Pretoria travel guide

Pretoria Tourism | Pretoria Guide

You're Going to Love Pretoria

Pretoria boasts lush gardens, buzzing nightclubs and eateries, and a whole lot of rich South African history. Alongside its natural wildlife sanctuaries, Pretoria's urban life is centered around great eats and entertainment, and it comes alive in the evenings, thanks to its large university student population.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Pretoria

1. Natural Reserves, Parks, and Sanctuaries

Pretoria has a number of natural reserves such as Wonderboom Nature Reserve, with a fig tree that's over 1,000 years old, and Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary.

2. Historical Architecture

Check out the Union Buildings, home to the South African presidential legacy and history, as well as the Voortrekker Monument, right across from the lush Freedom Park.

3. A Fascinating Blend of Influences

Take in Pretoria's Dutch and Germanic roots that are evident in bakeries, breweries, and national museum exhibits.

4. Authentic South African Cuisine

Don't miss out on the best of South African cuisine served at various hidden gems and famous restaurants such as Tings 'n Times, Crawdaddy's, and La Pentola.

5. Outdoor Entertainment and Theater

Sit back and relax at the Monument Amphitheatre with drinks and outdoor music, while the Klitsgras Drumming Circle plays in Tierpoort on Garsfontein Rd.

What to do in Pretoria

1. A National Jewel

With numerous species thriving throughout its 210 acres of land, this national zoo feels more like a national park. It's one of the top 8 animal sanctuaries in the world. The Apies River runs through the zoo, which can be accessed through leisurely walks but a pleasant journey on a golf cart is a tempting alternative. The exhibits include a walk-through aviary as well as chimps and primates along the western boundary. Meanwhile, the sense of exploring the African Savannah is heightened by a watering hole where South African cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes and even kangaroos converge. Coupled with its aquarium and reptile park, this is a must-see experience of the wild.

2. Lest We Forget

This grand granite monument stands some 131 feet tall and is surrounded by 64 ox-wagons in memory of the Voortrekkers who journeyed eastwards from the Cape Colony in the mid-19th century to settle new lands. Step inside and see the Wall of Remembrance. Much like other monuments in dedication to lives lost, the wall names the fallen while the interior hall features the world's longest marble frieze showcasing the struggles of the Voortrekkers under its shimmering yellow Belgian glass. Alongside this homage is Cenotaph Hall, where a tapestry of a million stitches relives in fabric these trials and tribulations. Once you've paid your respects, climb to the top of the monument and look upon the city of Pretoria from a different perspective.

3. At The Feet Of The Magaliesberg Mountains

Named for a 1000 year old fig tree that still stands today, this 494 acre nature reserve offers the perfect way to relax, unwind and escape to a wilder, more ancient vision of present-day Pretoria. Along with strange little creatures known as dassies and its winged inhabitants such as majestic black eagles, the nature reserve also includes signs of human life, by way of its forts from the Second World War and Stone Age sites.

4. Fossils Galore

Natural history buffs will be pleased to know that the Transvaal Museum has a deep connection to our shared history. Why? Because the museum focuses on curating fossils of the earliest forms of mankind, including hominids from Sterkfontein, and our earliest ancestors from the Cradle of Life site. There is also a large collection of mammals, birds and reptiles, in their earliest incarnations. Through its fascinating and interactive exhibits, the museum's intent is to track the progress of evolution.

5. A Presidential Residential

Former Boer leader and president of the S.A. Republic, Paul Kruger, once roamed these halls and sat in its chairs. For many, this is reason enough to visit the house-turned museum, which commemorates Paul Kruger's life. Many of the original decorations are still intact and its the perfect spot for an afternoon tour.

1. A National Jewel

With numerous species thriving throughout its 210 acres of land, this national zoo feels more like a national park. It's one of the top 8 animal sanctuaries in the world. The Apies River runs through the zoo, which can be accessed through leisurely walks but a pleasant journey on a golf cart is a tempting alternative. The exhibits include a walk-through aviary as well as chimps and primates along the western boundary. Meanwhile, the sense of exploring the African Savannah is heightened by a watering hole where South African cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes and even kangaroos converge. Coupled with its aquarium and reptile park, this is a must-see experience of the wild.

2. Lest We Forget

This grand granite monument stands some 131 feet tall and is surrounded by 64 ox-wagons in memory of the Voortrekkers who journeyed eastwards from the Cape Colony in the mid-19th century to settle new lands. Step inside and see the Wall of Remembrance. Much like other monuments in dedication to lives lost, the wall names the fallen while the interior hall features the world's longest marble frieze showcasing the struggles of the Voortrekkers under its shimmering yellow Belgian glass. Alongside this homage is Cenotaph Hall, where a tapestry of a million stitches relives in fabric these trials and tribulations. Once you've paid your respects, climb to the top of the monument and look upon the city of Pretoria from a different perspective.

