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Living in Bloemfontein | Complete Guide

Havana Dauncey
· September 15, 2023
Living in Bloemfontein | Complete Guide

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Are you looking at making Bloemfontein your new home? Whether you’re a student, young couple, family or retiree, the beloved city of Bloemfontein has a lot to offer.

Here’s the complete guide with everything you need to know about living in Bloemfontein!

Bloemfontein at a Glance

Nestled in the heart of South Africa, Bloemfontein is a charming city that almost 600,000 South Africans call home. Bloemfontein also holds the title of the judicial capital of South Africa and one of the three capital cities in the country, along with Cape Town and Pretoria.

Bloemfontein has quite a few names attached to it. With the direct translation of ‘flower fountain’ from Afrikaans, Bloemfontein is nicknamed the City of Roses. This is also due to the city’s abundance of flowers and the annual Rose Festival in October. Bloemfontein is also called Mangaung — the Sesotho name for the land of the cheetahs.

While cheetahs once used to roam the plains that we now know as Bloemfontein, today, other cheetahs own the land — the local rugby team, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs! And as one of the most popular sports in Bloemfontein, the local sports lovers really know how to bring the gees!

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A post shared by Cheetah Rugby (@cheetahsrugby)

The main languages spoken in Bloemfontein are:

  • Sesotho (65%)

  • Afrikaans (13%)

  • isiXhosa (7,5%)

  • Setswana (5,2%)

Top Areas in Bloemfontein

Covering over 235 km2, Bloemfontein offers a range of beautiful suburbs — from the busy CBD and lively student centres to peaceful and family-filled homes outside of the hustle and bustle.

Here’s the complete guide to some of the best areas in Bloemfontein to call home

Universitas

Universitas is a very popular area conveniently located near the centre of Bloemfontein but far enough away from the busy CBD to be a peaceful residential area.

Universitas is a favourite for many students and families as the home to Grey College, Eunice High School and the University of the Free State. As a beloved residential area, you can also find many guesthouses, shopping centres and healthcare facilities.

Langenhovenpark

Located in rolling ‘koppies’ west of Bloemfontein Central, Langenhovenpark is a top choice for locals. With a range of affordable flats and houses to larger and more expensive properties, Langenhovenpark has something for everyone.

Langenhovenpark offers quick access to the major highways, such as the N1, N8 and Nelson Mandela Drive. You can also find many restaurants, cafes, shops and even nurseries for avid gardeners. And don’t miss out on the Langenhovenpark Boeremark, or farmer’s market, that takes place every Saturday.

Dan Pienaar

Regarded as one of the more luxurious and safe neighbourhoods in Bloemfontein, Dan Pienaar is an excellent choice for families.

Located just north of Bloemfontein Central, residents have easy access to great schools, shopping malls and fun activities. A great family activity found in Dan Pienaar is the Elude Escape Room.

Waverley

Waverley is another more exclusive Bloemfontein suburb with beautiful properties on the more expensive side.

Found at the base of Naval Hill, Waverley is a much sought-after neighbourhood for its stunning landscapes and quiet streets. Proximity to Naval Hill also offers Waverley residents easy access to its famous monuments, Franklin Game Reserve and incredible Planetarium! It’s also a great location for art lovers as the home of the beloved Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

Willows

A 6-minute drive west of Bloemfontein Central, Willows is a bustling area with lots to do. The Loch Logan Waterfront makes Willows a hotspot for shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It’s also the perfect spot for sports lovers with the Toyota Stadium and Mangaung Oval.

Willows has also become a big area for student accommodation, especially for students at the Central University of Technology.

And to give it some extra character, Willows has some interesting history as the home to the first post office built in Bloemfontein.

Bayswater

Bayswater is on the rise as an affordable area in the north of Bloemfontein and a new favourite for young couples and first-time homeowners.

This northern neighbourhood is perfect for families as home to a range of schools, such as Bloemfontein High School and Primary School and Brebner High School and Primary.

It’s also a hotspot for retirees due to the popular Bayswater Retirement Village.

Heuwelsig

Heuwelsig is a gorgeous neighbourhood in the north of Bloemfontein. Being a bit out of town, it’s one of the more tranquil and spacious areas with nature sanctuaries, such as the Heuwelsig Nature Reserve and Heuwelsig North Playground.

You can also find a nice array of restaurants and local shops, plus some of the best healthcare facilities in the city. Retirees should also look at Heuwelsig to check out Aliquando Retirement Villages in the area.

Westdene

With its central location, Westdene is the tourist hotspot of Bloemfontein. Not only is it close to the town’s tourist hotspots but it’s also the centre of nightlife in the city with its wide range of restaurants, bars, live music venues, theatres and clubs. It has become the hub of energy and diversity in Bloemfontein.

There’s also a great mix of residential and student accommodation, offering both homes and apartments at affordable prices.

