Location: Province Sao Paulo Map

Founded: 1575


Description of Luanda

Luanda is the largest city in Angola as well as its capital. It is situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the Sao Paulo Province. Luanda was found in 1575 by the Portuguese explorers under an original name of Sao Paulo da Assuncao de Loanda. It became the largest city of Angola as well as its province. It always served as an important role as a sea port. Over centuries it grew to a bustling metropolis of 6 million inhabitants in the city and its suburbs.

Luanda occupies an advantageous position on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the area where the Kwanza River flows into it. The climate in this zone is tropical, the average annual rainfall is 250-500 mm, and most of them fall in February-March. The warmest month of the year is March, at which time the mercury column of the thermometer rises to + 30 ° C, in July the temperature drops to + 16 ° C, which is largely due to the cooling effect of the Bengel current. It also explains the abnormally dry (for near equatorial latitudes) climate of the city.

In the vicinity of Luanda, grassy and shrubbery savannas have been preserved almost in their original form, numerous palm trees grow there, the groves of which south of the capital are thinning. Outside the city, you can find such wild animals as elephants, lions, leopards, zebras, antelopes, monkeys, but their populations have declined sharply in recent years due to human poaching. In coastal waters there are various representatives of the aquatic fauna: whales, turtles, mollusks, several species of fish. The city center is located at an altitude of 6 m above sea level.


Travel Destinations in Luanda

Banco Nacional de Angola

Ave 4 de Fevereiro


Museu de Antropologia

Rua Friedrich Engels

Open: 9am- 6pm Mon- Fri


Museu Central das Forcas Armadas

Bay entrance

Entrance Fee: US 2.50

Open: 9am- 6pm


Museu de Historia Natural

Rua Nossa Senhora da Muxima

Open: 11am- 5pm Tue- Sun


Palacio de Ferro

Rua Major Kanyangulo


Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios

Rua Rainha Ginga

Constructed: 1655


Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazare

Praca do Ambiente

Constructed: 1664



The settlement was founded by the Portuguese colonialist Paulo Dias de Novais (grandson of the famous navigator Bartolomeu Dias) in 1575 and was named São Paulo di Luanda (renamed Luanda in 1975). At the same time, on the rocky cape towering over the city, the fortifications of San Miguel (St. Michael's Fortress) were erected.

The status of the city of São Paulo de Luanda acquired in 1605, and at the end of the 16th century the new city became the center of the Portuguese colonial administration and the main base of the expansionist forces in Angola. In 1641, the Portuguese were forced to cede their outpost on the Atlantic coast to the Dutch, and after 7 years they returned their territories.

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Luanda was one of the largest centers of the slave trade; about 3,000,000 Negroes were transported from the Portuguese-controlled territories through the port.

In the XX century, Luanda became the center of the national liberation struggle of the peoples of Angola, there were often clashes with Portuguese troops.

In 1961, the leadership of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) organized the inhabitants of Luanda to revolt. The armed demonstration of the capital's inhabitants served as a signal for the outbreak of civil war.

In April 1974, after a series of revolutionary uprisings, the Portuguese government agreed to grant independence to Angola. In November 1975, a new state appeared on the political map of the world - the People's Republic of Angola (since August 1992 - the Republic of Angola), whose capital was Luanda. Since 1978, the largest settlements of Angola have been repeatedly attacked by South Africa, which sought to prevent the spread of communist influence in the region and supported the National Union for the Full Independence of Angola (UNITA).

In 1991, an agreement on a peaceful settlement of the conflict was signed between representatives of the Government of Angola and the opposing UNITA group in Lisbon. Nevertheless, the political situation in the region remained unstable, which hindered the rapid development of Angolan cities, including Luanda.

In 2008, according to a study by London-based consulting company ECA International, Luanda was the most expensive capital in the world. Among the reasons for high prices are the city’s infrastructure destroyed by three decades of civil war, long delays in cargo handling at the city’s port, and high inflation rates. The profits of foreign companies made in Angola through the extraction of oil and diamonds create an increased demand for high-quality housing, expensive restaurants and cars, shoes and clothes, while most Angolans live in extreme poverty. A liter of milk in Luanda can cost up to three dollars, and renting a small two-room apartment can cost up to seven thousand dollars a month.

In 2013, according to Mercer, which conducted a regular “Cost of Living Survey”, Luanda was once again recognized as the most expensive city in the world, surpassing Moscow and Tokyo by this indicator.


Population, language, religion

Luanda is the largest city in Angola, its population (with suburbs) is about 4.5 million people. The ethnic composition of the capital is quite diverse: representatives of the African peoples Ovimbundu, Mbunda, Bacongo, Lund, Chokwe, Ngantuela, Kuanyama and others live here, as well as Europeans and a mixed African-European population. Capital residents of African descent use the Portuguese language for official negotiations, and among themselves, as a rule, in the Bantu languages ​​(kimbundu, umbunda, kikongo), which are gradually being replaced by Portuguese. 90-98% of young people in the capital speak only Portuguese. Already in the 1983 census, Portuguese was named the native language of 75% of the 2.5 millionth population of Luanda. Angolans of European and mixed origin speak Portuguese, which is the state language. Many residents of Luanda adhere to traditional local beliefs, there are also Christians - Catholics and Protestants (Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists). In 1970, there were 480,613 people living in the city, with an estimated 2012 population of Luanda was 2,825,311.


