Abidjan Travel Guide

Comprehensive travel guide for Abidjan including information on attractions, food and drink scene, where to stay and more.

Introduction to Abidjan

Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire, is a bustling city situated on the southern coast of the country. It is known for its vibrant culture, beautiful vistas, and wonderful cuisine. Abidjan is a hub of activity that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you are here for business or pleasure, Abidjan has something to offer for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Abidjan

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Abidjan has a rich cultural history, and there is no better way to experience it than to visit its museums and historical places. The National Museum of Abidjan is an excellent starting point for visitors keen on learning about the past of Côte d’Ivoire. It houses several exhibits featuring traditional African art, masks, and sculptures. Other important museums in Abidjan include the Museum of Contemporary Art, where visitors can admire and purchase artwork from local and international artists, and the Musée de la Mode, which showcases Ivorian fashion through the ages.

The St. Paul’s Cathedral, built-in 1985, is another significant historical landmark in Abidjan. Its imposing structure and stunning architecture make it a must-visit for anyone interested in religious history. It is open to visitors every day, but a guided tour is recommended to get the most out of the experience.

Natural Attractions of Abidjan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

If you are a lover of the outdoors, then Abidjan is the perfect destination for you. The Banco National Park is a lush forest area located in the heart of the city, and it is ideal for visitors looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. The park provides an opportunity to experience the flora and fauna of the region as well as witness the conservation efforts being made to protect the wildlife.

The Abidjan Zoo is another attraction worth visiting for animal lovers. It is home to several exotic species, including elephants, lions, tigers, and monkeys. Visitors can take a guided tour of the zoo or enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens. For those looking for spectacular views, the Plateau area offers a breathtaking panorama of the city skyline.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Abidjan

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, taking a hike or bike ride through some of the scenic routes of Abidjan is an excellent way to explore the city. The Presidential Park is a great place to start, with walking trails that take you through lush gardens and open spaces. Alternatively, biking along the coast of Abidjan is an exhilarating experience. The terrain is mostly flat and perfect for a leisurely ride. You can enjoy a cool sea breeze while taking in the beautiful views of the Gulf of Guinea.

Best Things to Do in Abidjan: Activities and Tours

There is an endless array of things to do and see in Abidjan. From excursions to historic landmarks to nightlife options, visitors are always spoiled for choice. A visit to the Cocody Market is a must, where visitors can sample local delicacies and purchase unique souvenirs. For those who love an adrenaline rush, the Ivoire Golf Club is the perfect place to experience golfing with a view.

Visitors can also take a tour of the city on the Kasbah Tour, which encompasses numerous iconic landmarks and hidden gems. The tour finishes at the Abidjan Mall, the ideal location for shopping and dining.

Week-Long Itinerary for Abidjan

For those planning a visit to Abidjan, we recommend a week-long itinerary to experience everything the city has to offer fully.

Day 1 - Visit the National Museum, Plateau, and St. Paul’s Cathedral Day 2 - Enjoy the outdoors with a visit to the Banco National Park and Abidjan Zoo Day 3 - Explore the markets of Abidjan, including Cocody Market and the Abidjan Mall Day 4 - Take a bike tour along the coast, stopping at the Ivoire Golf Club along the way Day 5 - Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and Musée de la Mode Day 6 - Indulge in the food scene of Abidjan, with lunch at a local restaurant followed by a visit to a traditional Ivorian bakery Day 7 - Relax on the beautiful beaches of Abidjan, ending the week with an afternoon of sun, sand, and sea.

Food and Drink Scene of Abidjan

Must-Try Dishes

One of the highlights of visiting Abidjan is the food. The Ivorian cuisine is a delicious mix of traditional ingredients and French influences, making it unique and flavorful. One of the must-try dishes is the Poulet Braisé, a grilled chicken dish marinated in Ivorian spices. Another local favorite is the Attiéké, a side dish made from grated cassava that is typically served with fish or meat. Finally, the Alloco, a popular Ivorian snack made from fried plantain, is an excellent choice for those on the go.

