The open-top, hop-on hop-off red bus is a great way to zoom around many of the city's biggest sights in one day. You'll be accompanied by an insightful audio guide on the two-hour journey (the route without stops). The Red City Tour takes a circular route around downtown Johannesburg and the south of the city starting at Constitution Hill with 11 stops including the Apartheid Museum, Carlton Centre and the Origins Centre. Helpful information and self-guided walking tour maps are available to help you make the most of your time at the different stops and many museums also offer discounted entry to City Sightseeing bus riders.
From the Apartheid Museum stop there's an option to take a two-hour tour of Soweto on the Sowetoo Red Bus, a mini-bus that makes a whistle stop tour of this most famous township stopping by various key sites such as Vilakazi Street and the FNB Stadium. The Soweto Red Bus leaves every hour from 10:00 and tickets for this cost extra.
The Red City route links to the shorter Green Route which starts at The Zone@Rosebank and winds its way through Joburg's historic leafy suburbs finishing at Constitution Hill (from where you can join the Red City route).
The Green Route makes two stops along the way, one at the Joburg Zoo and Zoo Lake and one at the extensive Ditsong Museum of Military History. Have your cameras at the ready for when the bus makes its way to the top of the ridge on Houghton's Munro Drive - the bus makes a brief stop at the most scenic viewpoint from where on a clear day you can see all the way out to the Magaliesberg mountains. Guides will lead you to the Green Route bus stop from the City Sightseeing ticket office in Rosebank and there are shuttle buses which connect with the major hotels in Sandton and Melrose Arch from the Rosebank stop.
Tickets are valid for both the Red City and Green Route tours and you can hop on and off as many times as you like. Tickets for the Soweto mini-bus cost extra. Make sure to bring suncream with you and some water to keep hydrated along the way.