Seven places students in Pretoria need to go

May 10, 2022

As a student staying away from home you may not know just how lucky you are to be studying in Pretoria.

These are our top tips for venues you can’t miss when studying in Pretoria

Pretoria is one of those cities with so much to do you will struggle to find the time to do it all. From lazy lunches in Irene to high energy athletic events and of course pubs, bars and parties. We are here to help you discover those things you absolutely should be doing. So for those who are new to our nation’s administrative capital here is a guide to the top seven things you need to do that have nothing to do with your studies.

1. Park Acoustics

This once-a-month music festival recently vacated its position at the Monument and has moved to Forresters PTA, Plot 60, Tierpoort, but it’s still the same delightfully forward thinking, craft-beering, live music event in Pretoria. Over the past few years Park Acoustics has become the absolute pinnacle in live entertainment in Pretoria with a line-up that includes the very best bands in the city as well as a post rock comedy show for those looking to wind down before hitting the road. The line ups in both music and comedy are always top notch and thoroughly worthy of your time and as a result the tickets always sell out early. Get the latest info on their Instagram page.

2. Grinding Gorilla Comedy Shows

Over the past few years the Grinding Gorilla Comedy shows run by Nqoba Ngcobo have proven to be a smash hit with students from the Jacaranda City. There are monthly shows that move venue around the city, so you need to keep an eye out on social media for where this month’s shows will be. They always include a mix of funny newcomers and well-established legends of SA comedy and Nqoba himself is a likeable, funny and friendly host. The best part is they are quite often free or charge a very small cover that is well worth the quality of comedy on offer. The best Facebook updates to ensure you don’t miss out are Nqoba Ngcobo’s FB page or the South African Stand-up Comedy page.

3. Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a 22 minute drive from The Fields, which is “right around the corner”. The reserve is a great place, not only for driving in your car to look for game, but for so much more. Offering day and overnight hiking the park offers a 14km (4 hour) trail and a 21km (3 day overnight) trail which are done in groups. If you prefer not to self-drive looking for game you can book a drive in the reserve’s vehicles either in the day or why not try a night drive? It is a unique experience to do a night drive, which takes place from 18:00 to 20:00 with a qualified reserve guide and allows up to 20 people to use the Tshukudu Lapa until 22:00 for an after-drive drink. There’s also a coffee shop and the braai facilities at Marais Dam which are top quality. Entrance is just R64, while guided hikes cost between R100 and R300 per person. Night drives are R240 per person. 

Tel: 012 358 1811/1812
Email : rietvlein@tshwane.gov.za (bookings)
Address: Rietvlei Nature Reserve, 14 Game Reserve Avenue, Irene

4. Cockpit Brewhouse

Strictly speaking the Cockpit Brewhouse is located in Cullinan, a roughly 30 minute drive from the University of Pretoria, but it’s worth it. With delicious food, and beers it’s a lovely way to grab a meal and take in some of the finest original beers in Pretoria. The beer standards are top level with the brewery proud of the fact it sticks to the Bavarian Beer Purity Law to produce not just the regular Weiss, ales and lagers, but also surprising and creative speciality brews from time to time. As a nice bonus they also host live music and top SA musicians such as Dan Patlansky are constantly popping in to play gigs in this quaint establishment. Phone them on 066 270 9153.

5. Groenkloof Nature Reserve 

Groenkloof Nature Reserve was proclaimed a game reserve by Paul Kruger in 1895 making it the oldest nature reserve in Africa. To this day it’s a perfect spot for hikers, mountain bikers and picnic goers to get a spot of nature right in the heart of Pretoria. The reserve is rich in wildlife, birdlife and flora, and since there are no predators you don’t need to worry about setting a new land-speed record with a lion on your heels . You can do game drives in the reserve, but for something completely different why not do a guided game viewing experience on horseback at the price of R160 for two hours. Entrance to the park is R45, and you can also stay overnight for R100 per person.

Tel: 012 358 1757/1753
Cell: 065 314 1295
Email: groenkloofnaturereserve@tshwane.gov.za (bookings)

6. Live music at Railways Cafe

Railways Cafe is a quirky Pretoria original. Tucked away next to the train station in Irene it has grown over time to one of the best places to see live bands in Pretoria. With the appearance of an old junk shop littered with street signs, broken coke fridges, brightly coloured umbrellas, flags and fairy lights stepping into Railways Cafe is an arty experience of its own. The fact they also host SA’s best up-and-coming and top-end bands with great sound makes it a must visit venue for anyone in PTA looking for a party. Whether you are coming for a pizza and a drink special on a Thursday afternoon or rocking out on a Saturday, Railways Cafe is always a good time and highly recommended. See updates on their FB page to discover when the next vinyl market is or when your favourite band will be in town.

7. Market @ The Sheds

Market @ The Sheds is quickly becoming one of Pretoria’s most popular attractions. Taking place on the first Saturday of each month the market brings together local entrepreneurs, designers, artists and musicians for an afternoon of live entertainment, exhibitions, food and crafts. There are more than 50 stalls to browse, or you can simply sit back and enjoy the jazzy atmosphere with any one of a number of takeaways. It is hosted at 012central, the trendy, multi-space development in the CBD of Pretoria. Entrance before 14h00 is R50 and R100 thereafter, but kids, Vespa riders and cyclists get in free. Check out their FB page for the latest information. If you are a musical performer or have something special to sell then apply online.

Of course, all of these great attractions are within comfortable travelling distance from your home base at The Fields, which is conveniently located in Hatfield, close to the Hatfield Gautrain station and the local amenities.

Back to articles