Despite what you may think when you see the hotel-lined beachfront promenade, much of Durban’s best accommodation for all budgets is in the suburbs. Unless you are set on sleeping by the sea, accommodation in the suburbs is better value than the beachfront options. You'll also deal with less noise, especially in the summer months.
Note that the city centre shuts down (and is less safe) at night.
Southwest of the city centre, Glenwood is one of Durban’s oldest suburbs and is the most bohemian area. While we’re not exactly talking rasta beanies or New York cutting edge, it has nevertheless a genuine sense of creative community, with some great cafes and sleeping options.
The area north of Umgeni River comprises many suburbs, including Durban North and Umgeni Heights. Leafy, quiet and sedate, Durban North is one of Durban’s wealthier areas and is still easily accessible to the city and the North Coast. Mackeurtan Ave has recently blossomed as the new hot stretch of restaurants and bars in the city.