3. At The Feet Of The Magaliesberg Mountains

Named for a 1000 year old fig tree that still stands today, this 494 acre nature reserve offers the perfect way to relax, unwind and escape to a wilder, more ancient vision of present-day Pretoria. Along with strange little creatures known as dassies and its winged inhabitants such as majestic black eagles, the nature reserve also includes signs of human life, by way of its forts from the Second World War and Stone Age sites.

4. Fossils Galore

Natural history buffs will be pleased to know that the Transvaal Museum has a deep connection to our shared history. Why? Because the museum focuses on curating fossils of the earliest forms of mankind, including hominids from Sterkfontein, and our earliest ancestors from the Cradle of Life site. There is also a large collection of mammals, birds and reptiles, in their earliest incarnations. Through its fascinating and interactive exhibits, the museum's intent is to track the progress of evolution.

5. A Presidential Residential

Former Boer leader and president of the S.A. Republic, Paul Kruger, once roamed these halls and sat in its chairs. For many, this is reason enough to visit the house-turned museum, which commemorates Paul Kruger's life. Many of the original decorations are still intact and its the perfect spot for an afternoon tour.

Where to Eat in Pretoria

Dine at world-renowned La Pentola for R150 per person or Kream Restaurant, for fresh urban eats starting at R300 for two. If Cajun and Creole steaks or seafood chowders are your thing, check out Crawdaddy's; appetizers start at R69.

When to visit Pretoria

Pretoria in February
Estimated hotel price
$20
1 night at 3-star hotel
Pretoria in February
Estimated hotel price
$20
1 night at 3-star hotel

Summers in Pretoria are wet and muggy, with afternoon thunderstorms and temperatures of 60-86 degrees. Winters are dry and mild with lows of 41 degrees and highs of 68 degrees.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Pretoria

Plane

Travelers to Pretoria land at O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. A ticket for the shuttle from the airport to Pretoria costs R90.

Train

Trains from Johannesburg's airport to Pretoria get travelers to the city center for R164 and commuter train tickets cost R16.50.

Car

Pretoria is accessible to all other cities using the National highways N1-4 and N14. Book with Bidvest Car Rental starting at R169 per day.

Bus

Liners such as APM, Intercape, and Citiliner service Pretoria with prices ranging from R220 to R570.

Airports near Pretoria

Airlines serving Pretoria

Lufthansa
Good (1,369 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,462 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,899 reviews)
KLM
Good (291 reviews)
Air France
Good (295 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,074 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,659 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (357 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (928 reviews)
Iberia
Good (667 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (640 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (662 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (195 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (201 reviews)
Finnair
Good (449 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (154 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Excellent (114 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (127 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Pretoria

When you visit Pretoria, there are multiple options for a pleasurable stay. Check in to the Pumbas Backpackers in Hatfield or the Farm Inn. If you want to splurge, try the Ellensgate Guesthouse, a great B&B.

Popular neighborhoods in Pretoria

Hatfield - home to trendy and hip university students, Hatfield is full of buzzing pubs, independent eateries, and small one-off boutiques for your perusal pleasure.

Brooklyn - beautiful luxury residences and upmarket shopping spots like Brooklyn Mall characterize this neighborhood in Pretoria.

Menlyn - similar in style and feel to Brooklyn, Menlyn's claim to fame is Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, supposedly South Africa's second-largest mall with a rooftop drive-in movie theater.

Where to stay in popular areas of Pretoria

Most booked hotels in Pretoria

Three Olives Guesthouse
Excellent (9.3, 128 reviews)
$60+
Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference Centre
Excellent (8.7, 253 reviews)
$107+
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Pretoria Menlyn
Excellent (8.5, 1542 reviews)
$104+
Court Classique Suite Hotel
Excellent (8.4, 166 reviews)
$33+
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Excellent (8.2, 2725 reviews)
$55+
Eco Park Lodge
Excellent (8, 453 reviews)
$43+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Pretoria

Public Transportation

Tshwane operates a network of buses throughout Pretoria. Getting around in Pretoria using public transport is best during rush hour. Tickets cost between R5 to R10 in the city.

Taxi

It's best to book a taxi in advance rather than hail one. Some options include Heinrich's Taxis or Rixi Taxi. Fares start at R50 for the first two miles and R24.8 for each mile thereafter.

Car

If you want to visit spots like Hartbeespoort Dam for hot air balloon rides, rent a car with Tempest Car Hire starting from R171 per day.

The Cost of Living in Pretoria

Shopping Streets

You don't want to miss Menlyn Park Shopping Centre for an unforgettable shopping experience. Check out Wonderpark's skate park and Kolonnade in the north with its ice rink.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs around R15 while a dozen eggs is approximately R24.

Cheap meal
$8.79
A pair of jeans
$53.70
Single public transport ticket
$1.46
Cappuccino
$1.62