What Makes Pretoria Pretoria

We delve into the iconic places that sets Pretoria apart from the rest of the world.

Loftus Versfeld

Kicking it off, so to speak, one of the first things that comes to mind when giving deep thought into what makes the 012 tick, it’d be the Blue Bulls. And on top of that, the home of the Blue Bulls – Loftus Versfeld. Dating back to 1906, ou Loftus has its roots shot deep into the history of Pretoria. From hosting 1995 Rugby World Cup matches to converting to a soccer pitch for the FIFA World Cup in 2010, we salute Loftus Versfeld for what it is – a national heritage site.

Details:  http://thebulls.co.za/

Union Buildings

Known as the Big House (not really) is where the South African government steers the country from. The sandstone building was built in 1913 and has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Today it stands as testament to a country that has made it through the darkest of days. Its lawns are open to the public and well kept… it’s a great place to work on your Instagram game… just saying.

Details: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/content/union-buildings

Tswaing

A really hard stone’s throw (40 Km to be exact) north-west of Pretoria, you will find the Tswaing crater. It’s reckonoded that a meteorite half the size of a soccer pitch hit the earth 220 000 years ago. The Tswaing crater forms part of 170 known impacts craters on earth which is pretty cool. The area is also home to a closed down salt mine which adds a bit of eager eeriness to the area.

Details: https://www.gauteng.net/attractions/tswaing_crater/

Freedom Park

The site of Freedom Park was carefully chosen, a 52 hectare undeveloped hill overlooking the city of Pretoria. It was here that the nation’s heroes would be honoured and the complex story of South Africa and its people would be told.

Details: http://www.freedompark.co.za/

Voortrekker Monument

The site of Freedom Park was carefully chosen, a 52 hectare undeveloped hill overlooking the city of Pretoria. It was here that the nation’s heroes would be honoured and the complex story of South Africa and its people would be told.

Details: http://www.freedompark.co.za/

Menlyn Park (Mall)

It’s iconic. It looks like a carnival tent. and we like hanging out at the Milky Lane and so some people watching. Menlyn Mall is one of the most iconic shopping centres in Gauteng, let alone Jacaranda City. It was the place where we saw Tony Hawk live, went on first dates, and grew alongside with. Respect.

Details: http://www.menlynpark.co.za/

Fermier

known for its “farm style” fine dining, Fermier can be found nestled past a KFC and a Harley Davidson shop. It’s easy to drive past it the first time as it’s disguised as what some people would call a shack, and others a hut. Either way, all we know is that Fermier is worth the drive and worth the money. At the time of writing, the restaurant was offering a nine-course tasting menu for R550 which seems like a lot of money but in return you get an amazing experience.

Details: https://www.fermierrestaurant.com/

012 Central

Have you been to 012 Central before? Located at 385 Helen Joseph Street, The 012 is a historic shed-like building that can be used for anything from markets, parties, weddings, fashion shows, conferences to corporate functions and much more. Now the core venue of the entire district, it used to be a place where taxis were stored; despite being dirty, smelly and an overall undesirable place, the superb location (right across the road from the South African Reserve Bank) and immense potential of such a space couldn’t be overlooked.

Details: http://012central.co.za/

Fort Klapperkop

Popular among cyclists and runners, Fort Klapperkop offers a 360° view of the entire city… from a distance. This heritage site is a great place to enjoy the sunset (or sunrise for that matter) as a zebra or three runs off in the distance.

Details: http://www.tshwane.gov.za/sites/tourism/Arts-Culture-and-Heritage/Pages/Fort-Klapperkop.aspx

Park Acoustics

On 21 May 2010, Christo de Beer and partners in crime gathered a handful of local musicians, invited a couple of people and had a lekker time at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. Now, almost a decade later, that fateful Sunday afternoon snowballed into something so big that it outgrew its original venue. Today, Park Acoustics has become a monthly outdoor music festival held at Fort Schanskop.

Details: https://www.parkacoustics.co.za/

By Shawn Greyling