Pretoria’s own little Italy, Duncan Yard, plays host to a wide variety of boutiques, antique shops, speciality cafés and even a beauty studio. Take some time to smell the flowers at the florist and be sure to keep an eye out for themed tiny tattoo bonanzas that take place at Revolutionary Ink throughout the year. Entrance to the centre is free.
If you’re looking for a birthday present for someone back home or just something different for lunch, head down to the Hazel food market that takes place every Saturday in Menlo Park. Entrance is free and the market offers a huge range of homemade sweet and savoury treats for almost every craving. If you aren’t interested in food, cross over to the stalls where you will find anything from second-hand clothing to hand-crafted wooden watches and much more.
If you’re in the mood for a stroll around a market be sure to also check out the Hatfield Plaza weekend flea market, as well as the trendy Market @ the Sheds situated on Pretoria’s longest street, Helen Joseph.
Menlyn Maine is a five minute drive from Menlyn shopping centre and is full of art pieces that will make for a cultured afternoon of strolling. The mall is dotted with sculptures by various artists. There are a number of coffee shops and restaurants available in the food court, including internation coffee chain Starbucks. If your sweet tooth is bothering you, be sure to stop by Old Town Italy for authentic Italian style Gelato at R25 a scoop.
Outer Limits Pretoria hosts a weekly table top games night for board game lovers. The store also hosts game days and tournaments for specific fandoms, most notably a Magic: the Gathering evening every Friday night. Entrance to the games night is free and participants are encouraged to bring along a board game to add to the pool of games that circulate throughout the night.
Pretoria also has a wide variety of beautiful gardens and parks to enjoy, including the National Botanical Gardens, which has a R30 entrance fee, and the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, which has a R35 entrance fee. There is no entrance to the gardens at the Union Buildings. Fort Klapperkop and the Voortrekker Monument boast breath-taking views of Pretoria and entrance costs just over R50. These sites are a must for any student, old or new.