The Ultimate Guide to Getting from Johannesburg Airport to The City Centre

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If you decide not to spend a night in or near the Johannesburg International Airport after arriving in Johannesburg, you have several transport options to choose from if you need to get from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre. Your Johannesburg Airport transport options range from renting a car to using a taxi service, Uber, or a hotel transfer. Let’s explore each of these options in more detail.

Travelling to Cape Town instead? Learn how to get from Cape Town International Airport to the city centre and other popular suburbs. For the best hotels near the Cape Town Waterfront, click here!

The Distance from Johannesburg Airport to The City Centre

Most tourists landing at OR Tambo airport after taking a domestic or international flight will stay in either Sandton, Rosebank or Johannesburg City centre.

AreaDistance Time to drive by car
Johannesburg City Centre26 km30 minutes
Sandton 29 km35 minutes
Rosebank25 km35 minutes
Comparing the distances from Johannesburg Airport to different areas in Johannesburg

As seen from the table above, the distances from Johannesburg airport to the city centre, Rosebank and Sandton are very similar, between 25 and 29 kilometres. They will take approximately 30 – 35 minutes to drive using a car.

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Transport Options for Getting from Johannesburg Airport to The City Centre 

Let’s look at the various transport options from the OR Tambo International Airport to the various popular tourist destinations in Johannesburg.

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Use a Hotel Transfer

The first and easiest option for getting from the Johannesburg airport to the city centre is to book a hotel that offers hotel transfers to and from the airport. Several hotel options in the different areas of Johannesburg offer hotel transfers – just make the arrangements with the hotel directly – an extra cost may apply. These include:

Johannesburg City CentreSandtonRosebank
Premier Hotel MapungubweRadisson Blu Gautrain HotelSouthern Sun Rosebank
Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Parktonian All-SuiteDAVINCI Hotel The Park Central Residence
The BridgeviewSandton SunClico Boutique Hotel

If you’re planning a visit to Pretoria, you may wonder how far is Joburg from Pretoria. Driving from Johannesburg to Pretoria takes between 40 and 60 minutes, depending on the traffic. Taking the Gautrain from Sandton to Pretoria station is about 35 minutes.

Use a Train

Johannesburg does not have an excellent public transport system, but the Gautrain travels between stations in the major cities in Gauteng, connecting these stations to the Johannesburg airport.

Getting from Johannesburg airport to city centre
Gautrain

The Gautrain travels from the Johannesburg Airport to the three train stations in the major areas of Johannesburg. The table below shows the duration of the train trips:

Johannesburg City CentreSandtonRosebank
43 minutes14 minutes37 minutes
Duration of the train trip from Johannesburg Airport to the train stations in Johannesburg

Taking the Gautrain from Johannesburg Airport means you stop at two stations before arriving at the Sandton Gautrain Station. The trip is quick at 14 minutes from start to finish. The train leaves Johannesburg airport every 30 minutes.

Once you arrive at the Sandton Gautrain Station, you must disembark from the train. The airport train travels to and from the Sandton Station and the Airport and does not continue on to the Rosebank and the Johannesburg Gautrain Stations. If you are staying in the Sandton area, you can leave the station to either walk or find transport to your hotel, depending on the distance from the station. If you are staying in Rosebank or the Johannesburg City Centre, you must change platforms to get on a train from Sandton Station to travel onwards.

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From Sandton Station Onwards

If you are staying in Rosebank, the train from Sandton Station to Rosebank Station takes 4 minutes and is available at 30-minute intervals. Usually, you need to wait around 20 minutes after arriving at Sandton station to get the train to Rosebank.

Getting from Johannesburg airport to city centre

Once you arrive at the Rosebank Station, you can leave the station if you stay at a Rosebank hotel. Most of the Rosebank hotels are near Rosebank Station, and you can easily walk there.

If you are staying in the Johannesburg city centre, stay on the train when it arrives in Rosebank, as all trains from Rosebank will go to Johannesburg’s Park Station. The journey from Rosebank to Park station takes 4 minutes.

If you are wondering how much the Gautrain is from Johannesburg airport to the different train stations, it costs between R175 to R185 per trip:

SandtonRosebankJohannesburg City Centre
R175 ($11.40)R185 ($12.05)R185 ($12/05)
Gautrain costs from Johannesburg Airport to the major train stations in Johannesburg

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Use a Taxi to Get from Johannesburg Airport to The City Centre

Johannesburg airport does not have a regular airport taxi service. There are many taxi options available to choose from.

Many of the taxis in Johannesburg do not use meters. If you choose to use one of these taxis, agree on a cost before you start your trip.

Getting from Johannesburg airport to city centre

Using a metered taxi is best, and you can choose from the following taxi companies:

Taxi companyContact numberWebsite
Zebra Cabs0861 105 105www.zebracabs.co.za
Quick Cab+27 76 043 3617 /
+27 73 447 2595
Orange Taxis0861 700 222 /
+27 76 205 8031
www.orangecab.co.za

The cost of a taxi from Johannesburg airport to the city will depend on the distance to your hotel and the time of the day. To indicate how much a taxi from Johannesburg to the city centre can be, the base rate is R70 (R$5), and then you can add R9.50 ($0.65) per kilometre. If we use the distances given above, the estimated price would be:

  • Sandton: R345.50 ($23)
  • Rosebank: R317 ($21)
  • Johannesburg city centre: R307.50 ($20)
Getting from Johannesburg airport to city centre

Use Uber or Bolt

Using these apps to book transport is a trendy transport option in South Africa. Booking a ride from Johannesburg Airport to the different areas in the city centre will cost you:

ServicePrice range
UberGoR180-R240 ($12-$16)
UberXR230-R310 ($15-$20)
BoltR160-R200 ($10.40-$13)
1ZAR = $0.0651

Is it safe to take Uber in Johannesburg? Taking Uber in and around Johannesburg is safe. Some conflict arises between other taxi drivers and Uber drivers from time to time. When this happens, it is still safe to use Uber, but your Uber driver may arrange with you a pick-up 200-300 metres from a busy pick-up point. During these periods, additional guards will be placed at places such as the Gautrain stations to enhance the safety of commuters. The Uber app will notify you if a pick-up is unsafe if the violence escalates.

Arrange an Airport Transfer

A Johannesburg airport shuttle is one of the best ways to get from Johannesburg International airport to anywhere in the city. You can pre-book a Johannesburg airport transfer with one of the many companies offering airport transfer services directly or through a tour operator, such as Viator. Some of the best options for Johannesburg airport transfers to the city centre are the following airport shuttle services in Johannesburg:

Banner 2
Phone numberWebsitePrice
+27 12 346 0899www.ezshuttle.co.zaStarting from R530 ($35) for up to three passengers
www.viator.comRanging from $14 – $42, depending on group size
+27 11 794 8300 /
+27 83 625 509
www.airportlink.co.zaStarting from R580 ($38)
1 Rand (ZAR): $0.0651

Rent a Car

You can rent a car from several companies at the Johannesburg airport. You can choose from the following car rental companies and make a booking here:

Car Rental CompanyPrice – starting from
Budget Car Rental$29 (R446)
Avis$33.79 (R520)
Firefly$32.65 (R502)
Hertz$36.29 (R558)
1 ZAR = $0.0651
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By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.