Grahamstown gems: a guide to the City of Saints

A charming and cosy student town situated in the heart of the Eastern Cape, Grahamstown is bursting with enthralling places to visit. Be it a day trip en route to Cape Town or a few days during the National Arts Festival, there’s always something to pique your interest.

Handmade Coffees

If you’re looking for a coffee shop that resembles the warmth of the beverage, this place is a must. This establishment prides itself on offering the best roasts and blends, and is often referred to as one of the towns beloved cafés because of its feel-good brew.

Baristas Sisa and Matthew are the heart of the shop, and add a special touch to everything they create. Their current speciality is an irresistible creamy iced coffee, with a secret ingredient that will have even those with reluctant palates coming back for more. And if coffee isn’t your thing, indulge in a delectable hot chocolate or decadent spicy chai.

Provost Café

This historical landmark has been reconstructed into a charming café that’s ideal for a quick bite. Provost Café was originally a military prison in the 1800s, which may sound a little daunting, but it’s totally worth a visit. The homemade lemonade and light lunch menu will leave you feeling like you’ve been to heaven and back, even if you’re eating in an old jail cell! With a selection of freshly baked goodies and an extensive range of drinks, you won’t regret stopping here.

Botanical Gardens

Grahamstown (Makana) Botanical Gardens is a few steps away from Provost Café and is the second oldest botanical garden in South Africa. This breathtaking setting (which offers the perfect selfie backdrop) is one of the most tranquil places to have a picnic or go for a morning jog.

The National English Literary Museum (NELM)

A hidden treasure, this is a reader’s paradise. This sanctuary of books has recently been given a facelift. Here, you’ll find an extensive library of creative writing in different genres, but if you’re not interested in words, the building itself is definitely worth a visit.

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