Local Beverages

Palm wine is a traditional Ivorian drink made from the sap of palm trees. It is a refreshing and delicious option for those looking to try something local. Another popular drink is the Bissap, which is made from hibiscus flowers and is usually served cold. Finally, the Dachu or Ivorian soda, is a refreshing soft drink that comes in a wide range of flavors, including ginger, pineapple, and cola.

Where to Stay in Abidjan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Abidjan offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. For those looking for luxury, Hotel Ivoire is a five-star hotel located in the Cocody district that offers stunning views of the city and excellent facilities. Alternatively, the Novotel Abidjan is a four-star hotel that provides a more affordable option while also offering top-notch amenities.

Budget travelers can opt for hostels like Abidjan City Hostel or Abidjan Bed and Breakfast, which provide comfortable rooms at affordable rates. Visitors seeking a more authentic experience can choose one of the many guesthouses scattered throughout the city, offering homestay-like accommodation and the chance to interact with the locals.

What to Buy in Abidjan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Abidjan is famous for its colorful and vibrant culture, which is reflected in its local products and souvenirs. The Attiéké is a popular food item that visitors can purchase from any local market or Nigerian restaurant. Other popular souvenirs include handmade crafts, artwork, clothing made from local fabrics, and traditional instruments like the djembe or kora.

Local Culture and Customs of Abidjan

Ivorian culture is deeply rooted in traditional values, and visitors are encouraged to respect the local customs and norms. It is customary to greet people in Ivory Coast with a handshake or by saying “Bonjour.” Timeliness is essential, and punctuality is highly valued, so arriving on time for appointments is necessary. As with many African countries, haggling is a customary practice when shopping at local markets.

Best Time to Visit Abidjan

The best time to visit Abidjan is between November and March, where the weather is mild and dry. It is essential to note that June through September is typically the rainy season, so visitors should avoid traveling during this period.

Do’s and Don’ts of Abidjan


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites or attending official meetings.
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Be mindful of your personal belongings when in crowded areas.


  • Take photos of people or places without asking for permission first.
  • Wear revealing clothing in public.
  • Disrespect local customs or religious beliefs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Abidjan

Abidjan is a relatively safe city compared to other African cities, but visitors are still advised to exercise caution when traveling. It is essential to avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash when in crowded public spaces. Visitors should also avoid traveling alone at night and stick to well-lit and busy areas.

Health in Abidjan

Several diseases are prevalent in Ivory Coast, including malaria, cholera, and yellow fever. Visitors should ensure that they are up to date on all their vaccinations and carry mosquito repellent to avoid contracting malaria. It is also crucial to drink only bottled water and practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently.

Getting to Abidjan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Abidjan

Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport is the main airport in Abidjan, serving both domestic and international flights. It is located approximately 16 kilometers from the city center.

Bus Stations Near Abidjan

Several bus companies operate services between Abidjan and other cities within Cote d’Ivoire, including UTB and Express Bakayoko. The main bus terminal within the city is located in the central Plateau area.

Other Options

Abidjan has an excellent public transport system that includes buses, taxis, and water taxis. The city’s popular bus service, SOTRA, operates several routes across the city, making it easy to navigate around. Taxis are also readily available, and fares are typically negotiable.

How to Get Around in Abidjan

The best way to get around in Abidjan is via public transportation. The SOTRA bus service is a reliable and affordable option, with several routes that cover the city’s major attractions. Taxis and water taxis are also available, but fares can be expensive, particularly for tourists.

Where to Go Next from Abidjan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Abidjan is a perfect starting point for exploring the rest of Cote d’Ivoire. For those looking to experience the country’s natural beauty, a visit to the Taï National Park, which is home to several rare and endangered species, is a must. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a trip to Yamoussoukro, located approximately 230 kilometers north of Abidjan, which is home to numerous historical landmarks like the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.


Abidjan is a vibrant city with a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. From its bustling markets to its lush greenery, there’s something here for every traveler. With this comprehensive travel guide, visitors can experience the best that Abidjan has to offer, making their trip a memorable one.