If you want to visit a city in South Africa with beautiful beaches, warm weather, and plenty of things to learn about the history and culture, Durban is the place for you!
Durban is the third-largest South African city and a popular tourist destination. People love going there because of the great surfing beaches, nice weather, and good infrastructure. Discover Durban’s rich history by visiting the markets of different cultures, like the Zulu and Indian markets.
You can also see other historically significant sites in the city. While you’re there, take a walk through the parks by the water and enjoy some delicious Indian food.
In this guide, you will find some of the best things to do in Durban.
Durban has it all whether you’re looking for the best beaches in Durban, things to do with kids, or things to do in Durban for free, at night or with the family. We’ll also provide you with an inside look at the top attractions, upcoming tours, events, and activities.
Planning a trip to Durban? Looking for things to do? Check out some of our latest deals:
30 Things to do in Durban
Durban is a city that has many amazing features, including its natural beauty, culture, and variety, as well as some awesome cities like Umhlanga, Ballito, Richards Bay and Umdloti. The main attractions listed below are some of the city’s best and most well-known places. They show off the beauty of Durban, its history, and its culture. You should make sure to visit each of these places if you want to see everything Durban has to offer.
Insider tip: Your trip isn’t complete until you see these places.
1. uShaka Marine World
On April 30, 2004, the world-class uShaka Marine World opened to the public. uShaka is a world of entertainment with excitement, fun, and uniqueness. It is quickly becoming a significant attraction on Durban’s Golden Mile. There is always something to do at uShaka Marine World, from daytime activities at Sea World, Wet ‘n Wild, and uShaka Beach to nighttime Village Walk celebrations. Check out our things to do at uShaka Marine world page for more.
Operating Times: Weekly from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Address: 1 King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban, 4001
2. Durban Botanic Gardens
The Durban Botanic Gardens is situated in the heart of Berea. It is a national and local city asset that was established in 1894. The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust was founded in 1993 to support plant conservation and education based on plants. The gardens offer guided tours, picnics, and gourmet restaurants. Entrance is free, but donations are welcomed.
Address: 9A John Zikhali Rd, Berea, Durban, 4001
3. uShaka Sea World
uShaka Sea World is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Durban, South Africa. The complex includes an aquarium, a water park, and a themed hotel. Visitors can see various marine life, including sharks, dolphins, and penguins. uShaka Sea World is also home to the largest shipwreck in the world. This shipwreck is the centrepiece of the aquarium. In addition to its many attractions, uShaka Sea World is also involved in research and conservation efforts to protect marine life. As a result, it is a great place for people to learn about and appreciate the wonders of the ocean.
Address: 1 King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban, 4001
4. Umgeni River Bird Park
The Umgeni River Bird Park was designed and built by Dr Alan Abrey. When Alan was a kid, he remembered going to an old quarry site where water used to be.
This is where he got the idea for the bird park. There was an official opening ceremony for the Umgeni River Bird Park in April 1984 by Durban’s then mayor, Councillor Sybil Hotz.
You can find over 800 birds at the bird park, from 200 different species. The bird park spans 3.5 acres and has a variety of animals, some of which are found only in Africa and others that are kept as household pets.
Cost: Adults R70, Children R46, Pensioners R39
Address: Riverside Rd, Durban North, Durban, 4051
5. Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment
The Suncoast Casino, Hotels, and Entertainment complex is located at the northern end of Durban’s Golden Mile. This complex is a major entertainment destination with many restaurants, a beach bar, a movie theatre, and a semi-private beach.
The resort is regarded as one of the top three beaches in South Africa. In addition, there is a massive casino facility at Suncoast which is the largest in South Africa.
Numerous recreational cyclists use the casino as a starting point for their trips up North Coast, including the Tour de Nandos bike race in September and the Amashovashova National Classic in October.
Address: Suncoast Boulevard, O R Tambo Parade, Durban, 4056
6. Mitchell Park Zoo
The Morningside neighbourhood of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is home to the Mitchell Park Zoo. The zoo started as an ostrich farm in 1910. But over time, it became a place with many animals, including an Indian elephant named Nellie that was donated in 1928. She could blow a mouth organ and use her feet to break open coconuts.
