Abidjan, a city bustling with vibrancy
The economic capital of Ivory Coast, affectionately known by its eight million inhabitants as “Babi”, is bursting with energy and creativity from dusk till dawn.
With unique experiences just waiting to be discovered and a reputation as the “Manhattan of the Tropics”, Abidjan is quickly making its way to the top of globetrotters' favourite destinations. You only need to venture just outside of the business centre to discover the many different faces of the capital “with ten communes”, with its trendy boutiques and concept stores, art galleries galore and street art exhibitions. And whether it's due to construction, reconstruction or renovation, Abidjan's different neighbourhoods never rest. Admire the surprising, avant-garde St Paul's Cathedral, designed by Italian architect Aldo Spirito, where you can take in breathtaking views over the city. Then get a feel for Abidjan life with a stroll through its different markets, especially in Treichville and Cocody Saint-Jean, or even the CAVA – the city's artisanal centre – where you'll find the best of local craftsmanship.
Abidjan's restaurants have delicious delights on offer both from the local region and further afield. Why not try braised or fried carp or capitaine (also known as Nile perch – a typical West African fish), a fish or chicken kedjenou (a type of stew), a plethora of seafood (shrimp, langoustines, prawns and much more), alloco (fried plantain) or attiéké (cassava couscous)?
The Abokouamékro Game Reserve, which boasts a unique biosphere in the world and is a marvel for ecotourists, is a three-and-a-half hour drive north-west of the city centre and is brimming with a multitude of endemic species, including pygmy hippopotamuses, Jentink's duikers and Diana monkeys. The more adventurous travellers among you will be sure to travel to Man, known as the “City of 18 Mountains”, for a trip completely immersed in nature, with the ascent to the top of the Dent de Man, Mount Tonkpi or, even more exciting, Mount Nimba – the highest summit in Côte d'Ivoire – all on the agenda.
If you can't get enough of shores lined with coconut palms under an azure blue sky, the Abidjan region is the perfect place for you. From the sandy expanses of Assouindé beach (80 km from the capital) to the enchanting bay of Assinie, you will have the perfect opportunity to indulge in the art of doing nothing, or spend countless hours enjoying the numerous water activities on offer.
And when it comes to the nightlife in Abidjan, you can expect to find some of the most vibrant scenes in the entire continent. The bars, restaurants and clubs bringing African music lovers together, all exude a boundless sense of freedom! What else would you expect from a country where two-thirds of the population are under 35?
- See all
- Outings and restaurants
- Visits and activities
local food - hot tip
unusual - eco-friendly
trendy - tea salon
beach – swimming
museum - heritage
design - nature