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

Should you visit Soweto or Durban?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Soweto and Durban. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Soweto or Durban?


The name Soweto is an acronym for South Western Townships, first used in 1963 to describe the groups of townships to the south west of Johannesburg. It is a city of contrasts, featuring anything from tin shanties to luxurious mansions, and is probably best known for being the home of two Nobel Prize winners.


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 One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Cape Town, The Best 2-Week Tours from Cape Town, The Best 2-Week Tours from Johannesburg, and The Best Wildlife Tours to South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Durban or Soweto?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Soweto is $61, 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 Soweto and Durban in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Soweto $31
    Durban $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Soweto $62
    Durban $48
Compare Hotels in Soweto and Durban

Looking for a hotel in Soweto 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 Soweto

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: Durban Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Soweto $12
    Durban $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durban

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Soweto or Durban?

Prices for flights to both Durban and Soweto 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
    Soweto $20
    Durban $16

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.
    Soweto $16
    Durban $16

Tours and Activities in Soweto

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

  • Johannesburg: Soweto Half-Day Tour: $57
  • Johannesburg: Soweto Night Tour: $92
  • Johannesburg: Soweto Tour with Lunch: $67
  • Visit Gospel service with additional Bicycle Tour of Soweto: $44

Tours and Activities in Durban

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

  • 1/2 Day Durban City & Phezulu Tour From Durban: $145
  • 1/2 Day Durban City Tour: $143
  • 1/2 Day Durban City Tour: $113
  • 1/2 Day Durban City Tour & Phezulu Tour: $142
  • 1/2 Day Phezulu Safari Tour from Durban: $146
  • 1/2 Day Tala Game Reserve & Lion Park Tour From Durban: $147
  • 1/2 Day Tala Game Reserve & Natal Lion Park Tour from Durban: $147
  • 1/2 Day Tour to Drakensberg Mountains & Hiking from Durban: $155
  • 1/2 Tala Game Reserve & Phezulu Safari Park Tour: $148
  • 12 Days Best Of South Africa Tour - Johannesburg to CapeTown: $3,257
  • 15 Day Tour Cape Town to Johannesburg: $3,257
  • 2 Day Hluhluwe Imfolo & Isimangaliso W/Park Tour from Durban: $616

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Soweto $8.10
    Durban $13

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 Soweto and Durban, we can see that Soweto 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 Soweto would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Soweto 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 Soweto Expensive? and Is Durban Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Soweto or Durban?

Durban has a larger population, and is about 84% larger than the population of Soweto. When comparing the sizes of Soweto 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.