Welcome to Durban, accurately nicknamed South Africa’s playground where we will show you the 7 best malls in Durban. Whilst usually overshadowed by the more popular and well-known Cape Town, Durban definitely has something for the shopper in you. Whether you are a browser, a shopaholic, a comparison shopper or genuinely looking for some retail therapy Durban has some of the best malls for shopping in South Africa.
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Our list of best shopping malls in Durban
Gateway Theatre of Shopping
You will find no larger than life experience in South Africa quite like shopping at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping affectionately known as the pride of Umhlanga.
So different from the regular shopping mall where all you do is walk around, buy stuff and maybe grab something quick eat, the mall is dubbed a theatre of shopping for a reason. It is the ultimate destination for just about everything; family, fun and luxury holiday.
You will need a pair of strong legs and feet for this mall. Trust us!
Rated amoung the top 50 largest malls in the world, the sheer enormity of what is offered all under one roof is something that you should experience for yourself.
The mall is located in Umhlanga Ridge, a magnificent holiday spot 20 minutes away from the Durban CBD on the east coast of South Africa. The shopping mall sits at 186,526 square metres, has 12,000 parking bays where you can access VIP and shuttle services, and it offers over 400 stores.
The most attractive aspect of this mall is the ridiculous amount of entertainment and recreational activities that are offered for literally everyone. The mall has 18 Ster-Kinekor theatres and 6 Nouveau theatres.
The Electric Avenue is a great place for adrenaline-seeking families. It features action bowling, action karting, arcade games, a wave house and a skate park that measures 4,000 square metres and has the only kidney bowl in Southern Africa. If you are wishing to escape the Durban humidity, the snow wonderland is a great place for you to have some winter fun.
For the young kids especially, there is Mr Funtubbles funfair which offers XD theatres, arcade games, bumper cars and various rides, parties, toy stores, snacks and treats. There is also the Be.Up Park, an indoor fun park that has a Trampoline Zone, an Altigame, Climbing Walls and a Kids’ Maze. Fear not tired parents, the park offers a cafe with free Wi-Fi if you are already too drained from the other activities and just want to watch your child have fun.
The mall also provides you with a mix of traditional retail shops and an assortment of exclusive and high-end shops depending on your budget. Another great hallmark of the mall is the various food and refreshment options available. With over 70 restaurants, fast food outlets, cafe as eateries you are spoilt for choice.
Additionally, the mall has a three-star hotel, the aha-Gateway Hotel that is attached to it for your convenience.
The Gateway Theatre of Shopping lives up to its name. It is a grand display of the very best and most extreme example of retail therapy. You will not be disappointed.
Location 1 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga Ridge, Umhlanga, 4021
The Pavilion Shopping Centre
The first thing you will be taken in by is the breathtaking architecture. This spacious mall has classic dome structures inspired by European architecture that have become a landmark in Durban.
This massive property sits at 119,000 square metres and has 255 retail outlets to choose from.
Conveniently located along the N3 highway in the neighbourhood of Westville, it is your entry portal into Durban. With 11 Nu Metro theatres and 1 4DX theatre, an amusement park, a skate park, bowling and arcade you will not be short of entertainment for yourself or your younger company during your shopping spree.
There is a multitude of shops to choose from. These include exclusive boutiques and regular retailers. This fashionista hotspot is a shoppers dream, is the place to be where you can spend all that hard-earned money on luxurious international brands. You can even collect local keepsakes from your trip.
Durban is known for its food culture, and the newly renovated Food Court offers some of the best coffee shops in Durban. You can definitely immerse yourself in the local cuisine as well as grab a bite at the more standard and well-known food retailers. The cost for two is roughly R180 at the fast food outlets and slightly more at the more exclusive sit in restaurants and cafes like the Centre Court Restaurant.
Location: Dawncliffe, Westville, 3629
Ushaka Village Walk
Ushaka Village Walk takes you through a magical cultural shopping journey very different from anything you have ever seen. The centre is decorated with a Zulu concept, and the overall architecture offers a nice African touch.
The theme here is an African beach holiday.
The different array of restaurants, gift stores, service and adventure retailers, fast food outlets and rare clothing shops makes it the perfect mix of culture and modern shopping.
