55 Things To Do In Durban For Under R250

It’s official the rest of the world finally woke up to what Durbanites knew all along- Durban is cool. The New York Times featured Durban as 7th on its 52 places to go in 2015. A little bit Rio, a little bit Miami, eThekwini is in a class of her own.

Here are 55 ways to soak up the Durban Vaab:

Featured Image above “Surfer Chicks” by photographer Adam Rozanas

1. Johnny’s Rotis

Johnny's rotis

Johnny’s Rotis by Tyrone Bradley on Itswhatiminto

Also known at Sunrise Chip ‘N Ranch, Johnny’s Rotis is an institution. You haven’t been to Durban if you haven’t eaten the triple cheese and chip roti with mutton gravy after a night of jolling hard. They’re open 24/7.
89 Sparks Road, Durban. Call: 031 209 2020.

2. Afternoon Tea with Skabenga

skabenga
Attend afternoon tea at the Oyster Box luxury hotel in Umhlanga and make the acquaintance of Skabenga the cat. Skabenga (hooligan in Zulu) recently went missing but was found and happily returned. He wandered into the hotel 10 years ago as a stray and has never left, flourishing on prawn tidbits. Afternoon tea costs R220 per head and is from 14h30 to 17h00 daily. Booking is essential. Call 031 514 5000.
OB-Cuisine-Tea-017-1024x576

3. Walk on the Sky at Moses Mabhida Stadium

SkyCar at Moses Mabhida Stadium

The Skycar at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the enormous stadium has many adrenaline-inducing activities on offer. The Sky Car, a single cabin that runs up steel tracks on the northern arch of the stadium and is designed to roll down the arch under its own gravity (in case of load shedding), has a 106m vantage point. Tickets cost R60pp and R30 for kids under the age of 12. There’s also the Big Swing ride, the tallest swing in the world since 2011 (at R695 per person it exceeds our budget but is cheaper than skydiving and looks just as nerve-wracking). Then there’s a Big Sky Walk along the arch of the stadium (don’t look down!) or a beach glide on a Segway for those seeking a more serene adventure. The Beach Glide costs R190 for 45 minutes. 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Road, Durban. 031 582 8222.

4. Take a Tour with Beset

beset tours durban market

Beset Walk at 8 Morrison Street

This forward-thinking trio showed celebrated conflict reporter João Silva around when he covered Durban for the New York Times Travel list. Their focus is on urban exploration and getting people on the streets and experiencing Durban. They say:

“Durban will make you work to discover her. She is not a show off. She is certainly beautiful, but she will make you work hard to find her substance. Durban is a very deep city, a city fill of grit and history. In many ways it is a layered city which reveals more each time you dig deeper.”

Join one of their brilliant public walks for free (past walks have included the hip Rivertown area, the Natural Science Museum, and Point area. You can also organise a paid private walk here. Check out their facebook page for upcoming events.

5. Conquer the waves at Wave House

the bomb surf

Surfer by Mike van Heerden at The Bomb Surf

The Wave House at Gateway flaunts some great waves. Tear things up on the Flow rider or for something a little tamer have a go on the supertube rides (perfect for keeping the kids busy in the school holidays). The Flow rider is R50 an hour for members and R75 an hour for non-members. The supertube costs R60 for the whole day. Find it at Galaxy Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Palm Blvd, Durban. Call 031 584 9400.

6. Afro’s Chicken

Afro's Chicken, Durban This afro-chic beach-side takeaway spot is right on the promenade. The food is simple and delicious and comes in two flavours- hot is chili, koel is lemony. Meals cost around R25-R40. Find them at 2 O R Tambo Parade, South Beach.

7. The Chairman

the chairman 3 skattie what are you wearing

The Chairman by Skattie What Are You Wearing

This sophisticated hole-in-the-wall jazz bar is a well-kept secret. The space wouldn’t be out of place in Buenos Aires or Catalonia. 146 Mahatma Gandhi Rd. For table bookings call: 078 387 1408.

8. Go Godzilla at Mini Town

mini town, Durban

Engagement Shoot by Knot Just Pics

The perfect place to practice your Godzilla destroying eThekwini pose, Mini Town is fun for kids and grown-ups too. Tickets cost R15 for adults and R10 for children aged 2-12. 114 Snell Parade, Durban. 031 337 7892.

9. Mitchell Park Zoo

meerkats at the Mitchell's Park zoo

Meerkats at Mitchell Park Zoo by Andy1026

Much-beloved by Durban parents, kids can explore the grounds which used to be an ostrich farm but now houses crocodiles, buck, meerkats, cranes, flamingoes, wallabies, monkeys and tortoises. There’s also the Blue Zoo tea garden for coffee and cake. Tickets cost R10 for adults and R7 for kids. Find out more from the knowledgeable Zoologist here. 10 Ferndale Road, Durban. Call 031 303 2275.

