Windhoek is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with good hotels, sophisticated shops and convivial bistros. Stately buildings range from the home of Namibia's parliament, to the newly founded Hero's Acre. A must for avid rock climbers is Spitzkoppe, between Windhoek and Swakopmund, often referred to as the Matterhorn of Namibia.
Travelling southwest from Windhoek, several dramatic and scenic drives link the central region to the coast. The longest, highest and most popular route is the Gamsberg pass, running down the escarpment and through the Namib Desert, taking the traveller past the Kuiseb River and Kuiseb Canyon.