South Africa boasts of many cities where one can enjoy the day with funfilled activities without having to break the bank. Pretoria is one of the cities that offer loads of fun, exciting, and adventurous activities. The city is one of South Africa’s main capital cities and it hosts all the foreign embassies in the country. Pretoria, which is nicknamed Jacaranda City due to thousands of mauve blossomed jacaranda trees planted along its street, in its garden and parks, has hundreds of attractions and they have attracted millions of tourists in the past years.
Besides spectacular game reserves and shopping malls, Pretoria has many historical buildings, monuments, and museums and they rank among the top attractions in the city. Pretoria is also home to a number of smaller parks and gardens which are situated throughout the city. They include the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Church Square, Pretoria National Botanical Garden, and Freedom Park. Obviously, Jacaranda City has something for everyone. So, whether you are planning on having a romantic getaway, family get-together, excursion with the little ones, or doing unusual things with friends, be rest assured that a visit to Pretoria will get your adventurous self well-satisfied.
How Do I Spend a Day in Pretoria?
Pretoria’s natural and cultural attractions are well worth exploring. You can be sure to have once in a lifetime experience just by spending a day in Jacaranda City. With the most prestigious art galleries and museums, shopping malls, as well as wildlife parks situated in the city, one is spoiled with choices of fun things to do in Pretoria. Hence, you can decide to go sightseeing at the parks — learn South Africa’s historical events at the Union Buildings, Church Square, Freedom Park, and others. You can equally have an all-in-one shopping experience at one of the largest malls in Africa, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.
Also, those hoping to go on wild adventures are not left behind as there are several spots in Pretoria for hiking, mountain biking, quad biking, horse riding, and canopy tours. Apparently, a day spent in Pretoria creates exciting and memorable moments. The beautiful city is a must-visit as it has been the best holiday destination for many tourists and locals as well. With that said, here are fun, romantic, and adventurous activities to engage in Pretoria which will definitely leave you craving for another visit.
20 Exciting Activities to Help You Spend Your Day In Pretoria
With the multiple ways to have an unforgettable experience in Jacaranda City, we have subdivided the things to do in Pretoria into adventurous activities; romantic activities for couples; family activities, things to do with kids; unique things to do, and the best free activities to engage in during a visit to South Africa’s capital city. Check them out below!
Adventurous Things To Do In Pretoria
1. Exciting Hiking Experience With Hennops Hiking Trails
- Location: R511, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
- Website: www.hennopstrails.co.za
- Phone: +27 82 825 9205
- Instagram: @hennops_hiking_trail
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Fridays: 7 AM – 1 PM; Saturdays and Sundays: 6 AM – 1 PM
Among the fun activities that Pretoria offers is exciting hiking for wild adventurers. At Hennops Hiking Trails, hikers get to experience one of the few unspoiled nature areas in the heart of Gauteng. The hiking trail comprises four trails that set out from Hadeda Camp. Interestingly, the trails are well marked and the beginning and end of them meander along the Hennops River and then veer away into the surrounding mountains. There are indigenous trees along the river alongside the gorges and plateau and this also adds to the hiking experience that the venue offers. Amazing historical sites can equally be sighted along the trails such as an old field (veld) hospital used during the Anglo Boer war.
- Hennops Hiking Trails’ price rate for adults is R100 per person and R50 per school child.
- The venue has river crossings which form unique features on the trails. They include a cable car and two suspension bridges.
- Hennops Hiking Trails are divided into three namely, Zebra Trail, Krokodilberg Trail, and Dassie Trail.
- Along the Zebra Trail, a wide variety of games such as Kudu, Zebra, Impala, Gnu, Blesbok, and Zonkie can be viewed.
- Dassie Trail is 2.5km and it offers kids the opportunity to enjoy hiking whereas the Krokodilberg Trail is 10km and is not recommended for kids under the age of 12 and unfit adults.
2. Mountain Biking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Location: Christina De Wit Avenue, Groenkloof
- Website: www.tshwane.gov.za/groenkloofnaturereserve
- Phone: +27 12 358 1757/1753
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 6 AM – 6 PM
Another popular attraction in Pretoria where people engage in fun and adventurous activities is the Groenkloof Nature Reserve. One can easily get the adrenaline pumping by participating in activities such as mountain biking, game drives, hiking, and horse riding. The reserve has a popular 4x4route which makes these activities interesting. The Groenkloof Nature Reserve additionally offers an amazing game viewing experience. The venue is equally ideal for exciting bird watching as it hosts a large variety of birdlife. The reserve has accommodation facilities for those that want to stay overnight.
