Grahamstown


Grahamstown: a cultural capital


There is some disagreement about whether Grahamstown is a small city or a large town due to it boasting a diocesan church, a high court, and the renowned Rhodes University. However, what everyone is sure of is that it is a thriving and buzzing place, home to thousands of festive students who share the broad, tree-lined streets with beautiful historical buildings, churches, and museums. 

When it is time for the world-renowned National Arts Festival, which takes place in the middle of winter, hundreds of glove, coat and scarf-clad people descend on the town. This is when Grahamstown comes alight with wonderful plays, performances of all types, and striking photographic and art exhibitions. During the rest of the year, when the streets are quieter, visitors can tour through the plethora of fascinating churches littered around the town. At night, the lively pubs and restaurants come alive with students and tourists alike.

The National Arts Festival takes place over 10 days in July, during which each day is a whirlwind of fantastic shows and performances. There is a great variety of accommodation during the festival, with even the university offering its residences for visitors’ use.

 
Highlights
  • Rhodes University’s students populate the town, creating a thriving and lively atmosphere throughout the year
  • Famed for its National Arts Festival and its showcasing of wonderful plays, performances, and art exhibitions 
  • A plethora of fascinating and picturesque churches have led to Grahamstown earning its nickname - City of Saints
  • A lively restaurant and pub culture is found throughout the town
  • The village green hosts a market during the festival
  • A great variety of accommodation is available for visitors to suit every purse and persuasion

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