• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Insider Tips for Travelling Port Elizabeth

Send to Kindle

The Eastern Cape is a destination of many facets, ideal for families, couples, groups of friends and lone explorers alike. Like any other tourist hub, there are ways to get the most out of Port Elizabeth (the Friendly City), and we want to share these tips with you so that Nelson Mandela Bay is showcased at its best.

Cheat Codes for exploring the Friendly City – Getting the most out of your stay in Port Elizabeth


Port Elizabeth at night


  • December may be the most popular tourist time in Port Elizabeth, but it is also a particularly windy and drizzly month compared to the rest of summer. For hot, sunny summers, visitors are advised to visit in January, which is sunnier and less windy than its preceding month. For mild, cooler days, April, May and September are ideal. In general, the mornings are mild, and the breeze picks up in the afternoon. While consistent, this breeze is not often very strong. However, to be on the safe side, beach outings should be done early on in the day.
  • Unlike most major cities in South Africa, there is plenty of free parking close to / in all major shopping centres in Port Elizabeth. Unless it is necessary to have shaded or undercover parking, opt for the free parking outdoors.


Port Elizabeth Pier


  • For a one-stop family outing, go to the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex on the beachfront. There are hosts of shops, restaurants, an entertainment centre for children (including carousels and water rides), casino, movie theatres, go-kart course, and putt-putt green. The beach is a two-minute walk from the complex, and there is plenty of free parking that is protected by security guards and booms.
  • Port Elizabeth boasts plenty of beaches from which to choose, but always pick one at which there are lifeguards on duty and other bathers. It is essential to follow the advice and instructions of the lifeguards, although the main beaches are all considered to be safe swimming beaches. Beaches like Sardinia Bay and Schoenmakerskop are stunning, but beware of dangerous currents and do not go alone, as they are rather isolated.


Hotels in Port Elizabeth


  • Stanley Street is a diner’s delight and must not be missed by those wanting to experience the nightlife and culinary treats of the Friendly City. Restaurants range from family-friendly pizza and pasta options to top-notch sushi and fine dining eateries.
  • For families on a budget, St George’s Park is a gorgeous, free place to enjoy the verdant greenery and fresh air. There is plenty of space for picnics, as well as a large play area for little ones, a recently renovated greenhouse that is full of magnificent orchids, and scenic trails through the park.


Port Elizabeth City Hall


  • Govan Mbeki (the city centre) is full of historical and cultural attractions, almost all of which are free (while the others are very reasonably priced). It is best to have a knowledgeable guide to point them out and reveal insights into their history and inspiration, so that you do not miss out on a lot of fascinating information.

As with any other popular destination, the usual cautions should be exercised when exploring the city in terms of keeping alert and not carrying too much cash or valuable items on your person.

Useful pages for planning a trip to Port Elizabeth


The City


Amelia Meyer


Amelia is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for all things travel-related. She is based in Knysna, but has studied, lived and travelled further afield. She studied Film, Media and Literature at the University of Cape Town. She began her solo career in the form of Voxate Writing & Editing in 2008 and loves every minute of it. Amelia believes in silver linings, lessons learnt and the responsibility to do what’s right. When she is not writing, she can frequently be found at the local animal shelter, on the bicycle trails of the nature reserves or sampling new restaurants with her family.

Related Posts: