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Paarl

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Paarl is the third-oldest town in South Africa and is approximately 60 km to the north-west of Cape Town. It is famous for having one of the world's largest rock outcrops.

Understand

Get in

By car

The easiest way to get there from Cape Town is by car is to follow the N1 North. Travel time is from 45 minutes up to an hour depending on traffic.

By train

Metrorail runs trains from Cape Town, including the high-end Boland Business Express. Services are aimed mainly at commuters, with more trains in the morning and afternoon. Long distance Shosholoza Meyl trains between Cape Town and Johannesburg also calls here.

There are several railway stations in Paarl, but the main ones for tourists are:

  • 1 Huguenot railway station, Distillery St. Main station in Paarl, where all express and intercity trains calls. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 2 Paarl railway station. Confusingly, this is a much smaller station in the southern suburbs. It's near the Paarl monument but not much else. Not all trains calls here. (updated Aug 2019)

By bus

Long distance coach operator Intercape has connections to Paarl from several major cities in South Africa as well as one international service from Harare, in Zimbabwe. While intercity buses are relatively cheap, journey times can be grueling.

Get around

As with most of South Africa, it is best to use a rented car.

See

  • 1 Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaanse Taalmonument), ☏ +27 21 872 3441. Daily 8AM-5PM (to 8PM Sep to Apr). Unveiled in October 1975. The main 57-m column symbolises the Afrikaans language while the other columns, domes and walls represents the contribution of the European, indigenous African and Malay languages that have contributed to the development of Afrikaans. There is a restaurant at the monument and the elevated location of the monument provides good views over the Paarl Valley. Entrance: R40. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 2 Afrikaans Language Museum (Die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum), 11 Pastorie Ave, ☏ +27 21 872-3441. M-F 9AM-4PM. Explores the origins of the Afrikaans language. Discover how Afrikaans' development was influenced by Dutch, Malay-Portuguese, French, German, English, Arabic and the indigenous Khoi and African languages. Focus is on experience with interactive exhibitions give the visitor a hands-on experience of Afrikaans, its history, its dialects and its people, including interesting place names and nicknames. This small museum is regarded as one of the leading institutions in South Africa for intangible heritage. In Oom Gideon se Winkel visitors can buy books, CDs, T-shirts with Afrikaans poems, and craft and delicacies from years gone by. Entrance: R20. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 3 Paarl Museum, 12 Pastorie Ave, ☏ +27 21 872 2651. (updated Aug 2019)
  • Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, Jan Phillips Mountain Drive, ☏ +27 21 872-3658, fax: +27 21 807-8054. Daily 7AM-6PM. Fynbos landscape and wild olives dominated by massive rounded granite rock formations. 
  • The Paarl Rock. One of the world's largest granite outcrops. 
  • Die Vonds Snake Park, 104 Main Street Wellington, ☏ +27 21 869-8309. M-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM. Snakes, monitors, tortoises and other animals and birds. 
  • F.S. Smit & Co., 10 Lyon Street, ☏ +27 21 863-1032, fax: +27 21 863-2931. Traditional wine cast manufacture with showroom. 
  • 4 Strooidak Church, 163 Main St, ☏ +27 21 872-4396, fax: +27 21 872-9370, ✉ strooidak@spacenet.co.za. One of the oldest and most historic churches in South Africa. (updated Feb 2017)
  • The 12-km-long Paarl Main Road. The longest main road in South Africa. It boasts a mix of Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco architecture. 
  • Paarl Bird Sanctuary, Drommedaris Street, ☏ +27 21 868-2074, fax: +27 21 868-2507. Home to Hartlaub's Gull, Greyheaded Gull, Cape Shoveller, African Black Duck, Cape Reed Warbler, African Rail, Little Bittern and other species. 

