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Set against the dramatic Magaliesberg mountain range, Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. The city has a rich heritage, with plenty of grand architecture to show for it. But it has a vibrant young spirit too, as seen in its multicultural makeup and heard in its distinctive brand of house music. When it comes to food, you'll often find the aroma of grilled meats wafting through the air – after all, having a braai (barbecue) is a national pastime.
Visitors can stay in a colourful Pretoria hostel with an outdoor pool for splashing around in, or one with an on-site bar for sociable evenings. Some hostels in Pretoria have private rooms with views over the cityscape, while others have mixed dorms. Most places have free Wi-Fi for uploading those holiday snaps. At some, you can even participate in book exchanges and discover new reads. Look out for Pretoria hostels with self-catering facilities, so you can whip up your own meals.
Neighbourhoods in Pretoria are filled with food and music. In the west of the city lies the township of Atteridgeville, which is widely considered to be the jazz capital of South Africa. Here, visitors will find numerous live music venues and bustling taverns. On the other side of town is the suburb of Lynnwood, which is home to various restaurants and breweries. For nights out, head to the party strip of Sunnyside, which is lined with clubs reverberating with house beats.
Pretoria is a nature lover's dream. Spot wild animals like giraffes and cheetahs at the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, which also works to conserve native vegetation like velvet bushwillow and wild pear trees. The city is also home to several markets. Hazel Food Market is the place to be for artisanal and organic produce, while the lively Deep Roots Night Market plays host to stand-up comedy and beer pong. Make like the locals do and cheer on the Blue Bulls rugby team at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Pretoria is located near two airports – O.R. Tambo International Airport (around 50km away) and Lanseria International Airport (about 53km away). Both connect to the city via shuttle bus. From the former, you can also hop on the Gautrain, which departs every 12 minutes during peak periods. The Pretoria railway station has connections to other parts of South Africa, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Within the city, there's a reliable bus network as well as taxis.