Port Elizabeth is one of the South Africa’s top tourist destinations. Whether you’re a cultural connoisseur, a shopaholic, a foodie or a wine lover, the South Africa’s beach city on the Algoa Bay has a practically infinite number of things on offer. From excellent beaches to wildlife attractions, here’s a list of top activities you should definitely make time for whenever in Port Elizabeth.
We also recommend our guide to the 10 best contemporary art galleries in Johannesburg.
Browse the markets in Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is home to dozens of popular local markets that balances out with a good selection of supermarkets. Algoa Bay Market is one of the hottest markets in Port Elizabeth: a favourite place for both locals and tourists, providing fresh produce among many other things, best in the bay.
Another market famous for fresh, quality food is the Food Lover’s Market. The fresh food and multi-cultural hub of the city produces some of the best fresh seafood and local produce. Makes a great shopping experience, and there’s plenty of parking space.
The Valley Market located in South End is a local hot spot. With modern trading spaces, the market features high quality handicrafts and delicious local treats.
Explore Port Elizabeth’s unique dining
Port Elizabeth is home to some of the best cafés and restaurants in South Africa, all of which are unique in their own way. From cheap to expensive, the city of Port Elizabeth has something for everyone.
Blue Waters Café is one of the finest restaurants in Port Elizabeth, which brings a new meaning to diverse dining. There’s something for every foodie, from breakfast to light lunches and international mains, all in an intimate space with an oceanfront balcony. You can make reservations for lunch, early dinner, and late dinner.
Love less is more restaurants? The This Is Eat is for you. With its minimalistic décor, then it’s all about the food, and they are so fresh and tasty! The Grass Roof is another classic among locals and tourists.
Visit the art galleries and museums
Port Elizabeth’s art scene has flourished and provides a look into the city’s culture and history. If you want to get lost in a world of the city’s culture, then spending a day at her top galleries and museums is the right choice.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum is home to thousands of pieces, including Indigenous artworks. With detail to the art of and from the Eastern Cape, offering insight into the past, and many other cultural artworks from other countries. Formerly known as the King George VI Art Gallery, but was renamed in December 2002 in honour of Nelson Mandela.
South African Air Force Museum is also another fascinating exhibition, which includes an array of historic collection of vintage planes, helicopters and aviation artefacts from the 1930s to today. This museum located in Port Elizabeth offers an amazing day out experience.
South End Museum is home to the history and effects of apartheid on the South End community. Definitely a place to visit and get insight on history is shaping the future. The museum is one of the most popular attractions in Port Elizabeth.
Take a day off from the city and explore the nature
Port Elizabeth is great, but the activities outside the city centre are just as exhilarating and alluring. Wildlife, hiking, and beaches, among other attractions, prove that there is a place for everyone.
Sightseeing and historical sites include Kragga Kamma Game Park and the Donkin Reserve. Donkin Reserve is a historical landmark in Port Elizabeth, a part of the Donkin Heritage Trail. A self-guided walking trail that offers a viewpoint over the city. The beautiful landscapes and scenery allow for a lovely day out, makes a romantic escape for lovebirds. The Kragga Kamma Game Park offers glimpses of African game through Port Elizabeth wildlife including White Rhino, Buffalo, Cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra, Nyala, Bontebok, Lechwe and many more species. Both locals and tourists can watch the animals roam freely, unrestricted in natural surroundings.
The Kings Beach is a lovely beach, lovely in the mornings and late afternoons. Perfect for sunbathing and swimming, but does get a little busy. The Hobie Beach is perfect for water sport enthusiasts, the beach of choice for windsurfers, sailors and kite-surfers, etc.