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve is Africa’s oldest nature reserve.
- On February 25th, 1895, former president, Paul Kruger proclaimed it a game sanctuary and since then, it has been ranking as one of the major attractions in South Africa.
- Bookings are required for overnight facilities and should be made two weeks in advance.
- Persons over 100kg are not allowed to take part in horse rides.
The nature reserve offers annual tickets to its visitors and the prices are listed below;
- Children (3 years to 12 years) – R384 per child
- Children (13 years to 15 years) – R632 per child
- Children (16 years to 17 years) – R835 per child
- Adults (18 years and older) – R1,015 per person
- Family of two (one adult and one child) – R490
- Family of four (two adults and two children) – R990
3. Horse Riding Experience With Horseback Africa
- Location: De Tweedespruit gavel/T4 (Tourist route 4), Sand Road, Pretoria
- Website: www.horsebackafrica.com
- Phone: +27 082 789 9002
- Instagram: @horsebackafrica
- Visiting Time: Tuesdays to Sundays: 7 AM – 5 PM
Experience spectacular wildlife, fantastic weather, and interesting horse riding safaris at Horseback Africa. The beautiful wildlife area offers a memorable experience to couples, family, friends, and individuals with exciting and adventurous activities. They include animal interaction tours, hiking, fishing, and horse riding safaris. In the private game reserve, one gets the opportunity to get up close with the game as well as superbly trained horses. Also, the tours are loaded with fun adventures as you will interact with cubs, observing their nature and habitats. You will also have first-hand experience of the feeding of lions and a close-up view of rare and endangered species.
- Horseback Africa was founded by Dr. Colin MacRae in the year 1994.
- Over the years, Dr. Colin has successfully bred and released rare and endangered species in the private game reserve. They include African Rock Python and Serval.
- Horseback Africa offers overnight accommodation where you can enjoy the tranquillity and splendor of the bushveld.
- Wild Horse restaurant is situated in the game reserve and its unique menu guarantees a special outdoor dining experience.
Things To Do With Kids In Pretoria
4. Take a Tour of the Breathtaking Freedom Park Museum
- Location: Koch St & 7th Ave, Salvokop, Pretoria
- Entrance: Yes
- Website: www.freedompark.co.za
- Phone: +27 12 336 4000
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 8 AM – 4:30 PM
As a cultural hot spot, Pretoria has much to offer to people interested in history and local traditions. Among the city’s top museums is the Freedom Park Museum. It is situated on a hill overlooking Jacaranda City and the park’s memorial honors the country’s fallen heroes who died while fighting for freedom. Some of its memorials also celebrate the diversity of the cultures of the people of Mzansi. Freedom Park Museum further tells an interactive story of Africa that began millions of years ago with African legends, delving into the eras of colonization, industrialization, nationalization, and eventually democracy. It is a go-to spot for every lover of history as the tour is quite interesting and educative.
- Located on Salvokop, Freedom Park Museum’s memorial lists the names of people who were killed during the South African Wars, World War I, World War II, and equally in the apartheid era.
- Through architecture, landscaping, and culture, the series of sites that make up the museum beautifully explores African culture, history, heritage as well as spirituality.
5. Animal Interaction at The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
- Location: 232 Boom Street, Pretoria
- Entrance: Yes
- Website: www.pretoriazoo.org
- Phone: +27 12 339 2700
- Instagram: @natzoopta
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 8:30 AM – 7:30 AM
Over the years, Pretoria Zoo, formally known as the National Zoological Garden of South Africa, has attracted millions of tourists to the country. The zoo has become the best spot for wild adventurers who love to have close-up views of animals, as well as intimate interactions with wildlife. As the largest zoo in South Africa, the animal park is home to African savannah elephant, American flamingo, African penguin, Burmese python, African wild dog, black and white ruffed lemur, black-eared marmoset, common chimpanzee, giant anteater, green mamba, hippopotamus, leopard, Macklot’s python, lion, Natterer’s piranha, among many others.
