Cape Town Wine Tours on a budget South Africa by

Cape Town Wine Tours on a Budget

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Some of the best South African wines are produced in the vineyard-dotted Winelands district, which sits just beyond the Cape Town city limits. Popular Cape Town wine tasting tours whisk visitors from the bustling city center to the lush grape growing South African wine region to sample the local product.

Many of these excursions are pricey adventures, but budget travelers can rest assured that there are affordable Wine Tasting Cape Town Tours, too! From bus tours to train trips to cheap wine tasting in Cape Town CBD, we are highlighting economical ways to swirl and sip local South Africa wine. 


Finding Cheap Wine Tasting Cape Town Tours

On our trip, we were eager to visit nearby Cape Town wineries. As travelers on a budget and without a car, it was essential to find a low-cost wine tour from Cape Town. However, pinpointing an affordable way to visit the wine estates in Cape Town was proving more difficult than we expected.

First, we contemplated creating our own DIY Cape Town day trip using public transportation. However, our diligent research yielded zero results for a Winelands-Cape Town bus route leading directly to a winery (or better yet, wineries).

The local commuter train makes stop in the popular wine regions of Stellenbosch and Paarl, but we couldn’t get a sense of whether the wineries were actually walkable from the stations. And an expensive taxi-driven Cape Winelands tour from the station would have surely wrecked our budget!

We found numerous advertised wine tasting Cape Town tours – complete with gourmet picnic lunches and other luxury bells and whistles – but they simply didn’t jive with our Budget Cape Town Trip.


Affordable South African Wine Tours from Cape Town

Eagle's Nest Wine Farm in Cape Town, South Africa

Determined to find an inexpensive route to Cape Town vineyards, we eventually discovered a a few affordable options. In the end, we found that the most cost-effective way to visit some of the best vineyards in Cape Town was to ride the city’s tourist Hop On Hop Off Bus.

To help fellow budget-conscious travelers find the best value wine tours, we are sharing the details of our experience. Plus, we’re revealing a few of the other top picks for budget wine tours that we came across in our research. 


Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Tour Bus

Wine Tasting, Cape Town South Africa

Okay, we rarely use the big, red, double-decker, open-top, Hop On Hop Off tourist-toting buses. We generally prefer to walk or use public transport. However, we discovered that the City Sightseeing Tour Bus is a viable option for cheap Cape Town vineyard tours. 

The Cape Town Hop On Hop Off tour bus offers a Constantia Wine Route where no public buses go. Although more expensive, a one-day ticket includes unlimited rides for the day and – most importantly – the chance to visit some of the best wineries in Cape Town!


How To Use the Sightseeing Bus to Get To Wineries

The Sightseeing Cape Town Tour Bus offers multiple looping routes through the city. However, the Hop On Hop Off Cape Town Wine Route does not commence in the city center; passengers need to switch buses. Don’t worry; it’s easy…even after some wine!

Start by boarding a bus for the Mini Peninsula Tour, which is the Blue Line Route that makes a stop in Constantia. At the Constantia stop, pass-holders connect to a smaller bus for the Wine Tour, or Purple Line Route.

The Purple Wine Route Cape Town bus makes stops at the entrance to three wineries: Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Constantia Glen and Beau Constantia. We can’t imagine there are any easier or more relaxed self-guided wine tasting tours in Cape Town!

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Hop On Hop Off Bus: Constantia Wine Tasting Experience

Vineyards at Groot Constantia Wine Estate in Cape Town, South Africa

The affordable Constantia wine tour route offers visitors a change to see some of the best wine estates in Cape Town. Just bear in mind that the bus ticket only provides transit. Visitors need to pay for their own wine tastings at each winery – and it’s essential to keep an eye on the time.

It’s best to purchase tickets in advance online and use the voucher to board the bus. If it’s a nice day, the prime seats are on the open, upper deck, which provides stellar views. All seats have outlets where complimentary headphones can be plugged in for the prerecorded tour commentary. 

Cape Town visitors start on the Blue Line Bus, which takes passengers from the city, around the university, into Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and on to Constantia. On our trip, the bus times aligned perfectly – as we arrived in Constantia, the Purple Route Bus was waiting for us.

Top Travel Tip: The Hop On Hop Off Winelands Tour from Cape Town is one of the fun things to do any day of the week. All three wineries on the City Sightseeing Cape Town bus tour are open everyday!


Stop 1: Groot Constantia Wine Estate

Vineyards at Beau Constantia in Cape Town, South Africa

The first stop on the South Africa Wine Tour is Groot Winery. Founded in 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest producing winery in South Africa. Their Cape Town wines have been favored by aristocracy around the world.

The enormous estate encompasses 420 acres, which is inclusive of 220 acres of vineyards, the wine cellar, two restaurants, and a museum. Visitors can explore for free, but there are small fees for the museum and cellar. Tastings are offered at a reasonable price and visitors can choose from 5 wines.

Groot Constantia is somewhat of a tourist attraction all on its own. In our opinion, it is the overall best wine tasting Cape Town experiences. For travelers who only have time for one wine tasting, Groot is a good choice!


Stop 2: Constantia Glen

Wine Tasting at Eagle's Nest Wine Farm in Cape Town, South Africa

For the second stop of the trip, visitors can enjoy fine wines at Constantia Glen. The 60-acre boutique winery sits atop a hill overlooking a stunningly scenic landscape. 

A variety of tastings are offered at Constantia Glen – including an affordable 4-wine sampling of their flagship wines. The tastings can be be paired with food at the on-site restaurant. The classic Flammkuchen flatbread is a top choice! 

