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City Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth (often abbreviated as PE) is a seaside resort in the Eastern Cape with the fine nickname "The Friendly City". It is indeed a friendly, beautiful city where many tourists, especially families, go to. It's a fine place to rest from, for example, the Garden Route or nearby attractions such as Tsitsikamma National Park or Addo Elephant National Park.

Port Elizabeth is ideally located on the Algoa Bay and is open all year for visitors. The climate is almost lovely all months and the beaches are nothing short of stunning. On the water, you can do all kinds of sports and in the city there are some interesting buildings, museums and beautiful parks. Moreover, there are several, good accommodation options. The setting is beautiful and there live many species of birds.

Things to do in Port Elizabeth

Algoa Bay:
Algoa Bay is a beautiful bay with 40 km of beautiful beaches. The warm water, the quiet Gulf Stream and the cool breezes make for a perfect day at the beach. The Portuguese called this bay "bahia de Lagoa" because of the narrow lagoon which flows into the sea. Later this bastardized to Algoa Bay.

Just south of the centre of Port Elizabeth is the Marine Drive with numerous hotels, apartment complexes and all kinds of restaurants. The Boardwalk is the entertainment complex with shops, a cinema, the theatre and the casino. The popular beach is Humewood Beach. Here there is a covered walkway for some shelter from the sun and there are pools.
Algoa provides many other, often quieter beaches such as Kings Beach, Hobie Beach, Pollok Beach, Brighton Beach, Bluewater Bay, St George's Beach and Wells Estate. At most beaches you can swim go snorkelling, surfing, sailing, jet skiing and fishing. The main beaches have lifeguards present.

Walk through the centre:
In 1820 the first settlers settled in Port Elizabeth. This made that the city possesses many historical buildings, museums, memorials and statues. Especially the Victorian buildings are nothing short of stunning. Take for example; a walk through the old city centre. Besides their impressive architecture, these buildings often have an important historical value.

Fort Frederick:
Begin at Fort Frederick at the Belmont Terrace. This small square fort was built in 1799 as border reinforcement by the British to prevent an invasion by the French and to control the rebellious farmers in the hinterland. Continue on Belmont Terrace and turn right onto Prospect Road. Here you see the Drill Hall, a volunteer regiment in 1856. One straight on Castle Hill # 7 is one of the oldest houses in the city which is a museum now.

City Hall:
At the end of the street is one of the highlights of the historical centre of Port Elizabeth City Hall. This town hall was built between 1858 and 1862 and stands on the edge of a pretty square. There is a replica of the cross of Bartolomeu Dias to see from 1488. This Portuguese explorer set in that year for the first time foot in South Africa and placed a stone cross. Behind the town hall stands the Campanile, a 52m high tower in memory of the British colonists. Back in the square, you can walk to the Chapel Street towards another highlight: Donkin Street.

Donkin Reserve:
The quaint Victorian homes built between 1860 and 1880. This street was declared a national monument in 1967. Opposite is the Donkin Reserve you have beautiful views of the city. The pyramid is a reminder of Elizabeth Donkin, the wife of Sir Rufane Donkin, the former governor of the Cape Province. On the placard it says: "One of the most perfect human beings, who has given her name to the town below". Then you walk back to the Belmont Terrace and you will pass the Edward Hotel. This is a beautiful, well-kept hotel with Edwardian architecture.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, formerly known as King George IV Art Gallery, was founded in 1956 but changed its name in 2002 out of respect for the famous leader of the ANC. The museum is housed in two beautiful buildings at the entrance of St George's Park. Inside there are works by contemporary South African artists as well as British and Oriental art. There are regular exhibitions of promising young South African artists. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum sits on Park Drive in the centre of Port Elizabeth.

Bayworld is one of the best and largest museum complexes of South Africa. It contains the Port Elizabeth Museum, Oceanarium, Snake Park and No 7 Castle Hill. The Port Elizabeth Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country and shows both the natural and historical history of South Africa. You will see skeletons of whales, sharks and dinosaurs and ancient costumes, a library and a beautiful beaded collection of Xhosa's.

The Oceanarium is a spectacular water park with a giant water tank where dolphins show their skills. Here there also live colonies of seals and penguins. Besides several dolphin shows there is also space for research and education. It is clearly the message for a better environment and respect for nature brought forward.

Snake Park is fun for snake fans and the No 7 Castle Hill Museum is interesting because of its history. This picturesque Victorian house from 1827 is one of the oldest inhabited buildings in Port Elizabeth and shows how the early settlers lived shortly after their arrival.

Bayworld is located just south of the centre of Port Elizabeth right on Beach Road in Humewood. No 7 Castle Hill is located in the centre of Port Elizabeth at Castle Hill.

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