The third oldest settlement in SA, Paarl, has so much history and culture to offer visitors. But there is far more than that to this town. While the town is close enough for a day adventure – just an hour’s drive from Cape Town – you can also make a weekend of it. We have plenty to offer! Planning on visiting Paarl? Below are the top-rated things to do in Paarl.
Paarl Spice Route
Spice Route is an excellent destination for the whole family to enjoy and is particularly great for groups of friends or weekend outings. With chocolate and ice-cream tastings, beers, wine, restaurants and a host of artisan offerings, it’s the perfect place to head for a day out in Paarl. It is also extremely picturesque and relaxed, making it especially ideal for weekend wanderings.
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is a beautiful and tranquil spot in Paarl and is perfect to enjoy with the whole family. Walkthrough the garden, pack a picnic or even set out to enjoy some excellent birding or hiking nearby. What’s more, there are plenty of amazing flowers – including the majestic Proteas – to see too. The nature reserve is home to the second biggest granite boulders in the world an offer incredible views across the Paarl valley. It truly is an outdoor haven. Just keep in mind that it can get busy on weekends and there is an entry fee for cars.
Paarl Historical Walk
The best way to see and learn about Paarl is to take a walk along our Main Road with the Paarl Historical Walk. Join the tour guide on a guided 1km walk along the longest and one of the best-preserved main streets in South Africa. The walk takes just over two hours and will have you hearing interesting stories and learning fascinating historical facts while taking in manor houses, slave churches and the oldest remaining working well in town. You’ll also learn about the famous oak trees that line the streets and visit the Ladies Bar in the historical Zomerlust Guesthouse where Abraham Pieter de Villiers had his famous brandy tap installed (it’s still there) and the only place where Paarl Rock Brandy is served. Tours are by appointment and they are a wonderful way to get to know one of the best-preserved towns in South Africa.
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate is one of the most family-friendly estates you will find anywhere. They offer a restaurant, picnic areas and wine tasting options. It is a welcoming and entertaining estate to visit and there’s always plenty to enjoy here. Two of their coolest attractions is the quad biking and horseback riding.
Wine Valley Adventures
Wine Valley Adventures quad biking allows guests to enjoy stunning views, while navigating several different routes and even the obstacle course, too. The horse riding offers one-, two- or three-hour trails, led by experienced guides and enjoy uniquely exploring the estate.
Bean in Love
A good spot to get your caffeine fix is at Bean in Love. Situated in a historic building with three open-plan levels it’s a relaxing spot to sip on a cup of quality roasted coffee with beans coming from Guatemala, El Salvador and Columbia to name a few. They serve hearty breakfasts and light meals, including sandwiches, quiches, burgers, fish cakes, wraps and pizza, along with cakes and treats. There is also a salad bar if you are looking for a healthy alternative.
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Afrikaans Language Monument
Afrikaans might be the world’s youngest language, but the development of Afrikaans was a process and had an interesting history. Experience this history at the iconic 13,5-metre-high Afrikaans Language Monument on top of Paarl Mountain. It was designed by architect Jan van Wijk who found his inspiration in the round granite rocks in Paarl. It was completed by the end of 1974.
Dine at Noop
If you want to dine local and with passion, Noop is the place to be. Situated on our main road Noop Restaurant supports local suppliers as far as possible and they do not over-elaborate or unnecessarily complicate recipes. The people of Noop respect the purity of the ingredients.
Statue of Nelson Mandela
Visit an iconic statue of an iconic man. The bronze statue of Nelson Mandela in front of the Drakenstein Correctional Services is symbolic of a very important part of our country’s heritage. The statue stands tall at the prison gates, depicting Madiba on the day of his release from the prison just outside Paarl. Madiba walked triumphantly through the gates of the prison on 11 February 1990 making it one of the most important dates in our country’s heritage.
Amberg Art & Kitchen
Tucked away in the Du Toitskloof Pass, Amberg Art & Kitchen offers a laid-back approach to dining with breathtaking views of the Paarl valley. The family-run restaurant serves hearty meals with a strong Austrian and international culinary influence, catering for all tastes.
Alpaca Loom, Paarl
Looking for a unique activity? It does not get more exciting than the Alpaca Loom in Paarl. Indigenous to Peru, we are lucky enough to have a herd of these beautiful animals in our back yard. You can shop for exquisite handmade alpaca products and watch the weaver’s handcraft alpaca wool into products likes scarves, shawls, blankets and rugs. Spend your day petting alpacas and learning about these incredible animals.
For more information visit www.paarlonline.com or follow @Visit Paarl on social media.