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Pretoria's architectural highlights include the Union Buildings, National Heritage Site the Voortrekker Monument, Mahlamba Ndlopfu – the President's residence in Pretoria – the South African Reserve Bank, Loftus Versfeld sports stadium and the South African State Theatre.

Located about 50km north of Johannesburg and surrounded by the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains, the city of Pretoria is South Africa’s administrative capital and home to government departments, ministries, foreign embassies and diplomatic missions.

Buildings in Pretoria feature a marked colonial influence, along with touches of art deco and South African-style architecture. City landmarks worth visiting include the Union Buildings (South Africa's seat of government), the Voortrekker Monument (a granite edifice commemorating the Voortrekkers’ journey from the Cape to the hinterland and which is a National Heritage Site), Mahlamba Ndlopfu (the President's house in Pretoria), the South African Reserve Bank, Loftus Versfeld sports stadium and the South African State Theatre.

Pretoria is also home to the National Zoological Gardens and the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, along with nature reserves such Groenkloof, Rietvlei, Moreleta Spruit, Faerie Glen, Wonderboom Nature Reserve and the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary,

Pretoria is also proud of its educational institutions: the University of South Africa (the largest distance learning university in Africa), the Tshwane University of Technology, University of Pretoria (Tukkies) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Those with an interest in history should stop off at Freedom Park on Salvokop – a monument to democracy – and Kruger House, the historical residence of former President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger.

The Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History provides fascinating insight into Stone Age and Iron Age artefacts, while the Mapungubwe Museum showcases excavated gold ornaments, ivory, ceramics, clay figurines, beads, iron and copper from a 13th century Iron Age settlement in Limpopo.

South Africa's national sport is rugby football, and Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld is home to the Blue Bulls rugby team, one of the country’s top sides. If there’s a match on, don’t miss it.

Pretoria and its suburbs are not short of shopping destinations, with malls such as Atterbury, Brooklyn, Centurion, Hatfield, Kolonnade, Menlyn Park, Sammy Marks, Sunny Park, Woodlands, Wonderboom Junction and Wonderpark offering shoppers a host of choices. Most of the larger shopping malls feature cinema and restaurant complexes.

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Things to do

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.

South Africa’s botanical gardens

South Africa’s botanical gardens

South Africa’s national botanical gardens are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. The most famous is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. More local botanical gardens, also very beautiful, can be found in various cities throughout the country.

South African art museums

South African art museums

There are many well-known historic and contemporary art works on display in art museums and galleries in each of South Africa's 9 provinces, with many important permanent art collections centred in the country's major cities.

Renting a 4x4 in Gauteng

Renting a 4x4 in Gauteng

Plan on renting a 4x4 if you want the freedom to explore places a sedan might not reach or if you are planning a self-drive bush safari holiday.

Health and wellness in Pretoria

Health and wellness in Pretoria

In Pretoria (sometimes referred to as Tshwane) there are plenty of day spas, health hydros and wellness retreats within the city itself and in easy driving distance to restore your energy.

Meat restaurants in South Africa

Meat restaurants in South Africa

Meat features in one form or another on restaurant menus across South Africa, from small town Karoo lamb or venison to upmarket beef steaks.

Five historical things to see and do in Gauteng

Five historical things to see and do in Gauteng

A look at some interesting activities to partake in during a visit to the Gauteng province.

Dance culture in South Africa

Dance culture in South Africa

South African dance has its own unique vitality and energy and includes traditional and cultural dance, gumboot and protest dance as well as contemporary dance and ballet, all performed in art houses and theatres across the country.

Freedom Park, Pretoria: monument to South Africa’s liberation struggle in Gauteng

Freedom Park, Pretoria: monument to South Africa’s liberation struggle in Gauteng

Freedom Park in Pretoria (in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality) is the brainchild of former president Thabo Mbeki; a monument to all South Africans who died in the struggle for human rights.

Eating out in Pretoria/Tshwane: dining among the diplomats

Eating out in Pretoria/Tshwane: dining among the diplomats

Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa’s executive capital, is naturally a diplomatic hub – and therefore home to excellent fine-dining restaurants and a range of international cuisines.

The perfect romantic getaway – Lethabo Estate

The perfect romantic getaway – Lethabo Estate

At Lethabo Estate near Lanseria Airport in Gauteng you can enjoy romantic accommodation, a healing massage and a picnic on the Crocodile river.

History and culture in Pretoria

History and culture in Pretoria

Historical and cultural sites in Pretoria include the Union Buildings, Pretoria Art Museum and the must-visit Freedom Park.

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