Luanda, the capital of Angola, is on the Atlantic coast. It has beautiful beaches and a number of sights.
The sights to be found in the centre of Luanda include a Military Museum, the National Anthropological Museum and Roque Santeiro, a huge open-air market. Futungo market, which is just outside the city, is Angola’s biggest arts and crafts market. Every Sunday, the market is transformed into a truly popular festival by musicians and dancers in local traditional costumes.
The Slavery Museum is about 25 kilometres from the centre of Luanda and contains objects and documents from the time of the slave trade. It is estimated that 3 million slaves were shipped from Angola.
SLEEP Boutique guesthouse Hotel Rouxinol (Beco de Moçambique 16, Cruzeiro, hotelrouxinol) is located in a quiet suburb, not far from the embassies. It has clean, comfortable rooms, a restaurant and a fitness centre.
EAT It’s not fancy, but Capricciosa Pizzaria (Rua Augusto Tadeu Basto 59, www.pizzariacapricciosa.webnode.pt) serves the best pizzas – cooked in wood-fired ovens – in Luanda. Dine outdoors under the wooden canopy, or ask them to deliver your food to your hotel room.
- A beautiful historical structure downtown, rumour has it that the Palácio de Ferro (Rua Major Kanhangulo) was designed by Frenchman Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty fame). Built in France in the 1890s for the World’s Fair in Paris, it was brought to Luanda in 1902.
- Every Sunday the Futungo market (just south of Luanda) comes to life. This is one of the largest craft markets in Africa, a place where you can buy authentic, unique items, including clothes and furniture. Bargaining is expected by the vendors. After a busy morning spent haggling, have lunch at the beautiful beaches of Mussulo Bay, where locals spend their weekends.
- The National Museum of Anthropology (Bairro dos Coqueiros Avenida de Portugal, www.museuantropologia.angoladigital.net) was created to help educate Angolans about their culture and history. Spend an afternoon checking out this fascinating collection, which includes more than 6,000 objects, including traditional masks, sculptures, jewellery, tools, clothing and musical instruments.
Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport is 4km from the city centre. Local taxis start at around AOA100/€0.85. But you can also find Afri-Taxi, a private company, outside by the exit. They charge a set fee of AOA300/€2.60 plus AOA20/€0.17 per minute.