Bloemfontein is a refreshing change from other South African cities. Despite being a double capital (it’s the Free State’s capital and the judicial capital of South Africa) ‘Bloem’ feels more like a small country village than a big, imposing city. The central business district, though a little scruffy, is safe and easily walkable, and when the university is in session, the place has a seriously buzzing atmosphere.
The city is also a central crash pad for travellers on the move. While there is no reason to go out of your way to visit Bloemfontein (most of the tourism here is business oriented), the city’s location, smack in the middle of the country and at the intersection of a few major highways, means you’ll likely pass through at some point.