Surrounded by the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch is a charming university town on the banks of the Eerste River. It is often referred to as the “City of Oaks” due to the trees that shade its streets after being planted by the town’s founder, Simon van der Stel. In addition to wine tasting, Stellenbosch is a popular base for exploring the Jonkershoek and Simonsberg nature reserves.
Things to do in Stellenbosch
Spend an afternoon strolling through Stellenbosch’s tree-lined streets and admire the town’s Cape Dutch-style buildings. Pop into the Toy & Miniature Museum or browse the anthropological exhibits within the Flemish Renaissance Revival building of the Stellenbosch University Museum. Occupying four historic residences is the Stellenbosch Museum, which depicts life in regional South Africa.
Green thumbs shouldn’t miss a visit to the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, which showcases plants from South Africa and beyond. It is particularly renowned for its bonsai and fern collections, as well as growing a variety of medicinal plants that have long been used by Indigenous peoples. Succulents from southern Africa and Madagascar are also on display.
No visit to Stellenbosch is complete without a day spent wine-tasting at some of the many cellar doors that dot the region. Stellenbosch is particularly renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc and it was here that Pinotage was born in 1924. Learn about the eight generations of winemakers at the Meerlust Estate, visit the wine museum at Boschendal and sample the French-inspired wines of Glenelly.
Getting around Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is around 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect to the Stellenbosch railway station and the town centre is compact enough to explore on foot.