Living in Bloemfontein: Jobs, Cost of Living & Things to Do

Top Jobs in Bloemfontein and Average Salary

As one of the three capital cities in South Africa, Bloemfontein does have ample job opportunities for professionals. But as one of the smaller cities in South Africa, the job opportunities are quite small in comparison to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The average salary in Bloemfontein is R186 000 per year or around R15 500 per month. Popular jobs in Bloemfontein include:

  • Office Administrator

  • Accountant

  • High School Teacher

  • Operations Manager

  • Administrative Assistant

  • Pharmacist

  • Registered Nurse

Cost of Living in Bloemfontein

But while you may earn less than in one of the big cities, the cost of living is also substantially less — ranked 8th lowest cost of living out of 36 South African towns.

The average total cost of living in Bloemfontein is R12 000 for individuals or R26 000 for a family of 4.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the living costs in Bloemfontein:

Expense Average Price
Rental for 1-bedroom apartment R2 575
Rental for 3-bedroom house R6 500
Property R1 000 000
1 litre of milk R15
12 large eggs R34
Loaf of bread R15
Cappuccino R30
Bottle of wine R96
Gym membership R474

Things To Do in Bloemfontein

Despite being a relatively small city, Bloemfontein is bursting with many fun and interesting things to do! Here are the top activities in Bloemfontein:

1) Visit the stunning Naval Hill

Ascend Naval Hill to capture stunning photographs of the iconic Nelson Mandela statue while enjoying the finest panoramic views of Bloemfontein.

Nelson Mandela Statue Bloemfontein

2) Shop and dine at the Loch Logan Waterfront.

Immerse yourself in a shopping and dining paradise at Loch Logan Waterfront, where you can browse diverse shops and savour delicious cuisine by the waterfront. It's truly a unique spot in this typically dry area.

3) Explore and picnic in Free State National Botanical Gardens.

 Enjoy a leisurely exploration of the Free State National Botanical Gardens, perfect for picnics amidst the lush greenery and vibrant flora.

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A post shared by Discover South Africa 🇿🇦 (@discover.south.africa.with.liz)

4) Buy your fresh fruit and veggies at Langenhoven Park Farmers Market.

Experience the freshest produce and local flavours at Langenhoven Park Farmers Market, your go-to destination for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.

5) Get to know some natural history at the Bloemfontein National Museum.

Dive into South Africa's natural history at the Bloemfontein National Museum, where fascinating exhibits and artefacts await your discovery.

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A post shared by National Museum Bloemfontein (@nationalmuseumbloemfontein)

6) Learn more about South African history at the Anglo-Boer War Museum.

Journey through South African history at the Anglo-Boer War Museum, gaining insight into a pivotal period through captivating exhibits and displays.

7) Enjoy a mix of African art and Dutch architecture at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

Marvel at the captivating fusion of African art and Dutch architecture at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, a cultural gem that showcases creativity at its finest.

Bloemfontein Art Museum

8) Spot some wildlife at the Franklin Game Reserve on Naval Hill.

Encounter wildlife in their natural habitat at the Franklin Game Reserve on Naval Hill, a unique opportunity to spot animals amidst the cityscape.

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A post shared by Mariame | Travel - Photography (@mariame_travel)

9) Catch a sports game at the Free State Stadium or Mangaung Oval.

Catch the excitement of sports by attending events at the Free State Stadium or Mangaung Oval, where thrilling matches and games unfold.

10) Celebrate the town and marvel at hundreds of roses at the Rose Festival in October.

A festival not to be missed, the city is transformed into a display of colour and activity. With it's arid landscapes, seeing the stunning roses of Bloemfontein makes one appreciate it just that much more.

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A post shared by Executive Mayor Mlamleli (@executive_mayormlamleli)

Top Schools in Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is home to some of the top schools in South Africa, from primary schools all the way to the top universities, making it an excellent town for both families and students.

Here are the top schools in Bloemfontein:

  • Primary schools: Eunice Primary School, Mangaung Primary School, Olympia Primary School

  • High schools: Grey College, Eunice High School, Curro High School Bloemfontein

  • Universities: University of the Free State, Central University of Technology

Public Transport in Bloemfontein

While most people get around Bloemfontein with their own car, Bloemfontein does also offer some public transport in the form of taxis and the Interstate Bus Lines. However, the public transport systems often aren’t very safe or accessible. Another option is the typical e-hailing services such as Uber, Bolt and Lyft.

Is It Time to Make the Move to Bloemfontein?

If Bloemfontein sounds like the perfect new home for you, then there’s no better time than right now! What are you waiting for? Start planning your move to Bloemfontein!

Find the best moving companies Bloemfontein has to offer has never been easier than with Wise Move — the go-to place to connect with movers in your local area. You can compare prices, check out the thousands of great reviews, and find the perfect moving service for your needs and your budget!

Get your moving quote today with Wise Move and start planning your new life in the City of Roses!

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