Franschhoek Town
Cape Winelands,  Destination Activities,  DESTINATIONS,  Franschhoek,  Western Cape

How to spend one day in Franschhoek Town

Franschhoek Town is right in the middle of the Cape Winelands, making it a great place to start exploring nearby wine estates, hiking trails, and more. In fact, because there’s so much to do around Franschhoek, you might be tempted to skip the town. However, take my advice and dedicate at least a full day to explore the town center โ€“ you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The name ‘Franschhoek’ comes from the Afrikaans word for French Corner, a name that owes its origins to the settlements of French Huguenots in the valley in 1688. One road, aptly called ‘Main Road (or Huguenot Road), runs through the center of town from the Franschhoek Tram Terminal to the Huguenot Museum on Lambrechts Road. It is on this road that you will find many art galleries, restaurants, bars, cafes, a chocolate tasting room, a perfumery, museum and supermarkets. And here’s a quick fact about the town’s size โ€“ you can walk from one end to the other in just 20-25 minutes. That means you can see pretty much everything the town has to offer in a short stroll. This is great, especially if you’ve got only one day to explore!

In this post, I’ll share a suggested one-day walking plan for exploring Franschhoek Town. So, keep reading to make the most of a fantastic day in Franschhoek!

Get your coffee fix at Terbodore Coffee Roasters

If you love a strong cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast to start your day, then head to the best breakfast spot in town, Terbodore Coffee Roasters / Big Dog Cafรฉ. They serve tasty breakfasts indoors or outdoors under the trees, with a menu offering everything from Granola bowls to avo & feta sourdough and a beetroot, feta, and pesto salad. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the shop inside selling coffee beans, cookies, treats, coffee mugs, and more.

Where to find Terbodore Cafe: 29A Huguenot Street [Link to google map directions]

Admire the Dutch Reformed Church

Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek Town

You can easily spot the charming Dutch Reformed Church from the main walking strip. Constructed in 1847 and fully restored in 1968, the church not only showcases splendid Dutch Colonial architecture but is also situated in a picturesque spot surrounded by the mountains of Franschhoek.

Wander the Art Galleries

Franschhoek is a dream for art lovers, with top-notch galleries scattered all around. They’re conveniently close to each other, making it easy to enjoy them with a casual stroll through the town center. These galleries showcase the best artists from South Africa and local talents, offering a mix of fine art, modern sculpture, and design. One of my favorites, the Sรฉnรฉchal-Senekal art gallery has paintings on display with a unique style. The artist, Junaid Sรฉnรฉchal-Senekal, uses a ‘secret silver technique’ on his artwork. The silver effect is achieved through the application of heavy textures and layers, creating depth. The overall result is a collection of beautiful, mysterious, and captivating paintings.

Where to find the Sรฉnรฉchal-Senekal Art Gallery: Shop 10, Franschhoek Square, 34 Huguenot Street [Link to google map directions]

On the topic of art….

Pigcasso’s Passing

Sadly, Pigcasso Pigcasso passed away on Thursday, 7 March 2024, aged eight years old. Please enquire directly with the Sanctuary at regarding current operations.

If you have more time in Franschhoek, don’t miss the chance to explore the work of one of Franschhoek’s most celebrated artists, Pigcasso. Although not on Franschhoek’s main road, the sanctuary is situated on an estate just a 20-25 minute walk from Franschhoek’s center. This painting pig’s impressive featured collection of paintings is certainly something to behold!

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Huguenot Fine Chocolates

Huguenot chocolate tasting building in Franschhoek Town

The Huguenot Chocolate Factory has a delicious collection of chocolates, all made with the best Belgian chocolate. You can either pick your own mix in-store or order online. If you want, you can choose and pack chocolates in pretty boxes, perfect for gifts. There’s also a ‘chocolate experience’ you can partake in. This is a 30 minute program where you learn the interesting history of chocolate making, enjoy a tasting as well as participate in a chocolate making demonstration.

Where to find Huguenot Fine Chocolates: 1 Daniel Hugo Street [Link to google map directions]

Eat at one of many great restaurants

Franschhoek Town is home to many great restaurants. Below are my two top choices.

The bustling Tuk Tuk Microbrewery always has a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of travellers hang out on the outdoor terrace, sampling local beers. They have an extensive menu as well as enough of a variety to suit everyones tastes. I thought their tacos were particularly outstanding, with declicious flavors packed in to each bite.

