Abidjan, economic capital of the Ivory Coast

In full development, Abidjan is the reflection of the growing modern aspect of the Ivory Coast. It is the country's economic capital; however, the political capital is Yamoussoukro. Abidjan is also one of the largest French-speaking cities. It has a population of over 3.8. However, the city has high growth and its population increases at a spectacular rate every year.
Located in the south of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan is a relatively new city. In the 60s, after independence, it acquired an important place in the Ivory Coast's economy. The city is very dynamic and has become quite industrial in recent years.
The city has 10 towns and 3 sub-prefectures spread out between the north and the south of the Ebrié Lagoon. Among them:

  • The Plateau, the city's business centre,
  • Abobo, town with a cosmopolitan population.
  • Yopougon: the most populated town, made up of many residential neighbourhoods. It is near the Banco forest which has coffee and cocoa plantations.
  • Cocody: the embassy district, Cocody stands out for its colonial-style architecture. It is home to many of the wealthiest residents in Abidjan. The town's covered market is very famous.

Abidjan has many local ethnic groups as well as populations from Burkina, Ghana, Liberia, Europe and America.

Abidjan's cultural and natural heritage

Abidjan has many remarkable places and buildings such as Saint Paul's Cathedral. It was completed in 1985 and is one of the Ivory Coast's most outstanding buildings. The cathedral is a must-see during a trip to Abidjan . A high-tech, futurist church, there is no end to the adjectives that define its architecture that is both imposing and bold. Italian architect, Aldo Spirito, built it with the Trinity in mind. It is represented by a triangular shape whose three corners are connected by a blue veil. The structure has an area of 4500m². It is supported by 7 struts that symbolize the 7 sacraments and virtues. Saint Paul's Cathedral of Abidjan can seat up to 3 500 people.

Another must-see during your trip: the Plateau business centre. Symbol of the city's economic dynamics, this town in Abidjan is nicknamed, "Little Manhattan" because it has skyscrapers and many corporate offices. You will also find designer boutiques for shopping.
Not far from the city centre, the Banco national park covers 3 000 hectares with 84 kilometres of trails. It is considered to be Abidjan's lungs, with many species of rare plants. The park has undergone much work making it accessible to tourists. It is a pleasant, peaceful place to get away from the city's hubbub.

Prepare your flight to Abidjan

Before you purchase your tickets for Abidjan, you should check to see when the best time is to travel to the Ivory Coast. The south of the country has an equatorial climate. Abidjan often has hot and humid weather. The temperatures do not vary much and remain at around 30° C. We recommend travelling outside of the rainy season which extends from May to November. During the months of July and August, the rain stops and the weather is more pleasant for in Abidjan. The same for the months of December to April.
Air France offers flights to Abidjan with stopovers in Paris. Before your departure, check with the Ivory Coast embassy about entrance requirements for the country.

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