A busy city in between water, Abidjan leaves one skeptical at first. The instant sight of shiny skyscrapers will have you questioning if you’re really in West Africa but the closer you get to the center, it will all click. The vibrant tropical ambiance comes alive deep within the city but each neighborhood has something different to offer. The city is filled with character and contradiction - luxury shops share the street with the harsh reality of poverty in the country.
Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport brings in all international flights.
Woro-woro (shared taxis) can cost between CFA300 and CFA800 depending on where you’re going. Each color of these shared taxis have a specific purpose. Yellow taxis work like minibuses and go from one location to another across town and red taxis are usually hired by the passenger and will take you anywhere in Abidjan. Then the green taxis operate in specific neighborhoods only.
The buses are cheap and quite reliable. They run throughout the city which is convenient but tend to be crowded since there aren’t many buses.
Atmosphere and Culture
When to Go
Abidjan has tropical wet and dry climate. The long rainy season is from March to July while the short rainy season is from September to December. The driest months are January, February, and August.
Overall, the climate is humid all year-round.
There are a few safety issues within the city, and country as a while. The military checkpoints can be intimidating though it’s harmless for foreigners. These points will definitely make traveling slower but carrying around a certain amount of money for bribes can things move quicker. Bribes are common in the area but not always needed. If you’re respectful, it’ll make your life easier unless you’re French which the country has heavy issues with the country.
Keep in mind that the country shuts down from midnight to 5am. The curfew is one of the remnant instilled during the last civil war where all the main points of entry and exit to all towns can deny entry/exit. Make sure you’re on the right side of the barricades before midnight.
As for women, do not go out alone at night. During the day, it’s fine. The society is patriarchal but men are respectful - sometimes a bit much and give you more attention that you’d like.
You notice most places to eat are from sidewalk stands or small road side terraces. Before ordering or sitting down, make sure to ask about the price to avoid long discussion for overpriced meals after eating.
The staple foods are rice, cassava, yam, and bread.
What To See
What to See and Do:
Parc du Banco
Jardin Botanique de Bingerville
Îles Ehotilés National Park
Cathedrale St. Paul
Marché de Cocody