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 options range from renting a car to using a taxi service, using Uber, to using a hotel transfer. Let’s explore each of these options in more detail.
- The distance from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre
- Transport options for getting from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre
The distance from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre
Most tourists to Johannesburg will stay in either Sandton, Rosebank or Johannesburg City centre.
|Area||Distance||Time to drive by car|
|Johannesburg City Centre||26 km||30 minutes|
|Sandton||29 km||35 minutes|
|Rosebank||25 km||35 minutes|
As seen from the table above, the distances from Johannesburg airport to the city centre, Rosebank and Sandton are very similar at between 25 to 29 kilometres and will take approximately 30 – 35 minutes to drive using a car.
Transport options for getting from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre
Let’s look at the various transport options from the Johannesburg airport to the various popular tourist destinations in Johannesburg.
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. There are several hotel options in the different areas of Johannesburg that offer hotel transfers – just make the arrangements with the hotel directly – an extra cost may apply. These include:
Use a train
Johannesburg does not have a very good public transport system, but the Gautrain travels between different stations in the major cities in Gauteng, and it connects these stations to the Johannesburg airport.
The Gautrain travels from the Johannesburg Airport to the three train stations in the major areas in Johannesburg. The table below shows the duration of the train trips:
|Johannesburg City Centre||Sandton||Rosebank|
|43 minutes||14 minutes||37 minutes|
When you take the Gautrain from Johannesburg Airport, it stops 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 need to 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 need to change platforms to get on a train from Sandton Station to travel onwards.
Please be aware that Covid may affect the train schedule, times and costs. Check the Gautrain website or app for updated details before you decide to use the Gautrain to travel from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre.
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.
Once you arrive at the Rosebank Station, you can leave the station if you are staying at a Rosebank hotel. Most of the Rosebank hotels are near the 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:
|Sandton||Rosebank||Johannesburg City Centre|
|R175 ($11.40)||R185 ($12.05)||R185 ($12/05)|
Use a taxi for getting 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.
Using a metered taxi is best and you can choose from the following taxi companies:
|Taxi company||Contact number||Website|
|Zebra Cabs||0861 105 105||www.zebracabs.co.za|
|Quick Cab||+27 76 043 3617 / |
+27 73 447 2595
|Orange Taxis||0861 700 222 / |
+27 76 205 8031
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 give you an indication of how much a taxi from Johannesburg to the city centre can be, the base rate is R70 (R$5) and then 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)
Use Uber or Bolt
Using these apps to book transport is a very popular transport option in South Africa. Booking a ride from Johannesburg Airport to the different areas in the city centre will cost you:
Is it safe to take Uber in Johannesburg? Taking Uber in 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 for 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. If the violence escalates, the Uber app will also notify you if a pick-up is not safe.
Arrange an airport transfer
You can also pre-book an airport transfer with one of the many companies offering the service directly or through a tour operator, such as Viator. Some of the best options for airport transfers from Johannesburg Airport to the city centre are:
|+27 12 346 0899||www.ezshuttle.co.za||Starting from R530 ($35) for up to three passengers|
|www.viator.com||Ranging from $14 – $42, depending on group size|
|+27 11 794 8300 / |
+27 83 625 509
|www.airportlink.co.za||Starting from R580 ($38)|
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 Company||Price – starting from|
|Budget Car Rental||$29 (R446)|