South Africa may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

Pretoria

Spot wildlife in nature reserves, follow the history of Dutch settlers and learn about the political developments that shaped the post-apartheid South Africa of today.

Pretoria is a city of nature, history and political importance. It's the administrative capital on the northeast plains of South and is known as the “Jacaranda City” for it’s many jacaranda trees.

Pretoria is a symbol for the great strides made by South Africa during the 20th century. International icon Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994 as South Africa’s first black president at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Only 30 years before, he had been sentenced to life in prison at Pretoria’s Palace of Justice on Church Square. For a broader history of South Africa, wander through Freedom Park south of the Pretoria city center, which has war memorials and a museum dedicated to the country’s past.

The city was founded in 1855 as the capital of the Transvaal Republic, a Dutch settlement declared independent of the British colony centered in Cape Town. Tour the Melrose Museum to see the house occupied by the British when they invaded Pretoria to gain control of the Dutch state. Paul Kruger, the fiery president of the Transvaal Republic at the time, unsuccessfully defended the city. Learn about the life of this folk hero at the Kruger Museum.

Enjoy the biodiversity of Pretoria’s natural landscape. See a 1,000-year-old fig tree on the Wonderboom Nature Reserve. Lions, tigers and cheetahs are on display at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, which is considered one of the world’s best zoos. Within Pretoria's city center you can find a variety of pleasant parks. Picnic in Burgers Park, the oldest park in Pretoria.

Reach Pretoria via the O.R. Tambo International Airport, a half-hour drive south in Johannesburg. The city is also accessible by train. Get around Pretoria’s compact city center on foot or by bus. Rent a car to venture further out.

Pretoria has long, humid summers from November through February. Visit around October to see the city dotted with purple when its 50,000 jacaranda trees are in bloom.

Where to stay in Pretoria

Pretoria Central Business District, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Pretoria Central Business District

Pretoria Central Business District is noteworthy for its bars, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Church Square and Palace of Justice.

Pretoria Central Business District
Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Muckleneuk

3/5(1 area review)

You'll appreciate the restaurants during your time in Muckleneuk and you might want to plan a stop by Loftus Versfeld Stadium and Union Buildings while you're in the area.

Muckleneuk

Top hotels in Pretoria

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Maslow Hotel, Time Square
The Maslow Hotel, Time Square
4 out of 5
209 Aramist Avenue, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is £58 per night

Located in Menlyn, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Corobay Corner Office Park and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. Central Square and South African Local ...

4.1/5Very Good! (92 reviews)
Wonderful hotel

"professuonal friendly staff - especially Khomotso who assisted woth check in and Thando with checkout. Thanl you. Convenient to nearby attractions. Will be back"…"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2020

The Maslow Hotel, Time Square
Mont d'Or Bohemian House
Mont d'Or Bohemian House
5 out of 5
389 Eridanus Street, Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is £78 per night

Situated in the suburbs, this luxury guesthouse is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Riverwalk Office Park and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. Pretoria ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (24 reviews)
Lovely stay, warm and caring staff at the Bohemian

"Wonderful stay at the Bohemian House. It is a former villa and all the rooms are decorated differently but very beautiful and comfortable. The staff were a highlight of the guest house and they were very attentive and noted my favorites for breakfast each day. The area around the guest house is quiet ..."…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2018

Mont d'Or Bohemian House
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
5 out of 5
643 Corner Of Church And Wessels Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £50 per night

This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Pretoria Art Museum and Union Buildings. University of Pretoria and ...

4.3/5Excellent! (321 reviews)
2 night stop before coming home.

"The hotel is very well appointed and the staff are lovely people. Unfortunately although the food was good their stocking system is poor. They ran out of wine,beer and sometimes our order did not appear. On the other hand we needed some assistance for a purchase and they took us down to the shops. ..."…"

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2020

Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

Popular places to visit in Pretoria

Voortrekker Monument
Image for Voortrekker Monument

Voortrekker Monument

4.5/5(7 reviews)

Pretoria was named after a Dutchman and this massive hilltop structure recounts the history behind the group of Dutch pioneers to which he belonged.

Union Buildings
Image for Union Buildings

Union Buildings

5/5(6 reviews)

The office of South Africa’s president is inside this monumental neoclassical building, which features a beautiful garden that is open to the public.

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
Image for National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

5/5(1 review)

Visit South Africa’s largest zoo by day to see lions, tigers and a huge aquarium. Arrive by night to find lively nocturnal animals or stay on the park’s campsite.

Church Square
Image for Church Square

Church Square

View the court where Nelson Mandela was convicted and other historic buildings around this grassy square in the center of Pretoria.

Wonderboom Nature Reserve
Image for Wonderboom Nature Reserve

Wonderboom Nature Reserve

5/5(1 review)

See a 1,000-year-old tree and the site where Africa’s largest collection of intact stone artifacts were found at this natural and historical reservation.

Montecasino
Image for Montecasino

Montecasino

4.5/5(16 reviews)

With shops, theaters and a bird park among the attractions, there’s fun for all the family during the day and night at this Tuscan-themed entertainment center. 

Top things to do in Pretoria

Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Day Tour
Image for Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Day Tour

Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Day Tour

£110
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full day Pilanesberg Open Vehicle Safari from Johannesburg
Image for Full day Pilanesberg Open Vehicle Safari from Johannesburg

Full day Pilanesberg Open Vehicle Safari from Johannesburg

£153
Per adult
Cullinan Diamond Mine Tour
Image for Cullinan Diamond Mine Tour

Cullinan Diamond Mine Tour

£83
Per adult
Pilanesberg Safari and Suncity - Full Day Tour
Image for Pilanesberg Safari and Suncity - Full Day Tour

Pilanesberg Safari and Suncity - Full Day Tour

£215
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Safari from Johannesburg
Image for Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Safari from Johannesburg

Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Safari from Johannesburg

£236
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Skip the Line: Harties Cableway Experience Ticket
Image for Skip the Line: Harties Cableway Experience Ticket

Skip the Line: Harties Cableway Experience Ticket

£11
Per adult

Reviews of Pretoria

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
2
5 - Excellent 20%
4 - Good
5
4 - Good 50%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 30%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

7 Feb 2020

Just go and take a look in the Day not safe at night transportation is okay but could be better

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

4 Jun 2019

nothing special and you always had a sense of looking over your shoulder....

Cities near Pretoria

Johannesburg which includes a sunset, a skyscraper and city views

Johannesburg

https://www.expedia.co.uk///www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/ATOL-certificate/https://www.iata.org
    https://www.expediagroup.com