Bloemfontein

Raadsaal in Bloemfontein © Georgio/Kelovy

Known as the 'City of Roses', Bloemfontein is a small interior city that forms the economic and cultural centre of the Free State and is the judicial capital of South Africa. With wide streets, beautifully kept gardens, and historic state buildings, Bloemfontein is a modern city with an old-fashioned charm.

Surrounded by rural farmland for many miles in every direction, the metropolis is the central transport hub for the rest of the country and is visited mainly as a stopover to other destinations. While visiting, take a stroll down the historic, tree-lined President Brand Street, which has been declared a national conservation area, and admire the architecture of the old sandstone government buildings. One of the major centres of activity in Bloemfontein is the man-made Loch Logan Waterfront, which offers a range of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs and is the place to be after dark.

The Oliewenhuis Art Gallery is also a worthy attraction as it houses magnificent work by both traditional and contemporary South African artists. There are a number of wildlife reserves in the area, including Caledon, Franklin, Soetdoring Dam, and others.

Bloemfontein also has several good golf courses, and a zoo that the kids will enjoy. Be sure to visit the beautiful Free State National Botanical Gardens, and have a look at the Free State Stadium, the largest structure in town, which hosted five games for the 2010 World Cup. The monthly art market in Kings Park, the annual Rose Festival in October, and the agricultural show in March all pull crowds from around South Africa as well as visiting tourists.




Attractions

King's Park © Bloemfontein Tourism

King's Park

Opened by the Prince of Wales in 1925, King's Park boasts over 4,000 beautiful rose bushes. In fact, Bloemfontein literally means 'flower fountain' and is often referred to locally as the 'city of roses'. It is the city's largest and loveliest green space...  see full details



Oliewenhuis Art Gallery © Mangaung Local Municipality

Oliewenhuis Art Gallery

From its distinguished setting in a Cape Dutch mansion, the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery is a must-see Bloemfontein attraction, featuring an expansive display of South African art. Designed in 1935 and completed in 1941, the Neo-Dutch mansion was built as the residence of the Governor...  see full details



Bloemfontein City Hall © Mangaung Local Municipality

President Brand Street

President Brand Street has been declared a national conservation area, and is home to a number of monuments and buildings of historical value. Nobody visiting Bloemfontein should pass up the opportunity to stroll down one of the city's most stately and historically important streets,...  see full details