We’ve compiled the best of the best in Namibia - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Swakopmund Dunes

    Though you may have already visited higher or more visually stunning dunes, the Swakop dune belt has the unique distinction of being the subject of a truly fascinating tour that introduces visitors to the numerous—and normally invisible—creatures thriving in this surreal ecosystem of the Namib Desert. The passionate and well-informed guides leap out of 4x4s to catch the desert's perfectly camouflaged lizards, geckos, and snakes. A visit here is a unique, educational, and often humorous experience.

    Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
    264-81-128--1038-mobile or WhatsApp

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$ 850, incl. transfers, snacks, and refreshments
  • 2. Big Daddy Dune

    If you're in good shape, you can hike to the top of Big Daddy, the highest sand dune in the world at around 360 meters (1,181 feet). But it's tough going: more than an hour of very hot trudging and wading through ankle- and sometimes knee-deep sand to climb along the ridge that overlooks the famous Dead Vlei (where ghostly skeletons of ancient camel thorn trees jut up from a flat, sandy, dried-up lake). If you don't feel up to any physical exertion at all, then sit in the shade of camel thorn trees at the bottom of the dunes and watch the birdlife, or focus your binoculars on the distant climbers.

    Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 3. Bushman Art Gallery

    This souvenir and curio shop on bustling Independence Avenue distinguishes itself from the rest with its fairly sizable collection of cultural objects (religious, ceremonial, drums, etc.) and domestic utensils of local bushman and Himba tribes (not for sale). A large assortment of other carvings and antiques from around Africa adorn the walls and display cases.

    187 Independence Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
  • 4. Christuskirche

    The Lutheran Christ Church is a good representation of German colonial architecture—a mixture of art nouveau and neo-Gothic dating from 1896. Although the church is sometimes locked, you can obtain a key from the nearby church office at 12 Fidel Castro Street (down the hill from the church). You must book in advance to be able to go inside.

    Robert Mugabe Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sat. and Sun.
  • 5. Damara Living Museum

    The Damara are one of Namibia's oldest nations. This living history museum provides insight into how the hunter-gatherer bushman once lived with a reconstructed village.

    Damaraland, Kunene, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: village N$90, bushwalk N$70, combo N$150
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  • 6. Dead Vlei

    If you're not up to trudging up the steep edges of sand dunes, head in the direction of Sossusvlei and take a shorter, gradual walk from the parking lot to the much-photographed Dead Vlei. This stark white dried pan is dotted with dead, black camel thorn trees, thought to be almost 900 years old, and surrounded by red sand dunes. The image of Dead Vlei is almost synonymous with Namibia and is as picturesque as it is remarkable. If you're not traveling by 4x4 you can park at the 2x4 parking and pay to take the NWR shuttle (it runs all day long) that covers the 5 km (3 miles) to Sossusvlei.

    Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 7. Elim Dune

    If you're fairly fit, it's well worth climbing the towering Elim Dune, the nearest sand dune to Sesriem, about 5 km (3 miles) away; it will take you more than an hour, but the superb views of the surrounding desert and gravel plains are infinitely rewarding. Be warned: dune climbing is exhausting, so make discretion the better part of valor. This is an excellent place to photograph the early morning or late afternoon light as it's a lot closer to the park's entrance gate.

    Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 8. Katutura

    Created in the early 1960s for the forced evictions of blacks from the town center under Apartheid, Windhoek's vast informal settlement (Katutura) translates to 'The place where people do not want to live' in the Otjiherero language. It now houses more than half of the capital city's population and makes for an insightful guided tour. You will learn about the Old Location Uprising and the reason why Namibia commemorates Human Rights Day on 10 December each year. Be sure to visit the Oshetu Market ("our market"), where northern Namibian fare like mopane worms and dried patties of a type of local spinach are sold, and whose bustling meat market includes a barbeque area where the adventurous can try succulent slices of all types of roasted meat, dipped in a mixture of salt and chili. You can also have the chance to engage with community members and small business owners, while visiting various NGO projects in the informal settlement. Be sure to go with a guide, who can navigate the dirt roads and provide commentary; Katu Tours and Safaris (a Black, female-owned company) does this via bicycle (12km, 3.5 hours, two daily departures) and it's one of the best ways to experience it.

    Independence Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours N$750 per person
  • 9. Kristall Galerie

    This sizable gallery (which underwent a major renovation in early 2022) houses the largest known quartz-crystal cluster in the world—an awesome natural wonder more than 520 million years old and weighing 14,000 kilograms. Numerous smaller but no less beautiful chunks of Namibian minerals and gems, including a wide variety of quartz crystals, rainbow tourmalines, and other semiprecious stones, are also on display. Some great souvenirs can be had in the adjoining large gift shop and high-end jewelry boutique to allow you to take home a unique piece of Namibia. 

    Tobias Hainyeko at Theo-Ben Gurirab Ave., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$30, Closed Sun.
  • 10. Namibia Craft Centre

    On Tal Street in the old breweries building behind the Avani Windhoek Hotel and Casino, the Namibia Crafts Centre offers beautiful and unique pieces of work. Dozens of stalls showcase the work of more than 1,500 rural craftspeople, and include items such as fine woven baskets, original beadwork, distinct Caprivian pots, handmade contemporary jewelry, eye-catching prints, and much more. 

