Top 16 Things To Do In Clarens, South Africa - Updated 2021

things to do in Clarens South Africa
Ryan Joshua
Ryan Joshua

Located just three hours away from the bustling capital city of Johannesburg lies the quaint town of Clarens, which is found along the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State. The town offers a lot of activities, places of interest, and entertainment that will surely make your trip to South Africa even memorable. Whether you are the one that is up for exhilarating activities or the one that is just fine with walking tours, then Clarens would be a perfect place for you to visit. If you are interested in experiencing an authentic South African life without traveling too far from the city, here are just some of the best things to do in Clarens, South Africa.

1. See the beauty of nature at Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Known for the gold shade of its sandstone cliffs that comes from the rays of the sun, the Golden Gate National Park is one of the most prominent tourist spots in Clarens. The natural park is known for its breathtaking scenery, calming climate, and the availability of tours coming from Clarens. Aside from the colorful sandstone natural formations, you will also fall in love with the scenery of ravines, grasslands, vast forests, and gullies. There’s also a variety of wildlife thriving at the natural park.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Address: Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Golden Gate Highlands National Park

2. Shop for souvenirs at Clarens Kado

Soy tealight candles
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user lindsay.dee.bunny used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Shopping for souvenirs is something that everyone does, especially when they are already about to go home. The best place to shop for souvenirs in Clarens is at the Clarens Kado. It is an exclusive gift shop and bath deli that sells quality products like homeware, rain bath products, handmade cushions, functional glassware, assorted scented candles, African jewelry, sandstone products and a whole lot more. You will also fall in love with the spa-like ambiance of the store that makes you so relaxed as you step inside.

Clarens Kado

Address: Windmill Centre, Main Street, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Clarens Kado

3. Appreciate African art at Johan Smith Art Gallery

things to do in clarens south africa | appreciate african art at johan smith art gallery
Source: andyodayan on Instagram

See the beauty of African art and culture as you step inside the Johan Smith Art Gallery. Established by the renowned South African artist Johan Smith in November 1999, the gallery is home to a wide collection of fine art like paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, and many others. It is considered as one of the best tourist spots in town.

Johan Smith Art Gallery

Address: Windmill Centre, Main Street, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Johan Smith Art Gallery

4. Tee off at Clarens Golf Estate

The Clarens Golf Estate is a par 71 golf course right at the heart of Clarens. You will be greeted with the very stylish and elegant clubhouse that is strategically placed to have a spectacular view of Mount Horeb. You will play a nice game of golf right on its nicely cut Kikuyu fairways and Bentgrass greens and is being bordered by great Lombardi poplar trees. Playing golf here in Clarens Golf Estate will be a relaxing experience for you.

Clarens Golf Estate

Address: Corner Golden Gate Road and Fouriesburg Road, Clarens, South Africa

Website: Clarens Golf Estate

5. Try German food at Roter Hahn

If you are in the mood or craving for some German dishes and authentic Bavarian cold brews while you are in Clarens, then Roter Hahn is the best place for you to go. Since it opened its doors to the public in 1984, everyone has loved the restaurant’s well-curated German-style menu. Plus, the restaurant has this very European vibe that really improves your appetite! Aside from German beers, Roter Hahn also serves the best Belgian beer and some homemade treats.

Roter Hahn

Address: CNR Roos Street &, Van Zyl St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Roter Hahn

Opening hours: Sun: 9am - 2:30pm; Mon - Thu: 9am - 7:30pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 8:30pm

6. Take a selfie with Titanic Rock as a backdrop

Just a mere 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) north of Clarens is Titanic Rock, probably the most well-known sandstone cliff in the area. This natural rock formation acts as a welcome marker to everyone that enters the city. It has been named the “Titanic Rock” not only because of its bow of the ship-like shape but also coincidentally, the year when the famous RMS Titanic sank was also the year when Clarens was established.

Titanic Rock

Address: Clarens, South Africa

Website: Titanic Rock

7. Witness the beauty of nature at Rebellie Game Farm

Nestled between the breathtaking mountainous landscape of the amazing Maluti Mountains, the Rebellie Game Farm is the best sanctuary for you to escape the busyness of your daily life in the city. You will surely be relaxed and regain your energy as you breathe in the freshest air and appreciate the beauty of nature that is just right in front of you. Rebellie Game Farm also offers accommodation with the utmost service, luxury, style, and comfort. The area’s mountainous terrain and the diversity of wildlife make it also a haven for those that love to ride 4x4s.

Rebellie Game Farm

Address: Maluti Mountains, 9702 Clarens, Free State, South Africa

Website: Rebellie Game Farm

8. See modern African art at Blou Donki Gallery

Posted by Blou Donki Art Gallery on Thursday, 1 December 2016

Located right at the center of Clarens is the Blue Donki Art Gallery. This art gallery is known for its very modern, chic and trendy ambiance that exhibits some of the best artwork done by emerging and well-known artists across the country. Exhibited inside the art gallery are fine collections of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, and even functional art. Immerse yourself with the beauty of modern African art as you sip a cup of coffee.

