Flights to Durban land at King Shaka International Airport (DUR). The drive from the airport to the city centre is about 30 minutes. Durban is the golden child of South Africa with its sunny beaches and easygoing seaside charm. On the East Coast of Africa, it brings together tropical weather and the senses. Beaches, warm days, delicious fresh seafood, and good times are what Durban is all about. If you love the ocean, Durban is also one of the best places in South Africa for surfing, scuba diving, and snorkelling. It is a city you can’t help but relax into, which is everything you should be getting out of a holiday near the beach. South Africans do not need a visa to visit Durban, but visitors from abroad might need a Visitor Visa.
Durban is a fun place to be if you enjoy good food, great music (it has it’s own music called Gqom, which is South African electro), sunshine, and a whole lot of taking it easy. The beach side rhythm of Durban is undeniable and extremely difficult to resist when you have salt in your hair and the sun on your shoulders. Golden Mile is a stretch of sandy coastline that is the lifeline of the city. Surfers, families, lovers, dogs – it is where locals and visitors go to feel the bustle of the city and enjoy the good weather. Venture into the city and you will find some of the best seafood and soul food in South Africa. Be sure to try a bunny chow and stop by Johnny’s Rotis, home of South Africa’s Largest Roti. Durban Botanic Gardens, Umgeni River Bird Park, and Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve will show you the tropical beauty of Durban and Kwa Muhle Museum will show you its history. Durban City Hall and the Durban Natural Science Museum boast beautiful architecture and Zulumoon Gondolas will take you on a gondola ride through the city’s canals. But really, it is Durban’s beaches that will keep you coming back: North Beach and Addington Beach are where you should be spending your time while on holiday in Durban.
Shopping in Durban is a mix of places like uShaka Village Walk, a favourite for buying trinkets and treasures, Pavilion Shopping Mall for fashion Boutiques and everything in between, and places like the Spice Emporium and Victoria Street Market, a feast for the senses. When the sun goes down, the Rivertown Beerhall is a Durban classic where you can listen to live music in a historical space, while the go to spot for evening wine and seafood is Wilson’s Wharf, and a sunset catamaran ride or cocktail at Wahooz is not a bad way to spend an evening in this beach city. Montecasino and Florida Road are the best spots for ambient dinners and moonlit sidwalk strolls.
The transport in Durban is quite limited, but easy enough to master. Renting is the best option if you want to be able to get around easily and have all the freedom in the world to explore and enjoy your time in this golden city. Metered taxis and Uber are also easy and reliable options.
Whether you want lush and luxurious or low-key and budget friendly, the accommodation in Durban is bountiful. If you are looking for beach hotels in Durban, Umhlanga, Ballito, and Margate offer up fabulous hotels and stylish sea sprayed houses, while the city centre offers everything else and a spattering of backpackers and simple inns and hotels.
Getting to Durban from another city in South Africa is relatively easy. Direct flights to Durban are available from certain cities, while connecting flights to Durban are available from most cities in South Africa. FlySafair and Mango are two popular domestic airlines that fly to Durban. International flights to Durban usually have a connecting flight in Johannesburg.
The Chairman is a live jazz lounge where speakeasy grit and old school grandeur meet cosmopolitan style. It is plush, textured, and the best place in Durban to listen to dreamy jazz and enjoy a sophisticated night out. Indulge in masala pineapple at the Spice Emporium. This snack is a favourite in Durban and brings together the sweet, tropical tang of pineapple with the spicy, sometimes hot, flavour of Durban spices. It is as unique as the city and a must-try. If you happen to be in town on a Thursday evening, head to Station Drive Precinct, an urban renewal and creative district. The area becomes a hotbed of art and music every first Thursday of the month for First Thursdays.