Museums in Gauteng

day trips » museums

If you don’t know where you’re from, you won’t know where you’re going… History plays an important role in everyone’s lives. South Africa has a rich and interesting background and there are a number of museums across the country that illustrates this. Find an array of museums in Gauteng each showcasing something different, for you to take your kids or your school to.

How to use the museum directory?

You may search by suburb by clicking on the drop-down list above. Click on the suburb you wish to search in and see what comes up. Alternatively you may scroll down through the list of museums in Gauteng. Click on the blue name of the company to get more information about what they offer as well as their contact details. Be sure to note what their days of operation are to avoid disappointment.

Did you know?

Gauteng is the smallest of the 9 provinces in South Africa but Johannesburg is the largest city in SA. The industrial and commercial powerhouse of the country, Gauteng is the destination for many seeking employment. Even in days gone by, Johannesburg became popular due to the discovery of gold in the area, 40% of the world’s gold reserves in fact!

Constitution Hill

Guided tours of Constitution Hill can be arranged beforehand for groups of more than 10 people. This is highly recommended as the information given and the professional manner of the guides adds so much value to the tour. You will get a chance to see the Constitutional Court which is the highest court in South Africa and was born of the country's first democratic Constitution in 1994. Prisoners of the apartheid era were also kept here and a tour of the facilities is a sobering reality of what suffering the era caused to inmates and disadvantaged people of South Africa. A must-see indeed to learn about South Africa's turbulent past and its extraordinary transition to democracy!

Art museums

The Johannesburg Art Gallery has extensive collections of traditional and contemporary South African art and international art from the 16th century to the present. It has been at the forefront of the reassessment of the history of South African art through the presentation of groundbreaking exhibitions. Wits Art Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of African art, including contemporary and historical art from South Africa and art from West and Central Africa. It hosts a dynamic program of events and art exhibitions. Please check times of operation of all museums and whether you need to book beforehand.

Historical museums

Apartheid Museum is possibly the most important museum that exemplifies the rise and fall of the Apartheid system of rule in South Africa. Not your average boring museum, you are guaranteed to be amazed and inspired by the stories told in these museums. School groups are welcome and are offered a guided tour.

The National Cultural History Museum explores South Africa's cultural diversity with various permanent and temporary exhibitions. Exhibits include rock paintings and engravings of the San people and looking at archeology through Iron Age figurines. Smuts House Museum is dedicated to the depiction of the simple life style of one of SA leaders.

Museum Africa looks at urban life in Johannesburg from the discovery of gold to the era of township jazz in the Sophiatown shebeens. There is a wide selection of interactive exhibits and temporary exhibitions that change on an ongoing basis. Hector Peterson Museum is built on 3 levels and takes visitors through a selection of oral testimonies, photographs and video installations as well as original artifacts.

Roodepoort Museum displays kick off with information panels illustrating the history of Roodepoort, with particular focus on the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1884 by the Struben Brothers. Visits to this museum are by booking only and is especially interesting for school tours. The Transvaal Museum is decorated with the skeletons of dinosaurs and even a whale. It provides a memorable experience for the whole family and is open 7 days a week.

Origins, geological and astronomy centres

South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological and human-fossil sites in the world. Maropeng the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. It is a fascinating journey of discovery, using world-class audio visual technology to present the history of the earth and the life forms it supports.

Origins Centre takes visitors on an extraordinary journey of discovery, which begins with the origins of humankind in Africa, and moving through the development of art, symbolism and technology on the continent. Kids can explore and learn about archeology while seeing fossils, dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs. They offer school tours and holiday programs, please contact them for further details.

Sterkfontein Caves , the ancient dolomite caves, with an underground lake, an hour from Johannesburg, is one of the fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind and is part of the World Heritage Site. Guided tours run every half hour and remember to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
There are museums of transport, astronomy and the planetarium. Museums of Military and an SAA Museum, a Museum of Medicine and the Voortrekker Monument. These are all interesting and informative, well established and looked after to offer you a wonderful trip back in time.

Begin your search

This page of our directory lists museums in Gauteng. Scroll down the names listed on this page to find a place you think is interesting. You may also find other day trip venues and places of interest by clicking on the day trips tab. There are many subcategories created to make your search of places to visit in Gauteng easier so have a look through. Remember to review a place that you’ve visited, whether it was a good or bad experience, tell us what you think.
Visit day trips for activities to take part in and places of interest to go to with your family.
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July 2019
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