Address: 10 Ferndale Rd, Morningside, Durban, 4001
Fun Things to do in Durban
7. Durban Natural Science Museum
You can learn a lot about nature at the Durban Natural Science Museum. The museum has many different kinds of displays, such as stuffed insects, birds, fish, and reptiles that used to live on Earth. In the Hall of Earth Sciences Gallery, you can also see the real Egyptian mummy Peter Amen and learn about Africa’s history through modern displays. This museum shares information through interesting visual displays that help keep nature’s history alive. Kids can also learn a lot about the world around them at the museum. The museum has many different kinds of displays, such as stuffed insects, birds, fish, and reptiles that used to live on Earth.
Address: 1, City Hall, 234 Smith St, Durban Central, Durban, 4000
8. Mini Town
One of Durban’s most popular attractions is Mini Town. This attraction gives you a decent impression of some of the city’s monuments. You can also see models of some of Durban’s most noteworthy structures. The airport with planes and the rail system, which is constantly in use, are two of the most well-liked aspects of Mini Town. A tug and ship are seen sailing around the harbour in the harbour scene. Both young and elderly people can learn intriguing things about Durban by visiting Mini Town. You can see things from a position that is impossible to grasp when you are simply walking around the city because the buildings are just above knee height.
Address: 114 Snell Parade, North Beach, Durban, 4001
9. Kwa Muhle Museum
Kwa Muhle Museum was once the headquarters of the city’s Native Administration Department of labour control. It has a unique architectural style that was designed to help people looking for work in the city. The museum documents Durban’s urban growth and the history of its residents. It is one of four museums in Durban that tell the story of the city’s past. The other three are the Old House Museum, the Port Natal Maritime Museum, and the Old Court House Museum.
Address: 130 Bram Fischer Rd, Durban Central, Durban, 4001
10. Paradise Valley
The Umbilo Waterworks is one of Pinetown’s two national monuments. It is located on 100 hectares of coastal and remnant grassland in the Paradise Valley Nature Reserve. All four paths in the reserve begin at the Interpretive Centre and wind their way down via the picnic area. It takes about 20 minutes to go to the waterfall and another half hour to get back. Cross the lovely old wooden bridge at the picnic area’s base and follow the blue path markers. Keep left on the Waterfall trail when the route splits on the other side of
Address: 10 Oxford Rd, Pinetown, Durban, 3610
11. Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Moses Mabhida Stadium was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The stadium is now used for a number of events, including bungee jumping, concerts, cricket, football, golf practice, motorsports, and rugby games.
You can explore the stadium with an Adventure Walk or take a Segway Gliding tour. If you want to see Durban from a different perspective, you can go on the SkyCar and Viewing Platform.
Address: Moses Mabhida Stadium, 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban, 4023
12. Valley of A 1000 Hills
The Valley of 1000 Hills is located between Durban and the provincial capital, Pietermaritzburg. This region is known for its unparalleled beauty, featuring the Umgeni and Msunduzi rivers meeting at its heart. The Umgeni River flows continuously from the massive Drakensberg to the balmy seas of the Indian Ocean.
Address: 47 Old Main Rd, Bothas Hill, Durban, 3610
Where to Stay and Places to visit in Durban
As the third largest city in South Africa, there is no shortage of good hotels and accommodations in Durban. Whether you are looking for something family-friendly, romantic, or luxurious, you are guaranteed to find something that will suit your every need whilst visiting Durban.
The Golden Mile is a great place to visit because of its idyllic beaches and views. There are also lots of attractions and activities in the area that the whole family can enjoy. For luxury and security, stay in Umhlanga. It’s located in the northern part of Durban, and it’s far from the city centre. Umhlanga Beach is one of the most upscale areas in Durban and it’s very secure. Additionally, King Shaka International Airport is only ten minutes away. Check out some awesome things to do in Durban North.
