Parys, a cosy agricultural country town, is situated in the Northern Free State about 120 km from Johannesburg. It is based within the Vredefort Dome Area, a well-known world heritage site where The Parys Dome Adventure Festival is held every year. It is one of the most exciting South African outdoor festivals, with the Dragon Boats race as one of the top highlights.

The Vaal River stretches for about a kilometre into the town itself and visitors can enjoy fly-fishing, mountain and quad biking through the valleys, and hiking through the indigenous forests, streams and scenic mountains. Other activities include abseiling, bird watching, sunset drives in the wildlife conservancies, hot air ballooning, and horse riding.

There are three beer breweries in the area where fresh honey beer, buchu beer, stout and porter beer are brewed. If beer is not quite up your alley, perhaps the brandy and liquor distillery will suit your taste buds better, offering 52 different types of traditional South African mampoer. If alcohol isn’t your thing, then the famous Bon Af Berry Farm is only 20 km from Parys and you can pick a variety of fresh berries straight off the bushes. The Parys Golf and Country Estate is a championship golf course and boasts magnificent views of the Vaal River.

Bree and Water Street are well-known for their arts and crafts shops and art galleries selling the artworks of well-known South African artists. There are many traditional restaurants around the town, offering a variety of South African culinary dishes as well as coffee shops serving delicious cakes and drinks. Parys won’t leave you disappointed!

Parys Fun Rating

from 124 customer reviews
4 out of 5 stars!

Popular in Parys

  • Restaurants
  • Antique Shops
  • River Rafting
  • Photography
  • Hiking
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Nice BUT!!!
Parys at first impression is really nice...however when one strolls around the streets one cant help but notice the wanton litter everywhere...if Parys is to be compared to the likes of Dullstroom and Clarens then it comes an embarrassing last in the pecking order. This area needs to be sorted if it wants to be in the same league.
Seamus McGuigan
South Africa

Pragtige Parys
Parys is 'n lieflike dorp met soveel om te doen: interessante winkeltjies, goeie restaurant en karaktervolle kuierplekke. Ons was veral beindruk met O's restaurant op die rivieroewer - fantastiese kos en 'n pragtige tuin wat oor die rivier uitkyk. Die mense van Parys is so vriendelik en spontaan, sal beslis weer hier kom kuier.
ine de Vries
South Africa

Love Parys!!!
It was my third time I visited Parys and I loved it! The only problem is that all the shops, including the coffee shops and most retaurants close at 16:00 on a Saturday afternoon.
Anika Dyzel
South Africa

Just love Parys and surrounding areas, so much to do and explore.A typical tourist little town and friendly people.
Belinda Lee
South Africa

a MUST visit Town
We went for the weekend and shopped, drank, ate, quad biking, river rafting, clay pigeon shooting, hiking and fine dining. Will recommend Parys in the Free State to anyone who needs a break from the city life and high demand of every day stresses. A must town to visit.
Melissa Coetzer
South Africa

puleng Mmono
Parys is a beautiful town, it's very clean. It's rare to find a clean town in South Africa these days. The people are friendly. Loved it
puleng Mmono
South Africa

Parys is beautiful
We utterly enjoyed Parys and its surrounding areas. Breathtaking beautiful sceneries, lovely restaurants and loads of lovely little shopping destinations.
Lizahn Oberholzer
South Africa

Nice town
Parys was a nice surprise. Good places to eat, drink and shop. Nice people. Beautiful location by the Vaal river. The river itself is a beauty spot, with lots of birdlife.
stibbe Johansson

Parys is a reminder of times gone by. The buildings and old furniture shops sets a mood of nostalgia.
Pieter Kruger
South Africa

Parys as destination
Parys is a very interesting, diverse little town. I enjoyed the hospitality is most parts. Others not so much - unfortunately. It is very much geared to accommodating tourists, thus the non- franchised restaurants etc are very overpriced in my opinion.It does however cater for all you needs.
Christa Sharp
South Africa

We found Parys a beautiful little town, nice old houses.People are very nice well done Parys

Parys is a small town but alive with lot of activities and attractions.
Liliane Lusambya
South Africa

Adventure Weekend
We spent a long weekend in Parys. For us, it was a chance to get away and have some adventures that we normally would not. We stayed at La Splendia Guest Lodge, which is warm and inviting, like a home away from home. We also booked with real Adventures for river rafting and quad biking. The experience was phenomenal. Would most definitely do it again. The boutiques are amazing for good quality unique clothing at a reasonable price. All the small restaurants and bars are experiences I would recommend to anybody.
Lindsay Douglas-Haw
South Africa

We enjoyed the restaurants as well as the Hartelus fees. Always a pleasure to visit Parys.Gerhard & Hester Vermaak
Gerhard Vermaak
South Africa

The gross neglect of basic services like well maintained roads, clean and well maintained sidewalks and safe and pure drinking water are shocking. Hats of to the local business people who are doing their best to maintain some semblance of status as a venue of choice. Without your valiant efforts Parys would have disappeared off the map. In fairness it must be said that efforts to at least bring the main street to an acceptable standard, seem to be underway.
Terra Terre Blanche
South Africa

Fantastic weekend destination
Had an amazing weekend in Parys. Unfortunately their roads are bad but are in the process of being repaired. Not too far from Johannesburg for a quick weekend away.
Lesley van Rooyen
South Africa

I love Parys in the Spring time!
Love, love Parys. It is a very quaint little town with great restaurants and challenging golf courses.Ruby's is a fantastic restaurant - the best bread we have ever tasted and great food as well!This is a good destination for a golf tour. It's got everything you need.
Evelyn Doubell
South Africa

What a STUNNING little town!
I am in love! Had the most amazing time in Parys! The people are so friendly, and the uniqueness of all the cute restaurants just captured my attention.A must-see for everyone who enjoys small unique cute shops, coffee shops and restaurants with unique décor and look.
Chanelle Bezuidenhout
South Africa

Needs lots and lots of work
Parys could be a beautiful destination, however, it looks abandoned and not maintained. The roads are mess. Yes, it looks like they are being redone, but some streets have been left to their own ill fate. What is the municipality doing? MIMOSA Park has been run down. Too much of a mess to even put in words. With good maintenance it will be a beautiful park to relax in by the river.
katlego moeng
South Africa

Besige naweek maar heerlik
Ons het nie besef dat dit die Rhino Rally naweek was toe ons besprekings gedoen het nie. Ons het nogtans die ervaring geniet en moet se Parys het dit goed hanteer, Daar word ernstig gewerk aan die paaie in Parys, wat baie nodig is!
Johan steyn
South Africa