Luanda is the most expensive City in the World, and of course Hotels, Taxis and Restaurants are also too expensive here in this difficult City. Custom rules for currency exchange/carrying, and behaviour of Police Officers are also disappointing. Here are few tips, which I hope will be helpful to you: (1) Hotel: I recently stayed in "Luna Hotel Zombo" for some 5 nights from 21st-June, 2014. I was there to attend FILDA-2014. In Luanda, low Quality Hotels are around $150-$200. Top Quality 5-Star Hotels are + $500. But this particular 3.50 Star Hotel is $320 (or 30,400 in local currency). It's very good and new Hotel, opened October last year or so. Very well managed, very clean, near to Airport and FILDA, with complimentary pick/drop (if you request the Hotel some 24-hours prior to your arrival /departure), quick check in/check out, good & helping Staff, nice modern rooms/bathrooms, with good breakfast. Hotel Manager is always there to look after the Hotel matters. Try ask him complicated things about Luanda, and he'll always end with "This is Angola". You better book this hotel directly from the Hotel website. On other side, I found Reception/Lobby not up to the mark, and above all Hotel is not located in posh/good area of Luanda. There is just nothing special about the vicinity. Couple of small cafés, stores with all basic needs, Bank, Bakery, and other few shops are behind the Hotel at a safe walking distance (during day light of course) of few hundred meters. You can also exchange your Currency outside the Cafes at better rates, just ask the shoe polishing boy there. If you are looking for Hotel near to Airport or FILDA, then it's the best option. Otherwise you can consider hotels in or near "Marginal Area". It's Cornish, and newly developed posh area. But, there most of the Hotels are even more expensive. (2) Taxis: Taxis are also very expensive in Luanda, from $30 to +$200 (yes +$200), and most of the time, available on call only. Luanda Public Transport Vans/Coasters charge $1 only. You can ride it during day time, if you feel comfortable with that. Chose your Hotel and it's location in Luanda very wisely, as one should avoid long and excess taxi rides. Must keep in mind, that Roads in Luanda are always busy. If you've any contact in Luanda, ask them to find you Private Car with Driver, as it'll cost you quite low, as compare to Official Taxis. (3) Currency exchange : It'll be better if you get any un-official contact to get your $ exchanged with local currency (un-officially $ +/=115), as Banks/Official money exchange pay quite less rate (officially $=100). If you can exchange your currency at better rate then you can bring down all your expenses there, including your Hotel stay price. (4) Issues while Departure : Please don't exchange excess $ in Luanda during your stay. While leaving the Angola, Money exchange at Departure side of Airport, refused me to accept their local currency in exchange of $, as I was not on "work permit" and just having Ordinary Visa. So, if you've excess local currency with you, better get it exchanged before you leave for Airport, from any Bank offering money exchange services or through any un-official contact. I departed on Saturday, and Bank at Departure Lounge was closed due to Saturday, therefore unable to advise you whether or not, they are allowed to change their local currency with $. If $ not available, ask for €. Just don't carry their local currency, as it's useless and not allowed as per their customs rules. You can also try to exchange your excess local currency from Money Exchange at Arrival Lounge. Pls be aware, that some times $ are not available at money exchange counters at Airport. Also note, that one should not carry more then $10,000 ($5,000 in case of minor), while leaving the country, as clearly written in Departure area, before check in. But I noticed that Custom Officers showing concerns if one carrying more then $5,000, until and unless you satisfy them with logical answer. (5) Super Market: For day to day shopping, and economical meals, "Shop Right" Super Market is one of the best option, located near the FILDA, and here you won't feel that you're in the most expensive city. "Hungry Lion" at Shop Right Super Market, is quite good and very reasonable Fast Food Restaurant, serving (Halal) Fried Chicken, Burgers, French Fries etc at very low price of some $7 per combo deal. Inside the Super Market, other economical meal options are also available. Jumbo is also an other good Super Market here, but I didn't try it. (6) Restaurants : Al-Amir is one of the best Labenes Restaurant, expect bill of some $30 per person. Ocrail is one of the best Indian Restaurant here, expect bill of $30 to $50 per person, just avoid sitting at side tables under white long tube lights. Other famous Indian Restaurant is Andy's Bar, which I didn't try. Couple of KFC restaurants are also there, which I didn't try. KFC near Airport is not up to the mark, as I was informed there. You can also order for Pizza with free delivery. Large/12" thin crust tasty and hot Chicken Pizza will cost you some $30. Hotel reception staff helped me a lot in this regard. Pizza serving restaurants are common there. (7) At departure lounge, just before check in line, couple of policemen will check your Passport and ticket. Don't be surprise if they ask for some money at that time. Better give them some 1000 or less in their local currency, and move on. (8) Language : Portuguese is their main language. Only few people speak English there. But this is manageable some how. Any way, proper planing is very necessary before visiting Luanda. I hope these tips will help you a lot while visiting Luanda.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Ebookers, Hotels.com, 5viajes2012 S.L., HotelQuickly and Priceline so you can book your Luna Hotel Zombo reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.