Do

Wine related

Visit one of many wine estates

  • Boland Kelder, ☏ +27 21 862-6190, fax: +27 21 862-5379, ✉ info@bolandkelder.co.za. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 8:30AM-1PM. Cheese and wine tasting Under the Tree 
  • KWV Wine Emporium, Kohler street, ☏ +27 21 807-3007, fax: +27 21 807-3119, ✉ the_wine_emporium@kwv.co.za. Open for wine tasting M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM. Cellar tours M-Sa 10AM, 10:15AM (in German), 10:30AM and 2:15PM. Home of some of the best wines and brandies produced in South Africa 
  • Laborie Estate, Taillefret street, ☏ +27 21 807-3390, fax: +27 21 863-1955. October to April: daily 9AM-5PM. 
  • Nederburg, Sonstraal Road, Daljosafat, ☏ +27 21 862-3104, fax: +27 21 862-4887, ✉ nedwines@distell.co.za. M-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. 
  • Rhebokskloof, ☏ +27 21 869-8386, fax: +27 21 869-8504, ✉ info@rhebokskloof.co.za. daily 9AM-5PM. 
  • Ruitersvlei, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, ☏ +27 21 863-1517, fax: +27 21 863-1443, ✉ wines@ruitersvlei.co.za. M-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 8:30AM-3PM, Su 11AM-3PM. 
  • Simonsvlei, ☏ +27 21 863-3040, fax: +27 21 863-1240, ✉ info@simonsvlei.co.za. M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 8:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11AM-3PM. Offers cellar tours, wine tasting and olive tasting 
  • Mooi Bly, ☏ +27 21 868-2808, fax: +27 21 868-2808, ✉ info@mooibly.com. on appointment only. Offers 'vine to wine' tours, takes 1½ hours. 

Adventure

  • Wineland Ballooning, ☏ +27 21 863-3192, ✉ balloon@kapinfo.com. Go on a hot-air balloon over the Berg River Valley 

Hiking

There are hiking trails in the area, ranging from short walk to multi-day trails.

  • Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, ☏ +27 21 872-3658. Trails run through the reserve, ranging from 2.4 km to 10 km. 
  • Laborie Wine Hiking Trail, ☏ +27 21 708-3390. See the cape flora and birdlife on the Laborie Estate. 
  • Limietberg Trail, ☏ +27 21 871-1536. A two-day trail of 36 km. Start at the foot of the Du Toitskloof, then to Bainskloof village and on to Tweede Tol. 

Other

  • Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, Babilonstoren Road, ☏ +27 21 863-1142, ✉ lebonhr@mweb.co.za. A crocodile farm. Try a crocodile pie or buy crocodile leather articles 
  • Valley Gun Club, On the R312 towards Durbanville, just outside Paarl, ☏ +27 83 325-4764. W from 2PM, Sa from noon. The largest clay target shooting club in South Africa and host to the 2010 DTL Trap World Championships. Trap, skeet, trench and sporting. 
  • Play championship golf at Paarl Golf Club, ☏ +27 21 863-1140, ✉ reception@paarlgolfclub.co.za. Paarl Golf Club has a magnificent championship standard 27-hole golf course on Boschenmeer Golf Estate. It is a friendly club that welcomes visitors, including on competition days, and provides an outstanding golfing challenge on a well manicured course with good undulating greens. The Berg river flows alongside the course, and the backdrop of mountains is stunningly beautiful. 
  • Paarl Directory (Paarl Directory), KWV Building, ☏ +27828974301, ✉ paarldirectory@kubuni.co.za. Accommodation, restaurants, attractions and local business guide to everything Paarl. (updated Mar 2016)

Buy

  • Red Hot Glass Studio, Seidelberg Wine Estate Suid-After Paarl Road Suider Paarl, ☏ +27 21 863-0330. Daily 9AM-5PM. 
  • Wine. From any of the wine estates. Do a number wine tasting trips first and find out what you really enjoy. Most estates will ship to your home address so you don't have to cart the bottles around while you travel. 
  • Fairview Cheese, ☏ +27 21 863-2450. Fairview specialises in goat's milk cheeses 
  • Ikhaya, 185 Main Road, ☏ +27 21 872-5831. Arts, crafts and gifts. 

Eat

There are restaurants along the Main Road, and most of the wine estates also have their own restaurants on site.

Budget

  • At Ease Cafe, 191 Mainroad, ☏ +27 21 872-2781. Tu-Sa 11AM-late. Su 11AM-5PM. Ovenbaked pizza and pasta, homemade pies. 
  • Kostinrichting Coffee Shop, 19 Pastorielaan, ☏ +27 21 871-1353, fax: +27 872-3599. Light meals. 

Mid-range

  • Taal Monument Restaurant, ☏ +27 21 863-2800, fax: +27 21 863-1797, ✉ taalmonument@icon.co.za. M 8:30AM-5PM, Th-Sa 8:30AM-10PM, Su 8:30AM-5PM. A la carte and Sunday buffet. 
  • Rhebokskloof, ☏ +27 21 869-8386, fax: +27 21 869-8504, ✉ info@rhebokskloof.co.za. Excellent food, excellent setting. 
  • Terra Mare Restaurant, 90a Main Street, ☏ +27 21 863-4805, ✉ terramare@xsinet.co.za. Tu-Sa 9AM-late. Up market decor, art on walls for sale. Continental, gourmet food, choice of delicious starters, varied menu. Superb wine list. Olivier Jaeggi is a Swiss chef, who worked at the Bosmans of the Grand Roche. R45 to R120. 

