Luanda is the capital and largest city of Angola on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the country. The Baixa de Luanda is situated next to the port, and has narrow streets and old colonial buildings.
In the center (Ingombotas and Maianga) the oldest colonial town is divided in Baixa de Luanda (lower Luanda, from the port to the fortress), Cidade Alta (upper city, where the presidential palace is), and Ilha do Cabo (a peninsula surrounding the bay, with beaches and expensive night-clubs, bars and restaurants). Behind and above the historic center, central bairros include Maianga and Alvalade (residential) and Miramar (embassies), as well as Kinaxixe and Maculusso, which are characterized by Portuguese apartment blocks.
Visit the military museum (in a fort) and the National Museum of Anthropology. But Luanda's liveliest attraction is the Roque Santeiro, a sprawling outdoor market that houses some 60,000 vendors. Unfortunately, the market is also famous for its armed thieves.
A regular taxi ride easily adds up to $50, especially since the taxi company (the only one in town) starts the meter as soon as the car leaves the depot. There are no cruising cabs.
The colonial part of the city is safe from violent crime; but like most African cities, pickpocketing or muggings are a fact of life. You will greatly reduce your chances of such if you stay low key: no fancy clothes or car, use a money belt, etc.
A ship's excursion will be your best and safest bet here.
For several years Luanda has been the most expensive city in the world.
Try the Benfica market, which sells everything from perfume to ivory to animal skins and tourist guidebooks. Prices here are low.
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