Durban’s multi-sensory Victoria Street Market

There’s one place in Durban that offers a feast for all your senses. Even if you’re familiar with the city and travel here often, it pays to return to the one place that can inspire the Indian in you and give you a true sense of Durban’s history, diverse culture, and unique personality. So leave the confines of your accommodation in Durban and venture out to the distinctive-looking building on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, and visit Durban’s Victoria Street Market.

What to expect at the Vic

Everyone who’s been to “the Vic” can attest to the cultural slam-dunk of this street market. Treat your eyes to the vividly colourful saris and scarves, fabrics and fashion; the sound of people searching, bartering and buying in the market complex; the smell of truly unique Indian food and spices, curries and condiments; and the taste of India right on Durban’s doorstep.

What it’s made of

From its humble beginnings in the late 1800’s, to surviving the challenge of a gutting fire in 1973, the Victoria Street Market is a permanent installation in the population’s hearts and minds. Craftspeople, traditional chefs, tradesmen and women, as well as farmers, traditional healers, and musicians (among others) occupy almost 200 stalls at the huge Durban market, giving everyday visitors as well as international tourists the opportunity to take a piece of Indian and  Durban culture, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes home with them.

Looking for more?

Looking for something fishy? There’s no need to hold your nose as you venture downstairs at the Victoria Street Market – fresh fish that’s hauled in each morning is on display and for sale, so take your pick and have seafood goodness to prepare for lunch or dinner.

The Victoria Street Market isn’t just about all-things-Indian, but there’s a special oriental offering to the place, which probably explains why the market also goes by the name of Oriental Bazaar. You’ll find plenty of genuine African arts and crafts here too, as well as Chinese goods that come in true flea market stall type of setups.

So no matter your reason for visiting Durban, no matter the occasion for which you’re visiting the Victoria Street Market, and no matter with whom you choose to go there – be it for the beer, the bunny chow, the bow-ties or the basmati – there’s always something to see, hear, taste, smell and touch at the Vic.