South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria is located in the northern part of Gauteng province. Due to the presence of a lot of Jacaranda trees, the place is referred also as the Jacaranda City. The city looks very beautiful and has many sites that you can visit as a tourist. From historical monuments to natural reserves, there are many places to visit in Pretoria. Pretoria has a strong African history and is known for the apartheid past it has gone through. Hence you will find a lot of historic places and museums that are a reflection of this past. The city has something to offer for everyone. So plan your trip to this picturesque city and get to experience some wonderful locations.
Top 11 Places To Visit In Pretoria
Planning a vacation is a huge task. The first and foremost thing is to look up what places you can visit. So if you are willing to go on holiday to South Africa, we have compiled a list of the best places to visit in Pretoria, the capital city:
- Voortrekker Monument
- Pretoria Zoo
- Union Buildings
- Transvaal Museum
- Freedom Park
- Rietvlei Dam
- Pretoria Forts
- Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
- Church Square
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Austin Roberts Birds Sanctuary
1. Voortrekker Monument
Historical monuments are a great way of knowing the background of a place. And the sheer fact that a monument built such a time ago, still attracts so many people, makes it even more appealing. The Voortrekker Monument was built back in the year 1949. The purpose of building the monument was to make something as a respect to the god. Voortrekker Monument is an architectural marvel with gardens and reserves, all of which are worth a visit.
Address: Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa
Timings: 8 am – 5 pm
2. Pretoria Zoo
The animal kingdom never fails to amaze us, and zoos give us a great opportunity to have a closer view of these animals and get spellbound by nature’s works. Formally known as the National Zoological Garden of South Africa, Pretoria zoo is spread across 85 hectares of land. Pretoria Zoo is the 8th largest zoo in the world. The zoo covers a lot of animals, from land to aquatic and even reptiles. If you visit the zoo you will get to see African Cheetahs, giraffes, elephants and other South African mammals. There are birds like emu, owl aviaries and many more that you can take a look at while you are here.
Address: 232 Boom St, Daspoort 319-Jr, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
Timings: 8.30 am – 5.30 pm
3. Union Buildings
The Union Buildings consist of the official seat of the South African Government and the office of the President of South Africa. Located in Pretoria, the Union Buildings are open to the public for visit. The cornerstone of the Union Building was laid in November 1910. There are large gardens that surround the buildings that give it a very beautiful look. The place is also home to many statues and memorials, one of which is the iconic statue of Nelson Mandela. This is one of the iconic places to visit in Pretoria, South Africa.
Address: Government Ave, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
Timings: 9 am – 5 pm
4. Transvaal Museum
The Transvaal Museum is a natural history museum that is located in Pretoria. So all those who were fascinated watching Jurassic Park are going to love this place. Don’t worry, the place houses only the skeletons of the dinosaurs! Apart from these extinct giants, the museum also has fossils of birds, reptiles, and invertebrates. The Transvaal Museum is a great place for gaining some knowledge and is one of the excellent places to visit in Pretoria with family.
Address: 432 Paul Kruger St, Pretoria Central, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
Timings: 8 am – 4 pm
Suggested Read: 12 Things To Do In Pretoria When You Are Exploring South Africa
5. Freedom Park
The wars fought in the history of South Africa have left behind a huge loss in terms of both human life and the architecture of each city. The Freedom Park is a memorial built to commemorate the people who had lost their lives in wars including World War 1, World War 2 and South African wars. The Park displays the names of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives in these wars.
Address: koch st & 7th avenue, salvokop, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
Timings: 9 am – 4 pm
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6. Rietvlei Dam
The Rietvlei Dam is a perfect place for spending some time and enjoying the serenity and tranquillity that the place has to offer. Situated in a picturesque location, the dam offers breathtaking views of the valleys, mountains, and rivers. There is also a pond that is full of alligators. This is also a great spot to go fishing, boating or enjoying a picnic with your family. This is one of the perfect places to visit in Pretoria for nature lovers.