There are also fun activities for kids to enjoy on the premises such as riding pushcarts, the big wheel, the Zoo choo-choo train, and the jungle train. However, these activities come with extra charges. For instance, a single-seater pushcart day ride costs R60 while a double seater costs R80.
- The National Zoological Garden of South Africa is the only zoo in the country with national status. Hence, it attracts more than 600,000 people every year.
- Pretoria Zoo is one of the world’s eight largest zoos. It is situated on an 80 hectare and was founded by J.W.B Gunning in the year 1899.
- Zoo camps take place on Fridays and Saturdays from September 1st to March 31st.
- Sunset Safaris takes place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from September 1st to March 31st.
Pretoria Zoo’s Entrance Fee
- Adults – R110
- Children – R80
6. Exciting Bird Watching and Game Viewing Experiences in The Rietvlei Game Reserve
- Location: 14 Game Reserve Ave, Rietvalei 377-Jr, Pretoria
- Entrance: Yes
- Website: www.rietvlei-reserve.co.za
- Phone: +27 12 358 1812
- Instagram: @rietvlei_nature_reserve
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 6 AM – 6 PM
The Reitvlei Nature Reserve was proclaimed in 1948 and since then it has been a major spot where couples with kids usually have the best time of their lives. The nature reserve has a dam which offers a good number of sporting activities. Also, within the reserve lies 40km of roads that make for a pleasant family outing. Braai facilities are available along the roads of the reserve and game ranging from cheetah to Rhino is readily seen along roads. The venue further boasts of a number of different habitats which makes it perfect for bird watching.
Additionally, the reserve has beautiful picnic sites on the banks of Marais which now have two bird hides. Families can further enjoy freshwater fishing in the nature reserve and fish normally caught in the rietvlei dam include yellowfish, tilapia, and catfish.
- Rietvlei Nature Reserve dam was constructed during the great depression (from 1929 to the early 1930s) and was completed in the year 1934.
- The Nature Reserve can support about 2000 head of game and covers an area of 3800 hectares.
- While motorboats are not allowed on the dam, a yacht clubhouse is located on the north-western shore of the dam.
- Rietvlei dam provides Jacaranda City with 15 percent of its water and fishing is allowed on the western and northern shores of the dam.
Reitvlei Nature Reserve’s Entrance Fee
- Children under 5 years – Free
- Children (6 years – 16 years) – R20
- The disabled or elderly (60 years+) – R20
- Adults – R55
7. Visit One of Africa’s Largest Shopping Malls
- Location: Atterbury Rd & Lois Ave, Menlyn Park, Pretoria
- Website: www.menlynpark.co.za
- Phone: 012 764 9600
- Instagram: @menlynsa
- Visiting Time: Monday to Thursday: 09h00 – 19h00; Fridays & Saturdays: 09h00 – 20h00; Sundays & Public Holidays: 09h00 – 18h00
Get to have the most unique shopping experience at one of the biggest malls in Africa, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. The mall boasts a large base of international brands and has the greatest variety of products, as well as excellent services. With hundreds of shops ranging from a grocery avenue, a fashion wing to a food and fun court available, Menlyn Park offers the best shopping experience. The mall also features movie theatres, including Nu Metro Theatre where families with kids can relax after shopping and get entertained with blockbuster movies.
Kids are further amused at the open-air courtyard on the top floor that features oversized chess sets and fountains. Also, a range of world-class restaurants and leisure spots are available at the shopping center.
- Menlyn Park Shopping Mall has more than 500 stores, 40 restaurants, and movie theatres.
- The shopping center recently underwent a refurbishment of about R2.5 billion and is on the verge of becoming the biggest shopping centre in Africa.
- Menlyn Park Shopping Centre has been awarded several accolades in the past years for its excellent services. They include;
- South African Council of Shopping Centres Award for Sales, Events & Promotion.
- International Council of Shopping Centres Solal Award for Customer Service Experience.
Family Things To Do In Pretoria
8. Tour Around The Union Buildings
- Location: Arcadia Park, Church Street, Pretoria
- Entrance: No
- Website: www.thepresidency.gov.za/content/union-buildings
- Phone: +27 (0)12 300 5200
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays; 05h00 – 23h00
If you are looking to have a special moment to bond as a family, the Union Buildings should be on top of the list of places to visit in Pretoria. The place is beautiful and peaceful and has a well-kept garden which makes it ideal for a picnic. The buildings have astounding architectural designs and represent a decadent layer of the history of South Africa. As such, a visit to the venue will give you insight into some of the country’s historical events. Over the years, the design of the buildings has drawn people from different parts of the world as they often revel at the beauty of the site. The Union Buildings further provide a great photoshoot opportunity, capturing the special moments shared with loved ones.
