There are few places in Windhoek where you can find such a great combination of shops, food, and entertainment as at the Old Breweries Complex in the centre of town. I recently made my way there to take stock of exactly all the interesting spots to recommend for anyone with only a few hours to spare and lots to do. The Old Breweries Complex is a collection of a few buildings that, as the name indicates, used to make up the first brewery in Windhoek. Now there are a couple of notable hot spots in it, namely the Warehouse Theatre and the Craft Centre, which are on the list, but I’ve added a few that might have escaped the spotlight. Read on for more:
What’s so great about the Craft Centre is that it’s the one place where you can find any number of intricately and locally-made curios and objets d’art, for yourself or for your family back home. From jewellery, books and clothing, to art, toys, decorations and homeware, there’s sure to be something that will catch your eye.
As part of the quirky Craft Centre, the Craft Café shares in the great atmosphere and offers a friendly welcome to feet tired from all the shopping. It’s good to know that the food is quite yummy, especially such delights as the apple crumble. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Most nights Chopsi’s Bar has something happening, with the level of the party inside quickly gauged from the size of the crowd outside and volume of the music blaring. They also do quiz nights, with a few regulars taking the prize most nights. The drinks are great, especially the cocktails, but for the hungry, there might be tempting kapana outside.
The Warehouse Theatre is well known for the live music and shows, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s a combination of small buildings that form the actual Warehouse Theatre, including a restaurant called the Boiler Room where you can catch karaoke, pizza and local performances; the Cellar of Rock for private functions and drawing classes; and the Loft, which offers a great lookout point to catch the sunset.
It’s been called the restaurant with the best food in Windhoek, and just checking out the online reviews should be enough to convince you. The spot has an urban feel, with high ceilings and massive windows, and you’re likely to find not just great bites to eat but live music evenings as well.
Who knows why you’d need a hair salon on your vacation? Perhaps while outsprinting a lion your mane got caught in a thorn bush? Or, as you were placing your chops over the braai, one of your locks caught fire? Luckily, within walking distance of buying your curios and take-home presents is a local hair salon to help.
Who knew the broad skies and laid-back atmosphere of the Namibian landscape would awaken the musician in you? When you hear the rock ‘n roll calling you, check out guitars and settle at a table over a sweet coffee while you contemplate your musical career.
Take a little tour of the collection of semi-precious stones and contemporary jewellery housed at The Diamond Works. Learn about the history of diamonds in Namibia, starting with their discovery in 1908 by a railway worker named Zacharias Lewala near Lüderitz in the south of Namibia.
Find contemporary Bushman (San) art, textiles and crafts in this small shop that’s located right in the corner next to Jojo’s. It’s amazing to see what human hands can create out of recycled materials and everyday goods. Support a community project that is changing lives.
A relatively small space located inside the Craft Centre, but nonetheless the Omba Art Gallery is worth a visit, especially as most of the exhibits are quite eye-catching and will make you want to take pieces home with you.