour here) 4. Apartheid Museum  5. Newtown 6. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) 1. Constitution Hill return Free Hotel Shuttle bus from Sandton as follows: The Holiday Inn: 09:00 AM The Maslow: 09:08 AM The Hilton: 09:12 AM The Radison Blue Gautrain: 09:19 AM Da Vinci Hotel: 9:25 AM

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

2. Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

Depart from your hotel, heading to the southwest township of Johannesburg. Take a route through Johannesburg's southern suburbs and see the sleek cars and spacious freeways. Next, discover Johannesburg city with its tall buildings, most of them built during the apartheid era, while you make your way to Soweto. Watch the beautiful scenery disappear as you enter Soweto. Pass by 2 iconic landmarks that used to generate power in the township of Soweto and are now normally used for bungee jumping. Drive through Soweto heading to the famous Hector Pieterson Museum with its dark history about the youth uprising in 1976. From here, drive through the township for sightseeing, and finally, head to Mandela House Museum on Vilakazi Street. In the museum, you will learn about the father of the nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who became a world icon. Finally, hop back into the tour vehicle returning to your hotel. On route, you will pass by FNB stadium also known as Soccer City or The Calabash, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

3. Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore the urban complex of Soweto on a bicycle. Get to experience the township like a local. Get a glimpse of Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Tutu House. Start your cycling tour in Killarney, an up-and-coming tourist destination in Soweto. Learn how this township was created in 1904 and share the history of these neighborhoods. Ride to Mzimhlophe and visit Mzimhlophe Women's hostel. Continue to Mama Lilian Ngoyi's house, an anti-apartheid activist. Cycle to Hector Pietersen Museum where the Soweto uprising transpired which was one of the turning points of apartheid. This tour will get you closer to all the highlights of Soweto. See the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. Imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. Then, pass by Tutu House on Vilakazi Street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his family once resided. Talk about the Nobel Laureate's contribution to apartheid's downfall in South Africa. Give your feet a break by stopping for lunch. Taste South African sandwiches called kota before cycling back to the starting point.

Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

4. Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

See the sights of Johannesburg at your own pace with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Then, take a 2-hour eco tour of the township of Soweto, described as the “New York of Africa.” Take in the sights of the city where Mandela once lived and Mahatma Gandhi started his legal career. Learn the history of Johannesburg from the audio commentary in English once on board the double decker sightseeing bus. Ride through the city's historic neighborhoods and see fascinating attractions, many related to the struggle against apartheid. Get on and off as much as you like. Hear about 2 of the 20th century’s most famous liberation heroes in the city where they started their legal and political careers. Follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and his Passive Resistance (Satyagraha) Movement, and Nelson Mandela with his Defiance Campaign. Hop-On and Hop-Off Bus Route: Green Tour:  1. Rosebank: @The Zone Mall, next to “Hamleys”  2. Zoo Lake 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  5. Constitution Hill Red City Tour: 5. Constitution Hill 10. Mining District 11. Carlton Center for the “Roof of Africa” viewing deck 12. James Hall Transport Museum  13. Gold Reef City Casino Hotel – join the Soweto Eco tour here 14. Apartheid Museum  15. New Town 16. Origins Center at Wits University  17. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) Soweto Eco Tour: Reconnect with Nelson Mandela's past, and get an understanding of where he started his fight against apartheid at his family home in Soweto. Now a museum, Mandela House follows the story of the legendary leader in the small rooms where his family lived. The single-story matchbox house is located at number 8115, on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane streets. A short distance up the road is Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Encounter the eclectic atmosphere of the markets and memorabilia stands, as well as various eateries like the Mandela Family Restaurant. Enjoy drinks on restaurant balconies or at tables dotted along the sidewalks. Soweto is home to thousands of South Africans and the site of some of the most iconic events in the nation’s history. Get a fascinating look into kasi living, and hear the history of South Africa’s freedom struggle. Stop at Soccer City on the outskirts of Soweto before going to Diep Kloof. Discover the renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the world in 1997. Go to Orlando Towers to see the site of the world’s highest Suspended Catch Air Device (SCAD) Freefall. Enjoy a drink or some braised meat at the Chaf Pozi shisa nyama and shebeen. Drive past Orlando Stadium, the 1st ever sports facility built for black South Africans in a residential area. Then, go to the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Orlando West to discover a work of art that marks the events of 16 June 1976, a catalyst for the Soweto Uprising. End your Soweto tour at the Kliptown Open Air Museum in Walter Sisulu Square, where 3,000 people gathered in 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter. See the 10 tenets on which the South African Constitution is based. Another popular landmark, just a few meters from the museum is the 4-star Soweto Hotel.

Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

5. Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

This short tour will let you experience day to day life in the township. Meet your local tour guide and start the bike tour. You will be able to visit famous spots including Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, Vilakazi, Orlando stadium, and the Hector Peterson memorial. Learn about the incidents that happened on the fateful day of 16 June in 1976 when Hector Peterson was shot and killed by the police during the student protests. This tour includes a little bit of exercise and is eco-friendly. You get to cycle on the most famous street on the African continent, Vilakazi Street. Interact with locals and see how life goes in South Africa's most famous township. You will have the opportunity to support local small businesses on the way. You can bring small change or items that you would like to donate. 

