One of Durban's most attractive areas, Florida Road is where nightlife thrives alongside myriad shopping establishments. Dotted with restaurants that offer a riot of cuisines, this street will win you over with its pleasant bustle and upbeat vibe. It can be safely dubbed a retail paradise, owing to the number of varied fashion boutiques it houses and is also home to some extremely charming buildings like the Quarters Hotel - an erstwhile Victorian home. A heaven for art lovers too, this street is further peppered with establishments like Artisan Contemporary Gallery and African Art Centre. In addition, entertainment venues like Casablanca and brimming bars breathe life into its sprawl.
Gateway Theatre of Shopping is a venue full of fun, activities, food and shops unlimited. Situated in a prime location of the Umhlanga town, there are regular art exhibitions and theatrical performances held. The entire family can keep themselves busy at the Wavehouse or the Fantasy Forest. For food there are options from the American KFC to the Nando's. And in shopping, all the well-known names like Mont Blanc, Reebok, even Woolworths are present here. For the tech-savvy people there are the mobile shops and other stores selling the latest gadgets. All in all, this shopping center has all under one roof. Exploring it may consume lot of time, so the holidays can never go waste.
Drawing inspiration from endless South African summers, Holmes Bros fashions quality-driven garments for men and women with threads and weaves which are purely authentic. Stippled across a number of South African cities, this remarkable brand has gone on to become one of the favorites in the country. Influenced by travel, multiculturalism and upbeat accents, Holmes Bros fashions a marvelous range of t-shirts, surfboards, eclectic shirts and the likes.
Nestled in the heart of Kloof, this upmarket shopping center provides convenience. Stores range from restaurants to health and fitness, clothing, unique gifts, home décor, music and books. It should provide for all your needs. The center has been created in the restored, and very grand, Old Fields Hotel, and has retained the charm and style of the original buildings. In addition to small, exclusive boutiques, there is also a large Pick 'n Pay supermarket.
The Madressa Arcade can be found in the Indian Quarter. It has a Kiplingesque quality, recalling bazaars of the east. Built in 1927, it is little more than a narrow and winding alley, perfumed by spices and thronged with traders. Here you can buy everything from plastic trinkets to household utensils and Indian music. There are two particularly unusual shops in the arcade: one sells the latest African hits on record, and the other specializes in dried monkey heads and other paraphernalia of African 'magic'. The arcade has entrances on both Queen and Cathedral Streets.
This market, in Durban North, is held every Sunday. There are a variety of stalls featuring home-crafts, clothing, food, home-made toys, preserves, pottery and general home goods. This is a good place to bring the children; they can play on the jumping castle or in the adventure playground while you browse the stalls. There are also tractor rides around the market. Light meals are available in a shady tea garden. There is lots of secure parking nearby.
At the west end of Victoria Street is a new Indian market, built in 1973 after a fire destroyed the original buildings. Although the modern building lacks the charm of the old market stalls, it is still a fascinating mix of Africa and the Orient. There are around 180 stalls selling basketwork and brassware, wood articles as well as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. The stalls' main attractions are the exotic spices and dried beans imported from India. They are ideal for making curries, and cooks will find them invaluable if staying in self-catering accommodation. The souvenir stalls display typical items, but it's possible to find some very attractive products.
The Workshop is housed in a vast Victorian building which was a former railway workshop originally known as Workshop No.1. With girders left intact, it is a totally transformed showpiece, an up-market shopping, browsing, dining and entertainment complex. It houses over 120 specialty shops and Victorian-style barrow stalls, which decorate the ground floor. You'll find everything from expensive clothes to fast food. This complex probably has the largest collection of African curio shops in Durban. There is tax-free shopping for tourists and a helpful information desk.
This small gallery is located in the BAT Center at the harbor. It has three to four fine-art exhibitions per year, but also stock a large range of Carol Boyes ceramics, handcrafted jewelery and potato-print cloths. There are unframed prints for sale as well as a framing service offered through the shop. The shop is used to over-seas clientèle, and are experienced in shipping your purchases abroad. The staff are friendly and efficient.
The Musgrave Center in Berea is a must for those in search of something a little more chic. It has over 100 trend-setting shops under one roof and the discerning buyer should find enough to satisfy their search for those exclusive items of fashionware, objects d'art, imported perfumes and cosmetics. If the shopping tires you out, sit back over an espresso and watch the world go by. There are also seven cinemas, a Bureau de Change and plenty of undercover parking. Call for more information.
The scent of this shop will hit you before you see it. It is a small shop on the lower level of the Musgrave Centre and is filled to overflowing with a wonderful assortment of rich and aromatic foodstuffs. There are spices, pickles, dried fruit and nuts, toasted marshmellows, fresh rotis, Indian sweetmeats, snacks, and Indonesian, Thai and Chinese imports. They also stock a modest range of Indian cooking ware. You are unlikely to leave this shop without being tempted to try something.