Located just outside Cape Town, is a popular tourist destination for those looking to experience South Africa’s beauty and culture. Stellenbosch has something for everyone with its wine country setting, picturesque architecture, and diverse population. This is everything you need to know about this charming town.
WATCH: A couple of ways to spend the day in Stellenbosch
South Africa’s second oldest town after Cape Town was founded in 1679 and named for Governor Simon van der Stel. The town rapidly grew and became an important center for trade and agriculture. In the 19th century, Stellenbosch became known as the “City of Oaks” due to the large number of trees planted in the town. Stellenbosch is also well known for its restored Cape Dutch architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The city is home to Stellenbosch University, which is one of South Africa’s oldest universities and one of the most prominent universities in Africa. It is also home to several wine estates, including Spier, Boschendal, and Lanzerac.
As far as the wine industry is concerned, the name “Stellenbosch” is practically the home of wine. The town boasts not only the oldest and arguably the most famous wine route in the country but also one of the world’s most cutting-edge innovative wineries and the only viticultural and oenological department at a university. As of 2020, the population was 192,879.
Visitors can explore the many museums and historic buildings, or enjoy the fabulous food and wine for which the town is famous. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a beautiful place to relax, this place is definitely worth a visit.
The stunning South African town of Stellenbosch is home to the illustrious Stellenbosch University, which is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. Stellenbosch University is the oldest university in the country, having been established in 1866. It is also regarded as one of the best research universities in all of Africa. The university provides a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, business, and engineering, as well as legal studies. The University of Stellenbosch is a fantastic institution for furthering your education thanks to its prestigious past and longstanding commitment to academic achievement.
Address: Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch
Phone: 021 808 9111
Total enrollment: 31 765 (2018)
Subsidiaries: University of Stellenbosch Business School, MORE
Founded: 2 April 1918
Stellenbosch has several other attractions worth exploring. The town’s historic centre is home to numerous colonial-style buildings, and the surrounding countryside offers scenic hiking and biking trails. In addition, it is also home to several museums, art galleries, and live music venues.
Here are some of our things to get up to in Stellenbosch:
Stellenbosch Botanical Garden
The Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens can be enjoyed by the whole family, thanks to its quaint and cozy restaurant, which serves delicious meals and cakes under the trees. This botanical garden has something for everyone, whether you’re a plant enthusiast or a stressed-out mom looking for an activity for the kids. A day at The Stellenbosch University Botanical Gardens is good for the mind, body, and spirit, with stepping stones in a pond practically begging little feet to play and a gorgeous access-controlled greenhouse full of rare and beautiful plants. So whether you bring your own picnic to enjoy on the lush, green lawns or a coffee in the shade, the botanical garden is a lovely place to eat in Stellenbosch.
Address: Neethling St &, Van Riebeeck St, Stellenbosch Central
Phone: 021 808 3054
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 4pm
Take in the scenery while experiencing the challenges and thrills of quad biking through the terrain. Quad bikes are easy to use and are great for beginners! After a safety briefing, visitors are introduced to their four-wheelers and allowed to familiarize themselves with them. Then, they’ll begin the 1-hour nature trail as soon as everyone is at ease.
Scootours Stellenbosch flow trail
Guests take a short run to get used to the Scooters before being shuttled to the top of the Middelvlei Wine farm for two downhill runs on the Scootours Flow Trail. As you freewheel down the track, you will feel liberated and the wind in your hair. These Swiss-designed scooters are used on the ski slopes in the Alps during the summer season when the snow has melted. All trips are led by professionally trained guides.
Address: Middelvlei Landgoed, Onder Papegaaiberg
Cost: Drivers: 10 Years and up ride their own Scootour – R 350 pp and Passengers : 4 – 9 Years double up with parents – R 145 pp
Phone: 082 776 0557
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is tucked away in the Jonkershoek Valley, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. This pristine wilderness area is so jam-packed with activities that you’ll never want to leave. Hiking and mountain biking trails wind through the valley, past waterfalls, and gushing streams.
The reserve provides accommodation and restaurant facilities, as well as other necessary amenities and services, making it a popular choice for both tourists and locals. The reserve is also home to numerous plant and animal species that will enhance your hiking experience.
