Abidjan is the former official capital of the Ivory Coast, the current one is Yamoussoukro. But it’s also the largest city and an important economic center within the nation, as well the third largest French speaking city in the world. The city of Abidjan is considered a cultural hub of West Africa, nowadays it’s characterized by high industrialization and urbanization. The city is situated in Ébrié Lagoon on several converging peninsulas and islands which are connected by bridges. As of latest measurement the city of Abidjan has a population of 3.9 million people.
Abidjan is the commercial capital of the Ivory coast and is an easy from reach from several international destinations with regular flights from Paris, Dubai (via Accra) and Lagos. Travelers from other destinations need to book an connecting flight. The international airport is nearby the city center, once arrived to your hotel it’s easy to get round the city. The most convenient way is by orange taxi. They’re relatively cheap, with average prices of CFA 1000 (about $2.10us). From the airport it should be right around CFA 3000 (about $6.30us). Of course drivers will try to overcharge tourists, but if you insist on regular fares usually they will accept. Ask locals for the latest fare measurements.
The city of Abidjan is sometimes referred to as “Paris of West Africa”, and after repeat visits for multiple years you can actually see continues growth and that the city has flourished. Although the political instability and civil war have taken their toll on the city as well. Most of the buildings have been on low maintenance, and it’s massive amounts of foreigners may seem like the city has lost it glory. Still, the city has managed to outlive all of these troubles. The popular Bassam beach, is still as popular as years ago. And it’s public zoo also remains an interesting place to see many exotic animals for just 200 CAF (about $0.42us). Further more it’s really worth trying several meals on the local cuisine menu’s in one of the many restaurants, for example along the boulevard of Bassam beach.
If you are visiting the Ivory Coast, you need to bring a passport, which is valid for at least six months, along with your round trip tickets. You must also present an invitation coming from hosts living in the country or any proof of hotel reservations. You need to present a vaccination certificate for yellow fever. Visa requirements also include two accomplished application forms and two passport photos.