South Africa’s most captivating and energetic township, Soweto is known for its history and trendsetting culture. Much like most other South African cities, it doesn’t lack the surreal beauty and highs for adrenaline junkies. However, Soweto has a charm of itself that no other city has ever possessed. With vibrant and coming-of-age pop culture influences, this place has grown and progressed to transform into a grand and almost magical place.
Influenced with rich history and ethnicity, it’s the complete a go-to destination for people looking for something way beyond the Sun, the stars, and the seas. Soweto is known for some of the most preserved and respected historical sites with raw stories and imaginations, kiosks, and roadside food classics a welcome gift to that roaring appetite. Beautiful murals and graffiti with intricacy for your camera to capture and spontaneous adventures for those who love to live life on the edge, all this can be included in the various things to do in Soweto.
11 Best Things To Do In Soweto
Soweto isn’t your typical town with extended tourist key destinations and monotone, it’s the modern age township with twists of colours and vibes, of people and tribes and stories and memories that are yet to be formed and cherished. It’s a way of living and who wouldn’t want it?
For the life of a traveller, Soweto will give you some of the most classy yet deep in its roots perspectives that will alter you and your life for all time to come. So, check out these amazing things to do in Soweto, South Africa to make the most of your trip!
1. Soweto Bicycle Tour
To take a tour in Soweto it is advisable to hire a bicycle and explore this vibrant city and its winding streets. By taking a cycle tour of the city which may take 2 to 4 hours, you will get to know different faces of it. The tour will help you explore the different communities, Meadowlands and historical landmarks of the city.
Also, get a taste of the burger of Kota and traditional beer of Shebeen that are every popular in Soweto. One you wouldn't have to bring your own cycle and second, it's open to all ages. The prices often range from RAND 350 for each person for Backpackers guests, RAND 430 for each person for our “Tour-only” guests. (2 hour ride)
Timings: 10 am to 12pm
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2. Get Insight Into History At Hector Pieterson Museum
All that you need to know about the fateful day of June 16 1976 in the history of Soweto. It offers a glimpse into the youth rebellion and upsurge that had been the consequence of making Afrikaans a language of instruction. During this rebellion, a young boy named Hector Pieterson became victim to one of the shots fired so as to suppress the riot. The moving photograph of a fellow student taking him into his arms was printed in every single publication at that time.
It was a remarkable and extremely important moment in the history of this town. It thus became a significant symbol of protest against apartheid. The museum till date has preserved many a thing from that day, so as to remind us of our roots, the loss hatred leads to and that what the world truly needs right now is compassion.
Through photographs and audio visual presentations, a tribute is paid to those that lost their lives in that tragedy, the Hector Pieterson memorial on the grounds having all of their names.
Address: 8287 Khumalo St, Soweto, South Africa Map
Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm
3. Mandela House Museum
This museum was once the residence former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and his family inhabited. The former house with its simplicity and raw authenticity has now been converted by the Soweto Heritage trust into a world-class attraction to tell the visitors more about the historical significance and the legacy of his great personality.
The museum houses memorabilia, photographs, paintings etc of Mr. Mandela and his family. He was the greatest leader this country ever had, a man of discipline and dignity; he held the weight of so many issues on his shoulders and yet never slouched. The true memoriam of his past, his achievements and most of all, the impact and powerful change he triggered.
Ticket cost: INR 210 and 314 (Adults); INR 105 (Children and pensioners)
Address: 8115 Orlando West, Soweto 1804, Johannesburg, South Africa
Timings: 09:00 am - 04:45 pm
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4. Walk Through The Famous Vilakazi Street
A world famous street for having two residents being Nobel Prize winners, Mr. Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu! It was also where Hector Pieterson was shot in 1946. This street carries a lot of loss, yet has so much life it gives you hope and strength. It shows people's bonds and connections, their relationships and families. Though it's famous, the people lead very simple lives. Perhaps that’s the secret of it all.
The whole point of being in the shadow is so that no one knows about the pure soft and simple lifestyle they actually lead. Another beauty about this street is the artwork which is displayed at the intersection of the road. It includes eight huge grey hands spell "Vilakazi" in sign language.
This street represents Soweto in its pure and raw essence through culture and food and historical places blended with tourists, alien ideals and stories and primarily, the mixing of the two worlds. Two stories. Something extraordinary.
Address: Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ticket Price: Free
5. Witness The Landmark Of Soweto, Orlando Towers
A must visit landmark in Soweto. During the apartheid era, these towers were used as coal burning plants to produce electricity. However, it was the common people that ended up suffering due to the poisonous gases. After their work stopping in 1998, they were left unused, neglected and not a career for. Until in 2008, sky riders were struck with the brilliant plan to turn these into an entertainment center.