Among the highlights are:
- Mountain biking trails
Address: Jonkershoek Rd
Entrance fee: Conservation fee: Adults- R40
Child (3-12 years) – R20
MTB trails- R25 per person
Hiking- R30 per person
Prices are subjected to change annually
Phone: 021 866 1560
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Hours
- April – October: 08:00 am – 6:00 pm
- November – March: 08.00 am – 7:00 pm
- Monday- Sunday: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Horse riding at Boschendal
Picture: CANVARiding a horse has a magical quality to it. It’s an opportunity to feel like a cowboy or cowgirl, if only for a few hours. Stellenbosch is an ideal location for horseback riding. You’ll fall in love with this picturesque setting, whether trotting through town or cantering across open fields.
Address: Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road
Entrance fee: One-hour rides – R450 between 14h00 – 15h00
Pony rides (kids aged 4 – 7) – R60 between 12h00 – 16h00
Phone: +27 (021) 870-4211
Make a booking: [email protected]
Root 44 Market is a fun, family-friendly market that offers a variety of local products and produce. The market is open every Saturday – Sunday, from 9am to 5pm, and features a wide range of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisanal goods. There’s also a kid’s play area, making Root 44 Market the perfect place to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning with the family.
Address: Root44 Stellenbosch
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Entrance fee: Free
Stellenbosch is home to several museums, each with its own unique focus. The Stellenbosch Museum, for example, houses a collection of local historical artifacts. At the same time, the Stellenbosch University Museum focuses on the natural sciences. The Stellenbosch Art Gallery features a diverse selection of contemporary South African art for those interested in the arts. And finally, the Stellenbosch Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the town’s rich past, with exhibits on its founding and early history.
Here are some of our favourite museums in Stellenbosch:
The Rupert Museum houses the late Dr. Anton Rupert’s and his wife Huberte Rupert’s private art collection, which began in the 1940s. Anton Rupert, a South African businessman, philanthropist, and conservationist, and his wife, Huberte, were prominent figures in support of the visual arts, as well as education, music, and the preservation of historical buildings. The museum was inspired by a fire at the Ruperts’ home, after which Huberte Rupert decided to create an art museum that would provide an intimate experience of their extensive art collection. It reflects Dr. and Mrs. Rupert’s discerning eye and personal taste, displaying a selection of what is considered a premier collection of Modern South African art.
Address: Stellentia Rd, Stellenbosch Central
Entrance fee: R20
Hours: Tue – Fri: 10h00 – 17h00 and Sat – Sun: 10h00 – 16h00
Phone: 021 888 3344
The Village Museum currently consists of four historic houses and gardens. These lovely homes represent a different era in Stellenbosch’s architectural development. The houses, interiors, and gardens have been beautifully restored, furnished, planted, and decorated to reflect the period’s style and taste.
Address: 18 Ryneveld St, Stellenbosch Central
Hours: Tue – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Phone: 021 887 2937
The Toy Museum in Stellenbosch is a magical world not to be missed. The museum’s collection includes 1:12 scale miniatures, room boxes, antique dolls, dinky cars, cuddly toys, and more! The only one of its kind in Africa, an extremely detailed and lifelike miniature of South Africa’s famous Blue train is on display. The train travels from a miniature Stellenbosch through the Cape Winelands and mountains to the Karoo, where it passes Matjiesfontein before returning to Stellenbosch.
Address: Mark St, Stellenbosch Central
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 4:30pm and Saturday 9am – 2pm
Phone: 021 882 8861
Gavin Collins Gallery
Gavin Collins was born on May 30, 1971, in Cape Town, South Africa, the son of a farmer and an artist. Gavin had his first solo exhibition when he was 14 years old. After that, he became a top-selling artist with an extensive collector base worldwide, with the United States and Europe being two of the most important markets. Gavin has been creating artwork for over 34 years, has had many solo exhibitions, and owns four galleries. His current galleries are in Franschhoek’s Village Centre, Huguenot Road, and Church Street in Stellenbosch.
Address: 36 Church St, Stellenbosch Central
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm and Sunday 9am – 5pm
Phone: 021 883 3018
The V.O.C. Kruithuis is one of a kind in South Africa because it is the country’s only surviving powder magazine from the days of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.). It has almost become a symbol of this town’s rich and varied architectural heritage.
