This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Franschhoek. To help you make friends with Franschhoek before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Known around the world as the gourmet and wine capital of South Africa, the Western Cape town of Franschhoek contains some of the area’s top restaurants. The scenic beauty of the region, and the many spectacular wineries that fill up the valley, make it a favorite destination for travelers looking to experience life in the lap of luxury.
The name Franschhoek means “French corner” – so named for the French Huguenot refugees who were settled in the area by the Dutch East India Company in 1688. Since that time, this part of South Africa has lost some of its French heritage, as a result of encouraged “integration” with the Dutch families that settled here, too. However, each year on July 14, the town showcases its roots with a large celebration for Bastille Day.
Hostels and hotels here are varied, and there are plenty of upscale resorts and vacation rentals for visitors who need more privacy than a hostel can offer. Tourism is a busy industry in Franschhoek, as food and wine lovers flock to the area to sample the masterpieces of culinary art and winemaking that come out of this region. Hostels are busier during the summer months, particularly for Bastille Day, and in December, when tourists come from around the world for a Cap Classique Festival, celebrating the town’s famous hand-turned sparkling wines.
Walking up and down the town’s central road gives visitors a wide variety of restaurants to choose from – some owned by award-winning chefs that require reservations well in advance. Some of the more well-known local treats include hand-crafted chocolate and smoked salmon trout.
Franschhoek is located about an hour outside of Cape Town, and car rentals can be rented from the airport. Shuttles and taxis are also available, but the area is large and to take advantage of the many winery tours available in the valley, a car is recommended.
Written by local enthusiast for Franschhoek hostelsJakob Lombardi