The best things to do in Pretoria for less than R100

September 23, 2022

We showed you the things we think every student should do in the capital.

Pretoria is a fascinating city with many hidden surprises for those who know where to look, and in a previous entry .While they are all things targeted at student budgets, we are also aware that you can’t do only one thing a month and the money you have needs to be stretched as far as possible. Luckily, if you are headed to Pretoria for your tertiary studies there are a number of things that are well worth doing that will cost you less than R100 all in. Here is a list of our favourites:

1. Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History has been around since 1892 and is the best place to go if you are interested in South Africa’s natural history. It is home to Mrs Ples, which is the name given to the most complete skull of an Australopithecus Africanus ever discovered. It is the only natural history museum in Gauteng and one of the largest in the country, and displays skeletons, skins, and mounted specimens of an enormous variety of animals. Entrance for adults is just R50 and even the special guided tours start at just R65.

2. The Pretoria Art Museum

Anyone with an interest in South African art needs to take a trip to The Pretoria Art Museum. The Museum’s collection displays art works from as far back as the 1600s right up to the modern day, and includes works by numerous South African luminaries such as Henk Pierneef, Pieter Wenning, Gerard Sekoto and Irma Stern. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm and entrance costs just R25 with pre-booked guided tours a mere R42 per person.

3. Wonderboom Nature Reserve 

Have you ever wondered how the area of Wonderboom (Wonder tree) got its name? The answer is at the beautiful Wonderboom Nature Reserve. Home to a breeding pair of black eagles, the nature reserve’s star attraction is, however, the 1 000-year old fig tree known as Die Wonderboom. Featuring in stories and legends from the area, the tree is said to have once been large enough to shade 1 000 people at a time or 22 ox wagons with 20 oxen in front of each.  Time, fire and a now vanquished 20-year parasite infestation has subsequently taken their toll on the tree and it’s no longer that impressive, but if the rest of the park wasn’t also worth attention, it would still be worth going to take a picnic near its historic branches. It’s open from 7am to 5pm and entrance to the park costs just R41.

4. The Union Buildings

Designed by legendary South African architect Herbert Baker the Union buildings are considered one of the most beautiful of his works and took almost 1300 workers nearly three years to build. The official seat of government and the home to the offices of the President of South Africa, the Union Buildings are surrounded by beautiful parklands and offer visitors the perfect location for a summer’s day picnic. A famous nine-metre tall statue of Nelson Mandela stands in front of the building, having been unveiled in 2013, the day after the former president’s funeral. While websites say it’s open 24 hours a day, the best time to visit is 9am to 5pm. Entrance is entirely free.

5. The Hazel Food Market

The Hazel Food Marketin the East of Pretoria is only open on Saturday mornings (with occasional night markets), but is worth the trip, offering visitors access to some of the finest artisanal and home-made foods in the city. Much like the Market at the Sheds mentioned in the last article, entrance is free, but you will definitely want to take some extra money to try out the numerous ready-to-eat meals, breads, cheeses, meats, craft beers and cakes on sale.

6. The Pretoria National Botanical Garden

The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is a beautiful 76-hectare expanse of nature in the very heart of Pretoria. Encompassing two distinct sections, the chilly Southern Half and the warmer Northern Half, the park includes a massive 50 hectares of developed garden dedicated to South African plants. The garden is constantly developing new attractions and is a living scientific research hub being the home to Head Office of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). Entrance to this gorgeous park is just R55 for adults or R35 for students with a valid student card.

If you are based at The Fields, all of these attractions will be easy to access with public transport being in abundance from the Gautrain at the Hatfield Gautrain station to the nearby A Re Yeng buses.

Back to articles