- The Union Buildings was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1908.
- The construction started in 1909 and was completed in 1913.
- The Union Buildings were constructed with 40,000 bags of cement, 14 million bricks for the interior office, 20,000 cubic feet of granite, half a million cubic feet of freestone, and 74,000 cubic yards of concrete.
- The buildings played the host to the inauguration of the former president, Nelson Mandela in 1994 when he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
9. Have a Picnic at Pretoria National Botanical Garden
- Location: 2 Cussonia Street, Brummeria, Pretoria
- Entrance: Yes
- Website: www.sanbi.org/gardens/pretoria
- Phone: 012 843 5172/3/4
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 8 AM – 6 PM
Pretoria National Botanical Garden is where tranquillity meets beauty. The 76 hectares are well maintained and is a perfect pristine getaway for families. Though entrance into the Eziko braai area costs R100, it is worth visiting as it is cool for family picnics and kids to have a fun time playing jumping castle. The environment is peaceful and beautiful. It creates a memorable experience for families as they spend quality time together. In addition to having fascinating natural vegetation on the ridge, the garden has a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora.
Hence, it offers an interesting walking experience and you will get to have a close-up look at the diverse plants growing in the garden. As a favorite birding spot, the garden features more than 200 bird species and this has attracted many people for the sole purpose of bird watching. Some of the birds seen flying above the ridge include falcons, Verreaux’s eagle, hawks, and kestrels.
- The Pretoria National Botanical Garden was established in 1946 and it is currently the headquarters of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
- It is one of the nine National Botanical Gardens in South Africa.
- Visitors often spot mammals such as scrub hare, slender mongoose, and common duiker in late afternoon and evening at the garden.
- The garden also has a lovely restaurant with a gorgeous view of the garden, that serves delicious meals.
The entry fee into the garden are as follows:
- Children under 6 years – Free
- Senior citizens (60 years and older) – R15; Free on Tuesdays (subject to presentation of ID document)
- Scholar: R15
- Student: R30
- Adult: R45
10. Go Shopping at Hazel Food Market
- Location: 378 Queens Crescent Lynwood, Pretoria
- Website: www.hazelfoodmarket.com
- Phone: 078 593 7716
- Instagram: @hazelfoodmarket
- Visiting Time: Saturdays: 08h00 – 14h00
Looking for an interesting place to go as a family on a Saturday morning, a visit to Hazel Food Market should be a perfect one. The lovely market has interesting goods to shop for and equally a nice bar where you can grab a drink with your loved ones while relaxing and enjoying the beautiful view of the food market. The venue also has picnic tables for families that wish to have a picnic on the premises. The food market’s restaurant has a wide variety of cuisines; from Greek to Thai to Armenian to South African. There are also additional fun activities for the kids. The venue has a play zone where kids can paint pictures or make sand art for a small fee.
- Hazel Food Market was established in the year 2006 and has become one of the most trustworthy markets in Pretoria-East.
- The market sells locally grown food products, clothing, jewellery, curios, art, and crafts.
- It features a variety of stalls and its restaurant, The PHSOB Club offers guests a wide selection of alcoholic beverages.
- The kind of products available in the market range from freshly prepared food to fresh juices, vegetables, and cheese.
Fun Things To Do In Pretoria For Couples
11. Watch a Live Show at The South African State Theatre
- Location: 320 Pretorius Str, Pretoria Central, Pretoria
- Website: www.statetheatre.co.za
- Phone: +27 12 392 4000; Email: [email protected]
- Instagram: @sastatetheatre
- Visiting Time: Operating hours varies
Previously known as Pretoria State Theatre, South African State Theatre is one of the popular places in Pretoria where couples catch some fun. The venue hosts a colorful variety of entertainment rooted in diverse South African cultures. As the largest theatre complex on the continent, the State Theatre comprises six theatres which range from the opulent Opera Theatre to the cabaret feel of the Intimate Theatre.
