Exploring Durban’s Top Lifestyle Markets

Durban is one the most hip and happening cities on the east coast of Southern Africa. Well-known for its sun-kissed beaches and urban lifestyle, the mix of Indian and African influence will leave you with an unusual experience of diversity and culture. This is often captured through local food and lifestyle markets where you’ll find everything from organic produce to clothing and crafts.

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Essenwood Market

Location: Berea Park – Corner of St Thomas and Essenwood road, Musgrave; every Saturday between 9 am – 2 pm

One of Durban’s oldest craft and family markets, situated in the heart of Musgrave with some 200 stalls, this lifestyle market is well known for its scenic location with surrounding tree canopies, paved walkways and food trucks. Be on the lookout for some of South Africa’s unique artworks, hand crafted jewelry and trendy fashions. The food court itself is lined with food trucks, Chinese cuisine stalls and coffee counters which are conveniently located next to the kids play area. The vibe is perfect for a Saturday morning stroll or chill session. Parking is often very tight so be sure to get there early.

essenwood-flea-market-1  

Durban Car Boot Flea Market

Location: behind Greyville Racecourse; every Sunday morning from 5 am – 2 pm

For those of you looking for anything and everything second-hand that can fit into the boot of a car, be sure to stop here. You’ll find a range of both new and second-hand odds and ends – from household items, used books, car tools, vinyl records and a whole lot more.

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The Morning Trade

Location: 15 Station Drive, Umgeni Road; every Sunday between 8 am – 1 pm

One of Durban’s newest markets, the Morning Trade aims at proving locals with a weekly source of farm fresh and artisan goodies. You’ll find everything and anything food related here – from a range of top quality meats and homemade sweets to locally grown fruits, vegetables and freshly cut flowers.

Bangladesh Market

Location: Behind Westcliff Shopping Centre; Florence Nightingale Drive, Westcliff, Chatsworth; every Saturday

South of the city center in Westcliff, Chatsworth; you will find the vibrant and colorful Bangladesh Market. Imagine a merry mix of hustle and bustle between Asia, India and West Africa – that’s exactly what you’ll see and feel here. Located in the heart of the Chatsworth Indian community, come here if you’re looking for a market that will submerge you into local Indian culture. You’ll find a range of spices, kitchenware, Indian culinary delights, live chickens and prayer goods. Designed to serve the local nearby community, you’re guaranteed real value for money.

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Wonder Market

Location: Chris Saunders Park, Umhlanga; held on the first Sunday of the month from 9 am – 2 pm.

Fast becoming one of Durban’s popular lifestyle markets, this is another local arts, crafts and food market held in the beautiful Chris Saunders Park, near the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga. You’ll find a range of unusual good quality hand-made items as well as a host of food goodies like cupcakes, kudu burgers and falafels.

Kloof and Highway SPCA market

Location: 29 Village Road, Kloof; held every Monday, Thursday & Saturday between 8 am – 12 pm; Last Sunday of the month between 9 am – 1 pm

One of the less well-known local markets, the Kloof and Highway SPCA Market was started as a means to raise funds to help support the animals of the SPCA. Come here if you’re looking for cheap books, plants and second hand items or if you have some good quality trinkets that you’d like to donate. The main office and shelter are open during market days to encourage more adoptions as well.

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The Stables Lifestyle Market

Location: 9 Jaco Jackson Drive; every Wednesday and Friday between 6 pm – 12 am and Sunday between 10 am – 5 pm

This lifestyle market lends its name to the venue of the old horse stables in which the market is held. On market days, these stalls are transformed into attractive little shops holding a range of goodies from antiques to books to home décor items. Walkways are named after famous race horses and with over 100 stalls and live music, many locals find their way here on a late Sunday afternoon.

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Image source

Victoria Street Market

Location: Corner of Queen Street and Victoria Street; Monday – Saturday between 8 am – 6 pm and Sundays between 10 am – 4 pm

Built in the beginning of the 1980’s, the Victoria Street Market is another of Durban’s local Indian markets mixing Indian and African goods and cultures. With over two stories and some 170 stalls, be prepared for a traditional bazaar-like atmosphere, with men and women in traditional attire selling a host of spices, curry powders, teas and incense. You can taste a traditional curry and have a henna tattoo done as well. You’ll also find souvenirs, jewelry and a host of fabrics on the upper floor. There’s also a nearby African herb and medicinal market located at Warwick Junction, if you’re feeling brave to wander out. Be careful though as many thieves and pick-pockets wander around here. It’s best to leave your phones, handbags and expensive jewelry at home.

Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market

Location: Corner of Alverstone and Kassier Road, Assagay, Durban; every Saturday between 6:30 am – 10:30 am

The Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market is one of the oldest markets attracting buyers from all over Durban. You’ll find everything from organic, free-range and farm fresh goodies, locally grown fruit and vegetables to wines and cheeses.

florida-road-lifestyle-market 

Florida Road Lifestyle Market

Location: Corner of Florida and Gordon Road, Morningside, Durban; Last Sunday of every month; 11 am – 6 pm

Florida Road is well known for its sleek party-like atmosphere and Durban’s top restaurants. It’s quite likely that you’ll feel like you’ve been wandering down one of Europe’s quaint little alleyways. Here you’ll find a range of health and body care products, paintings and fashion accessories.

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Litchi Orchard Farmers Markets and Night Markets

Location: Seaforth Avenue, Umhlali, Dolphin Coast; Farmers Day Market: held on the second Saturday of every month between 9 am – 1 pm; Night Market: held on the last Friday of every month between 5 pm – 10 pm

Located on the coastal town of Umhlali, the family-owned Litchi Orchard is famous for the fresh litchis sold on site to the public. The Farmers day market is held on the second Saturday of each month and has a range of food items on sale from breads, preserves, pickles, coffees and olives among other things. In addition to the mass of food stalls, there are a few markets selling clothes and jewelry too. The night market itself is something many locals refuse to miss. With drinks and live music, it’s great to relax here as you bid farewell to yet another month of the year. Apart from the markets, you’ll find cute cafes, a garden center, coffee roaster, bakery and pub all on-site to cater for everyone’s needs.

 iheart-market

iHeart Market

Location: Moses Mabhida Stadium; 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Road, Durban; first Saturday of every month between 9 am – 2 pm

Held under the famous arches of the Moses Mabhida stadium, this is one of newer markets where you can find the city’s most creative locally produced goods. Filled with hand designed arts, crafts, fashion, jewelry and home ware, you’ll always leave with a bag full of irresistible goodies. Imagine painted wooden heart-like clocks, fabric earrings, unique gift tags and an endless supply of homemade chocolate goodness. Definitely a place to visit if you’re interested in the local creative scene.

Karkloof Farmers Market

Location: Off Karkloof Road, Natal Midlands; every Saturday; 7 am – 11 am

Located on the Midlands Meander, this indoor farmers market is definitely worth the distance you’ll drive to get there. Located 2.6 km from Howick, this haven focuses on all things food and supports local farmers. It’s a good idea to get there early as most things get sold out by 10 am!

umhlanga-farmers-market

Umhlanga Farmers Market

Location: Autumn Drive; Prestondale; every Wednesday between 10 am – 1 pm

Another of Durban’s gems, the rustic feel of this farmers market is what makes it so lovable. Imagine old trestle tables, food served up in containers and labelled with handmade signs. Many locals come here for day-to-day items, organic and fresh fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs, bunches of fresh flowers, homemade loaves, fresh herbs, flavored olives and more. If you’re looking for your international culinary fix, this is the place to be. You can also pick up a few of the ready to go meals ranging from Indian curries to black pudding and haggis.

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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