10. Lekka by die See Nostalgia at Fun World

fun world durban

Fun World by Khidra Stevens

Though a little scruffy these days, Fun World is a beach amusement park with tons of nostalgia value. Founded in the 1930’s by Arthur Thornton, Durban Fun World started out as a miniature steam train ride. The cableway was added in 1970 and still offers a great view of the city. Entrance is free and you can buy tickets at the kiosk for the rides. Find it opposite Marine Parade Holiday Inn on Durban’s Beach Front. Call: 031 332 9776 for more information.

11. Bike & Bean

Bike & Bean, Durban

Phillipa Rowney at Coffey & Cake

Down a rich espresso then hire a bike and roam the golden mile of Durban beachfront bliss or vice versa. Bike hire is R50 per hour, or R40 per hour for the early risers from 6am to 8am. Rollerblades, skateboards, umbrellas, boogie boards, kids bikes, tandem bikes, push bikes and swingballs are also available for hire. Snell Parade, Durban. Call 082 773 6870.

12. Surf’s Up

pro surfer Durban

Photograph of Jordy Smith in action courtesy of WSL/Cestari

Grab a board and do as the locals do with “Learn to Surf” on Addington Beach. It’s R200 an hour for a private lesson. Call 083 414 0567.

13. Faith47 Murals

durban is yours- faith 47 mural

Image by Durban is Yours

Faith 47 is a South-African born street artist with a strong sense of social justice. You can find her work in countries all over the world including Sweden, Scotland, the USA and China. Visit Warwick Junction in central Durban for a closer look at her murals including life-like portraits of the traders on columns adjacent to the Early Morning Market.

14. Rivertown Beerhall

rivertown beerhall

Madala Kunene playing at Rivertown Beerhall by Karen Van Pletsen

The Rivertown Beerhall is an eThekwini Municipality initiative which started with the activation and naming of the area during the UIA 2014 Durban Architecture Congress. It was built in 1914, and opened again on 3rd August to 10th August 2014, 100 years on. Grab a beer and enjoy live music in this historical space. They aren’t open everyday so check beforehand. Don’t miss the Zakifo Music Festival from 11-14 June. Find them at 102 Prince Alfred Street (Florence Nzama). Call: 083 7996019.
rivertown beerhall

15. KZN SA Gallery

KZNSA Gallery

Image by Shirin Motala

This modern, airy building is an inviting space. Along with upcoming and experimental artists the gallery has an extensive collection of well-known South African artists such as Penny Siopis and Isaac Sithole. Enjoy a cold drink and cheese cake in the gallery café which spills out into the garden. Entrance is free. 166 Bulwer Road. Call: 031 277 1705.

Also read:

16. Wilson’s Wharf

wilson's wharf

Image by Yuvi K Photography at 5 Star Durban

The place to see Durban Harbour, the busiest port in Africa, in action. You’ll glimpse luxury yachts, racing boats, hulking great tankers, trawlers and tiny optimist sailing boats as they go by. At Wilson’s Wharf there are many restaurants and fastfood spots to choose from and the flickering lights on the water at night are particularly atmospheric. Our choice is Julio’s on the Bay for paella. 14 – 18 Boatmans Rd, Durban. Call 076 440 0057.

17. Warwick Junction- Guided Tour Through 9 Markets

Warwick junction
Take a guided-tour through the 9 markets in central Durban to get a feel for the pulse of the city. The Markets of Warwick Tour takes you through Victoria Street Market, the Impepho and Lime market, Brook Street Market, Bead Market, Herb Market, Music Bridge Market, Berea Street Market, the Bovine head Market and the Early morning or ‘Mother’ Market, which hosts over 640 stalls with vendors selling fresh produce, flowers, spices and live poultry. In the Bovine market cow heads are collected by trolley operators from local butcheries, the traders then skin the head, utilising only the facial meat which is then boiled in large pots. The cooked meat is then presented on wooden chopping boards with condiments for customers to eat. Tours cost R100 per person (or R70 per person for more than 8 people). Call 031 309 3880.

18. The Golden Mile

Durban_Beachfront_Golden_Mile

A Two Wheel Coffee Tour of Durban’s Beach Front by Phillipa Rowney

The Golden Mile runs roughly from South Beach (uShaka Marine World) to Suncoast Casino in the north in a perfect gilded stretch of sea and sun. Longer than a mile it’s the best place to do an early morning beach run, rollerblade or cycle à la Ipanema beach. Or you could join an hour and a half morning cycle tour with Bike & Saddle. Call 031-813-5633 to find out more. Find them at 170 Mahatma Gandhi (Point) Road.

19. Grab a Cold One at Wahooz

wahooz (1024x576)

Wahooz by Urban lifestyle Blog

Stop in at this Hawaiian-vibe beach-side restaurant for a beer among the palm trees. Get a bucket of 6 SAB beers for R100. 1 King Shaka Ave, Point.