Soweto: Walking Tour with a Local Guide and Lunch

6. Soweto: Walking Tour with a Local Guide and Lunch

Discover the history of Soweto, where political icons lived during Apartheid, fighting against the regime. Explore the everyday life, meet the locals, taste local cuisine and get an authentic experience with a Sowetan native guide. Start at the Hector Pietersen Museum and hear about the Soweto uprising that transpired in 1976, which was one the turning point of Apartheid. Be introduced to the famous house of Nelson Mandela in Vilakazi Street, built in 1945, where he lived until he was imprisoned for 27 years. Have a conversation about Arch bishop Desmond Tutu in the famous street in Vilakazi Street. Continue through Orlando East, the first formal settlement of Soweto and Orlando Stadium, Soweto football giants, the Orlando Pirate and ride a minibus taxi to the last stop at the Orlando Towers. Listen to the many personal stories about the family's generations, how apartheid had an impact in each and everyone of them and how Soweto has changed today. Enjoy a traditional, local lunch of Kota (Local burger) or Braii (Barbecue).

Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

7. Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre departure tour briefing before departing to Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto you pass by the National Football Stadium City, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you visit Vilakazi Street - drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela and past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will have an opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this tour you will pass by the Mandela House. A visit into the museum is optional. You continue your tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University and end your tour with a stop at the largest hospital in the world: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. After Lunch on your own account, you will arrive at the world famous Apartheid Museum. Here you will learn about the history and struggle of South Africa during apartheid. Once you are done with the Apartheid Museum, you head into Johannesburg City and start with the view of the impressive 269 metre Telkom Tower, as seen on many postcards of Johannesburg. You then enter the inspiring Constitution Hill – and Court (when not in session) Political activists like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were once held here. During a tour inside you will learn about some of the legal history of Johannesburg. On your way to Newtown you pass by the longest southern African bridge, named Nelson Mandela bridge. At Mary Fitzgerald Square you can walk on the Jazz Walk of Fame. In short, this tour offers you a unique Johannesburg experience at an affordable rate.

Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour

8. Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour

Take a comprehensive tour of Johannesburg, Soweto, and the Apartheid Museum (opened from Wednesday - Sunday). Pass important landmarks and learn about the country's difficult history of Apartheid. Be picked up from your hotel for a full-day tour of Johannesburg, the Apartheid Museum, and Soweto. Begin your explorations in the heart of bustling Johannesburg, the third-largest city in Africa. Pass landmark buildings and structures such as the Hillbrow Tower, one of the tallest towers in Africa, the sky-scraping Ponte City, Sentech and Carlton Centre Towers, and the multimillion-rand Nelson Mandela Bridge. Once a prison and military fort, visit the Constitutional Hill Museum and learn about South Africa's journey to democracy. Be humbled as you hear and see the struggles South Africa endured during its societal transitional phases such as the Apartheid. Leaving the hustle and bustle of central Johannesburg behind, the tour will proceed to historical Soweto, an iconic South African township that experienced many student uprisings and much police brutality during the apartheid era. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial, and see the house of Nelson Mandela. After an interesting and thought-provoking day head back to your hotel on a comfortable air-conditioned bus. 

Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

9. Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour

After being collected from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing, before you depart for Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto, you will pass by the National Football Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You will then enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you will then visit Vilakazi Street, where you will drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela, and past the current home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also have the opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising that occurred on the 16th of June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this Soweto tour you will pass by the Mandela House, giving you an opportunity to take photos of the father of Africa’s residence. A visit into the museum is also optional (at an extra cost and payable on arrival). You will continue your Soweto tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you will get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You will then drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University, and end your tour with a view of the largest hospital in the world: the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Soweto: Full Day Tour

10. Soweto: Full Day Tour

Starting in Kliptown, one of Soweto´s oldest districts, see the Soccer City Stadium also known as The Calabash. This stadium is located in Nasrec, bordering the Soweto area of Johannesburg, and was one of the many venues constructed for the World Cup in 2010. It has a capacity of just under 95,000 people, and was the location for the final of the tournament. Today, it hosts many concerts by major international artists, as well as many other sporting events. Next, visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West. This site commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto Uprising of 1976.  Explore Vilakazi Street, in the heart of Soweto. The street is is where Nelson Mandela spent the first couple of nights of freedom upon his release after 27 years of imprisonment. You will walk by this residence and pass by the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As such, Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world that can boast having had two Nobel Laureates as residents. After this, enjoy a traditional kota lunch, followed by a visit to the Apartheid Museum (if full day option selected), illustrating the history of South Africa´s struggle for change and freedom in the 20th century.

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What people are saying about Soweto

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 998 reviews

Our guide: Exactly on time the whole trip. Friendly, professional, very knowledgable on multiple levels. Honest and helpful. Calm and positive. Knows his history, his country, his cities and loves his work. We learned and enjoyed.

Great tour although we didn't get to go to the apartheid museum as it was closed and the tour of the city of joburg that was to replace it didn't happen (altho that was fine - we were tired). I thought it was a bit expensive.

Our guide Pascal was amazing and super knowledgeable, not just about the subjects of the tour, but also on all things South Africa. Two thumbs up!

Safe and genuine experience in Soweto with our informative guide who made sure that we had a great time!

It was a very excellent experience. Buses very clean and travel as scheduled.