Flights to Port Elizabeth land at Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ). The drive from the airport to the city centre is about 45 minutes. Home to some of the friendliest people in South Africa and a spectacular stretch of coastline, Port Elizabeth is a place of immense charm and beauty. You will encounter legendary animals, mesmerising landscapes, heart pumping adventure, and tons of quirky little attractions and experiences. Its wide variety of things to see and do make it a great holiday destination for families. It also happens to have a stunning collection of beaches and a blossoming food scene that will excite your senses. Port Elizabeth is a humble little coastal town that will make you want to linger longer and may just become your new favourite holiday town. If you are a South African citizen you will not need a visa to visit Port Elizabeth. Visitors from other countries will need a Visitor Visa.
For a small city there are a surprising number of things to do in Port Elizabeth. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find paradise in Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve and Cape Recife Nature Reserve. The reserves are just outside of Port Elizabeth and have some of the most gorgeous hiking trails and secrets beach spots overlooking the ocean. If you want to get up close to the iconic animals of Africa, Kragga Kamma Game Park and Addo Elephant Reserve are home to rhinos, cheetahs, and gentle African elephants. For a little dose of adrenalin, head to Happy Lands Farm to ride on Africa’s longest double zip line or slip into a wet suit and dive below the waves on a scuba diving trip. But if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the Summerstrand Boardwalk and Route 67 are superb ways to see the city. When its time to get a little grub, The Valley Market, Grass Roof Farm, and Stanley Street will satisfy any cravings you have. Afterwards, visit Bridge Street Brewery, Dockside Brewery, and Richmond Hill Brewing Co. to explore the exciting craft beer scene, or find artistic inspiration at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, artEC Community, and Underculture Contemporary Art Gallery. An art tour through the Motherwell township with Sakhumzi and Msindisi from Hand in Hand Visual Art Studio is an absolute must-do. And of course a trip to Port Elizabeth would not be complete without visiting the gorgeous beaches. King’s Beach, Hobie Beach, and Humewood Beach are the best beaches in Port Elizabeth.
Baywest Mall and Greenacres Shopping Centre are the main shopping centres in Port Elizabeth where you can find just about anything you need. If you are interested in visiting the more unique shops in Port Elizabeth, Wezandla Gallery & Craft Centre and Afritude are the best places to find African crafts and artisanal products, while the historical area of the city centre and parts of Uitenhage are hotspots for antique collectors. There is also Moffett on Main, a lifestyle centre made up of exclusive boutiques, distinct eateries, and elegant décor stores, and Bridge Shopping and Entertainment Centre, a hub of cinemas, arcade games, fashion boutiques, and restaurants. For entertainment and nightlife in Port Elizabeth, the Opera House hosts regular productions and performances if you enjoy theatre and there are a number of great spots throughout the city that have live music in the evenings. The Music Kitchen, Beer Yard, Beer Shack, and Unplugged Backyard Hangout are some of the best bars in Port Elizabeth.
The transport system in Port Elizabeth is quite reliable, efficient, and inexpensive. It includes buses, taxis, and a rail system and is a good choice if you are planning to stay within the city. Metered taxis and Uber are also available throughout the city, and there are a few car rental agencies if you want to rent a car. A rental car is the best option if you are planning to visit Addo Elephant Park and Shamwari Private Game Reserve.
There is something for every type of traveller and budget. Accommodation in Port Elizabeth is mostly concentrated around the central city and surrounding areas of Walmer, Newton Park, and Summerstrand. The 5 and 4-star hotels in Port Elizabeth and seaside resorts are dotted along the coast with a few holiday apartments in between. Head away from the ocean and you will find many lovely mid-range guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering apartments.
Flights to Port Elizabeth are available from most cities in South Africa. Direct flights to Port Elizabeth are available from the major cities, such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. The main domestic airlines flying to Port Elizabeth are Mango, FlySafair, and Comair. International flights to Port Elizabeth usually have connecting flights and are available on most international airlines.
For a peak into the culture of Port Elizabeth, a Real City Tour, Shebeen Tour, and Untold Stories tour offered by Calabash Tours will show you the heart and soul of the city and give you a chance to experience a side of Port Elizabeth few people get to see. Baakens Food Truck Funday is a celebration of food and friends. It is a community-based event that brings everyone one from old folk and families to teens and twenty-somethings together for a day of street food, craft brews, and great music. Visit the only Big 7 reserve in South Africa, Addo National Park. It includes areas of Algoa Bay, which gives you a unique chance to encounter the Big 7: African elephants, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhino, lions, great white sharks, and the Southern right whale.