20. Umgeni River Bird Park

umgeni-river-bird-park
Kids will love the Umgeni river bird park- they have 900 birds from 180 species in the park, a free-flight bird show, restaurant and playground. Tickets cost R50 per adult and R40 for children aged 4 to 12 years. Find them at Riverside Road. Call: 031 579 4600.

21. The Morning Trade Market

The morning Trade Market, Durban

The Morning Trade Market by Raisaysblog

This market is Durban’s answer to the Biscuit Mill. You can find them at 15 Station Drive, in the Station Drive Precinct just off Umgeni Road. Enjoy delicious artisanal and locally-sourced farm produce. Open every Sunday from 8h00-13h00.

22. Jumma Mosque

Jumma Mosque1
The ‘Mosque of the Congregation” is Durban’s first mosque and the oldest and largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Find it in Grey Street to take in its geometric splendor. It can fit 6000 worshipers at one time. Remember to remove your shoes and dress respectfully when visiting.

23. Durban Natural Science Museum

leopard display at the Durban Natural Science Museum

A taxidermied leopard at the Durban Natural Science Museum by Thrishni Subramoney

On the 1st floor of the magnificent Durban City hall, this trove of dinosaurs, fossils and taxidermied predators will enchant bath kids and grown-ups. Entrance is free. Smith Street. Call: 031 311 2242.

24. Sunset Catamaran

The spirit of elan catamaran

The Spirit of Elan Catamaran available for charters at Spirit of Elan

Watch the powerful KZN sun go down over tropical Durban from a catamaran sundowner cruise. Hakuna Matata Charters offer a 90 minute Sunset Sea Cruise at R220 per adult and R110 per child. 031 307 3782.

25. The Shree Ambalavaanar Alayam Hindu Temple

umbilo-shree-ambalavaanar-alayam-temple 1

Image by Show Me Durban

This beautiful temple is well-worth a visit. Make sure to observe the intricate carvings of Ganesha, Shiva and Vishnu on the temple facade. The antique doors that lead to the cellar were salvaged from a temple built on the banks of the Umbilo River in 1875, which was later destroyed by floods. 152 Jacobs Rd, Durban. 031 465 3533. Dress respectfully.

26. The Boiler Room

The Boiler Room cafe Durban

The Boiler Room by The Taste Detectives

From the owners of the more swish 9th Avenue Bistro, the Boiler room is the newest place to lunch in Durban mid work-week. They also do a great Saturday brunch. Lions Match Office Park. 892 Umgeni Road. Call: 031 312 9134.

27. Bay of Plenty For A Quick Swim

Jump off the Pier

A day in Durban with Matt Vend at Durban is Yours

The best thing about Durban is that winter, summer- it’s always a good idea to kick off your slops and leap into that beautifully warm sea. The Bay of Plenty, at the heart of the beach front also offers good surf conditions and beach volley ball.

28. The Sardine Run

sardine_run_expedition_1
Nearly every year between June and July billions of sardines travel along the east coast of South Africa attracting an abundance of dolphins, whales and sharks. If you are lucky enough to see the sardine run while in Durban it will be worth renting a boat to get a closer look. For a less pricey option hire a kayak for R100 per person (or do a kayak tour for R200pp) at uShaka Marine World. You’ll launch in front of uShaka and paddle to the Vetjies Reef, past the shark nets and out to the limestone reef where there’s a 1940’s shipwreck. If you’re exceptionally lucky and the timing is right you’ll catch the hundreds of dolphins tailing the sardine run. 086 100 1138.

29. Freedom Café

Freedom Cafe Durban

Review of the Freedom Café by The Taste Detectives

This bright space is brilliant for an all-day breakfast. Order their buttermilk pancake stack (R48), Pampoen koekie (R45) or Freedom Fry breakfast (R62). 34 St Mary’s Avenue, Greyville, Berea, Durban. 031 3094453.

30. KwaMuhle Museum

KwaMuhle Museum
Once the Native Administration Department, step through the copper-covered entrance doors to find a post-apartheid museum documenting the history experienced by all of Durban’s residents. The photographs and artifacts on display portray a city in search of an identity within a new political context. Entrance is free. 130 Bram Fischer Road.

31. Visit the World’s Rarest Plant at Durban Botanical Gardens

durban botanical gardensThe Durban Botanical Gardens boasts the rarest cycad collection in the world. Cycads, have been around before the dinosaurs and have survived three mass extinction events although they are in danger of extinction today. Wood’s Cycad is reputed to be the world’s rarest plant. You can find it growing peacefully near the old reservoir. The Orchid collection and palm grove are also worth visiting. Attend one of the concerts at the lake which take place throughout the year. Read the concert schedule and buy tickets here. 70 St Thomas Rd. Entrance to the gardens is free.

32. Roma Revolving Restaurant

Enjoy the kitsch but fun seventies dining atmosphere of the Roma Revolving restaurant on the 32nd floor of the John Ross building. The Roma is the only revolving restaurant in the Southern hemisphere. You’ll be privy to an incredible rotating view 105m up in the air while eating hearty Italian food. If you’re not hungry head to Gino’s Bar one floor above for drinks in the sky. 031 337 6707.
roma revolving restaurant

33. Skate Parks

Skater at the Wave House skate park in the WaveHouse

Skater at the Wave House courtesy of Red Bull Media House / Tyrone Bradley

Skate for great at the beachfront skate park in front of the Bay of Plenty- entrance is free. Your other option is the Wave House in Umhlanga. Members pay R20 for the day, non-members pay R40. They also offer lessons. Annual Membership is R150 per year. Galaxy, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Palm Blvd, Durban. Call 031 584 9400.
bmx rider in a skate park, Durban

34. Hop Aboard a Ricksha Bus

Durban Ricksha BusTake a three-hour whirl around Durban on the top deck of a Ricksha bus. It’s practically always blazingly sunny so enjoy the sun on your face as you pass all of Durban’s major attractions. There are two tours per day, seven days a week. The morning tour starts at 9am and ends at midday and the afternoon tour starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm. Tickets are R100 per adult, R60 for kids aged 6-8 and free for the children under 5. They accept cash only. Call 031 322 4209 for more information.

35. Little Gujarat

Little Gujarat- Durban is yours A day in Durban with Matt Vend at Durban is Yours

Arguably the most authentic and affordable Indian food in the city, Little Gujarat offers a feast of delicious vegetarian bunny chows, samoosas, pakoras, bhajis, roti breads, rice and pickles. Find them at 43 DR Goonam St. 031 305 3148.

36. Beach Horse Riding

Horseriding on the beach

Image by Kelly Horse Ranch

There’s nothing like a late-afternoon gallop on the beach, kicking up sand and surf at sunset. And if you happen to fall in, the water is inviting and warm. For R250 pp Gary offers a two or four-person beach ride. 71 School Rd, Amanzimtoti. Call 084 205 9797 to arrange your ride.

37. Durban International Film Festival

Durban International Film Festival
The film festival is in its 36th year and is an unmissable event on the Durban calender. it’s one of the oldest of its kind in Southern Africa. Catch it from 16th to the 26th July 2015. At last year’s awards ceremony, the festival’s most prestigious award of Best Feature Film went to Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s masterful “Timbuktu”. The festival also serves as a launch pad for Wavescape, a film and music festival celebrating a mutual love of surfing and ocean culture. To find out more about both film festivals call: 031 260 2506.

38. Florida Road Shopping

Cecil & Boyd shopping Durban

Cecile & Boyd by The Salt Box

In between stopping in at the many greats cafes, bars and restaurants on Durban’s glam dame Florida Road (be sure not to miss the burgers at Dropkick Murphy’s) there’s the beautiful emporium of wooden and ceramic home ware at Cécile & Boyds. 253 Florida Road. For a throw back to the 90’s visit Art Film Co, a discerning DVD rental store, where you can find curated dvds. 150 Florida Rd. Call 031 303 3131.

39. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving, Durban

Image courtesy of Scuba Dive KZN

The Durban Undersea Club offers wreck dives at R230 per non-member. Find them at 79 Browns Road, Vetch’s Pier, Point. Call: 031 368 1199.

40. Beachwood Mangroves

Beachwood Mangroves Durban

Elevated boardwalk tunnel through Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve by John A Forbes

This mangrove reserve is a national monument and contains 3 species of rare mangroves; black, red and white. Walk along the sturdy wooden platforms to catch a glimpse of mudskippers, fiddler crabs and rare kingfishers among the muddy water and white sand. The reserve is open to the public on the third Saturday of every month from 8am to 1pm, you can also arrange a visit in advance with a conservation officer. Call 082 359 2839. Riverside Road, Durban.

41. Dine with Sharks at uShaka Marine World

UShaka_Dolphin_show (1) (1280x806)

Dolphin Show in uShaka Marine World by Amada44 on Wikipedia Commons

The fifth largest aquarium in the world, the building of uShaka was pivotal in the revitalization of the Point area. Expect water rides, penguin, seal and dolphin shows, sharks circling you as you eat dinner, a dangerous creatures section and an extensive shopping walk. Get a Combo ticket for R199 per adult and R149 for children aged 3-12. It’s free for kids under 3. 1 King Shaka Avenue, Point, Durban. Call: 031 328 8000.

42. House of Curries

House of Curries, Florida Road

House of Curries by Cuizine.co.za

Famous for their tender lamb curry, mini-bunny chows and spicy bean curry, House of Curries, is an old favourite on Florida Road. Relaxed Durban vaab for days. About R70 a main. 031 303 6076.