Insider tip: The beaches are warm and perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
The Gateway Theater of Shopping, one of the 50 largest shopping complexes in the world, is located at the centre of Umhlanga and is home to a wide variety of excellent malls. People who enjoy diving, hiking, picnics, and elegant getaways also frequent the area.
The Umhlanga Coast on the Indian Ocean has warm waters and long, sandy beaches that are great for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Some famous beaches on the Umhlanga Coast include Umhlanga Beach, Bronze Beach, the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, and the tidal pool at Umdloti Beach.
For a more laidback stay, consider accommodation in Morningside. This hip area of Durban is known for its famous Florida Road street and is situated in the ideal location between a suburban area and the sea. More than two kilometres of restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, art galleries, and unique little stores line this tree-lined street, which features restored Victorian and Edwardian structures.
Hotels and other places to stay can be found all over Durban, but if you want to stay somewhere quiet, full of art, and with good food, stay in Glenwood. Around the street are many art galleries, making this area a sight to see. It also gives an interesting look at well-known restaurants serving food worldwide.
People who like being outside, taking walks, and having picnics go to many of its parks. There are a lot of hotels in Glenwood, making it easy to see everything this beautiful area has to offer. Book your stay today so you can take advantage of everything Durban has to offer.
13. Get beautiful views at Riverbend Berg Lodge
Welcome to the best place to stay in Bergville for a holiday! This large self-catering home can fit up to 18 people and is perfect for a trip with friends and family.
The house has seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a living room so you can cook for yourself. The minimum stay is two nights over weekends. Come chill out and make yourself at home in this beautiful place.
Address: 14 Riverbend Road, Bergville
Deals: Check out our latest Riverbend Berg Lodge Deal.
14. A Blend of Nature at the Romantic Chantilly Resort
Get away with your loved one to KwaZulu-Natal for a romantic trip. This self-catering B&B has beautiful chalets where you can stay in privacy. Imagine waking up to the quiet sounds of nature and having a cup of coffee with someone special on your private patio.
The chalets have comfortable queen-sized beds and everything else you need for a restful and rejuvenating stay. The minimum stay is two nights over weekends. You and your partner deserve this beautiful trip.
Address: Chantilly Resort, Portion 117 of 10 Chantilly Farm Mandini Durban
Deals: Check out our latest Chantilly Resort Deal.
Places to eat and Restaurants in Durban
Famous for its bunny-chow, you are in for a treat when it comes to good food in Durban! Due to its rich cultural history and international influences, there is an amalgamation of cuisines, specifically Indian and Zulu cuisines.
Exquisite Indian and Zulu eateries can be found all around Durban and each of them offers something unique. This is not to say that Durban lacks in European cuisine! On the contrary, you can find the very best Italian and Mediterranean foods.
Whether you are looking for a night of fine dining, something sweet, or quick and easy whilst strolling the Golden Mile, Durban has it all. Here are some of the best eateries Durban has to offer.
15. 9th Ave Waterside
Looking for a fine dining restaurant in Durban with a view of the harbour? Then be sure to check out 9th Avenue Waterside. The kitchen at 9th Avenue Waterside is best known for its flavourful, locally sourced seasonal cuisine that is prepared with care and attention to detail. If you want to reserve the restaurant for a private event, it offers a function-tasting menu as well as an à la carte menu for guests.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 11 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
Their service options: Sit-in and Takeaway
Rating (Google reviews): 4.6
Contact: 031 940 4628
Address: 2 Maritime Pl, Harbour, Durban, 4001
16. Bel Punto
Italian cuisine is among the most popular in the world. People enjoy the rich flavours and variety of dishes available. If you’re craving Italian cuisine, there’s no better place to go than Bel Punto in South Beach. This authentic Italian restaurant serves delicious meals and has sweeping views of the sea.
They have large and comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. Oysters, calamari, steamed mussels, prawn skewers, butternut cappuccino (butternut soup with a lovely chive froth), stuffed cherry tomatoes, and grilled snails are among the starters at this seafood restaurant.
