Grahamstown, affectionately known as the City of the Saints, has a rich history spanning more than 200 years. Founded in 1812 as a military outpost during the turbulent Frontier Wars, it evolved into a bustling city which was, for a time, the second largest in South Africa.

Though it no longer holds that particular title, Grahamstown is more famous today than ever. The city boasts more than 70 heritage sites. It’s home to the prestigious Rhodes University and some of South Africa’s top schools, and stands proudly as a centre of legal excellence. It’s equally well known for its diverse mix of cultures, exemplified by the annual National Arts Festival – a world-famous institution in itself.

Grahamstown is also the ideal gateway to many more of the Eastern Cape’s true gems, including a number of excellent Big 5 game reserves and several blue flag beaches along the pristine Sunshine Coast.

The City of Grahamstown


Discover more about our vibrant city and its surroundings by exploring these useful links:

The history of Grahamstown

Orignally Grahamstown was a small military outpost established by Liutenant-Colonel John Graham in 1812 as part of the on-going effort to secure and stabilise the eastern frontier of the British Empire.

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A mere 35 minute drive from Grahamstown lies the sunny seaside holiday village of Kenton-on-Sea.

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Rhodes University

Rhodes university has grown to become an internationally recognized and prestigious university boasting the highest undergraduate pass rate in South Africa.

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Eating out in Grahamstown

We all love eating out and Grahamstown has it’s share of places to do just that including excellent restaurants, vibrant pubs and cozy coffee shops.

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Rates & Brochure

View room prices and discover all that The Milner has to offer in our digital brochure