Close to the ground.

GPS: S 33 56.231 E 018 51.534 pop. 200,000 | elevation 108 m/354 ft

Stellenbosch is a scenic university town just 45 minutes from Cape Town and smack in the middle of wine country. The town's wide range of accommodation options and top quality restaurants make this an ideal base from which to tour the surrounding vineyards. Quaint downtown streets are lined with cafés and restaurants that invite you to slow your pace and appreciate the scenery. When restaurants start closing up, the area quickly turns into a university watering hole as thousands of students hit the streets to meet and drink. Most city streets do not have signs, so look for the name of the street printed on the curb in a yellow painted block.

Die Braak

Die Braak is the grassy town square in the heart of Stellenbosch. On the northern edge of the square you will find the Anglican Saint Mary's Church, built in 1852. Along the east side of the square stands the VOC Kruithuis/Powder House. Built in 1777 to store arms and ammunition for Boer commandos, the armory now serves as a small military museum (8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri, adult R5, child R2O). The Rhenish Church to the south of Die Braak was built in 1823 by the Missionary Society of Stellenbosch as a missionary school for slaves, and the coloured and black population.

Sasol Art Museum

Sasol Art Museum is a dramatic two-story building in the heart of the University of Stellenbosch campus. It houses an impressive permanent collection of paintings and sculptures by established international and South African artists, as well an anthropological collection of Xhosa and Zulu art and weaponry. Temporary exhibitions of evocative installations and sculpture change on a regular basis.

Stellenbosch Village Museum

Stellenbosch Village Museum makes it easy to imagine how early area residents lived as you wander down garden paths to four houses that represent different eras of the domestic history of colonial Stellenbosch. Costumed greeters welcome you and explain the significance of the design and furnishings in period homes dating from 1709 to 1929.

University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery

University of Stellenbosch Art Gallery displays the work of rising South African artists from the University of Stellenbosch in a 1854 Evangelical Lutheran church. The exhibits usually change every month, but can sometimes change every week.

Toy & Miniature Museum

Toy & Miniature Museum has miniature models of old Stellenbosch, antique toys and dolls, boxcars and ornate one-twelfth scale miniatures. The guided tour takes roughly 30 minutes to explore the first house, the lush garden and the second house, which opens up onto Dorp Street. The owner Phillip is very friendly and happy to explain the details of some of the more impressive pieces.

Stellenbosch Golf Club

Stellenbosch Golf Club is an 18-hole, 72-par scenic course surrounded by the mountains and vineyards. Club rental is R350, carts R250 and caddies are R130.


Bikes 'n Wines

Bikes 'n Wines offers biking wine tours for the more adventurous connoisseur. Tours vary in intensity, but all come with scenic views and a sampling of local wines and cheeses, as well as cellar tours at up to four vineyards. It's a great way to taste some of South Africa's finest grapes and see the countryside without the carbon footprint. A small portion of your payment also goes towards the Lynedoch EcoVillage and the newly established Lynedoch Cycling Club, a mentorship program for disadvantaged youths.

Easy Rider Wine Tours

Easy Rider Wine Tours is made for those who would rather gulp than sip the local wines. It's run out of Stumble Inn backpackers, but they can pick you up from anywhere in Stellenbosch. Tours leave at 10:30am and hit up four vineyards with a stopover for lunch in Franschhoek. The price includes tastings and lunch.

Vine Hopper

Vine Hopper is a hop-on/hop-off wine tour bus. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they run a route through six vineyards north of town and Monday, Wednesday and Friday the southern route. Vans leave hourly from Stellenbosch Tourism, where you can also buy tickets. The ticket price covers transportation only; tasting fees and lunch are not included.

Redwood Tours

Redwood Tours specializes in small group and individual excursions and can organize personalized wine tours to suit your interests. They also can arrange day trips to Cape Peninsula or longer jaunts through the Garden route.

Stellenbosch on Foot

Stellenbosch on Foot is a walking tour of downtown Stellenbosch and its historic sights that is run by the Stellenbosch Tourism Office.

There are many boutique clothing and art stores centered around Andringa Street and its cross streets, Plein and Church.

Oom Samie se Winkel / Uncle Sammy's Shop

Oom Samie se Winkel / Uncle Sammy's Shop was founded in 1904 and since then has acquired every kitschy souvenir you could imagine, as well as an array of spices and jams, medicine bottles from the early 1900s, dried fish, tea sets and more. It's a Stellenbosch institution and worth a stop just to take a look around.

Craft Market

Craft Market is a small craft market near the town square that sells standard South African souvenirs of paintings, statues, drums and small figurines. It's a quick and pleasant stroll if you are in the city center.


Stumble Inn

Stumble Inn is the most popular backpackers in Stellenbosch. As the name suggests, it is an ideal spot for travelers who enjoy a good pub-crawl after a day of wine tasting. There is a TV room and plenty of space to lounge around in back by the pool table or out in the yard.

Banghoek Place

Banghoek Place is a modern guesthouse by the same owners as Stumble Inn and is substantially more upscale than other budget options in town. It feels more like a boutique hotel and attracts a wide age range for its well-priced en suite rooms. Evenings are cozy as guests return from a day's play to enjoy a bottle of wine beside the pool or courtyard. There is a well-outfitted kitchen and braai facilities, and it is within walking distance to central Stellenbosch restaurants.