    40 Tal St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
  • 11. National Gallery

    This small but lovely museum features contemporary Namibian art. The somewhat ho-hum permanent exhibit downstairs features German-Namibian painters from the 20th century. Head upstairs, where cool contemporary lithographs by young Namibian artists line the walls, and regularly changing temporary exhibits feature very good work by Namibian and other African artists, most of which is for sale. A small café and shop adjoin.

    John Meinart St. at Robert Mugabe Ave., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Suggested donation N$20
  • 12. National Marine Aquarium

    This small aquarium showcases great displays of marine life, including a huge main tank that can be viewed from different angles. A great feature is the walk-through tunnel. It's a worthwhile attraction if you are traveling with young kids and is a great way to spend half an hour to 45 minutes. The bigger fish, especially the sharks, are fed around 3 pm so try to time your visit for then.

    South Strand St. (at the southern end), Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$30, Closed Mon.
  • 13. Old Station Building

    Probably Swakops's most notable landmark, the gorgeous, historic Old Station Building was built in 1901. Declared a national monument in 1972, this magnificent example of German colonial architecture came to life again in the early 1990s, when it was restored and renovated in a style evoking the charm and nostalgia of the old railway days. Don't miss the huge bustling lobby—a remnant of the building's former life as a railway station. Today, the building houses the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, which includes a movie theater, casino, spa, and two restaurants.

    2 Theo-Ben Gurirab Ave., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 14. Palm Beach

    At a manageable 500 meters (1,640 feet), Palm Beach, which stretches along the western side of Swakopmund and effectively forms the western border, is the recommended beach for gentle walking. Swimming isn't encouraged due to rough waters and strong currents (and the icy Atlantic waters). Instead stroll from the north, starting at The Mole beach, and watch the sun go down in the west. Enjoy a sundowner on Swakopmund's famous Jetty 1905 restaurant and if you're hungry try the festive scene at the famous Tug restaurant. The palms the beach is named after are set back against the access road offering limited shade. Busy in summer, but quiet in winter, Palm Beach is also often in fog due to the cold air of the Atlantic hitting the heat of the desert. Amenities: food and drink, parking, toilets. Best for: sunsets, walking.

    A. Schad Promenade, Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 15. Post Street Mall

    At this open-air market known for its colorful sidewalk displays of curios, crafts, and carvings of all kinds, international tourists and businesspeople rub shoulders with Herero women in full traditional Victorian dress. Keep an eye out for the meteorites mounted on slender steel columns. These meteorites hit the earth during the Gibeon meteorite shower, which rained down some 600 million years ago, the heaviest such shower known on earth. There are some curios and beadwork on sale here but be sure to check out the sidewalk curio market farther down on Independence Avenue.

    Post St., Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
  • 16. Sam Cohen Library

    As in Windhoek, there are lots of historic German buildings dating to the turn of the 20th century, most of them in perfect condition. The railway station, the prison, the Woermann House, the Kaserne (barracks), the Lutheran church, and the district court look more like illustrations from some Brothers Grimm fairy tale than the working buildings they once were. You can usually purchase a book with detailed information about these buildings from the Sam Cohen Library, which is worth a visit for its impressive collection of Africana books, archives of old newspapers (many in German), and vast photo collection (though note the N$50 users' fee to browse the archives). This library began its life with five books and now has more than 10,000 volumes.

    Sam Nujoma St., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free (N$50 browsing fee), Closed on week days from 1-3pm, closed weekends
  • 17. Sesriem Canyon

    About 4 km (2½ miles) from Sesriem Gate, your entry point to Sossusvlei, is Sesriem Canyon, named after the six rieme (thongs) that were tied to the buckets of the early Dutch settlers when they drew up water from the canyon. A narrow gorge of about 1 km in length, the Sesriem Canyon is the product of centuries of erosion. Plunging down 30–40 meters (98–131 feet) at its end are a series of pools that fill with water during the rains, which might only happen during the rainy season (October to March) though not very often, especially if there is a drought. If you are lucky you will get to cool off in the pools, otherwise climbing down into the canyon offers you a wonderful escape from the desert heat as you wander along in the deep shade.

    Namib Naukluft Park, Erongo, Namibia
  • 18. Spitzkoppe

    What could be described as Namibia's Matterhorn, Spitzkoppe towers nearly 610 meters (2,000 feet) above the plains. Plan to spend at least three to four hours exploring Spitzkoppe's Golden Snake—a gigantic rock formation popular with rock climbers—and the Bridge—an interesting arch-like rock formation. The San paintings at Bushman's Paradise are also worth a look though they must be visited with a guide for an additional charge.

    Spitzkoppe, Damaraland, Kunene, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: entrance fee $N80 per adult and $N80 vehicle
  • 19. Swakopmund Museum

    The largest private museum in Namibia, this historical building down by the lighthouse was built in 1951 and houses a surprisingly large and varied collection of items. Displays on everything from natural history, archaeology, and ethnology to the German colonial period are informative and worth a look, especially if traveling with kids.

    Strand St., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$30, No credit card facilities
  • 20. The Living Desert Snake Park

    With more than 25 species of Namibian snakes, lizards, chameleons, and scorpions, this small museum will excite herpetologists large and small. Several of southern Africa's most dangerous snakes can be seen here, including the black mamba and puff adder. Snake feedings take place on Saturdays between 10 am and 1 pm.

    59 Sam Nujoma Ave., Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: N$100

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