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Pretoria Introduction

Pretoria, 1 of the 3 capital cities of South Africa, may seem quiet and sleepy compared to the fast pace of its twin sister Johannesburg. But don't let its low-key reputation fool you. Despite its laid-back vibe, Pretoria is a lively city rich in character. It has a vibrant food and music scene, and its historic monuments are awe-inspiring. Plus, the sight of Pretoria's wide avenues lined with jacaranda trees is unforgettable, especially when you catch these trees in full bloom.

Hotels in Pretoria

Hotels in Pretoria are plentiful. They are also highly varied in terms of price and the types of amenities provided. The accommodation landscape of Pretoria, however, is dominated by intimate guesthouses and B&Bs. There are also a number of budget hotels that offer basic but comfortable rooms and services. Some, on the other hand, have sumptuous rooms and maintain a romantic atmosphere. There are guesthouses that strive to create a family-friendly appeal, providing childcare and facilities such as playgrounds and kiddie pools. Pretoria also has a handful of luxurious boutique hotels that you can check out if you want to spend your holiday in style.

Where to stay

When looking for hotels in Pretoria, the first place to check out is Pretoria Central Business District (CBD). The CBD has a wide range of accommodation types. It's where you'll find many of the city's historic buildings and monuments, as well as cultural attractions. Close to the CBD is Menlo Park. Its collection of trendy cafes and restaurants has earned Menlo Park a reputation as a foodie destination. It's also the centre of Pretoria nightlife. If you're looking to indulge in some retail therapy, consider staying in Brooklyn. This upscale neighbourhood houses plenty of malls, boutiques and specialty stores.

Things to see

Your visit to Pretoria won't be complete without a stop at the Union Buildings. These architectural marvels house the office of the president of South Africa and the seat of government. Even more fabulous are the terraced gardens. A short distance away from the Union Buildings is Church Square. This historic square was once the centre of life in Pretoria. It's surrounded by many historically and culturally significant buildings. The National Cultural History Museum showcases the culture of South Africa, from its distant past to the present. Exhibits here include San engravings and rock paintings that are thousands of years old, carvings from the Stone and Iron ages, and Cape Dutch artefacts. The Pretoria National Botanical Garden covers 50 hectares of developed gardens displaying specimens of South Africa's native flowers and trees. Nearly 200 species of birds and a number of reptiles and small mammals call the Botanical Garden home.

How to get to Pretoria

Pretoria is served by 2 airports – Wonderboom Airport and Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. If you're flying from Cape Town or via private aircraft, you can land at Wonderboom. If you're coming from elsewhere, you should fly to OR Tambo and commute from Johannesburg to Pretoria. Five national highways converge near Pretoria, so you can drive to the city from anywhere in South Africa. You can also take the Gautrain or the MetroRail train service to get to the city. Within the city, you can move around using the Gautrain or the bus system. As a safety precaution, it's best to avoid walking around after dark.