The Victoria Street Market in Durban is unique in South Africa. Barrels of Indian spices and incense infuse the air of this flea market and a visit is essential for those who want to experience Durban's relaxed Afro-Oriental atmosphere and pick up some great bargains.

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Durban’s open-air markets first opened in the 1870s and then moved to the current location around 1910.

Durban's (eThekwini's) bustling Victoria Street Market is a 'must do' shopping stop for anyone who wants to experience some of Durban's rich culture and pick up some fantastic bargains at the same time. Spread out over more than 170 stalls, the vendors at the 'Vic’ offer a range of African and Oriental products – an eclectic mix that is hard to resist. Given Durban's historic ties with India, there is a strong emphasis on Indian products, with curry powder, spices and packs of incense creating a unique Indian atmosphere.

The current Victoria Street Market was built at the beginning of the 1980s. It replaced the famous Indian Market which dated back to 1910 but was destroyed by fire in 1973. The new, modern building has two storeys featuring underground parking and purple Indian minarets that make the market resemble a Maharajah's palace.

However modern it might appear, the 'Vic' houses the beating heart of traditional Indian culture in Durban. Men in their traditional kurtas and women in their saris sell their wares to local and foreign visitors alike at this extensive bazaar. The ground floor has a fish and seafood market, plus fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and spices.

The top floor is popular with international visitors as it offers more conventional shopping for souvenirs, crafts, jewellery and fabrics. The nearby Warwick Junction Market focuses primarily on traditional African herbs and medicinal compounds.

As South Africa’s third biggest city, Durban (eThekwini) is home to the largest population of Indians outside Asia and this is clear on any day at a Durban street market.

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