Basking on the sandy beaches of Durban’s Golden Mile, soaking up the sun to the hypnotic rhythms of the waves is what most people expect from their visit to Durban. After all, it’s what Durban is famous for. But a pleasant surprise awaits when you tear yourself away from your luxurious hotel resort to explore and experience the urban side of Durban.
Step out into the colorful sunlit streets and soak up the sounds of a city at work and play. A stroll down the beachfront promenade with its joggers and trendy coffee shops sets you up for some serious retail therapy: Durban’s famous malls are a shopaholics paradise. The Musgrave Centre lures lovers of limited edition fashion; the Workshop Shopping Centre has an exciting mix of African, Indian, and European stores; La Lucia Mall boasts exclusive elite shopping. And then there’s Durban’s big three: The Pavilion has 230 of the funkiest stores around; the Galleria combines retail giants with exclusive boutiques; and then there’s Gateway—Durban’s mega mall where world-class shopping meets urban entertainment. Four-hundred stores, arcades, bowling, an Imax cinema, climbing wall, wave pool, 4×4 adventure course, and a skate park designed by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk— it all adds up to the ultimate urban cool.
Lunchtime means al fresco dining Durban style. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on the seafront or a snack in a street-side cafe. Alternatively grab a traditional bunny chow for great food on the go. In the afternoon you could pamper yourself in a luxury spa or head over to the Bat Centre to watch local artisans create original objets d’art and perhaps pick up a unique gift. Durban has a growing reputation for world-class design so indulge yourself by browsing our many boutique stores, or visit the vibrant township markets for a splash of colorful culture. A harbor cruise is a great way to see the city’s impressive skyline or simply while away the afternoon enjoying harbor views from one of Wilsons Wharf’s waterside restaurants.
For sundowners the beachfront bars beckon with hip music and cooling sea breezes. With the clink of ice and rhythmic rattle of the shaker, Joe Cool’s serves up unique Durbs cocktails, while on Ushaka Pier Moyo’s 360-degree beachfront, views come with surround-sound sea! At Wilson’s Wharf your drinks are served to the sights and sounds of this trendy marina, or head up to Gino’s Sky Bar to see the sun go down from the 33rd floor. You could then slip downstairs for a unique panoramic dining experience in the fashionable Roma revolving restaurant.
Indeed fine dining in Durban means being spoiled for choice. Whether you want hushed sophistication, cheerful chatter, or vibrant live music with your meal we’ve many award-winning restaurants and a full range of international cuisine to choose from—all accompanied by as fine a selection of wines as you could wish for. Of course, seafood is our specialty and you can expect to taste some of the world’s best prawns and calamari—but be sure to try a traditional Indian curry too.
Durban’s nightlife has something for everyone and lets you throw caution to the wind as you party along to our laid-back vibe. The applause erupting from our theaters could be for anything from world-class opera to riotous comedy or quirky cabaret. The chink of the chips at both the Suncoast Casino and Sibaya Casino means more than luck at the gaming tables with seriously stylish bars, restaurants, nightclubs, music, and shows all under one roof. Whatever beat you dance to we have live music and clubbing for every groove along with plenty of sophisticated bars for a quiet drink in good company. Florida Road attracts the young and trendy; Marine Parade has everything from cosmopolitan cocktail lounges to fun sports pubs; and the city’s eclectic mix of nightclubs will carry you through until the pull of a final nightcap rounds off your day of exploring urban Durban.