Address: Mark St, Stellenbosch Central
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 4pm
Phone: 021 887 2937
Stellenbosch is a beautiful town in South Africa and one of the country’s most important wine regions. The Stellenbosch wine farms are world-renowned for their Pinotage and Chardonnay wines and attract visitors worldwide. There are more than 200 wine estates in the region, each with its unique style and character. Visitors can tour the vineyards, wine tasting, and learn about the history of this important South African industry. In addition to wine, the Stellenbosch region is also known for its outstanding restaurants, hotels, and shops.
Here are a few wine farms to visit in Stellenbosch:
The Jordan wine estate is located in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine region. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa. The estate is open for tours seven days a week. It offers visitors a chance to learn about the history and production of its wines. Visitors can also enjoy a tasting session at the on-site tasting room or buy Jordan wine bottles to take home.
If you’re looking for a taste of South African wine culture, then be sure to visit the Jordan wine estate in Stellenbosch. Here you can explore centuries-old vineyards, learn about traditional winemaking techniques, and sample some of the best wines that South Africa has to offer.
Address: Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Vlottenberg
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 4:30pm
Phone: 021 881 3441
Peter Falke’s exclusive winery is nestled against the majestic slopes of the Helderberg Mountains in the heart of South Africa’s Stellenbosch Winelands. Growing alongside carefully cultivated vineyards are rambling magenta bougainvillea, delicate scented roses, and wild lavender at Groenvlei Farm. The wine estate’s traditional gabled Cape Dutch buildings, dating back to the 18th century, conceal contrasting modernity. The stately old homestead is complemented by a “boutique” winery, contemporary wine tasting room, and luxurious outdoor lounge, establishing Peter Falke Wines as Winelands most elegant and serene sundowner retreat.
Address: Annandale Rd, Stellenbosch
Hours: Weekly, 11am – 7pm
Phone: 021 881 3677
Warwick Estate is a prestigious winery located in Stellenbosch. Since 1771, the estate has had a long and prosperous history of farming and winery. The Warwick vineyards are a blend of classic Bordeaux cultivars and South African stalwarts such as Pinotage and old vine Chenin Blanc.
Address: On the R44 between Stellenbosch & Klapmuts
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 5pm
Phone: 021 884 4410
Booking: [email protected]
Set in a historic cellar, their goal is to show guests how combining outstanding wine with excellent food can enhance a dining experience. Their tasting room is open seven days a week, where you can sample their entire wine selection. The tastings are presented by knowledgeable staff. In addition, informal tours of their underground cellar are available upon request, and a winemaker’s lunch is open between 12 and 3 pm.
Address: Annandale Rd, Stellenbosch
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm
Phone: 021 881 3881
Kanonkop is a fourth-generation family-owned wine estate passed down from generation to generation and is now run by brothers Paul and Johann Krige. Kanonkop is named after a hillock (kop) on the Simonsberg mountain above the wine estate from which a cannon (kanon) was fired to announce the arrival of sailing ships entering Table Bay in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Address: R44, Stellenbosch
Hours: Weekly, 9am – 5pm and Saturday 9am – 3pm
Phone: 021 884 4656
There are several excellent restaurants in town that serve everything from traditional Cape Malay dishes to international cuisine. So whether you want a hearty steak or a light salad, you’re sure to find something to your liking. And with so many restaurants to choose from, you’ll never run out of new favorites.
Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in Stellenbosch:
- De Volkskombuis
- The Fat Butcher
- Tokara Restaurant
- De Warenmarkt
- La Pineta
- The Hussar Grill Stellenbosch
- Cavalli Estate
- Tokara Restaurant
Spek & Bone
Eike by Bertus Basson
De Stomme Jonge
- Asta Italian
The Vine Bistro
The Meeting Place
Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery
Stud the burger shop
Mariams Kitchen Stellenbosch
- The Table at De Meye
If you’re going to Stellenbosch, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Fortunately, there is no shortage of lodging options in this vibrant town. You’ll be able to find a place that fits your budget and needs, from luxury hotels to cozy beds and breakfasts.
Here are a few places to stay in Stellenbosch:
- Lanzerac – 1 Lanzerac Road, Jonkershoek Rd
- Marianne Wine Estate – Valley Road – Off R44
- L’Avenir Country Lodge – Off R44, Klapmuts Road, R44
- De Zalze Lodge – Strand Rd, De Zalze Golf Estate
- Brenaissance Wine & Stud Estate
Important Information about Stellenbosch: