Things to do in Paarl

About Paarl

The must-see attractions in Paarl include the iconic Afrikaans Language Monument, which provides insights into South Africa's cultural history and stunning views. The Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve and Paarl Rock offer natural beauty and hiking trails. Wine enthusiasts should visit the renowned vineyards along the Paarl Wine Route, and history buffs will appreciate the town's well-preserved Cape Dutch, Victorian, and Georgian buildings.
The best things to do in Paarl with kids include exploring Butterfly World Zoo, where families can admire a variety of butterflies and other animals. The Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures is perfect for up-close animal experiences. For a mix of fun and education, visit the Taal Monument and Garden, which offers open spaces and interactive learning opportunities.
Among the best outdoor activities in Paarl are hiking and picnicking in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, cycling through the vineyards, and enjoying hot air balloon flights for breathtaking views of the Winelands. The town's numerous estates also offer outdoor wine tastings and farm tours in scenic settings.
For indoor activities, Paarl presents wine and cheese tastings at esteemed establishments like Fairview and KWV Wine Emporium. The Spice Route Destination's tasting rooms offer an array of artisanal food experiences. Cultural pursuits can be found at local art galleries, and the Afrikaans Language Museum provides historical insights.
The best tours in Paarl showcase its rich viticulture, and they include the guided excursions along the Paarl Wine Route. Historical walking tours in the town center, cultural experiences at the Taal Monument, and nature-guided tours at the nature reserves are also top-rated. Many vineyards offer behind-the-scenes looks at winemaking processes.
The most popular museums in Paarl are the Afrikaans Language Museum, which traces the history and influence of the Afrikaans language, and the Paarl Museum that offers a deep dive into the local history and heritage. Several wine estates also house historical exhibits related to the wine industry.
For rainy days, indoor wine tastings and cellar tours at famous estates like Fairview and KWV provide cozy educational experiences. Art and craft workshops, such as those at the Spice Route Destination, and visiting the local museums, also make for enjoyable rainy-day tours.
Quick tours in Paarl that last 1 hour or less include guided tastings at local wine bars, a visit to the Paarl Monument offering a concise overview of its importance, or a short scenic drive through the Paarl Valley for a snapshot of its breathtaking landscapes.

Best Things to Do In Paarl

Discover the captivating array of tourist attractions and activities nestled in the scenic town of Paarl, South Africa.

Paarl: Laborie Wine Farm

What is it?
A historic wine estate known for its premium wines and picturesque setting.
Why you should go?
Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Laborie Wine Farm is one of the oldest operational wine farms in South Africa, making it a historical treasure among the things to do in Paarl. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings in a setting that boasts old-world charm and sweeping views of the vineyards. It's an excellent spot for connoisseurs and novices alike to delve into the subtleties of wine produced in this fertile region.

Paarl: KWV Wine Emporium

What is it?
An emporium offering wine tasting and tours of the iconic KWV cellar.
Why you should go?
Whether you are deliberating on what to see in Paarl or seeking a sophisticated wine experience, the KWV Wine Emporium fits the bill. With expert-guided tours, visitors can explore one of the largest wine cellars in the world, and taste a variety of KWV's award-winning wines and brandies. The Emporium's combination of rich history and innovative wine-making practices make for an educational and enjoyable visit.

Paarl: The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio

What is it?
A farm with a weaving studio, coffee shop, and alpaca petting area.
Why you should go?
Adding diversity to Paarl excursions, The Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop and Weaving Studio invites visitors to witness the fascinating process of alpaca fiber being transformed into beautiful products. Enjoy a delightful outing with the family where you can pet the animals, explore the farm, and relax in the coffee shop while taking in the stunning views of the Papegaaiberg mountain.

Paarl: Butterfly World Zoo

What is it?
An indoor garden and sanctuary for butterflies and exotic animals.
Why you should go?
Butterfly World Zoo is a tropical haven and one of the most enchanting things to do in Paarl for families and nature lovers. Walk through lush landscapes in a controlled environment where beautiful butterflies flutter freely. It's also a sanctuary for many exotic animal species, creating a truly wonderful opportunity for close encounters with nature's marvels in a safe and educational setting.

Paarl: The Red Bus

What is it?
A hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour around Paarl's key attractions.
Why you should go?
The Red Bus offers an excellent overview of what to do in Paarl, providing flexibility and convenience to experience the town's sights at your own pace. With comprehensive audio commentary, the tour covers historical sites, picturesque vineyards, and cultural hotspots. This service is an inclusive way for visitors to orient themselves and decide which attractions they'd like to explore in depth.

Paarl: Afrikaans Language Monument

What is it?
A monument celebrating the Afrikaans language and its cultural heritage.
Why you should go?
Visiting the Afrikaans Language Monument is among the unique things to see in Paarl. It stands as an architectural masterpiece, offering insight into the Afrikaans language and its roots. Majestically set on a hill, it provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The site also hosts various cultural events and exhibitions, making it a must-visit for travelers intrigued by South Africa's linguistic history.

Paarl: Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve

What is it?
A serene nature reserve famous for its rocky outcrops and native fynbos.
Why you should go?
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is ideal for Paarl activities in the great outdoors. It showcases a breathtaking environment perfect for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife watching. The reserve's dramatic granite formations, such as Paarl Rock, are captivating sights. For an active yet tranquil experience and the chance to immerse oneself in South Africa's natural beauty, this reserve is a premier destination.

Paarl: Fairview Wine and Cheese

What is it?
A farm offering a combination of wine tasting and artisanal cheese samplings.
Why you should go?
A stop at Fairview Wine and Cheese is one of the delectable places to visit in Paarl, blending the experience of traditional winemaking with gourmet delights. Their wine and cheese pairings are renowned, showcasing local produce at its best. Engage your senses in a bucolic setting, and grasp an understanding of South African agritourism. It's a culinary journey not to be missed in Paarl.

Paarl: Paarl Vintners Wine Route

What is it?
Paarl's route through its celebrated wineries and vineyards.
Why you should go?
The Paarl Vintners Wine Route is synonymous with the best Paarl tours for wine enthusiasts. This trail allows visitors to indulge in some of South Africa's finest wines and learn about the winemaking process from grape to bottle. The scenic route also features stunning landscapes and the hospitality of warm vineyard hosts, creating the perfect blend of educational and enjoyable tours in Paarl.

Paarl: Spice Route Destination

What is it?
A culinary and cultural hub offering a taste of local artisanal food and crafts.
Why you should go?
Embark on a flavorful expedition at the Spice Route Destination, a highlight among the fun things to do in Paarl. Visitors can indulge in a variety of taste experiences, from chocolate and beer tasting to biltong and artisanal ice cream, all crafted by local producers. The destination is also home to art galleries and studios, making it a treasure trove for those interested in exploring the region's creative flair on Paarl excursions.

TOP-5 tours in Paarl for first time visitors

  • Explore the Winelands: Dive into the heart of South African viniculture with a tour that takes you to the top-notch vineyards, a definite highlight when looking for the best things to do in Paarl.
  • Historical Paarl: Unravel the town's rich heritage with an audio guide that covers all significant landmarks, making it a prime choice for those pondering what to do in Paarl.
  • Nature Trails Adventure: Ideal for those seeking fun things to do in Paarl, this tour guides you through lush nature reserves and breathtaking scenery, enhancing your outdoor Paarl activities.
  • Cultural Journey: Engage with local culture through places to visit in Paarl that showcase art, cuisine, and history, revealing the best experiences for first-time visitors.
  • Architectural Wonders: This tour is a go-to for travelers eager to see the blend of Dutch and Victorian architecture in Paarl, giving insight into the influential eras that shaped the town.

Fun things to do in Paarl with kids

Paarl, set in the picturesque Cape Winelands, offers a host of engaging and fun-filled activities perfect for families traveling with children. First on the list, the Butterfly World Zoo creates an enchanting experience for the little ones, as they step into a vibrant, fluttering paradise, home to free-flying exotic butterflies and a range of interesting creatures, ensuring a magical day out for all ages. Next, the Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures invites adventure-seekers to interact with reptilian wildlife, offering educational tours and the thrill of crocodile pond excursions that are sure to excite every family member. Finally, the Drakenstein Lion Park offers a rare glimpse into the lives of rescued lions in a sanctuary setting. It's a wonderful opportunity to teach children about wildlife conservation while observing these majestic animals in a natural habitat. Each attraction provides not only a delightful outing but also an invaluable chance for kids to learn about nature and conservation efforts.