Stellenbosch Traveller's Lodge

Stellenbosch Traveller's Lodge feels more like a highway motel than a backpackers, but has clean budget accommodation, a self-catering kitchen and a pool table. The lodge is best suited for a group traveling together rather than solo travelers looking to socialize.

iKhaya Stellenbosch Backpackers

iKhaya Stellenbosch Backpackers is oddly hobbled together from rooms on the third and fourth floor of an office building, but the location is tough to beat. The kitchens are located inside the dorm rooms and there isn't much communal space apart from the roof deck. A storefront bar serves light meals downstairs.


Yellow Lodge

Yellow Lodge was previously a pastor's residence and is now a National Heritage building. The lodge is clean and quiet with eight en-suites and a self-catering apartment. The lush lounge area and small splash pool in back are particularly lovely.

De Oude Meul

De Oude Meul is a wellkept six-room guesthouse above a coffee shop and antique store by the same owner. Rooms are simple but elegant and open either onto the front balcony or patio in back. There is a common lounge area with a computer available for use, as well as wifi throughout.

Stellenbosch Hotel

Stellenbosch Hotel is a Cape Dutch building with restored facades of two historic 19th-century homes. All rooms have TV and AC and self-catering rooms are available upon request. The hotel is centrally located in the middle of town and surrounded by restaurants and shops.


D'Ouwe Werf

D'Ouwe Werf is a historic 4-star hotel that was the first lodge in the Stellenbosch area. Today it maintains its bygone character with antiques scattered throughout the lobby and in the Superior rooms. Service is exquisite, as is the restaurant and the courtyard pool area. The hotel is situated in the center of the town's restaurant and bar district.


Wijnhuis is a Stellenbosch classic for fine dining after a day of touring area vineyards. The Mediterranean menu liberally incorporates local produce and regional game and the wine list is a real stunner, with 350 wines from 40 local vineyards. The restaurant cozily occupies a garret space with slanted eaves and outdoor dining is on the rooftop.

Apprentice @ Institute of Culinary Arts

Apprentice @ Institute of Culinary Arts presents impressive and artistically prepared dishes from the students of the Institute of Culinary Arts. The sleek restaurant has an open stainless steel kitchen where you can watch the students polish their skills as they create your meal.

De Oewer Riverside Food and Wine Garden

De Oewer Riverside Food and Wine Garden offers Mediterranean inspired lunches and dinners under the shade of large oak trees on the banks of the Eerste River.

De Volkskombuis

De Volkskombuis has the same owner as De Oewer Riverside Food, but is more formal and has a larger menu featuring seafood, game and regional specialties.

Basic Bistro

Basic Bistro serves a great breakfast, lunch and dinner in a quaint dining room and at sidewalk tables. Some big tastes come out of this little restaurant and kitchen: don't leave without trying a homemade pasta and a scrumptious dessert.

5 Ryneveld

5 Ryneveld is all about the gourmet burgers, with a selection that will boggle your taste buds. The dozens of burgers include ostrich, fish and vegetarian patties. The restaurant is in a beautiful old building with a garden courtyard where you can enjoy these delicious monsters and daily dinner specials alfresco.

Java Café

Java Café is a coffee shop and Internet café with decent, reasonable food available all day long. Java's main attraction, though, is its chic bar and sidewalk seating where you can easily plant yourself for brunch and while away an entire day with a good cup of joe in hand.


Celebrate is a fun and casual eatery that is popular with the student crowd because of their well-priced menu of burgers, pizza and light meals. They also have a daily two-for-one happy hour from 9pm-10pm.


Bohemia is a beery and mellow bar where patrons kick back with a game of pool or hookah. Come in your flip-flops and leave any dance-club pretentiousness at home.

Mystic Boer

Mystic Boer is a multilevel bar where the cool-kid contingent of Stellenbosch's student crowd hangs out. There is a pool table on the ground floor and live music or a DJ on Tuesday nights. It's right next door to Bohemia.

The Trumpet Tree

The Trumpet Tree is an enchanting vine-covered beer garden situated behind the storefronts on Dorp Street. This is a hot spot with the local crowd for gourmet pizza and beer, and is one of the only places where you can grab a bite to eat after 9pm.


Nu'Bar is a popular student nightclub with two bars, DJs and a dance floor. In short, this bar is often host to a young wasted mess - it's not an atypical weeknight sight to see a bartender pouring complimentary shots into the mouths of 18-year-olds on the raised dance floor in the back.


Entourage is located upstairs next door to Nu'Bar and is a similar club scene, but DJs play a bit more techno.

Hemingway Library & Cigar Bar

Hemingway Library & Cigar Bar offers commie culture and classic Cuban cocktails in the back of the Cape To Cuba restaurant. Order up candelabrum to go with your caipirinha - all the furnishings in the restaurant and bar are for sale.

Rock Room

Rock Room is a small bar that has specials on drinks or food almost every night of the week and gets packed on Saturdays when live bands play.