Although not typically thought of as a tourist destination, many travellers use Windhoek as an entry and exit point to Namibia. If you find yourself with some time on your hands, here are the best attractions to be enjoyed in what is one of Africa’s cleanest cities.
Christuskirche (Christ Church)
Without a doubt, this historic Lutheran church is one of the top attractions in the city. Its stained-glass windows and Art Nouveau architectural style are highly appealing and visitors can simply admire the building or book a guided tour.
Christuskirche, Robert Mugabe Ave, +264 61236002
This landmark celebrates Namibian independence and national identity and was, ironically, designed by North Korea. The imposing statue represents all the countrymen who died in the struggle for independence against colonial rule, and stands on sanctified ground.
Alte Feste (Old Fort)
Another landmark dedicated to the independence of Namibia is Alte Feste, an old German fortress that now serves as a museum. The building is the oldest in the city and once garrisoned the first contingent of German colonial troops to arrive in the country.
Windhoek is considered one of the cleanest cities in Africa and it is an absolute delight to laze away some time in any of its lush and pristine parks. The Parliament Gardens are small yet peaceful and contain Namibia’s first post-independence monument, a bronze-cast statue of Herero chief Hosea Kutako.
Parliament Gardens, Love Str, +264 612889111
Avis Dam Nature Reserve
Located on the outskirts of Windhoek, this pretty dam was build in 1933 by South African colonialists. It is a great spot to escape from the sounds of the city for a while and is blessed with abundant and colourful birdlife.
Avis Dam Nature Reserve, +264 61255224
While there is no shortage of high-end malls in Windhoek, more unique and traditional goods can be picked up at one of the city’s many street markets.
Independence Memorial Museum
Although the interior of the Independence Memorial Museum is interesting enough, it is usually the statue gracing the exterior that first catches one’s eye. This huge bronze commemorates Sam Nujoma and faces towards Windhoek, holding a copy of the constituency book in its hand.
Designed by German architect Gottlieb Redecker and featuring a neoclassical front facade, the Tintenpalast is home to Namibia’s national council and parliament. Its name means ‘ink palace’ and it was built using forced labour by the Herero and Nama people of Namibia.
Daan Viljoen game reserve
Situated in the picturesque hills of the Khomas Hochland and only a short drive from the city, you will find the smallest game reserve in Namibia. It is ideal for a day drip and is home to a large variety of indigenous mammals and bird species.
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, +264 833232444
Windhoek railway station
This Cape Dutch-style building also houses a small museum that traces the history of Namibia’s transportation system. Railway and air transportation displays can be found, alongside others exhibits such as old telecommunications and electrical equipment.
Dedicated to German soldiers who perished in the Herero Namaqua War in the early 1900s, this statue has stirred some controversy, with many questioning its place in the democratic Namibia of the present day.
This beautiful, landscaped park is a focal point of social activity in the city and has an outdoor theatre, a children’s playground and a scenic pond. It’s a great spot for a picnic.
Zoo Park, Park Str, +264 816488577
National Art Gallery of Namibia
Featuring displays by some of the best artists in Namibia, the National Art Gallery is a cultural explosion of colour. You can beat the heat of the hot city streets with a wander around its cool interior.
National Art Gallery of Namibia, Robert Mugabe Ave, +264 61231160
The Gibeon meteorites are the largest-known shower of extraterrestrial bodies ever to have exploded over the earth, and there are 33 pieces on display at the Post Street Mall. Take the opportunity to view some of the oldest and rarest material known to humankind.
Vibrant, friendly and a fabulous place to fill a hungry tummy, Joe’s Beerhouse is one of the most popular restaurants in Windhoek. The eatery promises to take patrons on a culinary journey into the heart and soul of Namibia.
Joe’s Beerhouse, 160 Nelson Mandela Ave, +264 61232457
Lying just on the outskirts of the city and at the foot of the stunning Eros Mountains is the Elisenheim Guest Farm. There are awesome horseback rides through the wilderness available, ranging from one-hour excursions to champagne brunch adventures.
Elisenheim Guest Farm, +264 61264429
Every Saturday, Kenneth Kaunda Street comes alive with market stalls selling all sorts of fresh and delicious fare. Vegetables, home-baked bread and cold-pressed sunflower oil are some of the treats on offer.
The setting sun
Admire this spectacular occasion from wherever you please in the city. Even cloudy days bring stunning scenes as the sun takes a bow and slips over the rim of Africa.
Namibia Breweries Limited
Grounded in age-old German beer-making tradition, Namibian Breweries make some of the most quaffable beer in Africa. You can take a tour of the facilities to see how they do it.
Namibian Breweries, Iscor Str, +264 613204999
Three Circles (Lover’s Hill)
For a great view out over Windhoek, head up to Three Circles, but be prepared for a climb. These three stone slabs are a popular lookout point, especially at the close of the day.