10 Most Beautiful Cities in South Africa

by | Africa

Jun 18, 2023

South Africa gives you so many flavors of Africa, and a visit here is very recommended by our editors. We have chosen some of the most beautiful cities to visit in South Africa if you seek the best of these flavors. In this article, we walk you through these cities long before you even step foot into them. Here are the 10 most beautiful cities in South Africa: 

1. Pretoria

Quite close to the capital city, Johannesburg, Pretoria is one of those cities that pull a gasp from your throat the moment you walk in. This is especially if you visit during the spring when the trees are blooming, and the streets are bursting with life. 

Pretoria is one of South Africa’s most populous cities. Here, there is a rich array of cultures. It has a rich history, too, as it is one of the favored spots of the early Europeans who came to South Africa. 

On your visit to Pretoria, be sure to visit the museums, and have fun in one of the nightclubs there. 

Compared to other cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria is a very quiet city that I will admit is quite safe. 

Read: Interesting Facts About South Africa

2. Johannesburg

It had always been a dream to visit here. Johannesburg used to be one of my dreams once. Upon visiting the city for the first time, I was not disappointed.

Johannesburg is a bustling city. Of course, one will expect a city that populous to bustle. There is a bit of crime going on away from everyone’s eyes, so when you visit here, be sure to keep your own safety in mind. 

Johannesburg has every feature of a very well-thought-out city. The architecture is remarkable. Some of the most beautiful buildings in all of South Africa sit here. It is truly one marveling city. 

3. Durban

Durban is amongst the largest cities in South Africa. It is also quite populated. And there is a bit of traffic. But Durban remains a very beautiful city—one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa. You should visit someday. 

Durban may feel like visiting an Asian country in Africa because there are a lot of Asians here. They all seem very friendly and are drawn to artistry. You will find a lot of art and paintings on Durban streets. 

Nightlife here feels very amazing. The clubhouses are usually filled with people enjoying Amapiano music on weekends.

Read: 10 Cities With the Most Beautiful Women In South Africa

4. Plettenberg Bay

This is an island area that draws a number of tourists every year. 

It is one of those places that pull a gasp from your throat when you first visit. 

It is one of those cities you go to when you are seeking to relax and be yourself. 

5. Mossel Bay

Like Plettenberg Bay, this is another ‘bay’ city that strikes me as very beautiful. 

It is a place you just have to be in if you have a better time outdoors than you do indoors. 

At first, it is going to feel like the city calls you by name.

6. Bloemfontein

This is the Judicial capital of South Africa, but in many ways, it feels like a relaxation center. I say this because Bloemfontein stands almost in the middle of South Africa. I especially love the layout of the streets here, and I love the more the very amazing buildings you get to walk past every day. 

There is a dense population of all races here; blacks, whites, and even Asians. 

Bloemfontein has some of the best Museums and art galleries in South Africa. But, like in Durban, you have got to watch your back here. There seems to be some gang activity that goes on away from the public eye.

If you are to visit Bloemfontein, be sure that you visit around October. A very important festival takes place area around that time. It is called: The Mangaung African Cultural Festival and is all shades of excitement. 

Read: 12 Most Beautiful Cities in Africa

7. Port Elizabeth

As the name already suggests, Port Elizabeth is a Port and mostly a city on a beach. Now, imagine what goes on here. The government of South Africa pays special attention to this city because it is one of the first places you step foot in South Africa if you are visiting by sea. 

Port Elizabeth is no doubt one of the best places you have seen. Not because it is very beautiful. But because it is ‘real.’ I don’t know how else to put this. But I say Port Elizabeth is real because the city looks like something straight out of a novel.

The old buildings here tell of a time when more than just industrialization happened here. 

Take a look at the water from the shore; listen to it roar as you take walks along the beaches that sit along the Indian Ocean. 

8. Grahamstown

I fell in love with this city because of its name. And my first visit here cemented all that love. 

It was once the site of a very great war. This historic war happened between the people of Xhosa, who are indigents of South Africa, and the invading Europeans.

Grahamstown may seem like a bland and very quiet city at first glance. But it is far from being one. 

Yes, it is quiet but not bland. The people who live here are quite fun, and you will enjoy your walks down alleys lined by some of the oldest buildings in South Africa.

Read: 10 Most Beautiful Cities in West Africa

9. Kimberley

This South African city is surrounded by fields where diamonds are mined. It sits in the Northern Cape, a region of South Africa known to hold a rich history. 

Kimberley rings the name: “beauty” in the ears of every South African because the city is often thought of through the pureness of diamonds. 

If you are to visit somewhere in Kimberley, be sure that you are visiting The Big Hole. I have been here before, and it is a very beautiful place to walk across and be yourself. You may also want to visit some of the old areas where miners used to live. 

10. Soweto

You have probably heard about Soweto. Its beauty emanates from its lively streets, colorful houses, bustling markets, and the resilient spirit of its people, making it a truly captivating destination. We don’t want to spoil it for you. But it is best if you see the beauty of Soweto for yourself!


South Africa has some of the most beautiful cities in all of Africa. Its magnificence is an unrivaled tapestry of golden savannas, majestic mountains, azure coastlines, diverse wildlife, and warm-hearted communities.

South Africa’s raw allure stirs the soul, leaving unforgettable memories that weave a unique tale of nature’s grandeur and human resilience.

By Lonely Africa Editors

The Lonely Africa Team covers everything about Africa. Our team of experts provides in-depth analysis that helps you understand complex topics on the African continent.

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