Cheap Flights To Pretoria
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- City Area : 687.54 km² (265.46 sq mi)
- Calling Code : +27 (0) 12
- Currency : South African Rand (ZAR)
- (EST) City Population : 741,651
- Official Languages : Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho, Tswana
- Time Zone : UTC/GMT+2
- Airport : Wonderboom National Airport
Cheap Flights to Pretoria are not easy to find due to the fact that it is not one of the 3 main national airports in South Africa. We compare millions of flights annually to bring you the best prices available on flights to Pretoria.
Reasons to Visit Pretoria
- Founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, Pretoria became capital to the Republic of South Africa in 1860. The city is also referred to as Jacaranda City when the streets during spring are a spectacular sight covered in purple from hundreds of jacaranda trees. With leafy boulevards the city is a wonderful blend of 19th century Dutch, British Colonial and German architecture, easily recognizablen n by any European tourist, intermingled with modern, post-modern and distinct South African styles.
- A city rich in history, its home to plenty of historical buildings, monuments, museums and galleries including wonderful green spaces of parks, botanical gardens, nature reserves, dams, rivers and more.
- There are shopping malls, designer boutiques, movie theatres, nightclubs and pubs to have a great time with friends and family including the State Theatre, the largest theatre complex in Africa, for a special performance. Additionally there’s a great range of superb eateries offering a variety of international cuisines including delicious authentic local dishes. La Pentola is in the top ten and has been going since 1995.
- Visitors have a great choice of accommodation to suit their specific need comprising luxury hotels, comfortable boutique hotels, private lodges, B&Bs, Guest Houses, Self-catering and two backpacker establishments.
Places to See Pretoria
- The enormous Union Buildings, completed in 1913 by Sir Herbert Baker reflect magnificent neo-classic architecture of the Italian Renaissance. Definitely not to be missed.
- The majestic Pretoria City Hall was built in 1931 and inaugurated in 1935 in celebration of Pretoria’s city status. It’s the largest public hall in the country with amazing stone floors, large paintings, beautifully decorated rooms and an auditorium that accommodates hundreds of people, an ideal venue for large private functions, especially weddings. Situated in Pretorius Square it overlooks perfectly manicured gardens, a pond with fountains and three historical statues.
- Take a couple of hours in the day to visit the Stamp Museum, even non-collectors will be captivated with more than 500,000 international and South African stamps including some of the world’s rarest stamps. Hours are from 09h00 to 16h00 weekdays with free entry.
- The Transvaal Museum on Paul Kruger Street affords a great experience for the whole family. One of South Africa’s leading natural history museums, it opened in 1892 and comprises four exciting exhibition halls that include Geneses of Life and Mammal Hall while the Geoscience Museum has a wonderful collection of various minerals, gemstones and crystals found only in South Africa. Children are in awe when entering the museum with dinosaurs and skeletons depicted on the entrance walls.
- For art lovers, the Pretoria Art Museum’s collection has grown substantially over the years. Although most pieces are by South African artists, the museum is also home to a fine collection of 17th century paintings by various Dutch artists as well as photographic art, sculptures and textiles.
- Kruger House Museum within Kruger House is located at 60 Church Street West and was built in 1884 as the official residence of the Boer leader and President of South Africa.
- Freedom Park is another must. People that lost family members during WWI, WWII, pre-colonial wars, wars of resistance, the South African War and other occurrences can pay tribute to their loved ones at the Wall of Names located in Freedom Park. The lush park and amazing architecture fittingly honours those gone. Tours can be arranged with the park being every day from 08h00 to 16h30.
- The 76ha Pretoria Botanical Gardens is more than a worthwhile visit to view some of the most amazing indigenous trees and exotic plants. The institute was originally established as a research facility in 1958 and finally opened to the public 1984. Be sure to visit the National Herbarium, the rare succulent garden, the Medicinal Garden, the Environmental Education Centre and the Enabling Garden that highlights tools and methods for people with disabilities before popping into the delightful gift and bookshop.
- The Rietvlei Nature Reserve is one of the city’s most popular outdoor locations. Situated between Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport, the reserve has birds and animals including zebra, cheetah, numerous buck, rhino and over 300 different bird species. Its a great place for relaxing, hiking, picnicking or a guided tour.
- Located north of Pretoria in the Magaliesburg Mountains is the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, home to the well-known Wonderboom Giant Fig Tree. The perfect place for outdoor enjoyment with the remarkable Miracle Tree, said to be over 1000 years old that stretches 25m upwards with 13 trunks. A hiking trail up the mountain leads to a manmade waterfall that cascades down into the Apies River. Located within the reserve is the historical site of Fort Wonderboom, one of four forts built for the protection of Pretoria city during the South African War.
- Anyone interested in diamonds, especially the largest one in the world, should visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine where the famous Cullinan diamond was discovered. A whopping 3106 carats before being cut, it was deemed to be one of the most spectacular natural discoveries in South Africa. Visitors can take tours underground or above ground and view rough diamonds being cut and polished including mining operations. A worthwhile afternoon for a unique experience.
- Loads of fun and laughter for families or anyone that’s never experienced ice-skating is the Kolonnade Ice Rink situated in Kolonnade Shopping Centre. Another option for a day of fun and dirt is the Gotcha Paintball Range that comprises five playing fields with numerous paintball games.
- Children come alive when spending a day at the zoo and Pretoria Zoo is a must. It’s the largest and only zoo in South Africa with national status. It has over 600,000 visitors annually traversing approximately 6km of walkways in its 85 hectares. Home to a large variety of wonderful, amazing creatures and animals including many bird species, the zoo also has the 3rd largest collection of exotic trees. Not to be missed is the Reptile Park and aquarium which is the largest inland aquarium in the country. The zoo plays an important role in education and has a host of interesting programmes geared towards children including youth courses, volunteer programmes, the Zoo Club and loads more.
Getting Around Pretoria
Minibus Taxis are the quickest way to get around but have no schedules or formal stops. They’re not the most ideal mode of transport due to reckless driving, overcrowding and vehicles not always in the best condition but if you can find a decent one, it’ll be an experience to remember.
The best option for visitors wanting to take in as much as possible in the city and surrounding areas is to hire a vehicle that saves time and affords freedom to come and go. The road network is also excellent and easy to navigate. Reputable car hire companies including Avis, Bidvest and Europcar are situated in the city while there are plenty more in nearby suburbs. Visitors should always be alert, especially at night, when stopped at robots and where they park their vehicle.
Taxis can be booked telephonically or found at taxi ranks and are ideal for short trips with a safe return back to the hotel, although a bit pricey.
The Metro suburban trains in Pretoria are not the safest way to travel but if you must, travel when there are plenty of other passengers and only during the day. For train travel from Pretoria to Johannesburg, the Gautrain is ideal, fast, safe and clean. The Airport Line links O.R. Tambo International with Sandton, while the North-South Line links Park Station in Johannesburg for additional long-distance train travel with the Shosholoza Meyl to other South African cities. Other luxury trains such as The Blue Train and Premier Class travel from Pretoria to Cape Town.