11 Things to Do in Durban for Under R200
Are you planning a trip to Durban this winter season? This city is a great destination every season of the year, with balmy weather year-round and warm ocean waters perfect for all kinds of activities. Durban is an economical city to visit, with a wide range of affordable accommodation available for budget travellers and a diversity of cultures ready to welcome and embrace visitors, year round.
Cheap domestic flights to Durban are also easy to come by and available every day of the week. Here’s where you can compare the best prices and book your flights right now.
When you arrive you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Durban that suit your budget either. All prices are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change. International visitors can compare prices in the currency of your choice here.
Get more out of your stay in Durban with our list of things to do in Durban for under R200.
1. Suncoast Casino
Gorgeous Suncoast Casino makes the most of Durban’s art-deco inspired design trends in its façade. Inside though it’s all mod cons, bells and whistles with buzzing slot machines, card tables and other diversions for fun seekers.
The entertainment centre is located on a private beach near Moses Mabhida Stadium and offers a state-of-the-art movie theatre where you can catch the latest shows in 2- or 3-D. Children can while away the hours at the Fun Factory or you can enjoy a family meal with sea views at a range of eateries in the main building. Relax on the sundeck or private beach or take a stroll along the boardwalk, whether you want non-stop action or a break from the buzz, it all starts at Suncoast casino.
This venue regularly hosts live shows, auctions and launches and is the place to be on the Durban Beachfront most days of the year.
Entry to the complex is free and parking is charged per hour.
Movies – 2-D = R65 per person, 3-D R75 per person
Click here for the latest prices and to book online.
Special Offers: R30 off all movie tickets on Budget Tuesdays
Opening Times: 24-hours
Address: Suncoast Boulevard, Marine Parade, Durban
2. Kwa-Zulu Natal Sharks Board
Visit the Sharks Board for a fascinating insight into the work that these people do to keep bathers safe in KZN waters. You’ll also learn more about these perplexing predators and why we should conserve rather than fear them.
Children love the audio-visual presentations about shark conservation as well as the shark dissections which take place daily in the name of research. The onsite Shark Museum showcases a collection of items collected through the years as well as the history of the Sharks Board and the work they do. Inside you’ll find life-size displays of huge sharks and other fascinating marine mammals.
A trip to the curio shop reveals hand crafted ornaments, leather goods, T-Shirts, and jewellery as well as a selection of shark teeth for sale.
For those who don’t mind going a little over budget, you can join the Sharks Board Team on an early morning recce to check the shark nets. The trip reveals glorious early morning views of the coast line and takes about 2 hours.
Cost: Shows : 0-3 Years : free, 4-12 years: R30, 13 years and older : R50, Pensioners: R30
Click here for the latest prices and to book online
Audio-Visual Shows and Shark Dissections
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 09h00 and 14h00
First Sunday of the month: 14h00 (subject to change)
Museum and Curio Shop
Monday to Friday: 08h00 to 16h00. Every 1st Sunday of the month: 13h00- 16h00
Address: 1A Herrwood Drive, Umhlanga
3. Spend A Day at the Races
Greyville Racecourse has become synonymous with the Durban July horse race which is one of South Africa’s biggest and most prestigious turf events. You don’t need to fight the crowds on July day to enjoy the excitement of a day at the races though.
There’s racing on at Greyville at least once a week during the week and on some Saturdays too. The Friday Night Racing events are a novel way to have a flutter on the horses with entertainment, picnic areas, food outlets and a festive atmosphere to enjoy. There’s a nightclub on site for those who want to party the night away afterwards.
If there’s no racing on, golfing enthusiasts can play a round at the Royal Durban Golf Course, which is in the centre of the racetrack. This 18-hole par 4 challenge is one of the city’s oldest attractions and has hosted a wealth of top competitions, including the SA Open and the Commonwealth Tournament. Entry to the golf course is from gate 16 on Gladys Manzi Road. Getting there early gets you a discount and makes a great start to an exciting day in Durban.
Free entry except on major race days
R155 before 08h00
R300 after 08h00
Click here for the latest prices and to book online.
Opening Times: 8am on race days | From 07h00 to 18h00 for golf
Address: 150 Avondale Road, Durban
4. Craftsmen Restaurant
Try out Florida Road’s latest attraction when you visit The Craftsmen at 233 Florida Rd. The venue is the first in Durban to offer American-style wood smoked meats and you can get your carnivorous fix from R65. Recently re-located from it’s premises at Helen Joseph Road, Craftsmen now offers a view over one of the city’s most happening streets to add to its tradition of low and slow BBQ treats.
Other don’t-miss menu items include Smoked brisket, smoked pork belly bao buns, and their famous Devil Door Chicken Wings, all served with a great variety of mouth-watering sides. Be the first to experience this awesome new venue opening during June 2018.
