An Introduction to Luanda, The World’s Most Expensive City

An Introduction to Luanda, The World's Most Expensive City
The Cidade Alta in Luanda. © David Stanley/flickr

Life in Luanda, the world’s most expensive city. Luanda is the capital and largest city in Angola. It is on the Angola’s Atlantic coast. Angola’s civil war ended in 2002. This country still lacks basic infrastructure and most goods are imported. However, its current renaissance is a truly inspiring success story. Luanda, is the country’s most populous and important city, primary port and major industrial, cultural and urban center. It is also the world’s most expensive city. Thanks to Angola’s reborn wealth from oil and other natural resources, the nation has seen a massive construction rebirth. A slew of new skyscrapers in and around the urban areas, and numerous foreign companies investing in office spaces and urban living.

We also recommend our guide to the best shopping malls in Luanda.

According to Mercer’s annual cost of living ranking, Angola’s capital Luanda is the most expensive city in the world. The costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security. By far the most expensive cities for expatriates – the Hamburgers cost $40 and a one-bed flats go for $9,500 a month. Be prepared to spend!

Top things to see and do in Luanda

Sangano Beach

Sangano Beach things to see in Luanda
Sangano Beach. © Ana Sofia Guerreirinho/flickr

Fantastic beach on the south Luanda. Not known as Cabo Ledo (always full with expats), it has the same hot and silky beach water.

Walk on Avenida 4 de Fevereiro

Avenida things to see in Luanda
Downtown Avenida 4 de Fevereiro. © o750/flickr

In colonial times it was known as Avenida de Paulo Dias de Novais, in honor of the founder of the city. Today it’s an important road artery of the city of Luanda in Angola. Passing along the coast of the Bay of Luanda. Perfect place for sunset walks, see the life of Luanda by the waterside.

Fortaleza de São Miguel

fortaleza de são miguel things to do in Luanda
fortaleza de são miguel. © royer_elizandra/flickr

Fortaleza de São Miguel is the oldest surviving building in Luanda, Angola. This place was used for the slave trade in early colonial times. An amazing sightseeing spot. Give a glimpse into Angolan history, including the colonial period, the liberation war and the civil war. Shows the colonial and pre-colonial culture, and how the country came to be how they are today.

Visit to the Cidade Alta

Cidade Alta top things to do in Luanda
The Cidade Alta in Luanda. © David Stanley/flickr

The Cidade Alta in Luanda, Angola, stretches along a ridge lined by pink colonial buildings. Rich separated from everyone else. There are some wonderfully beautiful buildings including the president palace, and other dignitaries live and work in this world’s most expensive city. Recommended for those you appreciate old Portuguese architecture.

Augostinho Neto Mausoleum

Memorial Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto
Memorial Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto. © David Stanley/flickr

Augostinho Neto Mausoleum is a top local attraction in the world’s most expensive city. It is impossible to miss the towering obelisk-like structure shooting above the rest of the city. The final resting place of the first president of Angola is both an interesting architectural monument. it’s a monument dedicated to Augustinho Neto, the first President of Angola who helped in Angola’s struggle for independence.

Crafts shopping at the Benfica Market

Benfica market top things to do in Luanda
Benfica Market, market in Belas, Luanda. © The Crazy Tourist

The Benfica market sells everything from perfume to ivory to animal skins to colourful pictures to tourist guidebooks, and several types of antiques. The Crafts Market of Benfica has been a true institution for those interested in Angola’s arts and crafts. “Kifica”, as it is locally known, attracts many craftspeople and sellers. This is the place to buy statues (mainly representations of animals or Angolan popular characters such as “the Thinker”), and traditional masks such as Mwana Pwo, which represents the female ideal.

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