Union Buildings

Vacation Travel Guide
Union Buildings showing heritage architecture

The office of South Africa’s president is inside this monumental neoclassical building, which features a beautiful garden that is open to the public.

Tour the landscaped grounds of the Union Buildings, which hold the offices of South Africa’s president. Some of the most significant events in South African history happened here. See them memorialized in sculptures around the Union Buildings’ garden.

Completed in 1913, the Union Buildings were built from sandstone in a stately neoclassical style. The buildings form one complex of two identical wings crowned in bell towers and one semicircular wing connecting them. When it was built, this was South Africa’s largest building.

Since South Africa’s president works here, visitors may not enter the Union Buildings. However, you may tour the terraced garden out front, which features memorials to past presidents, historical events and war victims. See the 30-foot (9-meter) statue of Nelson Mandela that rises above the garden. Mandela was inaugurated here in 1994 as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

Look for the memorial to the Women’s March of 1956, which also stands in the garden. Held in protest of a law that required women to carry a pass at all times, the Women’s March is considered one of the great popular demonstrations of South African history. Approach the memorial to activate a recording of the participants’ rally cry.

Located on top of Meintjeskop, a hill just east of Pretoria’s center, the Union Buildings and gardens have panoramic views of the city. See the hills looming above the city to the west. Visit in October when Pretoria has a purple tint due to the numerous jacaranda trees in bloom.

Visit the Union Buildings after sundown to see the large building brightly illuminated with yellow light. The grounds are open late into the night.

On all days except Sunday, a flea market is open next to the parking lot of the Union Buildings. Buy a souvenir from one of the vendors, who generally sell handmade arts and crafts.

Located in the east of Pretoria, the Union Buildings are easily accessible by bus. Enter the grounds through one of the gates along Stanza Bopape Street to the south. Free parking is available at the Union Buildings. There is no fee to enter the Union Buildings' grounds, which are open daily.

Top things to do in Union Buildings

Top Hotels Close to Union Buildings

Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
3.5 out of 5
Corner of Kirkness Street and Park St, Pretoria, Gauteng
Fully refundable
The price is $47 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
Located in Sunnyside, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Loftus Versfeld Stadium and Pretoria Art Museum. Hatfield Plaza and University of Pretoria are ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (35 reviews)
"Great location and nice facilities here. Would have been much better had the staff informed me about ongoing construction at check-in. Incredibly disruptive noises throughout my stay included contruction, doors that only slam shut, and thin walls. Enjoyed the rooftop restaurant, but the service was ..."

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2020

Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
5 out of 5
643 Corner Of Church And Wessels Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
Fully refundable
The price is $50 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Pretoria Art Museum and Union Buildings. National Zoological Gardens ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (339 reviews)
"Very comfortable bedding and a quiet room"

Reviewed on Oct 3, 2021

Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Premier Hotel Pretoria
Premier Hotel Pretoria
4 out of 5
573 Stanza Bopape Street, (Church Street), Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $55 per night from Oct 29 to Oct 29
This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Pretoria Art Museum and Union Buildings. State Theatre and ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (82 reviews)
A++
"The hotel staff was very friendly. Our room was upgraded for free because they were slow due to covid. Parking is in a gated area and very safe from people, as well as the elements. Highly recommend!"

Reviewed on Jan 3, 2021

Premier Hotel Pretoria
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Union Buildings

Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette
Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette
Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $40 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette
Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
3.5 out of 5
Corner of Kirkness Street and Park St, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $47 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
5 out of 5
643 Corner Of Church And Wessels Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $50 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 5
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Premier Hotel Pretoria
Premier Hotel Pretoria
4 out of 5
573 Stanza Bopape Street, (Church Street), Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $55 per night from Oct 29 to Oct 29
Premier Hotel Pretoria
Hotel 224
Hotel 224
3 out of 5
C/o Francis Baard And Leyds Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $42 per night from Nov 19 to Nov 19
Hotel 224
Southern Sun Pretoria
Southern Sun Pretoria
4 out of 5
Cnr. Pretorius & Steve Biko Streets, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $86 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Southern Sun Pretoria
RH Hotel Pretoria
RH Hotel Pretoria
3 out of 5
Corner Steve Biko Road & Trevenna Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, Gauteng
The price is $43 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
RH Hotel Pretoria
Blackwood Guest House
Blackwood Guest House
3 out of 5
192 Blackwood Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
Blackwood Guest House
The Pillows Suites
The Pillows Suites
3.5 out of 5
240 Wessels Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
The Pillows Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.