Cost: Pricing ranges from R65 to R180
Special Offers: First Thursday on the 1st week of every month
- 6 days a week including Public Holidays from 11h00 – 22h00. Last entry: 21h30
- Closed on Mondays except during the December period
Address: Retail 3, 233 Florida Rd, Durban
5. Tala Game Reserve
Feel like a change of scene from the big city beat? Head out to Tala Game Reserve. This 3 000-hectare conservancy is a slice of wilderness carved out of the surrounding farmlands. You’ll find Tala just 73km from Durban.
Here you can relax around the sparkling pool at the lush picnic area, enjoy fine dining at the hotel or take a game drive or bush walk to see some of the animals. This reserve is home to over 380 bird species as well as kudu, hippo, giraffe, eland and more.
Cost: Vehicles: R70, Combis and larger from R160 |Plus Adults – R60, children 3 – 12 years old – R50 | Bush Walks : R195 p.p.
Click here for the latest prices
Opening Times: October to March – 06h00 until 18h00 | April to September – 07h00 until 17h00
Restaurant: 08h00 to 20h00 | Sundays 12h00 – 15h00
6. African Bird of Prey Sanctuary
While you’re in the neighbourhood, the Bird of Prey centre in Ashburton is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Here you will find a wide range of endangered raptors including the extremely rare Egyptian vulture. There’s also a quaint curio shop and café for browsing and grazing. You can walk among the cages, which are all carefully designed to mimic the bird’s natural environment for a closer look at these beautiful creatures.
Daily displays feature brilliant flying manoeuvres from tamed birds as well as an informative talk on their conservation, all with breath taking views of the valleys and the area’s own version of Table Mountain.
Cost: Adults R70, Children R40. Click here for the latest prices and to book online
Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday – 09h00 to 16h00 | Flight displays – 10h30
Address: Umlaas Road, Ashburton
7. Shongweni Club
If you enjoy a day in the countryside, Hillcrest offers a few laid-back options just 30 minutes from the city. There’s always something happening at Shongweni Club and there’s no gate charge for most events.
You can enjoy live music on Friday evenings, cycle races most weekends and equestrian sports every weekend. The club is home to the local polo club and if there isn’t a tournament and picnic going on, there are action-packed practices every day of the weekend.
Shongweni Club is the heart of equestrian activity in the upper highway area and has ample parking, a great onsite restaurant with a view of the arena, a jolly pub, and a kiddies’’ play area. It’s a great day out for the whole family.
Cost: Free to enter. Click here for the latest events and prices
Opening Times: 08h00 till late, 7 days a week
Address: Cnr Cliffdale & Kassier Roads, Pinetown Rural
8. Bona Terra
While you’re up the hill, you can pop in for lunch or to browse among the plants at Bona Terra Café and nursery.
Head up the hill for country style dining at Bona Terra in Hillcrest. This quaint eatery offers a range of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch dishes as well as fine coffees.
The outdoor dining area has a rustic feel with views over the surrounding hills. There’s a great playground for the kids and meals average at around R65 per person.
It’s a great place to unwind in tranquil surroundings.
Cost: Click here for the latest specials
Special Offers: Discount for pensioners on Tuesdays
Opening Times: 08h00 to 16h30 daily
Address: 1 Bona Terra road, Assagay
When it comes to browsing among curios, spices, handmade goods and homemade eats for under R200, you can expect plenty of choice in Durban. These are some of the most popular markets in town:
- The I Heart Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month in People’s Park, which is at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Every Satruday, the Shongweni Farmer’s market is a hive of activity from 6am to 11am at Lot 457, MR551, Shongweni, near Hillcrest.
- The Victoria Street Market in Berea is a delight for hardened market shoppers. This indoor market is a bustle of traders selling everything from souvenirs to jewellery, fabrics, and crafts from 170 stalls. It’s the best place to get your hands on authentic Indian spices.
- Also in Berea, the Essenwood Market on Stephen Dlamini Rd, is open on Saturdays from 9am featuring handmade crafts, artisan foods and kiddies activities.
All along the beachfront, you’ll also find vendors selling beach gear, crafts and jewellery during the daylight hours.
Cost: Free to browse
Opening Times: Varies but usually from 08h00 to 17h00, or later
But that’s not all.
Durbanites love their night markets. And who wouldn’t? Mouth-watering smells and twinkling lights draw you into a vibrant market space where people are enjoying the balmy nights and time spent with friends. It’s always a vibe, and a great alternative to the clubbing scene. Especially because out here, you can feel the breeze.
A favourite for many is the Rooftop Night Market in Musgrave. The festive market offers such a wide range of local creations, you’ll walk away with a new appreciation for Durban artistry. It takes place on the first Friday of every month, so you may miss it.
