Pretoria is more than the capital city of South Africa it holds its very own with a brilliant mix of outdoor, cultural and foodie experiences for everyone. Here are ten free things to do that will show visitors to this laid-back city that there is more to Pretoria than exquisite jacaranda-lined streets and the Blue Train. 

Enjoy a plethora of free and cheap things in Pretoria: 

  • Enjoy some of the best mountain bike tracks that South Africa has to offer 

Bullfelsdrift Mountain Bike Park presents six main trails to biking enthusiasts offering different challenges and a variety of riding environments, with a dedicated Trail Building and Maintenance Team on offer. Cost is R55 a day 

  • World-class hiking trails are found at Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Park 

If you love hiking, this one’s for you. The cost is R55 a day 

  • Who doesn’t like a great bed-time story? 

Tall Stories and Agatha Panther – a mere twenty minutes from the centre of Pretoria you will uncover a haven for bibliophiles where you can browse and find well-priced second-hand and new books on all sorts of topics, and for the kids, Agatha Panther will be there to add an element of excitement. Tall Stories is open seven days a week  

  • Camera Obscura at Pretoria University 

Science buffs will love this brilliant invention which has vistas that stretch across the whole of the Pretoria skyline with the adjustment of the lenses. The view is projected in a room that has been darkened; plus, a tour of this facility is a must for scientists and budding scientist

  • Learn Zulu for Free 

Grounded at Echo Café is a place where ideas and free Zulu lessons are on offer over a brilliant cup of coffee and a slice of excellent carrot cake 

  • Pack a picnic 

Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the Union Buildings up close and personal – its free, interesting and steeped in history. Be sure to visit the impressive statue of Mandela which stands at a whopping 9 metres tall 

  • The Boeremark is an exceptional market 

The Boeremark is perhaps one of Pretoria’s best kept little secrets where authentic local cuisine is consumed in great quantities. Experience the real deal every Saturday morning 

  • Outdoor Art has never been better 

The acclaimed sculptor, Marco Cinafanelli, is the world-class artist responsible for the eye-popping Mandela Capture Site Monument; his Urban Being Sculpture stands at an impressive 12 metres high and weighs in at 8,2 tons. This artwork is positioned in front of the Pretoria City Lodge 

  • What is Pretoria without its iconic purple Jacaranda trees? 

These iconic trees are in danger as they have been infected with a fungal condition, plus they are classified as aliens; therefore, no more of these beauties can be planted to replace the diseased trees, so enjoy the jacarandas while they last 

  • Dowe Digters is a poet’s dream come true – here’s why 

Die Dowe Digters was established four years ago by Andries De Beer which is an informal platform for creatives including writers, poets, musicians, composers and songwriters where they can perform and share ideas. Dowe Digters has become an integral part of the Pretoria social and cultural scene 

Whether you love the great outdoors or are a history buff, love to read or enjoy fine or casual dining – Pretoria has it all and some. The above ten things are but a drop in the ocean as there is so much to unpack in the city of purple.