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Pretoria City Centre

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Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, and home to most embassies, Pretoria is considered by many backpackers to be a safer walk on the wild side than Jo'burg. Although only a few dozen kilometers separate the two cieites, they couldn't be more different.

Pretoria is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens

Some of Pretoria’s highlights

Church Square in the centre of town is surrounded by grand old public buildings. One of them is the Palace of Justice where Mandela was tried. Paul Kruger’s statue stands in the centre of the square. Museums near Church Square include the National Museum of Culture, the Art Museum, the Science and Technology Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Police Museum. Heroes’ acre on the east side of Church Street is the burial place of a number of people who played important roles in South Africa’s history. Australians can visit the grave of the (in)famous Breaker Morant. Further west along Church Street is the Union Building. This red sandstone edifice is the headquarters of the government. It stands on a hill surrounded by gardens and was built after the Union of South Africa had been created in 1910. The structure is supposed to symbolise the unity between English and Afrikaner. These days it symbolises the Rainbow Nation.

Flea and Art Markets

For those backpackers wanting to fill their bags, the Hatfield and Kolonnade Markets are held every Sunday. The market at Jan Smuts House is on the 2nd and last Saturday of every month. There is a daily market on Strijdom Square. The Wonderboom Market is held every weekend.

Fun Stuff

Budget travellers have a choice of things to do. Go to the drive-in movies at Wonderboom. Go ice-skating at Kolonnade. Do some go-kart racing in Sunnyside or Menlyn. There’s an indoor circuit in Arcadia. Try out the laser games and ten-pin bowling in Arcadia. Gamble at the Carousel and Morula Sun casinos.

1322 Backpackers in Hatfield and Pretoria Backpackers in Clydesdale offer centrally located accommodation for the budget conscious backpacker.