view from the island: Luanda at night
A good suggestion for dinner is to try a restaurant in the Island, which is right in the other side of the Luanda Bay.
There are several restaurants to choose from. So, options are various.
The restaurants located in the east side of the island offer this view (pictured here) of Luanda city.
Jango Valeiro: Dance the Kizomba
This is a sprawling venue on the beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The area appears like an massive African thatched house that is open and airy, with wooden floors . This place is popular day or night. It is a buffet/restaurant during the day or evening where a smorgasbord of Angolan dishes is laid out. However on weekend nights, the venue is transformed into a popular night spot for well-heeled locals to dance the Kizomba, a sensuous and sexy Angolan tango. If you dance any closer, you could get the girl pregnant!
Drinks are served are extremely expensive especially the spirits. But if you want to see Luandans let their hair down, then this is a good bet. Bring lots of money with you.
Dress Code: Smart casual evening wear.
Bay In: Monte Carlo? No Luanda!
This bar cum nightlub is trendy. Luanda nightlife is certainly improving with the introduction of places like this. The open air bar/disco extends out to the water and it overlooks the city of Luanda from the Ilha. Luanda from afar can be deceptively beautiful, almost like the French Riviera!! The Bank of Angola building and the Fortaleza have colourful floodlights. As the city night lights flicker in the horizon, one can sip cocktales and dance the night away. Here you will see lots of expats and well to do Luandans, selected by the big bouncers guarding the main door. Considering that male expats vastly outnumber females in Luanda, there are a lot of them here.
Dress Code: Trendy clothes
Palos: Open courtyard dancing
Outside, it is an unassuming building with a small sign that says "Palos". Once inside, the dark corridor opens up to reveal an outdoors garden courtyard complete with a menagerie of animal sculptures that surrounds the dance floor. There is even a mezzanine upstairs which overlooks the ground below.
Palos is sort of an institution in Luanda, as it has been in existence, even during the later days of the civil war. The music is decidedly discobeat and funky. Most of its regulars are Portuguese speaking expats from Portugal, Brazil and even Cabo Verde, so expect the occasional samba music played too! Palos sometimes has private parties, so only the in-crowds are allowed in by the bouncers. Like clubs of this ilk in Luanda, it is pricey. One has to buy a cartão (voucher card) in order to get in, but you can use this card to purchase drinks until you´ve used up its value.
Dress Code: Club clothes.
Chill Out: Get that Rio feel
With a name like Chill Out, how can you be wrong? Chill Out is a cool place where cool Luandans like to cool out at night. The setting is chic with low tables and banners surrounding the bar. It overlooks the beach and it even has recliner seats on the beach. But the action is on the dance floor as the DJ pumps out dance music. Drinks are expensive though, probably to keep out the riffraffs.
Dress Code: Cool clothes
Doca, After Eight: Check out the view
This place is great fun, there are three floors, with a bar on each, a large pool room, a big dance floor on the 2nd level and up on the roof is a bar, jacuzi and dance floor. You get a panoramic view of Luanda from the ilha which is pretty dam cool.
Like most places in Luanda tends not to liven up till about midnight but before that you can get some food and have a drink before the party kicks off.
Dress Code: smart/casual depends on the day/time
Paulos: Surprisingly Good
Round the corner from the Royal this establishment has two bars and a good selection of music. Partly outdoor with big screen. Varied cross-section of patrons. Closes around 5-6 am.
Dress Code: No sandals or shorts.
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The Royal Pub: The Royal Pub
The Royal Pub is your basic seedy bar that serves up beers a little cheaper than most places and attracts a slightly "sleazier-than-normal" crowd. It has been called many things, both good and bad, throughout the "patch." It's set in one of the older sections of Luanda in a colonial style building that probably should NOT be standing and is two floors of dimly lit space filled with all the things one would expect to find in a bar of this nature....
Dress Code: I don't think they care what you wear into the Royal Pub...I would caution that you might consider wearing something that you don't mind ruining (just in case you happen to stick to one of the couches, sofas or chairs)...
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