Cultural significance

Luanda is the center of cultural development of Angola. There are several hundred elementary schools with an eight-year term of study, there are training courses for admission to technical and pedagogical educational institutions that provide secondary education. Opened in 1976, the University of Agostinho Neto, you can get higher education. Teaching in all schools and the university is conducted in Portuguese.

Since 1956, the Academy of Music has been operating in the city, the Angola Museum has been operating, where a collection of natural-historical exhibits is presented, and the Dundu Museum, which contains historical and ethnographic monuments.

The National and Municipal Libraries have collected works by the best African poets and writers such as Luandin Vieira, Arthur Pestana dos Santos (pseudonym Pepetel) and others, as well as masterpieces of world literature. Troupes of unprofessional actors perform stage productions of local authors.

The best traditions of musical culture and dance are preserved in the capital, and the modern popular music of Angola has a close connection with the musical traditions of Brazil and the Caribbean islands.

In the city, the development of which began at the end of the 16th century, at the walls of the fortress castle of San Miguel (now the Historical Museum), many architectural sights have been preserved. From the XVII century, the walls of the forts of San Pedro da Barcom and San Fernando di Penedas remained here.

In the architectural appearance of the central part of Luanda, built up like a provincial Portuguese city, the transition from baroque to classicism found expression. The main attractions of this part of the capital are the Jesuit Church (XVI century), the Carmelite temple (circa 1638), the Church of the Madonna of Nazareth (1664) and others. City sidewalks are paved with delightful mosaics.

In the 1950s and 1970s, significant changes were made to the appearance of the capital: semicircular development began inland, the streets were planted with trees, parks and squares were laid out in the city.



National Museum of Natural History of Angola - located in Largo do Kinaxixe. It has spacious salons, containing specimens of mammals, fish, whales, insects, reptiles and birds from Angola.
National Museum of Anthropology - The building built at the end of the 18th century, has a collection of about four thousand pieces that show the traditions and ways of life of the people who live in the country.
National Slavery Museum - Located in a chapel known as "Capela da Casa Grande", built in the early 17th century.
Armed Forces Museum - armaments, vehicles etc. are on display. used in the conflict by the three Angolan groups (MPLA, FLNA AND UNITA).
São Pedro da Barra Museum - historical monument, located in the Sambizanga neighborhood.
Mausoleum Agostinho Neto - located in Praia do Bispo, this imposing building contains the mausoleum of the first Angolan President.
Iron Palace - Built in 1890 in downtown Luanda, in addition to its peculiar characteristics that make it very photogenic it houses the Diamond Museum of Angola inside.
São Miguel Fortress - built in 1576. Inside the fort, the elaborated ceramics tell the story of Angola since the early years, and in the courtyard there are imposing statues, among them that of the first king of Portugal, that of Diogo Cão - the first European to reach Angola, and that of explorer Vasco da Gama.
Visit the methodist church rev timoteo baia
Visit the Island of Luanda - It is where the elite of Luanda will dine and have fun.
Visit Luanda Bay
Viewpoint of the Moon
Visit the mouth of the Kwanza River
Mussulo Island
Cabo Ledo
Kissama National Park - Located 70 km south of Luanda, it is the most accessible natural park from Luanda.


How to get in

By airplane
Despite the very low number of tourists in the city, the airport has a surprising number of international connections, which mostly serve Angolans living abroad (as in Brazil) and the growing number of companies serving the oil and diamond industries. , as well as the reconstruction of the country.

4 de Fevereiro Airport.

By train
Rail services in Angola have seen a dramatic improvement in recent years. Reconstruction and modernization are carried out by Chinese companies, rehabilitating what was once the most extensive rail network in Africa during the colonial regime. However, the trains are of limited use for tourists, as they mainly serve people who use it to go to work. Note that rail services still have a reputation for not being completely safe.


Get around

The government is investing heavily in a bus system to attract the population to use it.

Mini bus
A popular way for residents to get around the city is by minibus taxis (candongueiros), easily identifiable by their pale blue and white color. Although they are considered dangerous by most expatriates, residents use them daily. During the day, up to around 8 PM, they are a safe, convenient, and generally very fast means of transport. Fares are 100 Kwanzas per trip, except on rainy days or heavy traffic, in which case the rates are doubled.

By car
The roads in Luanda are generally of an acceptable standard, as is the case with the main roads between cities, but elsewhere the quality is greatly reduced. Don't be surprised if you encounter unexpected problems during the rainy season.


Stay safe

Luanda has several hospitals such as Josina Machel Hospital, former Maria Pia Hospital (Maianga), Américo Boavida Hospital (Rangel), Military Hospital (Maculusso), Queimados Neves Bendinha Hospital, Clínica Girassol (Maianga, owned by Sonangol), Clínica Multiperfil (Morro Bento), Clínica Sagrada Esperança (Ingombota and Talatona, owned by the National Diamond Company).