Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Union Buildings

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.


Guide to Exploring around Union Buildings


Best Lodging Options Near Union Buildings

See all 394 Properties near Union Buildings
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel $57
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

643 Corner Of Church And Wessels Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Pretoria Art Museum and Union Buildings. University of Pretoria and UNISA are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Premier Hotel Pretoria $50
    Premier Hotel Pretoria

    Premier Hotel Pretoria

    573 Stanza Bopape Street, (Church Street), Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Pretoria Art Museum and Union Buildings. UNISA and University of Pretoria are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Arcadia Hotel $60
      Arcadia Hotel

      Arcadia Hotel

      515, Johannes Ramokhoase (Proes Street), Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the historical district, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Union Buildings and within 3 mi (5 km) of UNISA and University of Pretoria. State Theatre and Strijdom Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Blackwood Guest House
        Blackwood Guest House

        Blackwood Guest House

        192 Blackwood Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Pretoria, this guesthouse is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Union Buildings and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Pretoria and UNISA. Pretoria Art Museum and Loftus Versfeld Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Hotel 224 $37
          Hotel 224

          Hotel 224

          C/o Francis Baard And Leyds Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Pretoria, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Pretoria Art Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of UNISA and University of Pretoria. Union Buildings and State Theatre are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Melvin Residence Guest House
            Melvin Residence Guest House

            Melvin Residence Guest House

            184 Pine Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in the historical district, this guesthouse is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Union Buildings and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Pretoria and UNISA. Pretoria Art Museum and Loftus Versfeld Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              The Pillows Suites
              The Pillows Suites

              The Pillows Suites

              240 Wessels Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Pretoria, this guesthouse is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Pretoria Art Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Pretoria and UNISA. Union Buildings and Loftus Versfeld Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette $40
                Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette

                Menlyn Maine : The Exquisite Lunette

                Pretoria, Gauteng
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Pretoria, this historic apartment building is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Pretoria Art Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Pretoria and UNISA. Union Buildings and Loftus Versfeld Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km).