A Travel Price Comparison for South Africa Durban vs. Cape Town for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durban or Cape Town?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Durban and Cape Town. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Durban

The third largest city in South Africa, Durban sits on the east coast of the country in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The city also has the country's most active port. The city's comfortable weather and vast beaches make it one of the country's major tourist centers. There's a population of about 3.5 million in the entire metropolitan area that spreads over 2,295 square kilometers.

Cape Town

Picture your travel bucket list. Is Cape Town on it? Yes, most people dream of visiting the "Mother City" of South Africa. As one of the most iconic places in the world, Cape Town is a world-class cosmopolitan city full of bustling nightlife, historical backdrops and a large gay community.

Cape Town is the most southern city in Africa with seasons turned upside down. In the southern hemisphere they experience the summer from December to February. During these months days can be hot and dry so be sure to gather in the shade and wear plenty of sunscreen. The winter from June to August is full of rainy days and cold nights.

Which city is cheaper, Cape Town or Durban?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Durban is $53, while the average daily cost in Cape Town is $97. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Durban and Cape Town in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Durban, $50 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Durban, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $25, such as in a hostel.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $76 in Cape Town For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durban $25
    Cape Town $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durban $50
    Cape Town $76

Food

Food in Durban costs travelers about $16 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $42 per day in Cape Town for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Durban $16
    Cape Town $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cape Town

For Cape Town, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Virtual Cooking Class Live from Cape Town: $23
  • Drumming and African Dinner Experience: $33
  • Cape Malay Cooking with a Chef Founder: $34
  • African Cooking with a Chef Founder: $34
  • Cruise and Dine Dinner / Sunset Champagne Cruise and 3-Course Dinner: $53
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Cape Town Private Food Tour: $54
  • Your Tailored Cape Town Private Food Tour: $65
  • Private Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class in Manenberg with Locals: $67
  • The Cape Town Essentials Food Tour: $67
  • African Dinner and Drumming Experience: $70
  • African cooking experience: $91
  • Private South African Cape Malay Cooking Class: $98

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Durban than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $13 on transportation in Durban on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cape Town than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $17 on transportation in Cape Town on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durban $13
    Cape Town $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durban

Also for Durban, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfers - Minibus - Durban Arrivals and Departures: $35
  • Private Durban Airport Departure Transfer: $55
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Durban International Airport to Umhlanga: $86
  • Departure Private Transfer: Durban City to Durban MSC Cruise Port by Minivan: $75
  • Departure Private Transfer: Durban City to Durban Airport DUR by Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer from Durban City to Durban Airport DUR by Minivan: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Durban MSC Cruise Port to Durban City by Minivan: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Durban Airport DUR to Durban City by Minivan: $82
  • Airport Shuttle / Transfers: $30
  • 1-3 Passenger Private Durban Airport Transfer: $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cape Town

Also for Cape Town, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Scenic Airport Helicopter Transfer: $596
  • Cape Point Tours,Airport transfers,wine testing, garden route tours and safari: $168
  • Shark Cage Diving Experience (Optional Cape Town Transfer): $144
  • Airport Transfers To Hermanus: $137
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cape Town Airport CPT to Cape Town by Business Car: $114
  • Cape Town Safari Transfers: $104
  • Private Transfer to Safari Aquila from Cape Town Full Day Excluding Entry Fees: $86
  • Cape Town Airport Transfers: Cape Town to Cape Town Airport CPT in Luxury Car: $82
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cape Town Cruise Port to Cape Town by Minivan: $73
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cape Town to Cape Town Cruise Port by Minivan: $73
  • Departure Private Transfer: Cape Town to Cape Town Cruise Port by Business Car: $69
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Cape Town Cruise Port to Cape Town by Business Car: $69

Is it cheaper to fly into Durban or Cape Town?

Prices for flights to both Cape Town and Durban change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Durban, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Cape Town, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $23 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durban $17
    Cape Town $23

Tours and Activities in Durban

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Durban.

  • 12-Day Coast to Cape Town Adventure Accommodated Tour from Durban: $1,713
  • 12-Day Coast to Cape Town Adventure Camping Tour from Durban: $1,376
  • 3-Hour Durban City Sightseeing Tour: $53
  • 5 Day Zululand – Lion & Elephant & Drakensberg Safari Tour from Durban: $1,336
  • 6-Day Guided Cultural Tour of Mbotyi Coffee Bay and Cintsa: $997
  • A Full Day Safari Tour to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve: $162
  • Battlefield Tour, Duration : 14hrs, Cost : R3127pp - 2 or more pax travelling: $182
  • Battlefields Private Day Tour from Durban: $233
  • Big 5 Safari Durban Day Tour from Durban: $178
  • Culture Walking Tour of Durban: $34
  • Day Tour of Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana: $155
  • Discover Inner City Jewels Walking Tour in Durban: $37

Tours and Activities in Cape Town

For Cape Town, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1-Hour Cape Town Bo-Kaap Photo Shoot Experience: $53
  • 1-Hour Cape Town City Center Photo Shoot Experience: $53
  • 11-Day Cape Desert Safari Adventure Accommodated Tour from Cape Town: $2,540
  • 11-Day Cape Desert Safari Adventure Camping Tour from Cape Town: $1,330
  • 12 Days Cape & Namibia Accommodated Adventure: $2,799
  • 12 day - Meander to South Africa's best kept secrets and experience Lesotho: $2,890
  • 19 Days Cape to Victoria Falls Accommodated Adventure: $4,541
  • 19-Day Desert Tracker Adventure Accommodated Tour from Cape Town: $3,955
  • 19-Day Desert Tracker Adventure Camping Tour from Cape Town: $2,116
  • 2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge: $323
  • 25 Days Cape to Vic Falls to Johannesburg Accommodated Adventure: $6,105
  • 3 Day Adventure - Hike and Wine Pilates: $359

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Durban, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $13.

Typically, people visiting Cape Town spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durban $13
    Cape Town $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Cape Town

Also in Cape Town, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Experience South African Craft Rum tasting and distillery tour in Cape Town: $10
  • Cape Town's Only Craft Rum Tasting and Distillery Tour: $15
  • Wine Tasting & Storytelling with SA Tapas add-on: $34
  • The Fringe Secret Bar Crawl: $34
  • Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Wine Tour from Cape Town: $39
  • Cape Point Full Day Tour With Wine Tasting: $41
  • Cape Town Pub Crawl: $44
  • Cape Winelands and Wine Tasting Full Day Tour: $57
  • Full Day Wine Tasting Tour: $76
  • Vintage Kombi Wine Tour & Local BBQ: $77
  • Cape Point/Boulders Beach/Wine Tasting- Best Of Cape Town In A Day: $86
  • Constantia Half-day Wine Tour from Cape Town: $86


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durban and Cape Town, we can see that Cape Town is more expensive. And not only is Durban much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durban would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durban and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cape Town would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cape Town than you might in Durban.

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Durban vs. Cape Town Travel Comparison

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