43. Woza Weekend Breakfast Buffet at Moyo

Moyo, Durban
If you’re hungry after all your Durban explorations head to Moyo, set dramatically at the end of uShaka Pier for their Woza Weekend Buffet. Expect sweet potato and biltong soup, lamb curry, briyani, braai kebabs and an extensive array of desserts. The good news is that it’s free for the under fives, R95 for kids aged 6 to 11 and R195 per adult. The Dinner buffet is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 18h00 to 23h00 and on Sundays for lunch from Midday to 16h00. They also offer a Carb clever buffet breakfast for the Noakes-fans.

44. Watch Gangs of Ballet on Their Turf

Gangs of Ballet
These Durbanites won the MTV Africa Music Award for best alternative act in 2014 as well as 5 SAMAS. Catch them on their home turf at the Barnyard Theatre at Gateway on the 26 June. Book here.

45. Rooftop Night Market

rooftop Night Market, Durban

The Roof Top Night Market by Philippa Rowney

More and more unexpected spaces in Durban are being repurposed. Experience live music and slow food at the night market on the first Friday of every month on the 5th floor of the Musgrave Centre. Call 031 277 8420.

46. Lekka Vibes at Nev the Barber

nev the barber

Nev the Barber by Lola Malone

Nev offers a slick hair cut with attitude, “kiff cuts, laka vibes” is the idea behind this punchy Glenwood barbershop. You’ll see posters up with zingers like “vibe the vibe” and “waai from here”. Right next door is the much-loved Corner café where you can munch a panini and drink a flat white. And the good news is that Nev is opening another spot in Umhlanga. 071 898 7555.

Things to do a bit further out but worth the drive (no more than 50 mins from Durban CBD)

47. Take a Sunday Steam Train Through the Valley of 1000 Hills

Choo Choo Valley of a Thousand Hills
Tucked in the verdant Valley of 1000 hills is the village of Inchanga. Catch a steam train from Kloof to Inchanga’s small Victorian station in the rolling hills of Kwa Zulu and back again. There are trains on the first and last Sunday of every month, seats fill up quickly so book in advance here. Tickets for adults cost R200, tickets for children aged 2 – 12 cost R140. Photographers will enjoy the early-morning curling smoke shots over the dramatic rolling hills. Stop in for a pint at the Stoker’s Arms in Kloof. 087 878 7715.

48. Giba Gorge Biking

Giba Gorge biking

Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park at Find it Faster

For adrenaline lovers Giba Gorge boasts a Supercross, BMX and cycle track. There are also calmer spots for picnics but with space for kids to run around. Entrance is R50 for adults and kids over 12 and R20 for kids under 12, non-riders pay R10 and trail runners pay R20. If you don’t have bicycles and helmets you can rent them from the independently run “Yolo Cycles” within the park. 110 Stockville Road, Pinetown. Call 031 769 1527.

49. Inanda Mountain

Inanda Mountain Durban

Inanda Mountain by Durban Green Corridor

Drive 50 mins out of the CBD to Inanda Mountain for Durban’s most incredible view. The road ends practically at the edge of the cliffs that plunge down to Inanda Dam. Photographers and birders will appreciate the Lanner falcons and banded Harrier hawks that ride the thermals every morning. Local communities are rebuilding a 250 hectare coastal scrub area. Find the mountain here.

50. Mzinyathi Falls and Rasta Caves

Mzinyathi Waterfall Durban

The Mzinyathi Falls by Durban Green Corridor

A 20 minute drive from Gateway, Mzinyathi falls is relatively unknown. The dramatic sandstone amphitheatre makes this a popular rock climbing spot. In summer after heavy rain the falls have an impressive volume. The Rastafarian caves are a sacred place where Rastafarians who work in the city during the week come on the weekends. The path to these caves is quite difficult to find, contact the Green Corridor to arrange a tour to the caves, falls and surrounding area from R85 pp.

51. Zorbing Around

kids parties zorbing

Zorbing at Groovy Balls Adventure Park

Zorbing involves climbing into a large plastic ball and careening around a specially-designed course. At Groovyballs you and a friend can climb into a zorbing ball and roll around their three specially designed courses. One go costs R100 pp and R75 for the subsequent one. They mainly cater for corporate events and children’s parties. Both you and your kids will have a ridiculous amount of fun. Find them in Outerwest Durban. Call 084 330 3122.

52. Mfula Store

1
50 km out of Durban deep in the Valley of 1000 Hills, on the banks of the Umgeni River, is a traditional trading store. Mfula store was established in 1947. Though the store has passed into new hands it will continue to trade as it always has done, and will provide a mobile clinic and pension payout points. Mfula Store offers many adventure activities in the area including mountain biking, paddling and hiking. There is a beautiful picnic area nearby maintained by community leaders and a natural rock water slide. Call 082 784 3144.

53. PheZulu Safari Park

snake at phezulu safari park

Green mamba at Wikipedia Commons

35 km from central Durban in the Valley of 1000 hills you’ll find Phezulu Safari Park which offers game drives and a crocodile & snake park among many other activities. The 1 hour Game drive costs R225 for adults and R125 for children under 12. You’ll see blesbok, giraffe, impala, zebra and wildebeest. There is also a curio store and traditional Zulu village. Old Main Road, Bothas Hill. Call 031 777 1000.

