Flights to Bloemfontein land at Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN). The drive to the city from the airport is about 25 minutes. When you arrive in Bloemfontein, you will be greeted by beautiful, lush streets and the kind of easygoing country charm that makes the Free State so special. Bloemfontein is considered one of the most laidback and welcoming cities in South Africa. It is a pretty, easy going place where things move a little slower and the people will welcome you in like an old friend. It is a city worth visiting, even if only for a moment.You will not need a visa for Bloemfontein if you are a South African. Visitors from other countries might need a Visitor Visa.
Despite being a pretty small place, Bloemfontein has a worthwhile collection of attractions. Between the peaceful streets and luscious green you will find Boyden Observatory and Naval Hill Planetarium, the first digital planetarium in Sub Saharan Africa, which offers a mesmerising glimpse into the stars. The Oliewenhuis Art Museum is a grand art experience that will transport you to the 1940s, while Gallery on Leviseur is where artistic expression reveals itself in tremendous colour and creativity, and the Old Presidency is another bygone treasure. If you love animals and nature, the Cheetah Experience is a non-profit conservation project that protects cheetahs and other threatened animals. And be sure to visit Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm too. Seeing one of the most graceful wild cats in Africa up close is a surreal experience you won’t forget anytime soon. To see some of the other iconic animals of Africa, Franklin Game Reserve is home to giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest. And history buffs will enjoy a visit to the Anglo-Boer War Museum and Women’s Memorial.
There are several great spots for shopping in Bloemfontein. Loch Logan Waterfront is by far the most popular. It is set on the banks of a small lake and has a wide range of retails outlets and restaurants. The Kotze Art Gallery will appeal to art lovers and collectors. It sells beautiful art pieces such as ceramics, glass work, sculptures, and prints. And if you prefer al fresco shopping, Langenhoven Park Farmers Market is a great little market serving up fresh food and an array of other goodies such as flowers, biltong, clothes, and fresh fruits and vegetables. When evening rolls around, you can have dinner at one of the restaurants, catch a live show or comedy night at Aasvoël Klub, listen to classical music at the Odeion School of Music, or watch a production at the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State. Two of the best restaurants in Bloemfontein are Seven on Kellner is an award-winning restaurant that will seduce you with treats such as honey and lavender ice cream, while CoffeeTalks Cafe offers ambient fireplaces, board games, and delicious Mediterranean dinners. The Scarlet Room & Bar and the Boudoir Boutique Bar are two of the nicest bars in Bloemfontein for an after dinner drink or late night escapades.
Transport in Bloemfontein is quite limited. Uber and metered taxi services are available, but the best option would be a rental car. A number of car hire agencies have kiosks at Bram Fischer International Airport, so picking up and dropping off a rental is quite easy.
Accommodation in Bloemfontein ranges from low-key and homely to lavish and luxurious. You will find self-catering guest houses with everything you need to feel at home, modern garden cottages you will never want to leave, and island-style boutique hotels that will transport you to a tropical world. If you want something simple and lower end, there are a number of affordable inns and hotels in Bloemfontein that are comfortable and centrally located.
If you are travelling within South Africa, direct flights to Bloemfontein are available from certain major cities, while connecting flights to Bloemfontein depart more regularly and from most cities in South Africa. Mango, Airlink, and SA Express are the main domestic airlines that fly to Bloemfontein. For international flights to Bloemfontein, only connecting flights are available.
De-stress and pamper yourself with some rest and relaxation at De Oude Kraal Country Estate & Spa. The spa is set on a sheep farm and is all about sumptuous country living. A stay on this award-winning estate is reason enough to visit Bloemfontein. Die Mystic Boer is the local dive bar and live music venue. It is one of the coolest pubs in Bloemfontein and the go to for music lovers and people looking for a good time. It hosts theme parties almost every week, and every now and then, a local band or musician. The Mangaung Rose Festival will show you why Bloemfontein is the ‘City of Roses’. Every year, Bloemfontein blossoms with roses in all the colours of the rainbow and the city comes alive with a street parade, rose planting ceremonies, open gardens, and flower exhibitions.