Grilled and wood-fired quail, stuffed calamari, grilled baby chicken, beef fillet prepared in a variety of ways, and roasted crayfish are among the main course options.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 5 pm – 11 pm
Their service options: Sit-in and Takeaway
Rating (Google reviews): 4.5
Contact: 031 568 2407
Address: Umdloti Centre, 1 S Beach Rd, Umdloti Beach, Umdloti, 4350
17. The Waffle House Durban
What would waffles be without syrup and whipped cream? The Waffle House in Durban has a range of waffles with delicious toppings to sink your teeth into. They have waffles with chocolate mousse, lemon meringue, and banoffee. There’s something for everyone! And if you’re not in the mood for sweet, they also have savoury waffles like the bacon and cheddar waffle or the chicken and waffles. No matter what you’re craving, The Waffle House has got you covered. So come on down and enjoy a waffle (or two)! You won’t regret it.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm
Their service options: Sit-in and Takeaway
Rating (Google reviews): 4.5
Contact: 039 314 9424
Address: Lot 839 Marine Dr, Ramsgate, Margate, 4285
Insider tip: Check out the 20 best Restaurants in Umhlanga.
Things to Do in Durban With Kids
One of the top vacation destinations in South Africa is Durban because it offers so much for families. There are several beautiful reserves to choose from, as well as lovely sandy beaches. The sun rises early in the summer, giving you more time to spend having fun with your kids.
There are plenty of fun things to do with the family in Durban. You’ll be able to keep your kids entertained with everything from obstacle courses to museums, art exhibits, aquariums, and other outdoor adventures. Here are a few things you can do with the kids in Durban:
18. Sugar Rush Park
There’s no need to spend a fortune on entertainment when you have Sugar Rush Park in Ballito! This is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with the family, as there is something for everyone to enjoy. Adults can get their adrenaline fix with mountain biking or trampolining, while kids can let loose on the putt-putt course or the Sugar Rush Express train. laser tag is also a popular activity, and it’s great for burning off some energy. If you’re looking for something a bit more calm and relaxed, there are also arts and crafts available. So whatever your mood, you’re sure to find something to do at Sugar Rush Park!
19. The Port Natal Museum
The Port Natal Museum lets you explore different parts of a ship. You can see what it’s like to be on a ship that is storming and learn about the different parts of the ship. There is an exhibition hall with different things to see and learn about including items from the ocean. You can also learn how to use communication and navigation tools from long ago.
20. Reptile Park at Phezulu Safari Park
Looking for things to do in Durban with kids? Then be sure to check out the PheZulu Reptile Park! Home to crocodiles, snakes, and tortoises, the park is a great place to learn about these amazing creatures. The guides offer tours every hour, so you can really get up close and personal with the reptiles. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even hold one of the snakes! So if you’re looking for some fun things to do in Durban with kids, be sure to add the PheZulu Reptile Park to your list.
21. Galleria Ice Rink
Galleria Mall is one of the things to do in Durban with kids. This is because the Galleria Mall replaced its old skating rink with a new REAL ICE rink in December 2010. The whole family can be entertained because there are different styles of skating, like figure skating and speed skating. Speed skaters can skate around the outer ring of the rink while figure skaters can try out their tricks in the middle. There is also a snack bar where you can buy food and drinks.
22. Imax Theatre at the Gateway Shopping Centre
Looking for things to do in Durban with kids? Why not take them to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster at your local IMAX theatre? With its state-of-the-art audio and visual features, IMAX is the ultimate way to experience the latest blockbusters. And with a wide range of movies to choose from, there’s something for everyone at IMAX. So next time you’re looking for things to do in Durban with kids, make sure you check out your local IMAX theatre. You and your kids will be glad you did!
23. Segway Gliding Tours (Moses Mabhida)
Now is your chance if you’ve ever wanted to experience the thrill of riding a Segway. Head on over to Moses Mabhida Stadium and sign up for a session. You’ll learn how to transfer your weight so that the Segway moves smoothly in the direction you want it to go. And best of all, you’ll get to enjoy the ride of a lifetime. Learn how to ride a Segway today.
