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Sea Point, V&A Waterfront, Hout Bay, Llandudno, Constantia, Claremont, Green Point, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, Century City, Rondebosch, De Waterkant, Durbanville, Muizenberg, Simon's Town, Milnerton, Fish Hoek, Camps Bay, Table View, Cape Town City Centre / CBD
The residential suburb of Bellville lies 23km east of Cape Town. The area was originally a wagon stop for farmers bringing their produce to Cape Town and was known as Twelfth Mile Stone. The original milestone is still in its original position (along with an historic oil lamppost) and inscribed: XII miles from the townhouse.
The railway line from Cape Town reached Bellville in 1862. The train continues to be a major source of transport for commuters working in Cape Town.
Bellville rainfall occurs mostly in the winter months and average temperatures range between 16° C in winter to 27° C in summer.
At the last consensus conducted in 2011, roughly 65% of people in the Bellville area speak Afrikaans.
Things to do
The Tyger Valley Mall is one of Cape Town’s largest shopping centres. Catch a movie or browse the more than 250 shops spread over 2 floors.
The Willowbridge Mall is Tygervalley’s smaller cousin, however, it’s considered far trendier. The mall’s tenancy is an outstanding mix of restaurants and upmarket shopping. The popular Barnyard Theatre, a 500-seat dinner theatre venue is on the premises and the weekend Slow Market is enjoyed by lovers of healthful, fresh products.
The Tygerberg Nature Reserve has 7 established hiking routes, various mountain bike trails and uniquely, a wheelchair friendly route. The reserve has a number of buck species and a honey badger was recently recorded on film.
Bellville is a short 7km drive to the start of the Durbanville wine route.
The Bellville golf course is a members-only course, however, the Golf Village driving range nearby will ease your need to swing some clubs.
Cool Runnings is Africa’s first downhill toboggan track. Launching your toboggan down the smooth but safe 1.25km course at high speed is a lot of fun. Suitable for all ages, however, children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Purchase a day pass for unlimited rides.
The owners at Stodels nursery in Bellville have great gardening ideas, regular discounts, free training for gardeners and excellent food at their onsite restaurant. The reptile garden display park contains many lizards, snakes and other reptiles, used mainly to educate the public on their vulnerability. The nursery won the 2015 Best Garden Centre in the Cape award.
The 6000-seat multipurpose Velodrome arena hosts major sporting events and live concerts. Previous big acts include 50 Cent, Pink Floyd and Kanye West
Bellville is only 11km from the Grand West Casino and Entertainment Centre. Other than the opportunity to gamble, the venue hosts a full size ice-skating rink, a go-kart track, movie theatres and a plethora of snack food and dining options. The arena plays host to the popular annual comedy festival and occasionally international artists appear here.
The small farming community of Klapmuts is 27km north of Bellville and has three locations where rescued animals are housed: Butterfly Park has butterflies from all over the world, various lizard and snake species, tarantulas and marmosets; Giraffe House has several animal species rescued from the illegal animal trade and the Drakenstein Lion Park looks after abused Lions saved from private zoos.
Where to Eat
Located in a national heritage building spilling out into a garden shaded by trees, The Hollow Tree offers traditional meals, interesting main courses, light meals and kiddies menu. There is a popular tavern on the premises.
Starlite Diner is a huge American-style diner open all hours. The menu is varied and well-priced. Their patio is the perfect setting for a family outing.
The award-winning De Oude Welgemoed restaurant has a fine-dining menu alongside a burger & pasta menu and extensive kiddies menu, pricing to suit all pockets!
As you enter Lemon-Butta, you are greeted by a counter filled with fresh seafood to order or purchase over the counter. Some of the sushi combinations are unique and delicious. The Whole baked line fish is recommended.
The authentic Thai restaurant Thaifoon has simple décor but first-rate cuisine.
La Feta Vij Eatery is a small bistro with a bright, clean atmosphere and good selection of light meals. LFVE offers catering services and is a great venue for intimate parties.
At the trendy Arugula Bistro and Bread Restaurant you can watch while your food is being prepared. Try the homemade ice cream and for those on a Banting diet, the hosts have an entire menu available for this purpose.
Zibaldone is a charming Italian restaurant located at the Tyger Waterfront. Lots of tradition here and old favourites such as Ossobuco are available, as are some new and interesting pasta dishes.
The Edward Street strip in Bellville is synonymous with night life, if you want to party the night away at one of the many clubs or just relax with a few drinks at a bar lounge, Edward Street must be your destination! Some of the Edward Street venues are:
Guest DJs feature every evening until the early hours at the chic Vacca Matta club.
Stones Tygervalley has two dance floors and state of the art lighting for a fun night out. Live acts, guest DJs and comedians regularly appear. Keep a lookout for their theme evenings.
Buckley’s is a sports pub with a few pool tables, open until 4am on weekends.
Living Room is a top club boasting a VIP lounge, cigar bar, dance floors, restaurant and chill areas. The venue is in a somewhat dubious location, be sure to take a taxi to and from the club.
If you want to join the locals and see how they party, pop in to Danskraal. It’s a large hall venue; get on the dance floor and ask a local to teach you the Langarm dance technique.
Billed as an entertainment lounge, Eastwoods has a laidback feel with good music and food.
Where to Stay
There are a variety of accommodation facilities ranging from stunning lodges, world-class guest houses, hip garden flats, exceptional Bed & Breakfast venues and modern guest apartments all available in the neat, peaceful suburb of Bellville.
Air :The nearest airport is Cape Town International, 14km from Bellville centre.
Car Rental :Bellville has many car rental agencies; however, car rental bookings can be done online.
Taxis There are many taxi options available. If you have the Uber app, order a taxi via your mobile phone. Several local tour operators offer shuttle services between Bellville, Cape Town and the airport.
Bellville is about 30 minutes’ drive directly from Cape Town along the national N1 highway.
Did you know?
Bellville is considered a boomburb (a large suburb edging towards city status) and authorities are hoping to develop the area into a significant corporate, retail and residential hub.
A large proportion of Bellville residents make up the Western Cape’s skilled labour force, thus the reason for higher learning centres such as Cape Town University’s Business School campus and the University of Stellenbosch’s Medical school being based here.
Lower rentals, an excellent road network and central proximity to Cape Town and agriculture have lured major companies to invest in office parks in the Tygervalley area.
The Tyger Waterfront built around an old quarry has a 4ha man-made lake fed by a waterfall cascading from a storm water drain.
In 2008, a documentary entitled “12 Mile Stone” which discusses Bellville’s prominent music scene was released. The movie was screened to good reviews at the Cape Town & Winelands International Film Festival the following year.
The Bellville suburb is regarded as being behind the Boerewors Curtain (boerewors is a spicy meat filled sausage) where residents enjoy braais (barbeques), big hall dancing, cowboy hats and the sound of the banjo. This is partly true and Bellville residents happily embrace the label.