A city in the Western Cape province of South Africa, Stellenbosch is known for being at the heart of the Cape Winelands, where the country’s famous wines are made. The city itself was founded in the late 17th century and is also famous for its university, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the entire country. In Stellenbosch, you’re likely to come across many fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture, while the streets are typically lined with oak trees. As the most popular language here is Afrikaans, it has the feeling of being a European city, although other cultures are appreciated, especially as many students from all over the world come to study here.
To make it a little easier to drive along some of the less well-kept roads, a small family car will suffice when going around Stellenbosch and the surrounding vineyards.
Driving in Stellenbosch
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
There are few street signs in Stellenbosch. Instead, you might find the street names painted in yellow on the sidewalks, often in Afrikaans.
At night, the safest route into Stellenbosch is the N1, which goes from Cape Town. Some other routes aren’t always well-lit by street lights.
Most of central Stellenbosch is easily navigable by foot, so to save money and time, it might be worth parking in one of the suburbs if you can find a spot.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Powder House, built in the early 18th century, was used to stock gunpowder for members of the citizen army. It lies outside the centre of Stellenbosch and acts as a reminder of the city’s intriguing history in various conflicts.
Stellenbosch Museum is a more conventional place to learn about the area’s history. The museum comprises of four different houses, each containing artefacts from a different period of time, all of which being renovated to reflect the architecture of the time.
It’s possible to go on a tour of the local vineyards. Some tour operators will take you around Stellenbosch and other towns and cities where wine is at the heart of the local economy, possibly allowing you the odd free sample!
Shopping is usually a fun thing to do in Stellenbosch. In the compact city centre, you’re likely to come across stalls selling street food and independent retailers selling locally-made wine, jams, confectionery and curios to take home with you.
The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport, which is 13 miles southwest of Stellenbosch. The airport has one main passenger terminal and serves flights to and from most continents, principally Africa and Europe.
It can be reached from Baden Powell drive, which goes southwards until reaching a junction with the N2. Then, take the N2 westwards until you arrive at the airport.