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Destination Guide: Abidjan

Smart boutiques, spicy African dishes and wide lagoons
The “pearl” of the Ébrié Lagoon, Abidjan is the Côte d'Ivoire’s most cosmopolitan city. Gaze up at high-rises in the lagoon-side Le Plateau business district or call into chic boutiques in the fashionable Deux Plateau neighbourhood.

Food and Drink

Elegant European dining or hearty African dishes. Join the smart Ivoiriennes dressed in the latest European fashions at Abidjan’s elegant roof-top restaurants, or settle into outdoor maquis, simple restaurants popular with locals. An Ivorian staple, spicy Attieke cous cous made from manioc root goes well with peanut sauce and grilled fish.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Colonial and 21st-century Abidjan. Watch fishermen cast nets from their colourful pirogues boats beneath the skyscrapers of central Le Plateau or marvel at the African artefacts and ivory at the Musée National, Avenue 13. The warm waters of the Gulf of Guinea in the old colonial lime-washed quarter of Grand Bassam just out of town are inviting for an afternoon dip.

Shopping

French and African haute couture. Seek out designer fashions in the elegant boutiques of central Le Plateau, or upscale Cocody and Deux Plateau further out. Skilled tailors can run you up a traditional outfit from colourful Dutch wax and batik fabrics. Stands at the Marché de Treichville sell more unexpected gifts, like smoked fruit bat and large snails.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Sophisticated people-watching and live African beats. At dusk stroll through the downtown Le Plateau district as the after-work crowd fill its chic bars. Abidjan’s smart set head out into town in elegant suits, long boubous gowns and eye-catching headscarves. Head over the lagoon to the Treichville district for Abidjan’s best live jazz and afro beats.