Note: On our Cape Town Tourist Bus Wine Tour, the second stop for sipping wine was at Eagle’s Nest, which no longer welcomes visitors to the estate. However, Constantia Glen is just around the corner.


Stop 3: Beau Constantia Winery

Wine Tasting at Beau Constantia in Cape Town, South Africa

The modern, trendy tasting room at Beau Constantia is a sleek, glass two-story building. The ample outdoor space provides views over the vineyard out to False Bay. The contemporary menu features shared tapas – but bookings are essential. 

Without a reservation, visitors can enjoy self-service at the bar. They offer a selection of wine flights to sample. A visit to the winery wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the ‘Loo with a View,’ which gets our vote for Best Bathroom View Ever!


Tourist Bus Constantia Wine Route Cost and Tips

"Loo with a View" at Beau Constantia in Cape Town, South Africa

The Red Bus Cape Town – or the “Ho-Ho-Wine-O” as we affectionately called it – is an extremely affordable way to access the legendary South African vineyards. A one-day ticket on the bus costs less than $20 USD; together the wine tastings will add around another $25 to the cost of the trip. 

Totaling a mere fraction of the cost for Cape Town private tours to wineries, it’s an excellent budget option to taste wine in South Africa. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting these three wineries – each with their own distinct ambiance – on our own. The tastings were well-priced – costing less than $10 USD at each estate. 

Top Travel Tip: The two-day ticket for the Hop On Hop Off Bus offers an exceptional value for money. In addition to being able to explore the sights on the Red Line, it includes a complimentary cruise, sunset bus tour and the free Cape Town Walking Tour!

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More Cape Town Wine Tours

Budding grapes at Groot Constantia Vineyards in Cape Town, South Africa

While we had a blast on our Cape Town Tour Bus route to wineries, there are some well-priced Wine Tasting Cape Town Day Tours. We are highlighting a few of the top options, including incredibly affordable half-day wine tours from Cape Town and full day wine adventures – as well as options to visit multiple top sights and include a Cape Town vineyards tour.


Cape Town Wine Tram in Franschhoek

On this full day wine tour, visitors travel by coach to the scenic Franschhoek Wine Valley, then hop aboard a tram that stops at multiple wine estates. The tram and tram buses make stops every hour, which is helpful for planning the trip. Much like the wine bus, visitors choose which wineries to visit and pay for their own tastings. 

With the Wine Tram-Cape Town transport included in the cost and the opportunity to discover the vineyards on a full day tour, we think it ranks as one of the top affordable Cape Town wine tours.

Top Travel Tip: The similar Vine Hopper bus in Stellenbosch is another fun and inexpensive way to visit wineries. The one caveat, however, is that you need to get to Stellenbosch first. Visitors could use the train, but it’s a rather long trip. Alternatively, taking a taxi will likely wipe out any savings over taking an organized Cape Town, South Africa wine tour. Find out more!


Organized, Affordable Wine Tasting South Africa Tour

On this Winelands Full-Day Tour and Tasting, guides lead the way to top wine estates in Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Wine and cheese tastings are included in the bargain price. Throughout the tour, guides share valuable information about the history of South Africa and wine. Get pricing details!


Stellenbosch Winelands Half-Day Tour

Those short on time can join a fun-filled, all-inclusive (yet still fairly affordable) half-day tour of Stellenbosch. The 5-hour trip includes visits to two vineyards – with an included cellar tour at one Stellenbosch Wine Estate and local food and wine pairings. Check current prices and reserve your spot!


Full-Day Package-Deal Cape Tour with Wine Tasting

Travelers who want to sample regional wine and tour top South Africa sights can join a whirlwind adventure on a full day tour. While a bit on the pricey side, this tour takes in some of the top regional attractions in a single day. Highlights are the Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point, a stop to see the penguins at Boulders Beach and an included wine tasting in Constantia Valley. Learn more about this tour!


Cheap Wine Tastings Cape Town CBD

Rather than visiting vineyards, you can stay right in the CBD and experience a local SA wine tasting in Cape Town. Bree Street – the best dining street in the city center – is a haven of wine bars and tasting rooms. 

Guests can order reasonably priced flights at OpenWine (map) – or visit a winery tasting room, like Dorrance Winery (map). Some Cape Town  bars also offer guided tastings at specific times, while others welcome patrons to sample wine any time of day!


Budget Travel Tips for Cape Town

Take a photo with the Love Cape Town Sign, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa can be an affordable trip or a luxury vacation. Those intent on keeping their budget in check can use our additional tips for visiting Cape Town on a budget.


More Cheap Things To Do in Cape Town

Budget travelers might be wondering if there are more affordable things to do in Cape Town, South Africa – and the answer is yes! 

Need more budget ideas? Use our 3-Day Itinerary which features top free things to do in Cape Town!


Finding Affordable Accommodation in Cape Town

Finding cheap accommodation in Cape Town can be a challenge. We were able to find an inexpensive Airbnb in Hout Bay. Having a kitchen was a huge cost-saver and public transportation in Cape Town is cheap. 

That said, travelers on a short trip will likely find that it’s better to stay in the city center. There are Cape Town hotels that fit a wide range of budgets. Before you start your search for hotels in Cape Town, SA, be sure to read our tips for Booking the Best Hotels for Cheap


Start planning your trip to South Africa! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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6 thoughts on “Cape Town Wine Tours on a Budget

  1. Cher

    If you have more time available – Franschoek is a great place to spend a few days and visit lots of wineries.

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