24. Flag Animal Farm
Looking for things to do in Durban with kids? Why not pay a visit to Flag Animal Farm! This farm is home to more than a thousand animals, from birds and reptiles to mammals. This farm is so special because almost 80% of the animals were once in difficult situations. But thanks to the care and attention of the Flag Animal Farm staff, they have found a loving home.
If you’re looking for things to do in Durban with kids, then a trip to Flag Animal Farm is a must! Not only will you get to see some adorable animals, but you’ll also be supporting a great cause. So why not head on down and spend some time with your family at this one-of-a-kind farm!
25. Hillcrest Paintball
Paintball is a great activity for kids of all ages. It’s a fun way to spend a day outdoors and a great way to bond with friends and family. And what better place to have a paintball event than at Hillcrest Paintball in Botha’s Hill? There are many different fields to play on, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. And if you’re looking for a place to have a paintball party or team-building exercise, this is the place for you. So come on down to Hillcrest Paintball and have some fun!
Fun Things to Do in Durban for Couples
Durban is a popular destination for couples due to its many romantic activities and attractions. A leisurely stroll along the beach is a great way to spend time with your partner, and the beautiful views make it even more special. Watching the sunset is another popular activity for couples in Durban.
There are also plenty of parks and gardens to explore if you and your partner enjoy spending time outdoors. And, of course, no visit to Durban would be complete without indulging in some delicious local cuisine. Ballito is a great place to find restaurants that offer a romantic setting and delicious food. Whether you are looking for romance, adventure, or simply relaxation, Durban has something to offer every couple.
Romantic Things To Do In Durban For Couples Include:
26. Take a romantic gondola ride with Zulumoon Gondolas!
Looking for something fun and unique to do in Durban? Why not take a ride on a Zulumoon Gondola? These boats offer a great way to explore the picturesque Point Waterfront Canal, and riding in one will make you feel like you’re in Venice! You can relax, take in the magnificent bridges and lights, and even check out some of the great deals on Zulumoon Gondolas available on Daddy’s Deals.
27. Take a quick drive to Umzumbe for 2 hours of horseback riding on a scenic trail!
Looking for adventure things to do in Durban? Then look no further than the Gold Reef Equitation Centre! Situated in the idyllic countryside of the small town of Umzumbe, the Centre offers riders gorgeous routes and adventures tailored to their experience level. Get ready to be amazed by little native forests, rivers, and sugar cane and banana plantations! What better way to take in the South Coast’s natural beauty than riding a horse with your partner? Along the way, there will also be fantastic photo opportunities. Grab this deal now! Grab this deal now!
28. Treat your partner to some spa spoils!
Things to do in Durban for couples: A full-body massage is a fantastic way to spend some quality time together. It’s beneficial for both of you physically and mentally, and it’s a great way to relax and unwind. For this, we recommend Ambrosia Wellness Spa!
They’re currently offering a Swedish massage with an Amaryllis scent, which is perfect for couples looking to add a little romance to their massage. Plus, it’s an amazing deal that you can’t afford to miss! So if you’re looking for things to do in Durban for couples, be sure to check out Ambrosia Wellness Spa. You won’t be disappointed!
29. For an artsy date, paint pottery!
The pottery is the perfect place for Things To Do In Durban For Couples who are looking to get creative and have some fun. You can choose from a variety of pottery items to paint, and there is a wide selection of paints and brushes to choose from. The pottery also has a menu of wholesome food, so you can snack as you paint. The pottery is a great way to spend some time together and express your creativity.
30. Be adventurous and go snorkelling!
This is a fun way to spend time with someone you like. Tidal Tao will give you and your favorite person the chance to snorkel for 2 hours. You will be able to learn how to use the gear correctly and see a lot of fish and coral. This session will take place on the Dolphin Coast which is perfect for beginners!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Durban
What was Durban formerly known as?
It was formerly known as Port Natal
Who is Durban named after?
On 23 June 1835 Port Natal was renamed Durban in honour of Sir Benjamin D’Urban, governor of the Cape Colony from 1834 – 37.
How would you describe Durban?
It is the largest city in the KwaZulu-Natal Province and one of the country’s main seaside resort cities with excellent beaches and a distinctive tropical climate.