54. Virginia Nature Reserve

coastal scrub Virginia Nature Reserve Durban

Image by Melancholy Mons

The Virginia Nature Reserve in Durban North provides a 38 hectare respite from the suburbs. It has winding paths of coastal scrub filled with Natal figs, hibiscus, grey duiker, spotted genet and dwarf mongooses. It’s great for bird watching. Give yourself 2 hours to ramble around. The reserve is open from 7am-4pm. Call 031 563 6777.

And lastly:

55. Umhlanga Pier the Most Beautiful Pier in the World

Umhlanga_Pier

Umhlanga Pier by  Durban Gov

CNN has crowned Umhlanga Pier the most beautiful pier in the world. The whale bone skeleton structure is striking and the favourite of sunset instagrammers, however the pier also performs an important function as an extension of an underground culvert that helps disperse excess storm water into the sea.

If you’re planning a weekend away in sultry Durban click here for accommodation ideas.
I love Durban News 24

Love Durban by Meruschka Govender

What do you love about Durbs? Share your favourite things to do in Durban in the comments below.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Awesome piece. Thanks for the mentions! #proudlyDurban

  2. James built the composite skeleton bones for the Umhlanga Pier in conjunction with the DUT !

    • With respect Sue, it is the most unpalatable monstrosity assaulting the view of Durban from the main beach….. from an ou Umhlanga Boy!

  3. I love absolutely everything about Durbs, always have & always will do. We are very blessed to live in such a beautiful city!

  4. Paradise valley is also a nature reserve with a water fall.Good place to spend the day

  5. Thank you for mentioning us! Please do note that our address has changed. We are now based at 15 Station Drive, in the Station Drive Precinct just off Umgeni Road. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Anna,

      Thanks for getting in touch and letting us know. This will be updated on our side shortly 🙂

  6. LOve the post as I love Durban. The beautiful weather! You forgot to mention’other markets such as the Iheart Market and the Farmers market in Hillcrest. Both very cool

    • Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for the added info 🙂

      Will be sure to check them both out when back in Durban. 🙂

      Always up for a nice stroll around a great market 🙂

  7. you sadly missing the magic of the Market precinct, 40 Gladys Mazibuko Rd, where Market restaurant, Shoppe and Kragdrag wield a strong local flavor.

    • Hi Yanni- good to know for when we do another Durban piece- thanks for the insider tip 🙂

  8. Thanks Travelstart. I love all of these choices. I have done most of them and looking forward to trying the rest.

  9. My favorite spot durban is at Beach Bums, they r located at 65 Casuarina, Westbrook, it is where I got married and still go there every weekend. It is a fun place to hang out and it’s right on the beach!

  10. Nice article but to be honest, some of it, a bit misleading. I wanna throw my honest 5c into the pot. You see, you don’t do an article on Miami and not ask the Hispanics where to go. Note, Indians don’t eat at Johnnies – that’s not real curry for most of us. It’s low quality, honest. The geatest Indian food to come out of Durban is crab curry – a true delicacy and unquestionably the tastiest food on any Indian’s list. Just ask some. Indians also don’t go to House of Curries because again it’s not real curry – no taste bro. Try spots like Bon Bon, Savera, Danny’s House of Curries, Orientals – now that’s real food – not tasteless stuff. Even Britannia and Hollywood doesn’t make this list. Don’t mislead tourists bro. Try again. Remember the English are used to tasty curry. The food you are recommending will get thrown out of most Indian households.

    • Hi Robbie,

      Thanks for the feedback we will be on the lookout for more awesome things to do in Durban soon! Always up for an awesome curry 😀 Crab curry, sounds amazing and worth a taste. Will be sure to make a pit stop next time in Durban.

    • This is an amazing list Robbie. Not that your suggestions should be excluded but I have lived in Durban all my life and I never realized that our city offered such wonderful attractions, eateries, clubs and pubs. This list of 55 things to do under R250 i.e. AWESOME ….. well done!!!!

  11. Also Impulse at Tinley Manor – magic Indian seafood stuff. U can get ur crab there.

  12. some items that should be in this list:
    -the famous Kara Nichas “special” sandwich (chips in bread toasted with sauce) – used to be R5… R7 now
    -visits to Durban’s oldest Temples (over 100 years): Durban Hindu Temple (Somtseu Road) & Shree Vaithanathar Eshwaraya Alayam (Umgeni Road) & Hare Krishna Temple in Chatsworth
    -visits to beautiful statues: Lord Muruga Statue at Stri Muruga Kovil (Phoenix) & Hanuman Statue at the Shri Vishnu Temple (Chatsworth)

  13. Wow I love this, thank u for showing a different side of Durban
    All I know is Night Clubs and the beach….

    • Yeah, it is awesome isn’t it Sibo.
      Our amazing city if Durban offers us all so much and we did not even realize it!!