The open-air shopping experience with live entertainment and of course the Ushaka Marine World is a major attraction. It is close to the ocean and offers you a mixture of activities such as shops, craft markets, henna tattoos, Zulu dancing and mouth-watering Durban Indian dishes from the curry capital of South Africa. You will find all things water-related within the mall, from surfing gear to swimwear. You can even get a massage!
The village walk offers a small train for children where you can pay R20 There is also a tiny snake and reptile park where your child can take a look at the species available. In the high seasons, there are more activities for children such as trampolines. The centre also boasts a 5D cinema. The amenities are reasonable, and there is lots of space and wide walkways for families that have children and strollers.
This mall is a Mecca for beach-loving laid-back shoppers. If you love taking home souvenirs and are keen to take in a bit of culture and entertainment, then you will love shopping here. Whilst there is a lack of big brand retailers, the shopping centre makes up for that with all the other activities that it has available for you and the wonderful food outlets to satisfy all your cravings.
So put on your beach sandals and go for a stroll at Africa’s number one outdoor mall.
Location: 1 King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban, 4001
Ballito Junction Regional Mall
Situated in the leafy Suburbs of Ballito, in the heart of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Dolphin Coast, Ballito Junction Regional mall is one of the biggest malls in Durban South Africa.
It features 3,000 parking bays spread over five levels. There are 200 shops distributed on three shopping levels, and it has state-of-the-art entertainment such as Nu metro cinemas and 22 Jump Street.
This three-storey retail centre has so much to offer. You can catch a movie in between your shopping at the several high-end shops or at the local and international well known or budget brands. You can indulge yourself in a beautiful meal at one of the many cafés and eateries you will not be short of things to do.
A short drive from the surfing hotspot at Willard’s beach, the mall is the epitome of convenience and flexibility. It is perfect for you if you just want a quick stop before moving on to your other activities.
Location: Leonora Dr, Ballito, Dolphin Coast, 4399
If you are looking for a small mall that is not overwhelming and that has less traffic, then Southway Mall is the mall for you.
With about 30 shops including restaurants, fast food outlets, clothing retail shops and various anchor shops, this small quiet mall is nestled in the serene neighbourhood of Rossburgh, far away from the hive of activity at the beachfront and the Durban CBD.
Whilst the mall itself is still rough around the ages, the surrounding neighbourhood has a lovely trendy, easy-going vibe with nearby shops and galleries, coffee spots and eateries.
It is a great and relaxing atmosphere where you will find antique shops and the KZNSA gallery. The gallery exhibits the contemporary visual culture and has a local shop, a cafe and a training art program.
It will be definitely worth your while to visit this tranquil mall and surrounds.
Location: 27 Titren Rd, Sea View, Durban, 4094
La Lucia Mall
One of the very first malls built in Durban La Lucia was designed to allow as much natural light as possible throughout the mall. This was done to blend in with the natural landscape of La Lucia. The atmosphere is bright, airy and relaxing. The bright and modern storefronts contribute to the allure of the mall. Also, the upper level of the mall has glass walls and a glass ceiling providing a great view and plenty of natural light.
It is home to over 130 local, international and national retailers, restaurants and other services. The epitome of upmarket shopping, the mall has 1,400 free parking bays and 780 undercover parking bays ensuring that you are never short of places to park. The ample chill zones are available for you when you need a break, and it has reasonable amenities.
The mall is not lacking in variety when it comes to refreshments. You can look forward to finding many of the staple household brands and some of the best coffee shops and restaurants in Durban such as Amici.
With little to moderate traffic, you can shop your hearts out without having to bump and squeeze your way in between crowds of people. The nearby beach fronts also add to the tranquillity of the environment.
Location: 90 William Campbell Dr, La Lucia, Durban, 4051
This 44,000 square metre mall is located in the beautiful suburb of Waterfall. Anchored by various South African staple retailers, this mall offers you nothing but a classic South African shopping experience. It has over 130 traders where you will find something for everyone.
It is a perfect sized mall if you are wary of shopping at the more giant malls in the city, especially for elderly people or for those with young kids.
The movie theatre offers you great entertainment, and you can expect to have a broad choice of food outlets to pick from. The mall has a car wash, 24-hour security, a go-karting track, SWAT laser tag games and inclusive amenities.
The appeal of this mall is that it is manageable due to its size and lack of huge crowds. You get to enjoy your shopping in a relaxed and open atmosphere.
Location: 141 Inanda Rd, Waterfall, Durban, 3652