Franschhoek travel guide

Franschhoek Tourism | Franschhoek Guide

You're Going to Love Franschhoek

Franschhoek, a town on South Africa's Western Cape, is ripe with beautiful vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture. Sitting at the foot of the Mont Rochelle nature reserve, the town of 20,000 is South Africa's oldest settlement and interestingly one of the world's top culinary spots.

Whether you're looking to marvel at the French Huguenot construction, indulge in wine tasting, or hike the Drakenstein or Wemmershoek mountain ranges, Franschhoek is a must-see city on your South African journey.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Franschhoek

1. Wine Culture

The vineyards in Franschhoek date back 300 years to when the Huguenots settled the town. You can sign up for one of the wine tours or hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which stops at different vineyards where tourists can take part in a tasting, tour the cellars, or simply enjoy lunch.

2. Dutch Architecture

One of the highlights of Franschhoek is its spectacular Cape Dutch architecture, a traditional Afrikaner building style dating back to the 17th century. Cape Dutch homes are characterized by rounded gables, whitewashed walls, and thatched roofs.

3. Souvenir Shops

Franschhoek is a treasure hunter's paradise. Featuring African art, Kalahari ostrich shell jewelry, and even chocolate shops, Huguenot Road makes for an absorbing afternoon of shopping.

4. Fine Dining

World-renowned chefs, such as Lennard Marais, Scot Kirton, and James Gaag, all call Franschhoek home. Sample some of the local culinary wonders in one the town's top-notch restaurants.

5. Stunning Wildlife

The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, part of the UNESCO Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, features numerous hiking trails where you can observe klipspringers, dassies, baboons, and caracals, as well as sugarbirds and black eagles.

Where to Eat in Franschhoek

Pierneef à La Motte features international cuisine prepared by chef Michelle Theron. Specialties include Cape seafood with aniseed hutspot and venison loin with peaches and Cape snowbush. A 5-course dinner averages R595. At Grande Provence, chef Darren Badenhorst prepares seasonal dishes, including pork crackling-encased line fish and raclette and baby leek arancini. A three-course menu averages R450.

When to visit Franschhoek

Franschhoek in July
Estimated hotel price
C$ 147
1 night at 3-star hotel
Franschhoek in July
Estimated hotel price
C$ 147
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit is April to May and September to October, when the weather is at its most pleasant.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Franschhoek

Plane

The closest international airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT), an hour outside of Franschhoek.

Car

From Cape Town International Airport, you can take Kuils River Rd/R300 and N1 to Franschhoek Rd/R45.

Bus

My Citi buses leave from Cape Town International Airport into Cape Town, where you can catch a Greyhound to Franschhoek at the Civic Center. Fares average R775.

Airports near Franschhoek

Airlines serving Franschhoek

Lufthansa
Good (1,090 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,331 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,780 reviews)
KLM
Good (264 reviews)
Air France
Good (271 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (950 reviews)
British Airways
Good (767 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,561 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (304 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (850 reviews)
Iberia
Good (549 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (159 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (587 reviews)
Finnair
Good (357 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (120 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Excellent (87 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (123 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (21 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (109 reviews)
Royal Air Maroc
Good (80 reviews)
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Where to stay in Franschhoek

La Residence offers majestic views of the mountains and includes villas with private pools and upscale suites. Babylonstoren is an old Cape Dutch farm with simple out-buildings and a reservoir onsite for guests.

Popular neighbourhoods in Franschhoek

Franschhoek Valley - with multiple vineyards to choose from, this area is ideal for wine connoisseurs or those looking to take in the panoramic views of the mountains.

Downtown - with its Cape Dutch architecture, quaint souvenir shops, and outstanding restaurant selection, downtown Franschhoek has something for everyone.

Stellenbosch - Stellenbosch, a nearby university town, is home to numerous vineyards and the Jonkershoek and Simonsberg nature reserves.

Where to stay in popular areas of Franschhoek

Most booked hotels in Franschhoek

Lavender Farm Guest House
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
C$ 144+
L'ermitage - Franschhoek Chateau
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
C$ 135+
Protea Hotel by Marriott Franschhoek
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 122+
Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 144+
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How to Get Around Franschhoek

Taxi

Franschhoek offers a variety of private car, taxi, and three-wheel tuk-tuk transportation services. Rates average R10 with R16 per additional mile.

Car

Car rentals start at R284 per day.

The Cost of Living in Franschhoek

Shopping Streets

Huguenot Road is Franschhoek's main shopping street with a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Groceries and Other

The Woolworths Franschhoek supermarket is small but impressively stocked. The Tap and Cork features gourmet delicacies, local wines, and beauty products. The cost of living in Franschhoek is relatively affordable. A gallon of milk averages R38 and a loaf of bread is R8.