You can fill your day with tons of activities, or laze around on the beach all day, and both will be equally satisfying. Check this blog or the Lets Do This Durban Instagram Page for ideas and up to date recommendations for the city. Some of the most popular things to do are mentioned below.
1. Frolic in the beach.
From the sandy beaches at North Beach, to the pebbled beaches of Umhlanga, the gorgeous rocky pools of Ballito and the quiet beaches at Margate, there are miles of beaches to enjoy, all with their own character. While Ballito is the most scenic, our favourite is North Beach, as it is always buzzing with activity and swimming in the waves makes for a great workout.
2. Enjoy the boardwalk at North Beach.
In preparation for the 2010 World Cup, the entire promenade was revamped, and it now resembles world class beachfronts like those in Miami or Los Angeles. Stroll around, enjoy the kiddies rides at the amusement park, rent a bicycle, venture into the skate park, or walk to Moses Mabhida Stadium. Lined with restaurants, both halaal and not, you’ll be spoilt for choice. See our guide to halaal food in Durban here.
3. Visit UShaka Marine World
UShaka has a lovely aquarium and a water park with slides for a fun day out. There are also shops and restaurants that are accessible even if you aren’t visiting the aquarium or water park. You can snorkel or swim with sharks, and just outside there are operators that can arrange for scuba diving excursions and certifications. There are also often live traditional dances and other performances in the open square, and it is a nice lively place to pass some time.
4. Conquer Moses Mabhida Stadium
Built for the 2010 World Cup, it is now an iconic part of the Durban skyline. Try and watch a live football match or go for a stadium tour to see the inner workings of this unique structure. If you’re the active type, there’s an on-site Virgin Classic gym, a place to rent bicycles, and a couple of restaurants, including the halaal Ninos Café. There’s a nice open space where kids can play on scooters or bikes, and the atmosphere is always lively. There’s also a museum with rotating exhibitions, and a sporting goods store as well. But the most fun is to be had by climbing up the stairs of the arch to get a breathtaking view of the city and its cerulean sea. Once at the top, you can opt to ride the big swing and get dangled over the centre of the football pitch or make your way calmly back down. For the less adventurous, there is also the option of taking the lift up to the top to witness the view without having to expend any extra effort.
5. Explore the city.
Durban has such a rich history, with elements of Indian and Zulu cultures melding in weird and wonderful ways. Take a drive or walk through the city, wander around its little markets and dinghy arcades, spice shops and little cafes. Stop to chat to colourful characters and get to know the city as only the locals do.
While the halaal scene in Joburg is comprised of mostly chain restaurants and pop-ups, Durban is full to the bursting with halaal options, and we struggle to eat our way through the city at every visit. With new options springing up all the time, there’s always something new to try. See here for our food recommendations.
7. Shop till you drop
With factory shops lining the streets off Sandile Thusi (Argyle) Road, there are tons of bargains to be found. It’s no surprise that most of the brands on offer focus on beachwear such as Lizzard and Billabong on Mathews Meyiwa Road, and it’s a good place to stock up on essentials. Ninian and Lester on Umgeni Road offers tons of Jockey products at terrific discounts, and nearby Florida Road is a good place to stop for food to fuel your expedition. When it comes to malls, Gateway in Umhlanga is the most popular one and has the best variety of shops. There’s also the Sunday flea market just off north beach, and a myriad of stores around the city that specialise in Eastern items, spices, and fabrics.