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Travel Guide

Pietermaritzburg which includes a city, heritage architecture and a church or cathedral

The "City of Flowers" is known for its colonial charm, gardens, historic buildings and rich mix of Zulu, Indian, Boer and British cultures.

With its parks, botanical gardens, leafy suburbs and surrounding countryside, Pietermaritzburg is known as the “City of Flowers”. Victorian and Edwardian-era buildings provide a glimpse into the colonial past of this modern, cosmopolitan city that blends Zulu, Indian, Boer and British cultures.

Soak up some of the city's pastoral treasures at the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden. Stroll among impressive specimens of camphor trees, tulip trees, giant figs and magnolias. Enjoy the roses, azaleas and bougainvillea in Alexandra Park. View hundreds of indigenous and exotic butterflies at Butterflies for Africa. The center’s walk-through Butterfly House also has a fabulous monkey enclosure.

Get in touch with Pietermaritzburg’s past on one of the Town Trails tours, a collection of self-guided walks that take in 50 of the city’s historic sites. Go to Pietermaritzburg train station where the father of Indian Independence and peaceful protest, Mahatma Gandhi, was arrested for traveling in a whites-only compartment. Stand by the hitching rails outside the Imperial Hotel where Napoleon is believed to have tied up his horse.

Marvel at the City Hall, an imposing colonial-era redbrick building which is reputed to be the largest brick building in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the city’s most elegant structures is the Old Supreme Court, built in 1875. Today, it’s home to the Tatham Art Gallery which holds collections of South African, British and French art dating back to the 18th century.

Familiarize yourself with Zulu culture at the Natal Museum which celebrates the natural and cultural history of the KwaZulu-Natal region, otherwise known as the "Zulu Kingdom." Shoppers will love the pedestrianized parts of the Central Business District. After browsing the independent specialty stores, galleries and craft shops, the city’s rich cafe, tavern and restaurant scene awaits.

Pietermaritzburg is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the northwest of Durban and 300 miles (490 kilometers) south of Johannesburg. It is situated on the main highway between the two cities and is also served by regular bus and rail services from both places.

Bayside Lodge
Bayside Lodge
3 out of 5
157 West St, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
The price is £25 per night from 30 Jun to 30 Jun
Located in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Macrorie House Museum and The Old Prison. Tatham Art Gallery and Pietermaritzburg ...
3.2/5 (5 reviews)
"Good ◉‿◉"

Reviewed on 8 Mar 2021

Bayside Lodge
Imperial hotel by Misty Blue Hotels
Imperial hotel by Misty Blue Hotels
3 out of 5
224 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
The price is £38 per night from 30 Jun to 30 Jun
This family-friendly Pietermaritzburg hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Tatham Art Gallery and Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Msunduzi ...
3.7/5Good! (50 reviews)
Nice and luxurious but old and in need of TLC
"The hotel is nice with some luxurious features and furniture in the foyer albeit it is old and now needs some TLC all around. One can however tell that back in the day, it used to be the hotel and a go to place. It seems that over time, it kind of got neglected from regular maintenance albeit the ..."

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2021

Imperial hotel by Misty Blue Hotels
Redlands Hotel
Redlands Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1 George MacFarlane Lane, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
The price is £85 per night from 24 Jun to 24 Jun
Situated in Pietermaritzburg, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Pietermaritzburg City Hall, Tatham Art Gallery and Msunduzi Museum. Macrorie House Museum ...
4.2/5Very Good! (5 reviews)
Affordable and neat
"It was a good place to stay, no room service after 10 and the local area is a little dangerous to be getting a bite at that time. Staff are awesome."

Reviewed on 10 Apr 2019

Redlands Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top things to do in Pietermaritzburg