With its beautiful and captivating artwork and its various extensive uses, it could have lots of productive use, just as it does now. Now, these towers are high for adrenaline junkies if they want to bungee jump, rock climb, zip line, and abseil.
The artworks are life size absolutely smashing and moving real life depictions of the lifestyle followed in Soweto, it's people it's culture and everything in between.
Address: Chris Hani Rd, Johannesburg, South Africa
Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
6. Eat Authentic Food At Wandies Place
The true flavor of Soweto as they call it! This initial illegal shabby eat out Shebeen eventually did get a license in the 1990s and thus went on to become one of the most popular places here. With famous personalities coming here to pay a visit, this place is not getting any older.
With its mouth watering finger licking traditional cuisines; such as morogo (wild spinach), umngqusho (steamed corn and bean stew) and dumplings, it will definitely sweep you off.
Address: 618 Makhalemele Street | Dube Village, Soweto, South Africa
Timings: 10:00 am - 11:59 pm
7. Regina Mundi
The largest Roman Catholic Church in South Africa, located in the center of Rockville, built in 1961. A safe abode for those who needed hiding while going against apartheid. Only support for the students that fled the Orlando stadium to save themselves from the police open fire, however in doing so, the church was attacked upon damaging the marble altar and crucifix, the bullet holes still preserved for significance and as a reminder.
Address: 1, 149 Mkhize St, Soweto, Johannesburg, 1860, South Africa Map
8. Enjoy A Calm Evening At Oppenheimer Gardens
The ambiance and atmosphere of natural tranquility and aesthetic serenity is what you'll find here to the fullest. Wanting some self-time for introspection and gaining a new perspective can be fully executed here. Covering parts of the credo village and the Oppenheimer tower, many indigenous and myriad of trees and plants are found here, many of which are used to make medicines.
The tower provides a panoramic view of the entire township for you to take in and register for the beauty is so enthralling to comprehend. The dense forest may be one of the few left, thus is a quite lovely bird sanctuary as well.
Take a stroll, through rocky paths listening to the sounds of the trees move, leaves blow and crumble under feet, noises of insects and the howling wind. Listen to all the sounds and the silences in between as well.
Address: 991 Majoeng Street (Corner of Ntsane Street) Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa Map
Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm
9.Know The African Culture At Credo Mutwa Cultural Village
This village/outdoor exhibition of traditional houses is a must-visit for those who wish to get a glimpse into African beliefs and culture with hints of modern ideas. They present some of the most beautifully carved and crafted sculptures, artwork showing the true ethnicity, culture, and folklore of the Africans.
These works of art were done by Credo Mutwa, a healer of his time, with apparent powers to predict the future. After much abandonment and under treatment many parts of it is worn out and shabby despite renovations.
Address: 991 Bochabela Street, Soweto, Gauteng, 1809, South Africa Map
Timings: 06:00 am - 06:00 pm
10. Enjoy Exquisite Art At Soweto Theatre
This theatre is owned by the City of Jo’burg and has maintained its tradition of community theatre. The Soweto Theatre celebrates and supports its exquisite art form showcasing the contemporary culture and identity unique to South
Africa. It is an expression of art that features modern technology, cutting edge performers and budding artists.
Location: Corner of Bolani Road and Bolani Link, Jabulani, Soweto, Johannesburg, Gauteng
11. Visit Kliptown
Kliptown is an ancient district of Soweto that features a famous museum in the central square area. Another tourist spot in this city that passes through the town is the rocky stream. It is architecturally integrated and gorgeous.
Beautifying and glorifying it even further are some creations that are emblematic of the areas past. The top ten pillars represent the pillars of the Freedom charter.
Address: Klipspruit 298-Iq, Soweto, 1809, South Africa
With a variety of things to do in Soweto, you would be extremely satiated with this trip to South Africa Equally amazing for both adventure junkies and history lovers, this South African town will make you want to come back again! So what exactly are you waiting for? Soweto is ready for you! Hop on its going to be one hell of a ride.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Soweto
A. There are many things to do in Soweto. It is filled with amazing attractions and experiences. You can go for a bicycle tour, visit the famous museum, eat at the best restaurants.
A. Yes, Soweto is a safe place to visit. The crime rate is low and the people are helpful and kind. You can go out at night, just be aware.
A. Soweto is a township in Johannesburg, South Africa. The people of Soweto speak both their local languages as well as English.
A. The best time to visit Soweto is from September to November and December to April. During this time, the weather is perfect to enjoy a vacation there.
A. Some of the best accommodations to stay in Soweto are The Fairway Hotel, Golf and spa, Kleine Constantia hotel, Palm continental hotel and more.
A. Yes, Soweto is the largest township in South Africa. It has the largest population of blacks in South Africa.
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