Things to do in Paarl with family

Paarl, a gem in South Africa's Western Cape, is a treasure trove of activities suited for family fun. Engage with majestic creatures at the Drakenstein Lion Park, where rescued lions roam within vast enclosures, offering an insightful and educational visit that underlines the importance of wildlife conservation. The experience is both moving and memorable for kids and adults alike. For a day filled with laughter and learning, Butterfly World Zoo emerges as a tropical oasis, showcasing a colorful display of butterflies and birds. Families can wander through habitats that mimic the animals' natural environments, providing a spectacular interactive experience. Additionally, the Taal Monument and Garden, which overlooks the region, is not just an ode to the Afrikaans language but also a playground of artistic structures amidst serene gardens, perfect for a leisurely family picnic with panoramic views of Paarl Valley. Each attraction presents an opportunity for families to bond and enjoy the rich offerings of Paarl.

Free things to do in Paarl

Experiencing the beauty and culture of Paarl doesn't have to come with a price tag. One of the best free activities is a visit to the Paarl Rock in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve. Here, families can hike and marvel at the breathtaking views of the valley below without any cost. It's a perfect spot for nature lovers and photo enthusiasts keen to capture the beauty of the Cape Winelands. Another great option is to explore the historical Main Street, where architectural admirers can behold a myriad of buildings showcasing diverse styles from different eras. Strolling through this area is a delightful way to immerse oneself in the town's rich heritage. Lastly, the Paarl Arboretum, a tree sanctuary along the Berg River, offers a tranquil retreat with its beautifully laid out pathways that weave through a collection of over 2,600 trees. It's an ideal setting for picnics, leisurely walks, and bird-watching, making it a must-visit location for nature enthusiasts visiting Paarl.

Cheap things to do in Paarl

Paarl, nestled in the heart of South Africa's winelands, offers a variety of budget-friendly attractions that promise a rich experience without straining your wallet. A visit to the Afrikaans Language Monument is not only inexpensive but also provides a chance to delve into cultural history while enjoying panoramic views of the surroundings. It's an architectural marvel and a symbolic reminder of the region's linguistic heritage. For a taste of local flavor that's light on the pocket, the Paarl Farmers Market welcomes everyone on weekends. Here, visitors can sample an array of fresh, local produce and handmade crafts, embodying the spirit of community and the area's agricultural bounty. Adventure enthusiasts can relish the numerous hiking trails around the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve. While there's a nominal entrance fee, the reserve's vast expanse of fynbos and stunning natural sights offer an affordable day out amidst the beauty of the Cape's landscapes. These attractions offer engaging, low-cost ways to explore and enjoy Paarl's charm.

Things to do in Paarl for couples

For couples looking to steep themselves in the romantic ambiance of Paarl, the town offers an array of intimate and engaging activities. Begin your journey with a visit to the classic wine estates along the Paarl Vintners Wine Route; savor exquisite tastings and cellar tours while indulging in the breathtaking vineyard landscapes, perfect for a serene and sophisticated date. Continue the charm at the scenic Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, where couples can stroll hand-in-hand, discovering hidden picnic spots and taking in the remarkable views from atop Paarl Rock. As the day wanes, wind down at one of the cozy, quaint cafés in the historic town center, savoring locally-sourced treats and the town’s laid-back atmosphere. These shared experiences in Paarl are sure to create lasting memories and strengthen the bond between partners exploring the beauty and nuances of the Cape Winelands.

Things to do in Paarl at night

When the sun sets over the Cape Winelands, Paarl invites couples and night owls to continue their explorations under the stars. One of the most enchanturing night-time activities is dining at one of the local wine estates, where the fusion of exquisite wines and fine dining under the African sky creates an unforgettable atmosphere. Gastronomic experiences are often complemented by live music or seasonal events, making it a must-do for epicurean travelers. For something more laid back, another highlight includes strolling the evening markets dotted around the town. These markets are vibrant hubs of craft goods, street food, and local entertainment – perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and community spirit. Additionally, some of the bars and lounges in Paarl offer an intimate setting for savoring a cocktail or a glass of regional wine, rounding out the night with relaxed sophistication and warm conversation.