You can be sure to have a mind-blowing theatre experience as many live drama shows are being held at the theatre on certain dates which can be confirmed on their website. To add extra fun to the experience, there are exquisite restaurants on the premises where you can grab a drink with your partner before the performance kicks off.
- The State Theatre has a seating capacity of 2,700 and features about six theatres.
- Besides the Drama, Opera, Studio and Arena venues, there are several other rooms in the theatre where shows are occasionally presented.
- Over the years, many musicals and plays have been performed in the South African State Theatre. They include Cats, Sarafina!, The Sound of Music, Esther and Rivonia Trial, and The Phantom of the Opera.
12. Have a Funfilled Riding Experience With Blue Train
- Location: NZASM Building, Second Floor Corner Paul Kruger & Minnaar Streets Pretoria Central
- Website: www.bluetrain.co.za
- Phone: +27 12 334 8459
- Instagram: @thebluetrainsa
- Visiting Time: Contact Blue Train via Email: [email protected]
Blue Train offers couples romantic date nights on their luxury train. The train riding experience is top-notch as it introduces its guests to a life of spectacular luxury. On the magnificent, moving five-star “hotel on wheels”, couples get to spend quality time bonding with each other. While enjoying beautiful views, delicious meals are served to the lovebirds during the trips. They can equally spend some days enjoying the ride while lodging at Blue Train’s luxury suites.
Over the years, Blue Train has lived up to its expectations as guests get satisfied with their excellent services. They have Blue Train welcoming committee on the ground that ensures that guests enjoy a comfortable trip whether deciding to ride Blue Train’s dining car, observations car, or non-smoking car.
- Blue Train offers cross-border excursions that last from a few hours to several nights.
- It is a memorable venue for the celebration of honeymoons, anniversaries, engagements, birthdays, and more.
- Blue Train won the 2018 World Travel Award as Africa’s Leading Luxury Train.
- Blue Train routes from Pretoria include Pretoria to Kruger National Park (19 hours journey) and Pretoria to Cape Town (31 hours journey).
The price rates for Blue Train’s suites in low season are as follows:
- De Luxe Single rate including supplement – R70,800
- De Luxe Double (per person sharing) – R47,200
- Luxury Single rate including supplement – R88,500
- Luxury Double rate (per person sharing) – R59,000
13. Enjoy Live Music at Deep Root Night Market
- Location: 79 George Storrar Drive, Groenkloof, Pretoria
- Entrance: Yes
- Website: www.deeproots.co.za
- Phone: +27 82 574 5757
- Email: [email protected]
- Instagram: @deeprootsnightmarket
- Visiting Time: Mondays: 24 hours; Fridays: 1 PM – 4 AM; Remains closed other days
Deep Roots is another fun place in Pretoria where couples enjoy special moments with each other. Unlike other attractions, Deep Roots Night Market offers loads of fun every first Friday of the month. So, if you happen to be in Pretoria at the time, don’t miss the memorable events that take place at the night market. On the first Fridays of the month, the market features great entertainment brought about by amazing local musicians. You can be sure to have a soul-warming evening of relaxing fun with your partner at the venue. Also, tasty gourmet meals are served at Deep Roots’ restaurant, adding extra fun to the experience.
- Besides live music shows, artful crafts are sold at Deep Roots Night Markets. As such, couples can spoil each other with one or several of the talented creations.
- The night market has an affordable entry fee of R50.
14. Have a Romantic Pampering Experience at Sweet Face Thai Massage Spa
- Location: 156 Alexander Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria
- Website: www.sweetface.co.za
- Phone: 012 362 2630
- Email: [email protected]
- Instagram: @sweetface.thaispa
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays & Public Holidays: 9 AM – 7 PM
A visit to Sweet Face Thai Massage Spa will undoubtedly blossom the love between couples. The lovebirds will get to experience special moments while enjoying various spa packages offered by Sweet Face, which will leave them feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and pampered. Interestingly, the spa has a special romantic package for couples (Love Bird) that costs R1,720. The two will be treated to luxurious pampering in one of their couple’s treatment rooms with a focus on pure relaxation and special bonding. Sweet Face additionally offers world-class specialized massage treatments to suit every budget.
- Sweet Face offers Thai massage therapy which is not just a luxury treatment but a massage technique that aims to help release tension and equally loosen up muscles and lymphatic drainage.
- Among the spa’s special offers is the Black Friday Special that includes a 30 minute Thai massage voucher for just R160.
