The 10 Best Things To Do In Bloemfontein

Ah, Bloemfontein! The heart of South Africa and the judicial capital that often doesn’t get the limelight it truly deserves. Nestled in the Free State, this city is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unexpected adventures. If you’re planning a visit or just passing through, you’re in for a treat with the myriad of activities it offers. Let’s dive into the top things to do in this charming city, and trust me, you’ll be adding them to your itinerary faster than you can say “Bloem.”

Explore the Free State National Botanical Garden

First up, immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Free State National Botanical Garden. It’s a haven for nature lovers, with over 400 species of plants and a plethora of birds flitting through the trees. Stroll through the themed gardens, or find a quiet spot to picnic amidst the vibrant blooms. It’s a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and a perfect way to kickstart your Bloemfontein adventure.

Step Back in Time at the Anglo-Boer War Museum

History buffs, you’re in for a treat. The Anglo-Boer War Museum doesn’t just recount tales; it transports you back to a pivotal time in South Africa’s past. With gripping exhibits and poignant memorabilia, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the conflict that shaped the nation. It’s a moving experience that stays with you long after you’ve left.

Catch a Rugby Game at Free State Stadium

Sports enthusiasts, rejoice! Catching a Rugby match at the Free State Stadium is a must. The electrifying atmosphere as the Cheetahs take to the field is something you won’t forget in a hurry. Don’t just watch the game; feel the passion and camaraderie that rugby brings to this city.

Admire Art at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum

Art lovers, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum is your sanctuary. Housed in a stunning 20th-century mansion, it showcases a collection that spans historical to contemporary South African art. The rotating exhibitions mean there’s always something new to discover. And let’s not forget the sculpture garden, where art and nature blend seamlessly.

Take a Safari at the Franklin Game Reserve

Yes, you read that right—a safari within city limits! The Franklin Game Reserve is one of the few in the world located in a city. It’s a unique opportunity to spot wildlife like zebra, blesbok, and Springbok against the backdrop of Bloemfontein’s skyline. It’s a wild experience that’s easy to fit into any schedule.

Unwind at Naval Hill

For the best views of Bloemfontein, head to Naval Hill. It’s not just a pretty sight; it’s also steeped in history, having been a lookout point during the Anglo-Boer War. Nowadays, it’s a peaceful retreat where you can watch the sunset paint the city in golden hues. Don’t miss the chance to see the larger-than-life Nelson Mandela statue that stands proudly here.

Discover the Bloemfontein Zoo

A visit to the Bloemfontein Zoo is a walk on the wild side that’s perfect for families. Get up close with a diverse range of animals and learn about conservation efforts. It’s a fun day out that educates and entertains, making it a win-win for everyone.

Relax at Maselspoort Resort and Conference Centre

Looking for a bit of R&R? Maselspoort Resort and Conference Centre is your spot. With its leisure facilities and picturesque setting along the Modder River, it’s ideal for a day of swimming, fishing, or simply lounging around. It’s a slice of paradise that’s just a stone’s throw from the city center.

Visit the National Museum Bloemfontein

The National Museum Bloemfontein is a cultural gem that offers a glimpse into the region’s natural history, cultural history, and art. With interactive exhibits and a variety of collections, it’s an educational outing that’s as fun as it is fascinating. Make sure to check out the dinosaur fossils and the live beehive exhibit!

Enjoy the Bloemfontein Rose Festival

If you’re lucky enough to be in town during October, the Bloemfontein Rose Festival is a spectacle not to be missed. The city lives up to its nickname, “City of Roses,” with thousands of blooms on display. It’s a Celebration of beauty, with garden tours, competitions, and a vibrant market. It’s the perfect way to experience the local community spirit.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Bloemfontein?

    Spring (September to November) is fantastic, especially with the Rose Festival in October. But honestly, Bloem’s mild climate makes it a great year-round destination.

  • Are there activities for kids in Bloemfontein?

    Absolutely! From the Bloemfontein Zoo to the King’s Park and the Naval Hill Planetarium, there’s plenty to keep the little ones engaged and happy.

  • Is Bloemfontein a walkable city?

    While some attractions are within walking distance, others are spread out. It’s best to rent a car or use local transport to get around efficiently.


Bloemfontein is a city that might just surprise you with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the serenity of its botanical gardens to the roar of a rugby match, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re soaking up art, history, or the great outdoors, you’ll find that each experience enriches your understanding and appreciation of this South African jewel. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best that Bloemfontein has to offer. You’ll leave with memories to last a lifetime and stories that you’ll be eager to share. And who knows? You might just find yourself planning your next visit before you’ve even left.

Kurby Team

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