Splurge

  • Bosman's at the Grande Roche, Plantasie street, ☏ +27 21 863-2727, fax: +27 21 863-2220, ✉ reserve@granderoche.co.za. One of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa according to Wine Magazine. Superb winelist. 
  • Laborie Restaurant, Taillefer Street, ☏ +27 21 807-3095, fax: +27 21 807-3094, ✉ hetta@gloriousfood.co.za. Daily 9AM-4PM. Cape Provincial Cuisine and traditional foods. 

Drink

Wine and brandy. Visit any of the wine estates that offer wine tasting. Also see the Do section

Sleep

Budget

  • Klein Vredenburg Guest House, 155 Main Road, ☏ +27 21 872-9898, fax: +27 21 872-9898, ✉ kleinvredenburg@telkomsa.net. Single from R225. 
  • Klein Waterkloof (Behind Agter Paarl Church on the R44), ☏ +27 21 869-8950, ✉ bemarais@myrealbox.com. A smallholding among the vineyards with Cape Dutch cottage rooms. From R150 per person sharing. 

Mid-range

  • Belmonte Guesthouse (Antonella Wright), Upper Mill Street (off Main road turn left after McDonalds, into Mill Street, carry on until Upper Mill Street, up towards mountain until Belmonte Estate Gate), ☏ +27 21 872-9055, ✉ antonellawright@telkomsa.net. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. On 8 hectares of ground, 4-star guesthouse, 7 well-appointed bedrooms, with stunning views from private balconies. TV, airconditioners, swimming pool. Inclusive of breakfast. Lunches and dinners can be arranged at our excellent family restaurant. Personal attention to make stay most memorable. From R300 per person sharing. 
  • Berg River Resort, ☏ +27 21 863-1652, ✉ bergr@mweb.co.za. Self-catering chalets and caravan park on the Berg River. Doubles from R365. 
  • Best Western Goedemoed Manor House, Cecilia Street (near the city centre), ☏ +27 21 863-1102, fax: +27 21 863-1104, ✉ info@goedemoed.com. From R375 per person. 
  • Mooi Bly wine & accommodation, Bo Dal road, Dal Josafat, ☏ +27 21 868-2808, ✉ info@mooibly.com. Five thatched cottages surrounded by vineyards, fully equipped, swimming pool, 10 minutes out of town. From R350 to R175 per person sharing. 
  • Mountain Rest, ☏ +21 21 872-0451, fax: +27 21 886-5827, ✉ isabel@stellenbochacademy.co.za. At the foot of the Du Toitskloof mountain, bordering Hawequa Nature Reserve. From R350 per cottage per night. 

Splurge

  • Alba House, 16 Lille Street, Contrai, ☏ +27 21 863-0292, ✉ johnvdecker@mweb.co.za. Privately run B&B in upmarket residential area. Book with Ivana. R600 per person. 
  • 1 Cascade Country Manor (Cascade Manor), Waterval Road, ☏ +27 21 868-0227. Luxury family accommodation with Spa in the Olive Valley of the Cape Winelands. Fifteen rooms with views of the waterfall and surrounding olive groves. Dinners showcase fresh local produce. from R990 per person. (updated Feb 2019) Member of Cape Country Routes and Fair Trade Tourism Certified
  • 2 Grande Roche Hotel, 1 Plantasie St, ☏ +27 21 863 5100. Small luxury hotel. (updated Feb 2017)
  • 3 Pontac Manor, 16 Zion Street, ☏ +27 21 872-0445, fax: +27 21 872-0460, ✉ reservations@pontac.com. Situated at the slopes of 'Paarl Rock'. This Victorian style hotel dates back from 1723 and has been beautifully restored. TV, air conditioning are available. From R715 per person. (updated Feb 2017)

Stay healthy

Hospitals

  • Paarl Hospital, ☏ +27 21 872-1711. 
  • Paarl Medi-Clinic, ☏ +27 21 807-8000. 

Go next

Paarl is in the centre of the Cape Winelands, within proximity of the major town of Stellenbosch. It is also near Cape Town. You can reach all main attractions within 30 to 45 minutes (except the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point).


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