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Places to Visit in Durban | Go Beyond Tourist Attractions in 2019  

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Places to Visit in Durban | Go Beyond Tourist Attractions in 2019
With so many top Durban attractions to tick off, your city sightseeing checklist could get very long indeed. So where do you start? We've got all you need to know!
Title Image

Places to Visit in Durban | Go Beyond Tourist Attractions in 2019

With so many top Durban attractions to tick off, your city sightseeing checklist could get very long indeed. So where do you start? We've got all you need to know!
Title Image
Places to Visit in Durban | Go Beyond Tourist Attractions in 2019
With so many top Durban attractions to tick off, your city sightseeing checklist could get very long indeed. So where do you start? We've got all you need to know!

Famous for its sun-kissed beaches, laid back lifestyle and luscious coastal scenery, Durban is also a hot spot of cultural activities and points of interest. From historical monuments to innovative urban regeneration projects, Durban is rich with history, culture and beautiful stories.

Don't forget to check what's happening in Durban today

Home to some of South Africa’s richest history, Durban has a handful of must-see points of interest that attract thousands of tourists to its shores every year! Take a look at our list of some of the most memorable things to see in Durban.

Umgeni Steam Train

The Umgeni Steam Train Railway Organisation is a non-profit establishment and was created to preserve the railway heritage found in Durban.

View the old steam trains in Durban@hcd1784

The steam train runs from Kloof through to Inchanga where the locals organise a market for when the train arrives. Visitors can hop off the train and visit the market for some local handmade goods.

There is also a museum there, run by the same non-profit organisation. Staff are friendly and helpful and train club members come in all ages.

They do specifically themed runs during different times of the year and a train trip is generally about 3 hours long if you are taking the scenic route through the valleys surrounding Durban.

Tip: There are no card facilities available so be sure to carry cash.
  • Entrance Fee:
    • Kids R150
    • Adults R220
  • Departure Times: 8:30am & 12:30pm
  • Contact Number: 082 353 6003
  • Address: Kloof Railway, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Umhlanga Lighthouse

Built in 1954, the Umhlanga Lighthouse on Lagoon Drive stands guard over one of the most treacherous areas in South Africa.

Visit the lighthouse in Umhlanga Durban @troywynne

Painted red and white, the lighthouse is fully automated. Standing 21 metres tall it’s a beacon of warning and surety that the shore lies close by.

  • Address: Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga
  • More info: Website

Durban Botanical Gardens

The Durban Botanical Gardens provide the perfect escape from the hustle of the city life.

It's dripping in beauty @markholman93

Famous for being Africa’s oldest surviving botanic gardens, these gardens cover an area of 15 hectares and are home to the original specimen of a Cycad which is commonly known as the rarest plant in the world. A must-see in the gardens is the Orchid House which is open daily from 9:30 am - 5 pm daily.

  • Cost: Free
  • Where: 70 St Thomas Road, Durban
  • When:
  • 7:30am - 17:15 (16 April - 15 September)
  • 7:30 - 17:45 (16 September - 15 April)
  • Contact: 031 201 1303 or 031 309 1170
  • More Info: Website

Umgeni River Bird Park

The Umgeni River Bird Park was designed and built by Dr Alan Abrey.

Appreciate nature's selfless beauty @mlungisisibiya

It is situated in an old quarry site which used to contain water and was visited by Alan as a young boy growing up in Durban. The park is situated in 3.5 hectares of lush tropical landscaping and houses an ever-increasing collection of more than 800 birds from 200 species. Some species are the only representatives of their kind in Africa whilst others are commonly kept as pets.

  • Cost:
    • Adults - R55
    • Children - R36
    • Pensioners - R30
  • When: Daily from 09:00 - 17:00
  • Where: 490 Riverside Road, Durban North
  • Contact: 031 579 4600
  • More Info: Website

Amphitheatre Gardens

Also commonly known as the Sunken Gardens, the Amphitheatre Gardens are situated in the heart of the Golden Mile and provide visitors the chance to slip off the beach and into a peaceful oasis.

Soak in the silence of the sunken gardens@shahnaaznaby

There is a pond, fountains and beds set with sub-tropical plants. The gardens are largely vacant during the week so if you’re looking to take a peaceful walk and unwind on the grass, then a visit to the Amphitheatre Gardens is a must.

