Dili’s answer to Rio’s Christ the Redeemer stands at an imposing 27m high, making it the most eye-catching landmark in all of Timor-Leste, and a poignant symbol of the country’s Catholic beliefs. Climb the 500-odd steps to the top of the hill upon which the statue stands for panoramic views of the coastline.
SEE & DO
Cristo Rei de Dili
Xanana Gusmao Reading Room
Housed in an old Portuguese building, this compact gallery is packed with intriguing exhibits. It showcases the young country’s colourful history and art, and pays homage to the intrepid independence leader Xanana Gusmao, who eventually became the first president of Timor-Leste.
EAT & DRINK
While the evening hours away with a drink in hand at this open-air bar. Tucked alongside the beachfront, it offers live music and views of Atauro Island’s jagged silhouette in the distance.
This classy restaurant offers top-notch service, with prices to match. Catering to the well-heeled, it serves up Indian, Western and local fare, and ranks among the finest culinary experiences in Timor-Leste.
Mercado de Tais
This market is a showcase of the Timorese Tais cloth, a traditional colourful garment that’s an essential part of the country’s cultural heritage. On sale are lovely handwoven Tais, in an endless variety of hues and patterns. Handicrafts, bags and accessories are also available.
One of the more upscale hotels dotting the seafront, Hotel Esplanada has 34 contemporary rooms adorned with pieces by local artists. You’ll also find a pool and a café-cum-restaurant on site.