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

Should you visit Johannesburg or Durban?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Johannesburg and Durban can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Johannesburg or Durban?


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a population of over 3 million people. Most of the population is made up of South Africa's black residents, who predominately reside in the Soweto area. There are approximately half a million white residents and 300,000 residents of other descent. Half of the population live in the Soweto area as well as the nearby suburbs.


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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to South Africa, The Best Eco Tours in South Africa, The Best Sightseeing Tours in South Africa, and The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Durban or Johannesburg?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Johannesburg is $94, while the average daily cost in Durban is $52. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Johannesburg and Durban in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Johannesburg $54
    Durban $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Johannesburg $108
    Durban $48
Compare Hotels in Johannesburg and Durban

Looking for a hotel in Johannesburg or Durban? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Johannesburg

Hotels in Durban

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Johannesburg Hotel Prices and Durban Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Johannesburg $16
    Durban $13
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Johannesburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Johannesburg:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Airport To Suncity Transfer And Return: $388
  • Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Transfer to Pretoria hotels: $276
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Johannesburg Airport to Mpumalanga: $275
  • OR Tambo to Sun City Transfer : $227
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg To Pilanesberg: $214
  • Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Transfer to Johannesburg hotels: $193
  • Private Land Rover transfer to Sun City from Johannesburg and PTA: $191
  • Executive Airport Transfers - OR Tambo to Sandton : $174
  • Transfers Between OR Tambo and Pilanesburg : $171
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport (JNB) to Pretoria hotels: $163
  • Airport Transfers from Cradle of Humankind Muldesdrift to Jo'burg: $142
  • Private Transfer, Airports to Cradle of Humankind & Muldersdrift : $142

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durban

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

  • Durban to Durban King Airport (DUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $27
  • Durban Airport (DUR) to Durban - Arrival Private Transfer: $27
  • Private Transfers - Minibus - Durban Arrivals and Departures: $31
  • Private Sedan Transfers - Durban King Shaka: $34
  • Durban Cruise Ship Transfers : $39
  • 1-3 Passenger Private Durban - Airport Transfer: $45
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Durban Airport DUR to Durban City by Business Car: $78
  • Departure Private Transfer from Durban City to Durban Airport DUR by Minivan: $82
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Durban Airport DUR to Durban City by Minivan: $84
  • Private transfers from King Shaka Airport: $106
  • From Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Overnight Safari w/ Transfer: $485

Is it cheaper to fly into Johannesburg or Durban?

Prices for flights to both Durban and Johannesburg 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Johannesburg $17
    Durban $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Johannesburg.

  • Maboneng Street Art and Street Food Tour: $39
  • Unique street food tour from at least 6 different cultures!: $48
  • Taste of Africa Food Tour: $49
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $97
  • Pan-African Cooking & Dinning Experience: $186

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Durban

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

  • Half Day Guided Taste of Africa Food Tour in Durban: $40

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Johannesburg $21
    Durban $16

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Johannesburg are as follows:

  • Golf Tour, Sun City , Gary Player Course - Rated the Best: $219
  • Private Full Day Johannesburg Historical Tour : $187
  • Rhino and Lion Park Safari Tour : $94
  • Soweto half day tour including Mandela House.Private transport: $67
  • (Meet the Artist)Art Gallery & Street Art tour with lunch: $29
  • 10 Days Overland Tour-Johannesburg and Cape Town: $2,589
  • 15 Days Johannesburg, Kruger National Park – Cape Town Tour: $3,884
  • 3 Day Kruger National Park Tour from Johannesburg: $823
  • 3 Days 2 Nights Panorama Tour & Kruger National park Safari: $797
  • 3 Days Big 5 Kruger National Park Tour from Johannesburg: $1,176
  • 4-Days Overnight Experience in The Panorama Route & Safari: $1,663
  • 6 Days Johannesburg and Kruger National Park Tour: $1,553

Tours and Activities in Durban

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

  • 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise: $5.18
  • Durban Point Waterfront: Luxury Canal Boat Cruise: $7.77
  • 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf: $7.77
  • Luxury Canal Boat Cruise - Fun Things Durban Ushaka: $8.29
  • Magical Gondola Night Boat Cruise in Durban: $8.56
  • Pontoon Boat Harbor Cruise: $9.84
  • Durban Walking Tour: $26
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour: $39
  • Durban Half-Day City Tour - Golden Mile, Botanical Gardens: $41
  • Durban City Sightseeing Tour: $42
  • Durban:Culture Walking Tour of Durban: $49
  • Culture Walking Tour of Durban: $51

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Johannesburg $4.65
    Durban $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Johannesburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Johannesburg:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in Johannesburg: $8.08
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $111
  • Experience Johannesburg Wine Tour Views and Luxury: $224

Sample the Local Flavors in Durban

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

  • Bar Crawl in Durban : $36

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Johannesburg and Durban, we can see that Johannesburg 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 Johannesburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Johannesburg than you might in Durban.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Johannesburg Expensive? and Is Durban Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Johannesburg or Durban?

Durban has a larger population, and is about 54% larger than the population of Johannesburg. When comparing the sizes of Johannesburg and Durban, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.