Windhoek Destination Guide
Windhoek Holidays »
If you are travelling in Namibia, the capital city is the perfect place to pause before you head out into the magnificent desert, or head home. It has such a rich history and such an eclectic mix of cultures and traditions that it is definitely worth a second look.
Top Attractions »
The German influence is still quite strong in the city – from restaurants selling German fare, to the German monuments and festivals. The Alte Veste is an old fort that was once the home of the German Schutztruppe. It now exhibits historical artefacts and interesting information on Namibia’s history - from its earliest inhabitants and tribal culture to its independence. In front of the Alte Veste is the Equestrian Monument or Reiter Denkmal honouring German soldiers and civilians who died in the Nama and Herero War early in the 20th century.
The Owela Museum showcases Namibia’s natural history and anthropology, while at the TransNamib Railway Museum you’ll find a wealth of memorabilia and information about Namibia’s rail history. There is even a narrow-gauge locomotive from 1900 that used to run on the Windhoek Swakopmund line and the building itself dates back to 1913. If you’re a train enthusiast, relive the glory days of rail travel, and take the Desert Express from Windhoek to Swakopmund.
If you’re looking for a culturally enriching day-trip, why not visit the Okahandja Cultural Village just 10 km outside Okahanja, North of Windhoek. Here you can meet and experience Namibia’s people, and learn about their cultures and traditions. Although all the cultures are not yet represented here, you will see Damara, San, Tswana, Caprivian, Himba and Herero cultures and the initiative enables the families who stay here to become self-sustaining.
Finally, the Christuskirche is a beautiful old German church with the most incredible architecture. In the right light it is a postcard-photo waiting to be taken.
Where to Eat and Drink »
Namibians are big on meat, and their venison, beef and mutton are of exceptional quality. Braaivleis, potjiekos and biltong are on every menu and you’ll be pining for the flavourful dishes long after you get back home. The German influence added sausage, breads, cakes and pastries to the culinary scene and locally brewed beer is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Try the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (NICE) Restaurant for excellent food and fantastic service, or Joe’s Beerhouse for a more laid-back dining experience with friends.
Where to Stay »
Whatever your accommodation needs, Windhoek has something for you. There are several guest farms and lodges just a short distance from the city centre, and hotels offer comfortable accommodation close to the main attractions. For something a little out of the ordinary, why not spoil yourself with a room at the Heinitzburg Castle, or a luxury suite at the Olive Exclusive all-suite hotel.
Windhoek is the commercial capital of Namibia, and as such it is equipped with all the necessary amenities to ensure that your stay is not only comfortable, but memorable. Shopping Centres are easily accessible and offer well known supermarkets and retail outlets if you need supplies for your vacation. If souvenirs or gifts are on your shopping list, why not visit the Namibia Craft Centre in the Old Breweries Building. Artists and artisans display their goods in this colourful market on Tal Street and it gives the local talent the opportunity to showcase their skills. It’s only fitting to conclude your shopping with apple crumble and the best coffee in town at the Craft Café.
Good to know in Windhoek
- The last Windhoek beer was brewed in the Old Brewery over 25 years ago. The new brewery just outside Windhoek can produce over 2.2 hectolitres of beer per annum. Another round?
- Although English is the official language of Windhoek, about 50% of the population speak Afrikaans. The German heritage is still very strong, and the language is widely spoken throughout the country.
- It’s not uncommon to see bare-breasted Himba women or ornately dressed Herero ladies in town, and they are happy to be photographed – at a small fee.