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      We will be in contact with you via e-mail shortly with regards to your post.

      Thanks

    • Relax bru….take a chill pill…..

  14. You can also hire a SUP Board (stand up paddle board) from Expressions On The Beach, next to Marine Lifesaving. Absolute fun, awesome work out and a great way to get up close with the dolphins

    • Hi Alison,

      Thanks for the awesome tip! Will be sure to try it out next time in Durban.

      Must we a great feeling, being able to get up close with the dolphins 🙂

  15. dbn is the best place ,i want to die there. i love the f##c#n place,the only problem is salary from dbn compannies.

  16. Nice artical. Maybe do a lil reseaech before publishing it though. The D rex is not running and hasnt been for a long time. The skae park at wave house is pretty much dead, the part designed by tony hawk went a long tine ago and the kidney bowl is gone too.

    • Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for the feedback Ryan.

      I have passed this onto the relevant person who will update the Blog.

      Have a great day.

  17. I love Durban!

  18. Hi

    Did you see there is an Indoor Trampoline Park Opening In KZN September 2105

    It is called Jump4Joy Indoor Trampoline Park

    http://www.j4j.co.za

    They are based in Waterfall Next to Hillcrest

    • Hi Stan,

      Thanks for the extra info 🙂

      Sure looks like a whole lot of fun for kids

  19. Thank you for the amaaazing guide. I am literally getting out of bed NOW to go and explore these places. I see Durban is fun after all (Visiting from JHB)

    • Hi Tshepo,

      Thanks for the awesome feedback 🙂

      Yes there are some awesome and amazing places to visit around Durban 🙂

      Enjoy your time there 🙂

  20. The Roma is the only revolving restaurant in the Southern hemisphere??? What about The Ritz in Cape Town

    • The Ritz in Cape Town closed down this year. If you look at their website, they have a farewell message in place of the normal site.

  21. thanks

  22. Durban may have good weather…in winter, but in summer the humidity is awful. the beach is ok, but Cape Town has much nicer beaches, although the water is colder, ouch! The only nice thing about Durban is the beach, and even then, compared to other beaches around the world, it comes in a pitiful 5th place. Compared to Cape Town and Johannesburg, Durban is dead. There are only 3 major shopping centres in Umhlanga, Westville and Amanzimtoti, all basically the same. There is not much else to do, other than the beach, or you have to go inland to the midlands to find an escape.
    Durban is not bad, but it is not fantastic either.

    • You come on to a post aimed at what to do in Durban and say there is nothing to do in Durban? Really?
      Clearly the people reading this are interested in activities that are offered in Durban.
      Please take your cynical self somewhere else.

  23. What about Flag Animal Farm? I used to love going there as a child. Kids can ride ponies, and feed the goats, etc.

    And Thomson’s Beach in Salt Rock has the best natural tidal pool as well as a large man-made one.

    • Hi Chantz,

      Thanks for the extra info.

      Sounds like its the perfect spot to bring kids. Would be so much fun for the family.

  24. Cannot miss out on a trip to Blue Lagoon over the weekend! Awesome vibe with assured quality family time. Great to just relax with your braai, friends and family. Watch the fishermen and just enjoy the atmosphere.

  25. If you want some retail therapy head down to Mathews Meyiwa road near Florida Road and Moses Mabida. Lots of factory shops at good prices. Popular Durban picnic spots is the Blue Lagoon and Japanese gardens in Durban North. For the best Best prawn curry in the county it is Sea Belle Restaurant in La Mercy which is about an hour from Durban – closer to home – head to Sparks Road Overport for a loads of Indian food – butter chicken Naans chicken tikka etc

  26. kindly include The Stables flea market. opens Wed , Fri nights from 5 to 10 weather permitting and Sun during the day. An awesome experience of shopping and mini food stalls .

    • Hi Inka,

      Thanks for the info. Next time we write up on Fun things to do in Durban, we will be sure to add The Stables flea market in.

  27. Hey do you have an updated version of this blog please. Xmas soon so all of JHB will be there haha 🙂

    • Hi Emma,

      I’m afraid we don’t have an updated version. This was written 6 months ago, so fingers crossed most of them are still the same.

      Enjoy your time in Durban over the Christmas holidays 🙂

  28. Love this. This makes me want to head back to Durban ASAP! Such a helpful and informative guide for when I do get back. I’m dying to go to Durban.
    Thanks.
    Paul.
    http://www.travangelo.co.uk/

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the awesome feedback! Really puts a smile on our face knowing our fans enjoy your Blog!

      Yeah Dubs is a pretty awesome city so many awesome places to visit. I’m also looking for to my next visit.

  29. I love everything about Durban, all seasons of the year

    • Hi Kelebogile,

      Yes Durban is pretty awesome no matter what time of year one visits 🙂

  30. I don’t see the Shaka’s kraal on the list.

    • Hi Lesley,

      We will be sure to consider it when we right our next Blog on what do in Durban.