Blou Donki Gallery

Address: Windmill Centre, Main Street, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Blou Donki Gallery

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

9. Walk and jog along Kloof Dam

See waterbirds and other aquatic creatures live in action as you walk or jog along the Kloof Dam. Being a part of the Kloof Mountain Trail, the short walking trails around the Kloof Dam makes it a very perfect place for joggers and walkers to exercise. Plus, you can also bring your dogs with you! There’s a lot of birds around the dam. Wildflowers also become abundant during spring to late summer. There’s also a waterfall that cascades every summer.

Kloof Dam

Address: Hill St. Clarens, South Africa

10. Enjoy a bottle of beer at Clarens Brewery

Known to be one of the first brew-pub, cidery, and distillery in the whole South Africa, Clarens Brewery serves the best beers in the area. They are known for their hand-crafted full-grain ales and beers made from the best malts and hops which are sourced both locally and internationally. Clarens Brewery guarantees that the quality and the taste of their beers are constant and has never changed since they first opened. Enjoy a nice cold brew over small talks with your family and friends at Clarens Brewery.

Clarens Brewery

Address: 326 Market Straat Oos St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Clarens Brewery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 7pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

11. Relish the sumptuous breakfast at Artist's Cafe

things to do in clarens south africa | relish the sumptuous breakfast at artist's cafe
Source: eihposfer on Instagram

Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with your friends and family at Artist’s Cafe, one of the most prominent family-friendly restaurants in Clarens. Dining out in this restaurant would be surely fun, especially with their nice selection of country cuisine and their very homely ambiance. Being seated outdoors will even make your dining experience even better with that nice, rare view of the mountains in front of you. Kids also have a place at this restaurant as they offer a kiddie menu and a shady playground with farm style, playable toys, and an antique red tractor for them to climb on.

Artist's Cafe

Address: Main St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Opening hours: Sun: 8am - 4:30pm; Mon, Wed & Thu: 8:30am - 4:30pm; Tue: 9am - 4pm; Fri: 8:30am - 6:30pm; Sat: 8am - 6:30pm

12. See world-class paintings at Addy & Hoyle Art Gallery

Established by two of South Africa’s most prominent artists, namely Simon Addy and Lynne Hoyle, Addy and Hoyle Art Gallery is becoming one of the art centers in South Africa. Appreciate the beauty of the art that these two artists create. Plus, Addy and Hoyle Art Gallery is the only place for you to purchase their artworks, so grab the chance to purchase one when you are in Clarens.

Addy & Hoyle Art Gallery

Address: 277 Main St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Addy & Hoyle Art Gallery

Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)

13. Sip a cup of coffee at Highland Coffee Roastery

Take a break from all of those activities and places to go in Clarens and stop for a nice cup of coffee at Highland Coffee Roastery right at Clarens’ main square. Using both locally and internationally sourced coffee beans, the Highland Coffee Roastery roasts them right onsite in just small batches. This is for them to maintain the quality of their coffee. It is everyone’s to-go place to have some fuel to start the day, or just have a cup of coffee over a good conversation with friends and family.

Highland Coffee Roastery

Address: Market Street East, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Highland Coffee Roastery

Opening hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm (daily)

14. Dine well at Clementines Restaurant & Bar

Known to be one of the most exclusive restaurants in the whole Clarens, Clementines Restaurant & Bar has been serving quality dishes and drinks since its inception in 1999. Set in a former bus service maintenance shed, Clementines Restaurant & Bar offers a very rustic yet homely feel with the spectacular views of the mountains that surround the town. Just recently, Clementine’s added a complete specialty bar that comes with a variety of drinks such as whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy and wines.

Clementines Restaurant & Bar

Address: Corner &, Church St & Van Zyl St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Clementines Restaurant & Bar

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 9pm (closed on Mon)

15. Try delicious dishes at The Highlander Restaurant

The Highlander Restaurant is considered to be one of the best and the most family-friendly places for you to dine and drink. You will surely love the hearty food and the very homely ambiance that the restaurant provides. They have the best selection of wood-fired pizzas, burgers, curries, pies, salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches, pancakes, desserts and wines that everyone will surely love.

The Highlander Restaurant

Address: Market St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Opening hours: 8am - 9:30pm (daily)

16. Admire the collection at Art and Wine Gallery

If you both love art and wines at the same time, then you should definitely visit the Art and Wine Gallery in Clarens. Get to see the quality artworks created by South Africa’s best and renowned artists while tasting some of the best wines sourced all over the world. The gallery exhibits works of well-known artists like Gregoire Boonzaier, Erik Laubscher, J.H. Pierneef, Aviva Maree, Piter van der Westhuizen, and many others.

Art and Wine Gallery

Address: 279-280 Main St, Clarens, 9707, South Africa

Website: Art and Wine Gallery

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Explore the artistry of Clarens

Clarens welcome sign
Source: Photo by user Ossewa used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Clarens indeed has a myriad of natural and man-made attractions that everyone should definitely visit. That is why you should consider doing these best things to do while you are in Clarens. Have fun!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Ryan is a Computer Engineer with a heart for traveling and writing. Born in Pasay City, Philippines, and raised in Melbourne, Australia, he is now based in the Philippines' City of Smiles, Bacolod...Read more

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