Downtown Durban is a metropolis, but it's easy to escape the bustle when you want to; all it takes is a stroll down the Golden Mile that hugs the beach. Breathing in the fresh sea air while watching surfers and sunbathers is the perfect tonic.
Sporty types and lovers of the outdoors board flights to Durban, or Durbs, as the locals refer to it, for its beaches and golf courses. You can also dive into the Indian Ocean and explore the deep with a scuba school. Durban has plenty of family-friendly activities, too, from exploring the surrounding wildlife to visiting an attraction such as uShaka Marine World, one of the world’s largest aquariums.
Durban is also one of the best places to experience Zulu food and culture; Zulus make up more than half the population of the city. It makes for an eclectic experience and it's great for unique gift shopping. Plus, thanks to the city's large Indian population, you can easily find great culinary treats such as the Durban specialty bunny chow, a fast food dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.
The suburbs of Durban are worth exploring, as they showcase colonial whitewashed buildings with charming balconies in leafy surroundings. Here, you will find hidden gems such as community cafes and delis. For example, head to the gentrified area of Morningside for its restaurants, entertainment, and Edwardian and Victorian homes.
With a vibrant music and arts scene, there are also plenty of places to catch a variety of live performances across Durban, although the majority of nightlife venues are located near the Golden Mile. Many Durban theaters stage local and national productions; in particular, check out the National Playhouse on Smith Street.