  • Cost: Free
  • When: Open daily
  • Where: 63 Snell Parade, Beachfront, Durban

Juma Masjid (Mosque)

The largest mosque in the southern hemisphere is in Durban’s central Indian district, towering above local buildings. Marble and stone minarets make up the structure of the worship hall.

Glowing Juma Masjid Mosque @parushapartab

The inside is equally as beautiful with a peaceful elegance about it. Just outside on the streets, various food vendors sell traditional Indian treats.

  • Contact Number: (031) 304 1518
  • Address: Denis Hurley Street, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Khangela Brewery

A branch of the United Nations Breweries, the Khangela Brewery is the producer of the biggest Umgombothi in South Africa.

Locally Crafted beerSA Venues

If you haven’t heard of this type of beer, it is a traditional drink made from Sorghum, a grass plant used for brewing alcohol.

Their most popular brand is iJabu and they distribute over 1 000 litres of beer annually all over the country.

The Brewery features a small pub that is frequented by staff after their shift. Guided tours and tastings can be booked and refreshments are offered afterwards.

  • Contact Number: (031) 2055311
  • Address: 21 Glastonbury Place, Congella
  • More Info: Website

Durban City Hall

The City Hall, which was opened some 100 years ago, is an important hub of the arts and education, and is home to the Durban Art Gallery, City Library and Natural Science Museum.

Dig deep into Durban's roots @andi_mizberry

Anyone who grew up in Durban will have fond memories of at least one school outing to the building. It is outside the City Hall’s Church Walk steps where crowds invariably gather to make their point, whether in protest or celebration.

The structure was designed in 1903 by Stanley G Hudson, based on the City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was completed in 1910 as a near faithful reproduction of its Northern Hemisphere counterpart.

Although it looks like one building, behind the ornate facade it is actually three: the Municipal chambers; art gallery, museum and library; and the main auditorium.

  • Contact Number: 031 311 1111
  • Address: Anton Lembede St, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Durban’s Rooftop Garden

Keen to escape the city and spend a few hours in a green oasis?

Got green fingers?

Then you need to check out the rooftop garden situated a few blocks from Rivertown.

This private inner-city urban regeneration project aims to convert Durban’s city centre into a trendy living and working space. With a mandate to transform Durban’s inner city from a crime and grime-ridden area into a pleasant experience for all, this garden is definitely worth a visit.

Current Manager, Amy Gwillam, has previously designed and built a private residential water-wise roof garden, as well as two vegetable gardens that have both won national awards from the South African Landscape Institute.

  • Contact Number: 0313320441
  • Address: 77 AB XUma Street
  • More Info: Urban Management at 0313320442

Moses Madhiba Stadium

Named after one of the most dedicated freedom fighters of the apartheid regime, the Moses Mabhida Stadium is perhaps the most popular stadium in South Africa.

Keen to swing in style? @mmstadium

With its modern design, crafty use of space and its beautiful use of natural lighting, this stadium is a must-visit for anyone exploring Durban.

Characterized by its arch, which serves as a vantage point and launch pad for adrenaline junkies taking on the Big Swing, the stadium is nothing less than a feat of engineering, design and innovation.

  • Contact Number: 031 582 8342
  • Address: 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Rd, Stamford Hill
  • More Info: Website

Rivertown Precinct

Often described as a cultural revival spot, Rivertown forms part of a major regeneration project in the Durban CBD.

Street Scenes on point @streetscene031

Born from the same property development company behind that Maboneng Precinct in Joburg, this urban intervention was established to bring foot traffic back to these parts of Durban.

The Rivertown Precinct is located between the Durban International Convention Centre and the beachfront. It provides a perfect platform for the style of urban redevelopment and industrial conversion.

  • Address: Morrison Street, Durban Central

Museums in Durban

Take a look at our comprehensive guide to museums in and around Durban.

Durban is a rich city with roots that date back hundreds of years. It is painted with history and it has handfuls of stories to tell anyone willing to listen. Take some time out to visit a few of these beautiful places of interest - you won’t be disappointed.

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