Travel guide - Abidjan

With its traditional markets and modern districts, Abidjan has found a sense of balance, that of a city with two sides where day and night are both just as lively.

Abidjan is the economic capital of Ivory Coast, and Plateau is the country's main business district. Alongside the buildings, other monuments stand out in the landscape. Among them, Saint Paul's Cathedral, recognisable by its tall white cross, its triangular shape and its curved entrance designed by the Italian architect Aldo Spirito. Not far from there sits another religious building, the Plateau Mosque with its blue and gold dome.

With your curiosity aroused, you can learn about the history of the country, with a visit to the Ivory Coast Museum of Civilization. This old craft centre was transformed into an exhibition space for local skills in the 1940s. It houses more than 10,000 objects such as masks and musical instruments that reveal the diversity of the Ivorian people, while highlighting the foundations of a common culture.

For modern crafts and local cuisine you need to go to Treichville market. Behind this Chinese style building you can stroll past stalls full of fish and typically African products. At nightfall, join the locals who fill the bars, restaurants and night clubs in this area.

And to meet some of them head to one of the many maquis restaurants in the city, which are real Abidjan institutions. Everyone meets there to share a good meal or a drink in the hope that the night will never end.

Take advantage of the mild climate of Abidjan to stroll through the Banco National Park. Covering some 3,500 hectares and crossed by 80km of paths, there is also an eco-museum.

Continue on the same theme by visiting Abidjan National Zoo, which is home to more than 200 animals. What better way to end your stay in Abidjan than by learning about these African animals?

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