Although Windhoek ("Vind-hook") is Namibia's capital, just 230,000 people live in the city – so don't expect too many massive skyscrapers or traffic jams. Life in Windhoek is not so frantic, and that's just how the locals like it. While Windhoek may not be too overwhelming, that's certainly not to say it's boring! The city mixes European and African cultures (not surprising if you look back at their history) and has a young and exciting side. To help you discover it, here are our top 5 things you can't miss while you're in Windhoek!
1. Shop at the Namibia Crafts Centre
For a country with a pretty small population (just over 2 million), Namibia sure does have a lot of really talented people! It has many traditional crafts which are kept alive in modern times and sold at the many markets all around the city. While most of them are good quality, our pick is the Namibia Crafts Centre, which sells genuine items at a good price that is good for your wallet, and fair to the seller!
2. Noumea Aquarium
One of the most unique and recognizable buildings in the city, this Church is a true icon of Windhoek. While – let's be honest – the traditional churches of Europe can get a bit repetitive, this one is super interesting! Architect buffs say it's a "mix of neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles", we say it looks like a rather tasty gingerbread house. Either way, it's great for photos. You can also tour the inside of the Church.
3. Eat at Joe's Beerhouse
This famous pub/beer garden/extravaganza is not exactly one for the vegetarians (sorry!). Here, you can eat practically everything that you've seen on safari – from zebra to ostrich and more. Of course, it also has your more traditional meats like steak and chicken, but where's the fun in that? Another fun fact about Joe's Beergarden is its slogan: "our house wine is Jaeger". Best not to drive, then!
4. Dance at the Boiler Room @ The Warehouse Theatre
For a small city, Windhoek has a fantastic live music scene which draws influence from both Europe and Africa, leading to super cool music blends. One of the best places to catch some live bands and then keep on partying is at the famous Boiler Room, part of the Warehouse Theatre.
5. Daan Viljoen Wildlife Park
Just because you're in a capital city doesn't mean you have to miss out on seeing Africa's famous wildlife! Less than 20km away from downtown Windhoek, this wildlife park is home to over 200 species of birds as well as many bigger animals such as zebras and springboks. While you can safari in a vehicle here, the most charming way to spot the animals is on foot, with many nice walking trails that are suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Don't worry, there aren't any hungry lions around!