Tuk Tuk Brewery tacos & chicken slaw stack

Tapasco has friendly staff and a warm, intimate ambiance, with seating both indoors and outdoors. Their menu is also fantastic with dishes ranging from all day breakfast, to steak, salad and burgers. It was their tapas menu however that really picqued my interest. Their arancini filled with mushrooms, parmesan and mozarella with a truffle dip was superb. In fact, all their tapas were mouth-wateringly delicious. Be sure to try the ostrich fillet on crispy polenta as it’s another excellent choice at Tapasco.

Topasco [Bitterballen (Dutch meatballs) & mustard]

Create your own luxurious scent at a Perfumery

Entrance to the Perfume Workshop in Franschhoek

At the Perfume Prive Workshop, you can craft your own signature scent using authentic perfume oils. The cost is around R620pp ($32) to R1000 ($54), depending on the package you choose. Read more about the packages on offer here.

Note: Bookings are essential, so be sure to reserve your spot to avoid disappointment. For further information and enquiries contact the perfumery at or Alternatively, call them on +27 723424174 or +27741210012.

The garden and art sculptures at the Perfumery

If making perfume isn’t your thing, you can also just take a walk through the perfumery’s gardens. It won’t cost you anything, and there are some really nice artworks and sculptures to see.

Visit the Huguenot Memorial

No visit to Franschhoek is complete without taking a photo at the renowned Huguenot Monument. Located at the end of Main Road, this monument pays tribute to the culture and history of the French Huguenots who established themselves in Franschhoek during the 17th century.

The Huguenot Memorial Museum is situated next door to the Memorial. The museum provides information about the history and heritage of the Huguenots, such as their impact on South African culture, and the establishment of the Huguenot community in Franschhoek.

Overall, Franschhoek offers more than just a base for exploring nearby attractions. It’s a beautiful and historic little town that is easily walkable in a day. It packs in history, art, and unique places that make a day trip worthwhile.

Other things to do in Franschhoek

The Franschhoek Village Market takes place every Saturday from 09:00 to 15:00 and is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Franschhoek Town.  You’ll find great food stalls with delicious wine, gin, and beers, plus lots of stores selling awesome stuff. From homemade preserves, fresh bread, and pastries to cool art and souvenirs, the market has everything you could want.

Click on the links below for some more great ideas!

How the Franschhoek Wine Tram Works: A Useful Guide

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Dieu Donne Wine Estate

Franschhoek Wine Farms: Your Ultimate Wine Tasting Guide

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Franschhoek Town Center

10 Best things to do in Franschhoek

Explore the 10 best things to do in Franschhoek from exceptional wine tasting to gourmet...
things to do franschhoek”]

Where to stay in Franschhoek

  • Main Road (Huguenot Street): Staying along the Main Road puts you in the heart of Franschhoek, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and galleries. It’s a vibrant area with a lively atmosphere.
  • Winelands Estates: For a more secluded and tranquil experience, consider staying at one of the estates surrounded by vineyards.
  • Farm Stays: There are gorgeous farm stays around Franschhoek’s center. My personal favorite is Cabernet Cottage. Even though it’s only a 15 minute walk from the center of Franschhoek Town, it’s far enough away that it feels secluded, safe and peaceful.

How to get to Franschhoek

Renting a car is the quickest and best way to explore South Africa, and it’s affordable, especially if you share the cost with someone. The roads around Franschhoek are good, so you don’t need a big 4×4.
The most convenient way is to rent a car at Cape Town airport, where you can collect it upon arrival and return it before departure.

If you don’t want to rent a car, there are other options. You can take the Wine Tram or a shuttle bus on a day tour from Cape Town to Franschhoek. This tour includes transportation and a wine tram ticket, letting you visit 4-5 wine estates in a day. It’s a budget-friendly way to explore the area, although you are limited to their trams pre-selected estates. Don’t let this deter you, though, as all the estates on the line are some of the best in the region.

You can also consider joining a group tour. Going on a day tour to the Winelands from Cape Town gives you an overall look at the region, covering Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarlโ€”three key towns in the Winelands. The tour includes visits to esteemed estates, opportunities for wine, cheese, and chocolate tastings, and a choice of dishes for lunch. Although you won’t have a lot of time in Franschhoek, it’s a great option for solo travelers to explore different wine farms and learn about the area.

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