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Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Free State > Northern Free State > Parys


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Parys is a city in Free State, South Africa.


Parys has a population of 10,716 (South African 2011 census). The most spoken language is Sesotho(South African 2011 census).

Parys is a growing tourism destination in South Africa. It's location on the Vaal River and close proximity to Johannesburg (less than an hour's drive to the South) definitely increases it's popularity among tourists. A lot of the tourists are weekend visitors from Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria). The antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and adventure activities are all part of Parys' appeal.

Parys is situated in the largest known impact crater, Vredefort Dome, a World Heritage site since 2005.

Get in[edit]

The best way to get to Parys is by car. The R59 goes through town.

From Johannesburg

  • Take the N1 South to Bloemfontein.
  • Just after crossing the Vaal River and before the Vaal toll plaza take the R59 exit.
  • Turn right and follow the R59 for 20km in to Parys

From Ekurhuleni

  • Take the R59 South.
  • Continue to Parys.

Get around[edit]

Parys is a small town so walking or cycling are perfect for getting around. If your accommodation is on the outskirts of town or outside of Parys at one of the various lodges you will need a car. Also note that some of the lodges and resorts outside of town are on dirt roads.


The small Eiffel tower in the main street is popular for photo opportunities. It is located in the parking area of the local Parys information office. The suspension bridge, another popular photo spot, is located at the Northern end of Boom street. The bridge was constructed in 1918 to connect the Parys country club which is located on an island to the mainland.

The whole of the main street (Breë Street) has restaurants, pubs, antique shops, coffee shops and art galleries worth visiting. The best thing to do is walk the length of this street.


Activities in and around Parys include visiting antique shops, river rafting, abseiling, 4x4 routes, mountain biking and game drives.



Options for eating in Parys includes restaurants, coffee shops and pubs.



Accommodation options include hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts, camping, backpackers hostels and lodges in and around Parys.


Go next[edit]

Places to go next from Parys include Potchefstroom which is a very short drive (30minutes) to the East.

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