A Travel Price Comparison for South Africa Soweto vs. Johannesburg for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Soweto or Johannesburg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Soweto and Johannesburg. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Soweto or Johannesburg?


The name Soweto is an acronym for South Western Townships, first used in 1963 to describe the groups of townships to the south west of Johannesburg. It is a city of contrasts, featuring anything from tin shanties to luxurious mansions, and is probably best known for being the home of two Nobel Prize winners.


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a population of over 3 million people. Most of the population is made up of South Africa's black residents, who predominately reside in the Soweto area. There are approximately half a million white residents and 300,000 residents of other descent. Half of the population live in the Soweto area as well as the nearby suburbs.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Cape Town, The Best 2-Week Tours from Cape Town, The Best 2-Week Tours from Johannesburg, and The Best Wildlife Tours to South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Johannesburg or Soweto?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Soweto is $63, while the average daily cost in Johannesburg is $96. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Soweto and Johannesburg in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Soweto $32
    Johannesburg $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Soweto $64
    Johannesburg $110
Compare Hotels in Soweto and Johannesburg

Looking for a hotel in Soweto or Johannesburg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Soweto

Hotels in Johannesburg

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Johannesburg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Soweto $12
    Johannesburg $16

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Johannesburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Johannesburg:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Wheel Chair Accessible Airport Transfers Around Johannesburg: $49
  • Transfers: $353
  • Tour operator. airport and hotels transfers chauffeur and safari tours services.: $31
  • Shuttle Transfer from Johannesburg Airport to Hazyview: $67
  • Private Van Airport Transfers : Johannesburg, Sandton, Pretoria: $108
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Sedan Car: $65
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Van: $76
  • Private Transfer: Tambo Airport JNB to Johannesburg in Luxury Car: $104
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Sedan Car: $65
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Luxury Van: $76
  • Private Transfer: Johannesburg to Tambo Airport JNB in Luxury Car: $104
  • Private Transfer JNB Airport to Johannesburg Pretoria or SunCity by Business Car: $73

Is it cheaper to fly into Soweto or Johannesburg?

Prices for flights to both Johannesburg and Soweto change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Soweto $21
    Johannesburg $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Johannesburg.

  • Maboneng Street Art and Street Food Tour: $50
  • Zulu Food Cooking & Dining Experience with a local Chef: $60
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $101
  • Pan-African Cooking & Dinning Experience: $217

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Soweto $16
    Johannesburg $21

Tours and Activities in Soweto

For Soweto, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Visit Gospel service with additional Bicycle Tour of Soweto: $45
  • Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour: $60
  • Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch: $70
  • Johannesburg: Soweto Night Tour: $97

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Johannesburg are as follows:

  • Diamond Mine and Pretoria Tour: $67
  • Golf Tour, Sun City , Gary Player Course - Rated the Best: $228
  • Private Full Day Johannesburg Historical Tour : $195
  • Rhino and Lion Park Safari Tour : $97
  • Soweto half day tour including Mandela House.Private transport: $72
  • (Meet the Artist)Art Gallery & Street Art tour with lunch: $31
  • 10 Days Overland Tour-Johannesburg and Cape Town: $2,715
  • 15 Days Johannesburg, Kruger National Park – Cape Town Tour: $4,073
  • 3 Day Kruger National Park Private Tour from Johannesburg: $812
  • 3 Days 2 Nights Panorama Tour & Kruger National park Safari: $836
  • 4-Days Overnight Experience in The Panorama Route & Safari: $1,744
  • 6 Days Johannesburg and Kruger National Park Tour: $1,629

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Soweto $8.27
    Johannesburg $4.76

Sample the Local Flavors in Johannesburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Johannesburg:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in Johannesburg: $8.34
  • Wine Tasting: $11
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $115
  • Experience Johannesburg Wine Tour Views and Luxury: $227

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Soweto and Johannesburg, we can see that Johannesburg is more expensive. And not only is Soweto much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Soweto would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Soweto and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Johannesburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Johannesburg than you might in Soweto.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Soweto Expensive? and Is Johannesburg Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Soweto or Johannesburg?

Johannesburg has a larger population, and is about 20% larger than the population of Soweto. When comparing the sizes of Soweto and Johannesburg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.