Sweet Face services include:
- Thai Yoga Massage – From R370 to R700
- Thai Aroma Oil Massage – From R360 to R680
- Sports Massage – From R380 to R720
- Medical Massage – From R400 to R760
- Dual Massage – From R720 to R1360+
Things To Do In Pretoria For Free
15. Take a Walk Around The Pretoria Farmers Market
- Location: 665 Moreleta Street, Silverton, Pretoria
- Entrance: No
- Website: www.pretoriaboeremark.co.za
- Phone: +27 79 987 1025
- Visiting Time: Saturdays: 04h30 – 09h30
Also known as “Pretoria Boeremark” in Afrikaans, Pretoria Farmers Market is a popular shopping spot for visitors and locals alike. However, one can decide to just visit the market for sightseeing, feeding his or her eyes on the beautiful things the market has to offer while touring around the premises. Since the market starts at 04h30, if you arrive early enough, you might be lucky to watch the sunrise which adds to the fun market experience. Then during the winter season, fires are made around the market to ensure that visitors are kept cozy and warm as they tour around the market.
A nice stroll around the farmers’ market will definitely lift your spirit as it has such a lively buzz. Strolling around Pretoria Farmers Market is one of the best free things to do in the city early on a Saturday morning.
- Located in the heart of the city, Pretoria Farmers Market has been in existence for over twenty years and is a popular venue for families to start off the weekend in a fun-filled way.
- The stalls at the market offer a variety of freshly baked loaves of bread, pies, biscuits, and rusks.
- Farm-fresh milk, fresh chicken and meat, steel art, gorgeous pieces of jewelry, and wooden crafts are also available at the Pretoria Framers Market.
16. Have Beautiful Views of Menlyn Maine Central Square
- Location: 180 Amarand Ave, Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria
- Website: www.centralsquare.co.za
- Phone: +27 12 348 4360
- Instagram: @centralsquaremenlynmaine
- Visiting Time: Monday to Friday: 9 AM – 6 PM; Saturdays: 8 AM – 7 PM; Sundays: 9 AM – 5 PM
For those looking to have the best moment in Pretoria without spending a dime, a visit to Menlyn Maine Central Square will leave you marveled. You will get to behold the stunning beauty of Jacaranda City. Central Square is the heart of Pretoria’s world-class sustainable neighborhood of Menlyn Maine. The beautiful venue features a number of integrated entertainment and recreation facilities, as well as international eateries, and luxury boutique-style stores.
By touring around the neighborhood, one enjoys the amazing scenery, feeding his or her eyes on the eye-catching piazza which is enlivened by water features, public art, and a resting zone. Ensure to go with a camera as you will be delighted with the beautiful pictures created by the magnificent settings of the environment.
- Menlyn Maine is where African hospitality meets global style. Hence, there is a mix of incredible restaurants and eateries at Central Square. They include Old Town Italy, Turn & Tender, KOI, Woolies Food, Tashas, Mythos, and Salsa.
- The Central Square Menlyn Maine is home to a five-star hotel – The Capital Menlyn Maine which has been one of the main attractions of the neighborhood. The hotel boasts 240 rooms.
- The shopping areas feature home stores, a selection of upmarket grocery stores, as well as health, wellness, and beauty salons.
17. Go Sightseeing at Church Square
- Location: Church Square, Pretoria Central, Pretoria
- Visiting Time: Open 7 days a week
Another amazing and interesting thing to do in Jacaranda City is getting acquainted with several historical points in South Africa. Taking a walk in Pretoria’s Church Square is fun and interesting. In the middle of the venue is the statue of the late Boer leader and former president of South Africa, Paul Kruger. The place is worth visiting as it is surrounded by beautiful buildings that are architecturally splendid. Interestingly, you don’t have to pay to experience such a wonderful moment as entry into the premises is free and you can spend hours enjoying the amazing view of the architectural designs including the Palace of Justice and the layout of how Old Pretoria was formed.
- Church Square is the historic center of the city of Pretoria and was formally known as the Market Square.
- The venue was renamed Church Square due to the church buildings that stood at the center of the square from 1956 to 1905.
- Church Square’s Palace of Justice has historical significance. It was where former president Nelson Mandela was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment during the Rivonia trial in the 1960s.
