Known as the “city of roses” for the annual rose festival and general profusion of these flowers in the city, Bloemfontein has a wealth of natural attractions. They include Kings Park, with its rose gardens, and the verdant Free State National Botanic Garden. The nature reserve Naval Hill offers soaring views over the city and also has an Orchid House. Meanwhile, the historic city centre is lined with elegant buildings and museums to check out include the National Museum, Anglo Boer War Museum and Oliewenhuis Art Gallery. For leisure and refreshment, Loch Logan Waterfront is the place to be.
Bloemfontein has very hot summers and January tends to be the hottest month. Summer temperatures are usually in the 30s from December through to February and it tends to be the most popular and busiest time to visit. Winters here are between June and August and tend to be cool and dry with occasional frost.
Getting around Bloemfontein, as in most South African cities, is easiest with a car. Cars can be rented from various companies at the airport, including Avis and Hertz. Public transport options are limited, but there are public buses and taxis can be hired.
Compared to other South African cities, Bloemfontein has a reputation for being safe. Most visitors have no problems walking around the centre in the day, though it can be quiet in the evening. The shopping malls are patrolled 24 hours and 2nd Street is generally safe and busy at night. Potential areas to avoid include the train station and townships east of the railway lines.