Top choice in Swakopmund

In 1905 the need for a good cargo- and passenger-landing site led Swakopmund’s founders to construct the original wooden pier. In the years that followed, it was battered by the high seas and damaged by woodworm, and in 1911 construction began on a 500m iron jetty. When the South African forces occupied Swakopmund, the port became redundant (they already controlled Walvis Bay), so the old wooden pier was removed in 1916, and the unfinished iron pier – a starkly beautiful thing – was left to the elements.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Swakopmund attractions

1. Prinzessin Rupprecht Heim

0.23 MILES

The single-storey Prinzessin Rupprecht Heim, on Lazarett St, was constructed in 1902 as a military hospital. In 1914 it was transferred to the Bavarian…

2. Woermannhaus

0.24 MILES

From the shore, the delightful German-style Woermannhaus stands out above surrounding buildings. Built in 1905 as the main offices of the Damara & Namaqua…

3. Alte Kaserne

0.26 MILES

The imposing, fort-like Alte Kaserne was built in 1906 by the railway company, and now houses the Hostelling International Youth Hostel.

4. National Marine Aquarium


This recently overhauled waterfront aquarium provides an excellent introduction to the cold offshore world in the South Atlantic Ocean. Most impressive is…

5. Hohenzollern Building

0.32 MILES

This imposing baroque-style building was constructed in 1906 to serve as a hotel. Its rather outlandish decor is crowned by a fibreglass cast of Atlas…

6. Deutsche-Afrika Bank Building

0.32 MILES

Swakopmund brims with numerous historic examples of traditional German architecture. The handsome neo-classical Deutsche-Afrika Bank Building was opened…

8. Swakopmund Museum

0.38 MILES

When ill winds blow, head for this museum at the foot of the lighthouse, where you can hole up and learn about the town's history. The museum occupies the…