- On a lower level of the plinth, statues of four anonymous Boer citizen-soldiers surround the statue of Kruger.
Unusual Things To Do In Pretoria
18. Take a Drive Down South African Longest Street
- Location: Church Street, Pretoria, South Africa
- Visiting Time: Open 7 days a week
Jacaranda City has the longest urban street in the country, which is Church Street. The city’s main street now has been subdivided into 4 streets, namely Stanza Bopape Street, Helen Joseph Street, Elias Motswaledi Street, and WF Nkomo Street. Church Street is among the few straightest urban roads in the world and boasts a total of 26 kilometers. As a result, many of the city’s top attractions are located in the street. They include the Church Square, Union Buildings, Sheraton Pretoria Hotel, etc. Church Street is a great place for one to have a beautiful and unique outing. And driving down the longest street in Mzansi, having gorgeous views of the attractions, would definitely be a perfect way to spend a day in Pretoria.
- Strolling down Church Street is fun as you will get to enjoy the welcome shade cast by gorgeous stinkwood trees that flank the straight road.
- Church Street Mall is located in the street and it is brimming with interesting shops and eateries.
19. Get Educated on Historical Events at Voortrekker Monument
- Location: Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria
- Website: www.vtm.org.za
- Phone: (012) 326 6770
- Instagram: @voortrekkermonument
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Sundays: 8 AM – 5 PM
The Voortrekker Monument is a cultural home for the Afrikaners and means more than just a heritage site. It is one of the unique places to visit in Pretoria as the monument tells a story of heroism and perseverance. At the venue, visitors get to learn about the Afrikaner’s story, starting from the Great Trek to the Anglo Boer War and more. Besides learning about history, the monument’s ground provides families, friends, and groups the opportunity to enjoy an excursion or have a picnic, walk, or participate in adventurous activities in Afrikaans. One can also grab a cup of quince latte coffee from a coffee house known as School on Wheels while relaxing at the venue.
- Voortrekker’s huge granite monument can be seen from all sides of Pretoria as it was built on a hill.
- At Voortrekker Monument everything means something. The monument serves as a beacon of hope and a gentle reminder to the Afrikaners of their heritage.
- The monument’s ground has a store that sells sound educational toys for the little ones and equally, a kitchen that offers delicious snacks like fat cakes, boerewors rolls, and jaffles.
20. Visit One of the Few Impact Craters in The World
- Location: Mopaine Road/M35, left of Soutpan Road
- Phone: +27 76 945 5911
- Visiting Time: Mondays to Saturdays: 7:30 AM – 4 PM; Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed
There are four known impact craters in South Africa and one of them is located in Pretoria – Tswaing Meteorite Crater. A meteorite, the size of a football field, slammed into the earth at Tswaing about 220,000 years ago and it left behind a crater that is 200 meters deep and 1.4 km in diameter. The crater is now a saline lake and is well preserved. The site is a must-see as the Tswaing Crater Museum is located close to the crater impact. Also, the area has a wide variety of plant and birdlife that make for an amazing walk and bird watching experience.
- The Tswaing crater is one of about 170 impact craters in the world.
- A hiking trail is available at the Tswaing Crater.
- The trail, which is about 7.5 kilometers long, takes from two to three hours to complete. It takes hikers along the outskirts of the massive crater down to the scenic lake in its center.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Pretoria?
For the most part of the year, the weather in Pretoria remains warm with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C. Hence, the best time to visit the city is from August to mid-October (which is the spring season) and from mid-February to April (the autumn season). Pretoria has almost 70,000 Jacaranda trees lined up across the streets, gardens, and parks. So, with the advent of spring season, the Jacaranda trees begin to bloom with renewed vigor, adorning the city’s sidewalks. The charm of the blossoming flowers further adds an adorable purplish element to the surrounding atmosphere and this is something many don’t want to miss.
The city’s temperature at this time of the year, which is considered the best time to be in Pretoria, is between 15°C and 28°C. Then in the autumn season, which also attracts many tourists to the peaceful city, the temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C. Just like the springtime, the flowers of several plants start to blossom during this season as the city experiences a pleasant climate. Though the autumn and spring seasons are recommended as the best time to visit Pretoria due to many tourists preferring the seasons, a few others prefer visiting in the summer (October to mid-February) when the weather is moderately warm and the temperature ranges between 15°C to 30°C.