People don’t just head to the Cape Winelands for its extraordinary wines and exquisite gastronomy. Stellenbosch is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, mostly occupied by students that flock to this popular university town yearly and while most famous or its wineries there’s a wide variety of things to do in Stellenbosch beyond wine tasting!
This town, with all its street cafes, lively young students that bring a vibrant energy to the streets, and its world-renowned wines, has a certain European charm. The only difference here is the beautiful mountain backdrop and orange African sunsets. Welcome to the City of Oaks, or Eikestad, as the locals call it!
Upon your arrival, you’ll probably start to think about things to do in Stellenbosch. Plan your itinerary and budget well, because there’s no shortage of activities and the biggest decision you’ll have to make is the colour of wine you’d like to taste (tip: both!).
11 Fun Things To Do In Stellenbosch
We have compiled a list of fun things to do around Stellenbosch. For the adrenaline junkies, there are multiple beautiful hiking trails and other adventurous activities to check out. Eat and explore your way around Stellenbosch, explore the local culture, or visit one of the multiple award-winning wine farms in the area.
Hiking at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is located 9km outside of Stellenbosch. Enjoy a very green scenic drive along Jonkershoek Road with all its indigenous trees and plants.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve offers 4 different hiking trails, and they are between 5 km – 18 km long. Four rivers find their source in the Jonkershoek Mountains, making this an amazing combined opportunity for hiking and a refreshing dip in the pools.
Top Tip: If you find yourself in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch, make a stop at Stark Conde wines. This small and intimate tasting room is built on its own little island, surrounded by the mountains and vineyards of the Jonkershoek Valley. Uniquely beautiful and authentic.
Horseback Riding At Wild Clover Farm
If you’re a horse fanatic and want to enjoy a trail ride on a farm, you should visit Equine Sports Center at Wild Clover farm. There’s even the possibility of arranging horseback rides for special occasions, like engagements or birthday parties.
While you’re there, be sure to check out the local tasting room at Wild Clover. They brew their own craft beers. After a long horse riding session, you might want to crack open a cold one.
Delvera Full Moon Hikes
If you’re in South Africa, you can’t miss out on the splendour of the great outdoors. Keep your active lifestyle alive and opt for the Delvera Full Moon Hike in Stellenbosch.
Partake in an almost 10km long full moon hike, offering a spectacular sunset at the top of Klapmutskop while you’re watching the full moon rise above the Winelands.
It will take an hour to reach the top, but transport for children and elderly hikers can be arranged to make their trip shorter by 30min. Pack a torch and something warm to wear for the hike down.
Check out the schedule for Delvera’s full moon hikes and book now.
Salt and Wine pairing
When I first heard we were doing a salt and wine pairing, I stuck my nose up and was far from impressed. “Wine and SALT?! Should it not be Wine and CHEESE?!”
Within minutes of sitting down, however, I was silenced….and suddenly excited. You can not imagine the amount of time and effort that has gone into this experience. The resident chef at Fleur Du Cap, Craig Cormack, actually travelled the world in search of all the best salts to use in his cooking creations. When you taste these small bites, accompanied with the right wine, it’s like an entirely new culinary experience. I’ll say no more..you need to try it for yourself. Book your tasting here.
Eat at Majeka House
One very unique experience in Stellenbosch is to treat yourself to a Springbok Steak at Majeka House restaurant. Part of a boutique hotel and spa, the menu is this restaurant was as unique as it was mouth-watering. Short and concise, the chefs here have chosen to keep the menu limited to allow them to spend longer creating the perfect dish for everyone who orders.
Think quality and taste over quantity. There is also an option to do the wine pairing, where they choose a different wine to suit every course you are eating – and that’s probably the element that made this place one of our most memorable meals. Try the Springbok Steak, it will melt in your mouth.
Visit The Stellenbosch Village Museum
Situated in one of our favourite streets in Stellenbosch, Ryneveld Street, the Village museum showcases the development of architecture in Stellenbosch. Four houses and their gardens are representative of a different time period and showcase the style and interior of that time.
Schreuder house, one of the four houses on display is the oldest documented restored townhouse in South African history. It was built in 1709 – making this museum well worth a visit.
If you need to entertain the kids, consider a trip to the Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum. A family favourite among old and young alike.
Kayamandi Township Tour
Kayamandi means “sweet home” in isiXhosa – one of South Africa’s native languages. This township will offer you a true South African experience. Start off with a walking tour, joined by a local from Kayamandi, meet local artists and entrepreneurs and end off your tour with a local Xhosa lunch.
Broaden your cultural horizons, learn from the locals, and experience the reality of South Africa by booking this township tour.
Strawberry Picking At Mooiberge
Mooiberge is by far the quirkiest spot to go strawberry picking around Stellenbosch. Strawberry season is between October and December, so if you’re visiting during that time, add this fun family activity to the list.
Mooiberge offers a magnificent view over the mountains surrounding Stellenbosch and is also home to a lot of colourful, eccentric looking “scarecrows” scattered throughout the strawberry fields.
Visit Thirsty Scarecrow restaurant and enjoy one of the most extensive beer selections in the area. We recommend their local strawberry beer, brewed on the premises. They also serve up some delicious food and snacks, so make sure you have time to indulge and enjoy!
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Well-known South African artist, Dylan Lewis, started his dream of combining the landscape of the Winelands and his impressive sculptures to form an enormous sculpture garden. The sculptures are placed in perfect harmony with the surrounding elements of nature.
More than 60 sculptures can be explored here, creating a unique experience for art lovers. You have to make an appointment to visit the sculpture gardens just outside of Stellenbosch.
Wine And Dine At Lavish Wine Estates
When in Stellenbosch, it’s time for some proper rest and relaxation. What better way to do that than to sip on a glass of wine with an immaculate plate of food while overlooking the scenic vineyards in the region.
Our favourites include:
- Waterford Estate | Wine and chocolate pairing | Upper Blaauwklippen Rd, Stellenbosch
- Delaire Graff | Luxury cuisine and wines | Helshoogte Rd, Stellenbosch
- Simonsig Wine Estate | Wine tasting and restaurant | Kromme Rhee Rd, Stellenbosch
Nightlife In Stellenbosch
In the middle of Dorp Street, Stellenbosch locals meet up for drinks at their favourite pub, De Akker. This is one of the oldest pubs in South Africa. Regulars claim that their alcohol license was obtained in 1872. Records were lost due to a fire in the early 1800s.
You haven’t been to Stellenbosch until you’ve stopped at De Akker for a drink. But if it’s too crowded, there are many other things to do in Stellenbosch at night, and we’ve picked our favourite spots:
Local favourites include:
- Steam Rooftop Bar | Steampunk lounge with great gin and live music | 5 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch
- Brampton Wine Studio | Wine, chalkboard tables and fantastic flatbreads | 11 Church Street, Stellenbosch
- Balboa Balcony Bar | Upmarket, intimate cocktail bar | 18A Andringa Street, Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is all about slow living. Waking up, taking a stroll through town with its many cafes, outdoor sculptures on the street corners and African stalls selling local souvenirs. Spend some time in this beautiful town scattered with oak trees, fresh mountain air, and lovely weather, and plan day-trips to surrounding wine farms and award-winning restaurants.
In Stellenbosch, things to do should be the last of your worries. You’re definitely in for a historical and cultural treat, combined with the best food and wine from our favourite wine estates and local markets. So get ready and join in the laid-back culture of this lively town- you certainly won’t be disappointed!