In the 1870's the name 'Parys' was given to this town, on the banks of the Vaal River, by a German surveyor because the location reminded him of Paris on the river Seine. In the early 1900's it had become a major holiday resort for the rich, and an industrial center. Sadly not many original buildings remain today. When the newly built highway passed it by and in order to keep it alive, the residents created an atmosphere akin to Paris, the city it was named after.
It has a variety of interesting restaurants and quaint little coffee shops most spilling out onto the pavements to watch the world go by. There are art galleries for those in search of something slightly different, together with a wonderful array of antique shops. Because the Vaal is so close by, river rafting is very popular with the more adventurous. It goes without saying then that it has become a great place to visit over weekends, or for a much longer stay, being only an hour from Johannesburg.