a VirtualTourist member
Just started working offshore out of Luanda and have one day a month in Luanda. Just looking for any tips on things to do and not to do. Bars, safety, shopping, or anything else anyone could offer.
Hi, I have been through luanda and will be again mid november. I don't know the city as a whole as we only go from airport to guesthouse but I occasionally have an overnight in guesthouse en route offshore or Lobito and usually wander from guesthouse to the bars that are closeby although I don't really venture too far I think you should have no probs although best no to go too far alone as I assume you too will have overnight in guesthouse there are usually plenty guys staying that also go out for a beer. The agents are usually ok and they will advise you on where to shop and show you bars en route to guesthouse.
There are lots of good bars and restaurants in the city. First call should be the Ilha, a peninsular off the marginal in the city. Lots of great beach side restaurants for lunch/drinks or dinner. Best are Caribe, Coconuts, Miami Beach which serve portuguese/european food. They do great cockails aswell. There are also several chinese restaurants on the Ilha - Chez Wu, Asia, Shanghai Baia and Macau, plus an Indian called O'Carills. For upscale restaurants in the city, Pintos and Tamariz are probably the best. Pintos has a great English style bar on the ground floor. Just behind it is Luanda's best nightclub, Palos. It is open air and doesn't really get busy until after midnight. Also near to Pinto's is a great bar where the expat community hang out. It is known as the "pink bar" because of it's colored lighting - but it's real name is "Zanzibar" - it is on Rua Rainha Ginga.
Like any big city, you just have to careful out and about. Do not use cell phones or laptops in the car or street, especially in slow moving traffic. Car hijackings with guns are on the rise. Display no signs of wealth, and do not attempt to take photos of government facilities, military bases etc - you are likely to have your camera confiscated by the Police if you are seen. My rule is if you don't want to lose it - don't take it with you! But, I have lived here now 2 and half years - go out a lot, including at night and have not had any problems so far.
A large new shopping mall called Belas shopping opened South of the city earlier this year - it is worth a visit. The shops are extremely expensive but is nice to wander around without looking over your shoulder. There is a good food court with different styles of food - fast food burgers, pasta, pizza, sushi (believe or not...) There is also a cinema which shows some new releases in English.
Sightseeing - have a look around the large white fort in Luanda, it has great views of the city from there. The African market Futungo is worth a visit also. It sells African carvings, pictures etc. Prices can be high, and quality not so great. But if you want a souvenir of Angola, this is the place to go!
Anyway, hope this helps in your travels around Angola....