But there are other great options. Check out the best shopping spots in Durban for more exciting ideas.
10. Ice Arena
Durban’s Ice Rink has undergone a recent revamp and is back, bigger and better than ever before. As one of the few venues for ice-skating in South Africa, the Ice Arena is one of Durban’s most unique activities. It is a favourite among visitors of all ages and a popular venue for team building and group activities.
The Ice Arena is open to the public from Friday to Sunday and you can hire ice skates if you don’t have your own. During the public sessions, you can try your hand at the 7m indoor climbing wall for just R20.
Cost: From R80 to R100
Click here for the latest prices and to book online
- Friday – Session 1: 14h00 to 17h00
Session 2: 19h00 to 22h30
- Saturday – Session 1: 10h00 to 13h00
- Session 2: 14h00 to 17h00
- Session 2: 19h00 to 22h30
- Sunday – Session 1: 13h00 to 17h00
Address: Corner Somsteu Road 81 & Sylvestor Ntuli Road
11. Sea World
Visit the largest aquarium in Africa at uShaka Marine World. Built into the remains of shipwreck.
Designed to continue the Phantom Ship theme, the aquarium boasts underground viewing galleries featuring old ship wrecks and coral reefs.
Not only do you get to see a huge variety of Indian ocean sea life up close but you add on adventures as you go along. These include shark cage diving, meeting a dolphin or seal, snorkelling in the lagoon, walking on the ocean floor, fish and ray feeding, dolphin shows and a behind-the-scenes tour.
You can purchase a combo ticket which includes access to the aquarium as well as the fun rides at the water complex for R210.
Cost: Adults R187, children and pensioners R139
Opening Times: 09h00 to 17h00 daily
Address: 1 King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban
Click here for the latest prices and to book online
6 Extra Activities
As an added bonus, we’ve included a few extra fun, budget activities in Durban.
1. Picnic at the Durban Botanic Gardens
This is Africa’s oldest surviving botanical garden. Stroll through the gardens, have a picnic, and enjoy the orchids and ferns. It’s lush and beautiful, and there are plenty of tall trees providing shade.
If you’re visiting during the summer holiday, don’t miss the trail of lights. You can visit in the evening, and take in the bright, exciting display.
2. Have a beach day
You can’t visit Durban without dedicating at least one day to the serious business of lying on the beach. Catch a tan, catch a wave, and enjoy the tropical ocean.
The lukewarm Indian ocean can feel a bit much when combined with the city’s sticky summers. Often, the best time to visit is in spring and autumn. Even winter is good, as Durban experiences no real traditional wintertime, and the beaches are pleasant year-round. If you do go in summer, however, have a quick shower after your swims. It’ll cool you off!
3. Browse Durban Art Gallery
One of the best places to visit in Durban is the popular Art Gallery. This gallery has seen both the beginning and the end of Apartheid, and holds works that date back to the 15th century.
This is the perfect place to explore if you’re interested in South African art and culture over the centuries. There’s so much to learn and appreciate here.
The gallery also showcases impressive contemporary artists. There’s even a natural history museum on the lower floor. It’s a lovely place to spend a few hours.
4. Surf and snorkel
Surfing is practically synonymous with Durban. If you surf, you can’t visit the city without catching a few waves. And if you don’t, it’s a great place to learn.
The water is also lovely for snorkelling – one of the most fun activities in Durban for families. There’s a surprising amount of beautiful marine life, and the water is warm enough that all you need is a snorkel and goggles, no wetsuit.
5. Explore the Durban music scene
Durban, and the rest of South Africa, has a thriving local music scene. Whether you’re interested in old school rock and roll, jazz, hip hop, or something totally unique and homegrown, you’ll find it here.
One of the best places to seek this music out is The Jazzy Rainbow. It’s as great as it sounds, showcasing the city’s abundance of talent with a brilliant atmosphere and yummy drinks. It’s certainly one of the most fun activities for adults in Durban.
6. Stroll down the promenade
No beach town is complete without a promenade that comes alive in the evenings. Durban stretches along an idyllic coastline.
Stroll down the promenade and enjoy the sunset over the ocean. Then enjoy the bustling activity along with the locals. Buy some street food (try out the spicy pineapple), follow it up with ice cream, and browse the stalls and boutique shops that line the strip. It’s a perfect evening.
Head for Durban
Whatever your interests, you are sure to find something for under R200 that tickles your fancy in this laid-back cosmopolitan city. Durban boasts golden beaches, a long beautiful promenade, interesting museums and galleries as well as a great variety of restaurants, nightclubs and bars.
Start planning your winter escape now with cheap domestic flights to Durban. We have the best rates in town, compare prices here.