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 105 customer reviews
4 out of 5 stars!

Popular in Parys

  • Restaurants
  • Antique Shops
  • River Rafting
  • Photography
  • Hiking
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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

Parys potholes and antique shops
Parys is awesome. Love, love the shops and tea rooms. Just sorry Divas was closed the whole time we were there.Claim to fame for Parys - worst potholes ever. You need a GPS to find your way out if you drive into one by accident.
Lin Lottering
South Africa

Loved Parys
Loved Parys! Except the 2 000 000 potholes! My word can't that be seen to?
Erna Deysel
South Africa

Quaint little town
Parys is a quaint little town with lovely wedding venues, stores and cute restaurants. It is a lovely place to visit - about an hour's drive outside Johannesburg. Restaurants are a bit pricey as they are priced for tourists. It's a great town to visit if you need a Sunday out of the city.
izelle labuschagne
South Africa

Great place
Wat n great dorpie. Parys het al my verwagtinge oortref. Ons sal beslis terug gaan.
riana potgieter
South Africa

Rustige wegbreek
Parys is 'n mooi klein dorpie waar mens kan gaan rus en net wegkom van die stad se lawaai en gewoel.Hier kan mens rustig ronddwaal in die baie winkeltjies en lekker uiteet in die heerlike restaurante.
Johan steyn
South Africa

Hank Bezuidenhout on Parys
Parys is a friendly and relaxing town with interesting shops. Good quality restuarants and coffee shops. Plenty of good accommodation to choose from in town as well as out of town.Negative point is the closure of Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site and no signs or notice that it is closed. Also the suspension bridge is in a shocking state and is not worth the visit. Should update all tourist info regarding this.Besides these two points, still Well worth a trip to Parys.
South Africa

Parys: Jewel of the Free State
Parys is a truly wonderful little town and it has sorely tempted me to re-locate from the chaos of city life ! The shopping is lovely and the people are so friendly ! Highly recommend it for a relaxing break.
Pauline Neumann
South Africa

Parys is a quaint little village with lots of interesting shops. Enjoyed browsing in the shops but wished there was a nice sweet shop as there is in Dullstroom.
Linda Taylor
South Africa

Parys town
Parys is a very small town and what a lovely townGreat tourist attraction and a lot of art and antique shops.Parys needs to attend to the roads it is very bad.
Heinrich Venter
South Africa

Pity about the potholes!
We always enjoy shopping in Parys. We attended a wedding at Kiepersol, which is a great wedding venue. Some of the wedding quests were from the UK and unfortunately it was embarrassing to drive on roads with so many potholes in it.
Ivonne Vorster
South Africa