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Pretoria

3.8 /5 25 votes

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Best Time: September to October (spring) Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Pretoria Check Flights

"The city of the Voortrekkers"

Pretoria Tourism

The administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria is one of Gauteng's most important cities. It is the executive seat of the government of South Africa, and has a host of outdoor tourist activities for which it is very famous!

At first, Pretoria comes across as a very serious and uptight city. One of the three capitals of the country, Pretoria has a very formal feel to it. The city was named after Andries Pretorius, the famous Voortrekker leader who led the clan to victory at the Battle of the Blood River. The city has been the administrative capital of South Africa since 1855 when it was founded. That being said, the city has some of the most fun activities you could indulge in! There are so many game reserves, parks, and also South Africa's national zoo, that you'll find yourself having a gala of a time in the outdoors. The National Botanical Garden is also located here and is home to a huge variety of flora throughout the year. Go horse riding or explore the plethora of hiking trails in the nature reserves. Visit the historic Voortrekker Monument which honours the great legacy of the Voortrekkers, or the Pretoria Forts which were built just before the Second Boer War, against the British. Shop at the biggest mall in Africa, the Menlyn Centre with over 300 stores to ensure a super day out shopping! Popularly known as the Jacaranda City due to more than 70,000 Jacaranda trees throughout, the city's colourful parks and wonderful attractions are sure to make it a few days spent well.

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History of Pretoria

Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a Voortrekker leader. The city was named after his father, the hero of the Battle of Blood River, Andries Prestorius. The city was founded to be the new capital of the South African Republic, and it became so in 1955. After the Second Boer War in 1900, Pretoria was surrendered to the British. Afterwards, the Republics of ZAR and Orange River Colony along with the Cape Colony and Natal Colony became the Union of South Africa in 1910, of which Pretoria was made the administrative capital. It has continued to hold that position since then, even after South Africa became a republic in 1961.

Nightlife in Pretoria

Pretoria has decent nightlife options. Although it's not the kind of party city you would hope for, it's still got many great bars and clubs with a great crowd. Hatfield Square is a popular nightlife neighbourhood, and since it's close to the university of Pretoria, the crowd is a wonderful mix of the young and the old. It is the first place you should head for. Burnett and Duncan streets are dotted with many popular nightclubs and bars, and the parties usually go on till 02:00 in the night.

Shopping in Pretoria

Shopping options in Pretoria are plenty. You should definitely check out the Hazel Food Market. It is a vibrant and lively food market where you will find all sorts of local produce as well as food trucks and street foods. The experience is definitely one to have. As far as malls go, the Menlyn Shopping Centre is a huge shopping mall with over 300 stores, one of the largest in the entire continent, from international as well as local brands. The same goes for the Kolonnade Centre, with a great collection of brands and restaurants. The Brooklyn Mall is another popular place to shop and eat, home to around 150 stores of various interests.

Currency in Pretoria

The South African rand is the only currency accepted and all major credit and debit cards are accepted in the well established places. ATMs are placed throughout the city.

Exchanging Money in Pretoria

Currency exchange booths are easily found in Pretoria. There are several offices in commercial areas such as the Menlyn Centre and other malls. There are severeal bureau de exchanges, banks and many international ATMs also make it very easy to withdraw currency. Carrying your passport is necessary while exchanging currency, and also don't make sure you're exchanging at authorised dealers.

Daily Budget for Pretoria

Daily expenses in Pretoria are not too many, mostly because the currency has favourable exchange rates with most currencies. Depending on where you eat, attractions you visit, how you get around, how you shop etc daily expenses can be expected as follows Budget trip : ZAR 400 - 800 Comfortable trip : ZAR 1000 - 1500 Luxury trip : ZAR 1800 - 2300

Religion of Pretoria

Christianity

Pretoria Customs

General rules of courtesy and politeness thrive in the South African culture and here in Pretoria as well. The black community however places a strong emphasis on social positions, such as being respectful to elders. The more modern and Western Africans are a little more casual in their demeanour. Tipping is customary in South Africa. In restaurants and bars with service, 10% of the bill is enough, and a few rands at petrol stations, parking lots and to security guards is sufficient. Tipping guides and drivers in the region of ZAR 10 - 20 per day per person is also enough.

Language of Pretoria

There are many African languages spoken in Pretoria, largest of which is the Afrikaans. There is a great number of English speakers in the city as well, so you shouldn't have any problems on your travels.

Restaurants and Local Food in Pretoria

Pretoria being a major city has a great choice of cuisines and restaurants. Fast food joints can be found in several places, and the international joints like KFC, Domino's, Pizza Hut etc have many branches in Pretoria. As far as restaurants go, La Pentola is a top class international restaurants. It has a huge variety of cuisines on offer as well. Kream is another very popular restaurant, with a brilliant menu and sophisticated atmosphere. Also, Mosaic is a fantastic restaurant, with reputed chef Chantel Dartnall handling the kitchen and sending out some delectable dishes. Other great restaurants include Crawdaddy's, Zest Bistro, Hemingway's, and also Burger Bistro.
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