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Once a place of conflict, Luanda has reinvented itself as a peaceful, stable modern city. There has been a surge in the country's fortunes, which have restored a city that was historically a center for trade, culture, and commerce. Today you'll fine a chic luxury beach party scene, fine dining, and shopping in a lush and welcoming tropical locale.
Along with the upscale beach scene along the peninsula, there are many other great beaches to explore around the city, including Sangano Beach just to the south of the city.
A walk along this beautifully restored promenade is a must during your visit to Luanda, extending from the port towards the peninsula with gorgeous views of the waterfront.
You'll see Porsches and other sports cars on the downtown streets, and an upscale shopping scene that includes international designers.
Luanda is a city still under reconstruction, but with all that is new, you can still experience its storied, centuries-old past in monuments like the old Portuguese Fortress of São Miguel that overlooks the city from the hill, among other museums.
From fine dining to fabulous street food, including mouthwatering fresh seafood dishes, there is a diverse restaurant scene for your taste buds to explore.
The climate of Luanda is warm and humid. Most travelers opt to visit during the cooler, drier winter months between May and October, when temperatures average about 75 to 80.
Luanda International Airport or Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD) is the country's main international air travel hub, located about six miles to the south of the city. A taxi to the city runs about Kz8,200.
There are rail connections available to Dondo and Malanje.
Roads throughout Angola are still under reconstruction, and their condition can't be guaranteed.
TCUL provides intercity bus service within the Luanda province to centers such as Benguela, N'dalatando, Malanje, and Huambo.
You can opt for contemporary luxury at the Hotel Presidente. Stay beachside in the trendy Ilha do Cabo at the Hotel Ilhamar, with a stylish roof bar and restaurant offering great views of the ocean.
Baixa de Luanda - this area extends from the old port to the fortress in the lower city, and is where you'll find the oldest parts of Luanda, featuring narrow, winding streets and colonial architecture.
Cidade Alta - this neighborhood is located in the upper city and it's where you'll find the gorgeous Parliament buildings.
Ilha do Cabo - this small peninsula extends into the bay, lined with fine sand beaches and a string of restaurants, lounges, bars, and other entertainment options.
TCUL operates bus lines throughout the city.
Minibus taxis are a popular way for locals to get around the city. Typical fares are Kz100 per trip.
Compact rentals start at about Kz12,000.
Maianga is the city's shopping district for locals, where you'll find basics and bargains. For more upscale shopping, look to the port area, or the malls in Luanda Sul to the south.
Casa dos Frescos is one of the city's supermarket chains, where you'll find a decent selection of goods at reasonable prices. A quart of milk costs about Kz425, while a dozen eggs costs about Kz830.
Enjoy high-end Mediteranean cuisine with an emphasis on delectable seafood at Lookal Mar, where main dishes start at about Kz10,000. At La Vigia, you can savor classic Portuguese barbecue, including fish and seafood, starting at Kz4,150.