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    Fly to Abidjan, Ivory Coast

    Music and traditions in Ivory Coast.

    From traditional festivals of masks to the Ivorian reggae of Alpha Blondy and the afro-pop of Magic System, discover a lively and inspiring country.

    Visit the markets in Abidjan

    Markets, markets and markets!

    Experience the local culture in an authentic way, strolling around the two main markets in Ivory Coast, Treichville and Cocody.

    Cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast

    Cocoa plantations.

    Visit cocoa plantations, meet farmers and learn how chocolate is made. Chocolate will never taste the same to you!

    Flights to Abidjan, Ivory Coast

    With a population of about 5 million people, Abidjan is the economic and cultural centre of Ivory Coast. The city is built around several lagoons, islands and peninsulas connected to one another by bridges. Abidjan boasts the largest port in West Africa and some of Africa’s tallest skyscrapers. Because of its sophisticated and cosmopolitan atmosphere, the city is sometimes referred to as the “Paris of Africa” and the nightlife in Abidjan is considered to be among the liveliest in the whole of West Africa.

    With 2 million acres of wooded savannah and lush forest, 8 national parks, 21 natural reserves and a rich biodiversity, Ivory Coast is the perfect destination for nature lovers. Sport and adventure seekers are also spoiled. Enjoy all kinds of watersports along the 500km coastline, play golf in Abidjan or Yamoussoukro, run a marathon or experience the arduous rally in Bandama… there are plenty of outdoor opportunities in Ivory Coast.

    So what are you waiting for? Book your flight to Abidjan today and discover Ivory Coast with Brussels Airlines.


    What to do in and around Abidjan?

    1. Looming over the lagoon stands St. Paul’s Cathedral, the main Roman Catholic church in Abidjan. This church in the shape of an elephant, designed by the Italian architect Aldo Spirito, has beautiful stained-glass windows and is certainly worth a visit. Climb to the tower to enjoy a wonderful view over the city, the lagoon and the port.
    2. The Plateau, the business district of Abidjan. Ministries, major banks, including the Africa Development Bank, the famous “Hôtel Ivoire”, Africa’s most famous hotel, and the Pyramid building are located here.
    3. Botanical garden of Bingerville. A fascinating garden not far from Abidjan, perfect to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
    4. Only 3km from central Abidjan is the Parc du Banco. Wander through the rainforest to the central lake or take a detour and walk along bush trails through ancient forests of immense tropical hardwood trees. Look out for the small river on the park’s edge where the fanicos (laundry men) work after collecting the laundry from the whole city.
    5. Local market at Treichville. Get an authentic experience of local culture by strolling around this huge indoor market. Do you prefer outdoor markets? Then the Cocody market is for you. Remember to bargain hard! Also pay a visit to the two mosques.
    6. Grand-Bassam. 45km east of Abidjan lies the old French-colonial town of Grand-Bassam, listed as UNESCO World Heritage, and once the nation’s capital. Discover the colonial houses, the traditional dresses in the Museum of Costume and relax on the nice, palm-backed beach that stretches along the Atlantic coast.
    7. Can’t spend a holiday without surfing? Then hit the waves at Assinie-Mafia, one of Ivory Coast’s loveliest beaches. Alternatively, you can take a pirogue ride across the Aby lagoon to La Passe, where the lagoon meets the sea and the green waters mingle with the blue. It’s pure beauty.
    8. Are you a wildlife enthusiast? Then set off for a daytrip to the verdant Abokouamekro Game Reserve in search of hippos, giraffes, lions and other animals. On your way you can stop at Yamoussoukro, the real capital of Ivory Coast, boasting the Foundation Houphouet-Boigny protected by sacred crocodiles that are fed in the evenings, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the largest church in the world.
    9. Taï National Park. Dive into the heart of the wilderness in one of the remaining pieces of West-African rainforest. See protected species, like the pygmy hippopotamus, and observe the local chimpanzee population. You can also overnight in one of the Eco Lodges around the park.
    10. The stunning peaks and valleys of Man, not far from the border with Liberia, offer a highland climate, fresh air and fantastic hiking opportunities through tropical forests. One of the best place to find traditional Dan masks.

