Download our new free travel app In Your Pocket City Essentials for IOS and Android.
Located to the south-west of Johannesburg city centre, South Africa's most famous township is also by far its largest with estimates putting the population at anywhere between two and four million residents. Although many areas are still desperately poor, like any large city there are also wealthier neighbourhoods and a sizeable growing middle-class.
The township was always at the forefront of the struggle against Apartheid, and also once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, both Nobel peace prize winners. There are several worthwhile historical sights and museums to visit. Soweto also has a cultural, music and social scene that is all its own and soccer in particular is a huge obsession for the many exuberant fans of Soweto's two mega-clubs – the (Kaizer) Chiefs and the (Orlando) Pirates.
The seemingly endless identical streets of small houses can be bewildering but if you do plan to drive yourself here you will find the main tourist destinations such as Vilakazi street well signe posted from main roads coming out of Johannesburg. A great way to really get to know Soweto on a first visit is by joining a tour led by a local guide.
Public transport Rea Vaya bus routes from Johannesburg City Centre pass by many of Soweto's most famous sights making a self-guided tour by public transport relatively easy. For Vilakazi Street take the T-1 to Boomtown and then the F-4 to Vilakazi.