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JOHANNESBURG - GETTING AROUND

By Train

MetroRail is the rail service offered in Johannesburg, which connects passengers from the city center to the neighborhoods of Soweto, Pretoria and other towns located along the Witwatersrand along with other parts of the country. However, the trains do not connect visitors to some of the main attractions which are located in the northern areas and the trains can be extremely overcrowded and mostly used by commuters.

The Gautrain is the shiny gold high-speed train and the pride of the city linking Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport with the main line beginning at Park Station (Braamfontein) making stops at Rosebank, Sandton, Malboro, Midrand, Centurion, Pretoria central and Hatfield. Travelers have to purchase a Gautrain Gold Card to travel on the train which initially costs around R15 (non-refundable) and can be reloaded, the fares vary based on the total distance traveled and range from R18 - R164. Trains operate from 5:30 am until 8:30 pm every 4 - 10 minutes.

Each station is linked to Gautrain feeder buses which can be paid for with the Gautrain Card, so if you use the bus within one hour of the train ride then the bus fare is only around R1 – R6 instead of R14 - 20. These buses depart every 12 - 20 minutes on the popular routes and every 20 - 40 otherwise. The run from 6 am until 7:30 pm during the week. Visit www.gautrain.co.zo for more information on timetables, routes, and prices.

By Bus

Buses are a popular form of transport in the city and the most useful and information for tourists is the hop-on-hop-off tour. The Red City Tour offers a great way to see the city and its biggest sights with informative audio, the bus takes a circular route around downtown starting at Constitution Hill making 11 stops total at places such as the Apartheid Museum, Carlton Center and the Origins Center. The bus departs every hour from 10 am and costs approximately R160 for a ticket for one day.

There are a few bus companies and minicabs available in the city, however, they can be extremely crowded, dangerous and unreliable. Metrobus is mostly geared towards commuters and very rarely runs during the day after 9:30 am. The Rea Vaya is a safe and secure public transport option in the city with its own dedicated bus lane, stopping every 0.31 miles at many of the city`s downtown areas. Tickets cost approximately R7 - R14 depending on the route and distance being traveled.

Rea Vaya Rapid Bus Transit runs between the Joburg city center and Soweto. The R7 which runs on an inner city circular route (the green line) can be useful for visitors and costs around R14. Visit www.reavaya.org.za for more information.

By Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuks can be found all over Joburg with their base at Sandton Central and in Melville. These glorified motorcycles will zip you around the city in no time and cost around R25 per 1.86 miles and operate from 6 am to 9 pm.

By Taxi

Taxis in the city operate on meters and cannot be hailed from the street, taxis should be ordered by phone and arrange for a pick up at your hotel. There are a few taxi stands which can be found at the airport, at Park Station, and at the Rotunda. It is highly recommended to agree on a fare before embarking on your ride.

Uber is probably your best bet while in the city. Uber is a safe, reliable and competitive option for visitors. Simply download the app to your smartphone, put in your pick up and drop off location and pay through your phone.

By Foot

The parks in Johannesburg are amazing places to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy one of the world`s largest man-made green areas. There are over 6 million trees in this urban forest city, the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and the Emmarentia Dam are a beautiful destination to wander the vast green spaces decorated with blooming flowers and plenty of wildlife. The historic downtown area is a great place to wander and see the colorful ways of life, Maboneng and Braamfontein are very attractive neighborhoods filled with restaurants, shops, and galleries, both wonderful places to explore on foot.

By Car

Hiring a car in Johannesburg is probably your best option and will give you the flexibility and freedom to get around easily with your own car. There are plenty of car rental companies found at the airport including global brands like Hertz, Sixt, and Avis, there are also car rental companies found around the Gautrain Station in Sandton and downtown.