    Practical information for your trip to Abidjan and Ivory Coast

    • Brussels Airlines flights arrive and depart from Felix Houphouët-Boigny Airport, located about 16 km from the city. Taxis are available at the arrivals at the airport. You can also book a taxi in advance on the websites of Taxi Jet or Africab.
    • Time zone: UTC + 00:00.
    • Currency: The currency in Ivory Coast is the CFA franc (XOF). Euros are accepted in several shops. Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) in big retail shops, hotels, tour operators. There is also a wide network of ATMs. You can exchange money in banks but also in some shops and hotels.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: The country code for Ivory Coast is +225. City/area codes are not required and all phone numbers have eight digits. Wi-fi is available at the airport and in most of the hotels. Internet cafes are available across the country. Mobile phone companies are Orange, Moov, MTN. Both 3G and 4G are covered.
    • Electric sockets: These have a standard voltage of 220 V and are type C or F (European standard). If you use American or British plugs, you will need an adaptor.
    • Travel information: You will need a visa to enter Ivory Coast. Visitors can apply for an e-Visa through any Ivory Coast embassy or online on www.snedai.ci. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months. For all information on visas and travel documents, visit the website www.iatatravelcentre.com.
    • Vaccination: To enter Ivory Coast you must have the Yellow fever vaccination. For more health information, visit the website www.iatatravelcentre.com.

    Dos and don'ts in Abidjan

    • The political situation in Ivory Coast is volatile and demonstrations can occur unexpectedly. Take care in public places and respect the numerous army and police roadblocks.
    • Remember that photographing military or government installations is forbidden in Ivory Coast.
    • Dress respectfully. LGBT travellers should take extra care since homosexuality is illegal in the country.
    • Take care when walking at night, especially outside of well-populated areas. In crowded areas, beware of pickpockets: keep track of your personal items and make sure your bags are well closed when passing through busy bus stations or markets.
    • A common way of travelling is by shared taxis (known as bâchés) and minibuses. They leave at all hours of the day, but only when full. If you drive your own car, always fasten your seatbelt and drive careful.
    • When sea bathing beware of strong sea currents. Don't swim anywhere the locals won't.
    • If you do the markets, remember that bargaining is a must. Pay attention with products made of ivory; you might have problems when leaving the country.
    • The official language of Ivory Coast is French but more than 60 native dialects are spoken.

    When to go to Abidjan and Ivory Coast?

    Ivory Coast is best visited from November to May, when the dry season starts. The best months to visit Abidjan are January and February.

    What to eat in Abidjan and Ivory Coast?

    • Ivorian gastronomy is simply delicious. Among a variety of specialties, here are three must-try dishes: garba made with attiéké (grated cassava, very similar to couscous), banana foutou with palm nut sauce, and alloco (fried ripe plantain banana) with grilled fish. And to drink? Beer or bandji, palm wine.
    • The best restaurants of Abidjan are located in the residential areas. At least once you need to try out a maquis, not only an experience for your taste, but a whole cultural and political experience.
    • It's best not to drink tap water anywhere in Ivory Coast. Bottled water is available in shops throughout the country.

    Cultural events in Abidjan and Ivory Coast

    • Abidjan is one of the major music venues of West Africa. Every year, the city hosts several music festivals like the International Jazz Festival of Abidjan, the RTI Music Awards, the Festival of Urban Dances, the FEMUA (Festival des Musiques Urbaines d'Anoumabo).
    • Popo Carnival in Bonoua (east of Abidjan): take part in the colourful parade and watch the election of the most handsome man and the most beautiful woman.
    • Bouaké Carnival: for one week, the second largest city in Ivory Coast gets crazy with great music concerts, delicious gastronomic stands, cultural markets and street parties and parades.
    • Abidjan Grill Festival: a gastronomic fair where the best braiseurs and roasters from Abidjan gather together in a unique atmosphere.
    • FESTIBO, Bounkani Traditional Dance Festival: the major traditional dance festival of Ivory Coast offering performances, gastronomic stands and conferences.
    • Abissa (Grand-Bassam, late-October): for one week, the Nzima community of Grand-Bassam gather together to celebrate forgiveness and rebirth.
    • Abidjan is an excellent conference destination with a lot of meeting and conference spaces and facilities. The city hosts the annual International Tourism Fair (SITA), a high-profile tourism exhibition, and Expo’Art, an unmissable event for all contemporary art professionals and lovers.

    Book your flight to Abidjan, Ivory Coast!

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