Address: Rietvallei 377-Jr, Pretoria, South Africa
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
7. Pretoria Forts
For all the history enthusiasts, this is one of the most exciting places to visit in Pretoria. The Pretoria Forts were constructed by the Republic of South Africa just before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War II. By knowing the background and significance of a fort, you would be able to know a lot about the history of that region. The Pretoria Forts were built just before the Anglo-Boer War II had started around the capital of Pretoria. They were constructed by the government of the South African Republic and consist of 4 forts – Fort Schanskop, Fort Wonderboompoort, Fort Klapperkop, and Fort Daspoortrand. The first 3 are German forts and the 4th one is a French fort. All the forts are open to the public.
Address: Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa
Timings: 8 am – 5 pm
8. Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is one of the 9 botanical gardens of South Africa. It is located between Pretoria Road and Cussonia Avenue in Brummeria in the Eastern region of Pretoria. The park stretches along the central rocky ridge running from East to West. Started in 1946, it is lush green lands covering an area of 76 hectares. The Pretoria National Botanical Gardens features a wide variety of beautiful plant species. The National Herbarium, Biodiversity Center and Environmental Education Center are also located in the heart of the garden.
Address: 2 Cussonia Ave, Brummeria, Pretoria, 0186, South Africa
Timings: 8 am – 6 pm
9. Church Square
Church Square is a perfect place to experience a lot of architectural places. The square consists of many significant buildings like the Old Capitol Theatre, Post Office and many more. So if you want to see the major architecture of the city of Pretoria, then you have to visit the Church Square. The place has many statues installed on the street.
Address: historic centre of the city, Pretoria
10. Groenkloof Nature Reserve
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve is a perfect family getaway to enjoy an array of activities that the place has to offer you. For all those who are fitness conscious and enjoy walking, there are three hiking trails for you to explore. The hikers can even reserve an overnight hut. And if you are traveling with kids, you can also take them on pony rides and horse rides. The Nature reserve offers picnic spots that you can rent. While you are here, you may even spot zebras, giraffes and some wildebeest. The entry ticket varies and depends on the type of activity you choose to do here.
Address: Christina De Wit Ave, Road, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa
Timings: 5.30 am – 7 pm
11. Austin Roberts Birds Sanctuary
This is a nature reserve that has many bird species. The Austin Roberts Birds Sanctuary is home to more than 170 native bird species. There are other visiting and migratory birds too. This is a great place to visit with your family, and especially if you are traveling with kids, they are bound to enjoy this place. The sanctuary also has many aquatic and other bird including species red-knobbed coot, fulvous duck, Egyptian goose, white-faced duck, Cape teal and southern pochard.
Address: Corner of and, Roper St & Boshoff St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, South Africa
Timings: 7 am – 6 pm
Pretoria is a very interesting destination to visit, so plan a trip to South Africa and explore this amazing capital city. It has unique and amazing experiences to offer to all kinds of travelers and people of all ages. So you can come here with your family, friends, or partner. Though the weather is pleasant throughout the year, April to October are considered to be the best time to visit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Pretoria
What can you do in Pretoria for free?
Pretoria is a historical city in South Africa that is also the administrative capital of the country. If you wanna go on an outing in the capital city, yet remain on a budget, here are a few places that you can visit in Pretoria at a less than 50 Rand or even for free: 1. Pretoria National Botanical Gardens 2. Union Buildings 3. Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary 4. Melrose House 5. Pretoria Art Museum
What can a couple do in Pretoria?
Pretoria offers a variety of fun things to do for couples. Starting from you typical night outs to day excursions, you can have a great time with your special person while here. Here are a few quick options for you to choose from: 1. The Botanical Gardens 2. Brooklyn Theatre 3. Wonderboom Nature Reserve 4. The Climbing Barn
What is Pretoria famous for?
Pretoria is famous for the beautiful mauve blossom trees that line the streets of the city. Its nickname, “Jacaranda City” is given for the same reason.
Is Pretoria Safe?
As per South African standards, Pretoria is relatively safe. Crimes against tourists is also quite rare. However, it is always best to heed caution and travel in company while going to remote areas.
What language do they speak in Pretoria?
In the Sub-Saharan Africa, Pretoria has the largest population of caucasians. You can easily pass by speaking English but the main languages spoken in the city include Afrikaans,Setswana, Sepedi, Xitsonga and Sesotho.
Why is Pretoria so hot?
The temperate climate of Pretoria is primarily because of its location which is in a sheltered area in the valley. The flow of cool southern and northern air is blocked in the valley almost all throughout the year.
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