  31. Durban is Tops ! I am taking my in-laws for the second time down to Durbs with Mango.They just love the place infrastructure, transport ,wine and dine, sightseeing, shopping so much interesting people !

  32. i will recommend Durban to all my friends and family

    • Hi Tiny,

      Yes, Durban is a great city to visit. So many amazing places to visit.

  33. Also include Tala game reserve

  34. Question when are the shops in station drive open, want to buy some clothes, preferably local stuff, or any other suggestions for dress shopping, but not mainstream shops and shopping centres. Thanks

    • Hi Poppy,

      Its best you google which shops you would be interested and then give them a call. They would be able to give their opening hours.

      For local garments markets are always the best place to shop for this.

  35. The link of directios to inanda mountain is unfortunately incorrect. We travelled all the way following the directions on Google maps and ended up in the middle of a road that was pretty low down. A bit further and we were at the dam. Amazing place but pity we couldn’t find the top viewing spot

  36. Good day,

    we planning to visit Durban soon, can someone kindly recommend a reasonable photographer who does outdoor family photo shoot. We want family photos taken at the Durban Botanical gardens if possible. Thanks

    • Try Ocean Driven Media

  37. impressive.i will try to visit as much as the pocket can handle for my 7 day stay starting this sunday the 17th.will give feedback on above you advertised.

  38. I plan to visit durban december,help with places to visit,where we can enjoy with my partner

  39. Based on your informative blog, and being die-hard fans of Durbs, we tried some of your suggestions. Sad to say that they were not that impressive. Bike and Bean had the most dreadful service (they seemed totally disinterested in receiving paying customers). Afro’s Chicken also had shocker service, and the food was cold and blah. At Johnny’s Rotis the service was friendly and real and the food was well priced, but it is, by far, not the best Indian food I have tasted. Of the 3, we will return only to Johnny’s. Still need to try out Inanda Mountain and some of the others. Thank you.

    • Hi Rob,

      Sorry to hear that you did not have a great experience at all of the above mentioned but thanks for taking the time to send your feedback.

    • Recently returned to Durban from JHB and unfortunately SERVICE at most dining establishments is a SHOCKER – if you can overlook that you’ll be fine. Love this city but yeah we have a loooooong way to go when it comes to service.

  40. Having returned from abroad. I am now dating a dbn man n i want to be adventurous n this article has given me great perspective to see dbn tru ur eyes!! Love this article. Thank u for so many ideas. I look forward to many more pieces of urs!!

  41. This article make me so exiting to visit

  42. Awsem…….

  43. First and for most
    I love the weather
    love the setup.
    I love the food , mostly the Bunny Chow and Indian Curries
    I love the ever warm beaches
    Enjoys the ricksha rides

  44. Please edit or remove number 36. The price you are advertising for the horse riding is out dated. Price is now R350.

  45. Please note. #29 for freedom cafe is number 34 for the address, number 43 doesnt exits.

    • Hi Nolan,

      Thanks for the info, we will update this on the blog.

  46. How much can I spend for a week at Durban on a cheapest rate

    • Hi there,

      Flight prices depend on exact dates of travel and the routing.
      You welcome to search for flight prices directly on our website by clicking on: https://goo.gl/M6NGBB here you are able to view all the different airlines that operate a specific route to ensure that you choose the cheapest possible option when making your booking.

  47. I am going to Durban and i am more adventurous. Where are the best places to go. I love the national parks and i have seen hoarse ridding at the beach. I want something that is not in cape town.
    If you have something great wala me on 0763391097

    • Hi there,

      You welcome to read our blog or go to the Durban information tourism board. They should have quite a bit of information there and would be able to point you in the right direction.

      Enjoy your time in Durban.

  48. Thank you for this list… we are heading down in August and I can’t wait to explore and stretch my bucks. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  49. Love to visit all places :*

  50. what a great article!

  51. Awesome . Its really a helpfull bit of info u guys give us . Honestly we as locals have not probably visited all these places cause we so caught up with lyf. Durban has stacks of beautiful if not fun loving n exciting places to visit . We shud really be supportive of our local businesses n community upliftment projects . Afterall we as locals shud set a positive example for our future n also our worldwide visitors. A big thumbs up to your team for promoting our city . God bless.

  52. Hi. Excellent article on Things to do in Durban. Well done. Please could you make a correction to the insert on the Beer Hall in River Town. This is an eThekwini Municipality initiative which started with the activation and naming of the area during the UIA 2014 Durban Architecture Congress. Good to recognize great initiatives by the City!
    Thankyou

  53. Art Film Company closed down in Florida Road. There are many other cool spots, including Ike’s Books and Collectables at 48a Florida Road and their neighbours, Khaya records for vinyl lovers.

  54. Please note that there is a revolving restaurant in Sydney

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