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Abidjan is a completely different city from most large African cities. It has areas with huge glass and steel skyscrapers and there are the usual slums as well, but the difference between them is huge; much more than in other cities on the continent. In 1951 the French opened the Vridi Canal that connects the lagoon on which Abidjan sits with the ocean. The lagoon became an excellent harbor and the, up to then, small town started expanding rapidly to the present 3 million people. Abidjan nowadays is divided into several different parts.

Plateau is the most modern part, with wide boulevards, supermarkets and huge office buildings. Most businesses, government offices and foreign embassies are located there. The National Museum is on Blvd. Carde and the modern Cathédrale St. Paul on Blvd. General de Gaulle offers great views over the area. Both are in Plateau. The main urban bus station is also there.

Another wealthy area is Cocody where the country's upper classes have their residences. The famous Hôtel Ivoire is situated in Cocody as well. Inside the hotel you will find everything from an ice-skating rink to a bowling alley.

Treichville is linked to Plateau with two bridges (one of them also carrying the railway). It is the city's 'African' quarter and its most colorful and interesting one. Abidjan's largest market, the city's main railway station and many of the cheaper accommodation and restaurants are all situated in Treichville.

To the north of Plateau is another African quarter, known as Adjamé, where the main gare routière is located.

Yet another similar suburb is Marcory, east of Treichville.

Abidjan's international airport and the main port are both in Port Bouët south of town, near the Atlantic coast.

To the northwest of Abidjan you will find a rainforest area called Parc du Banco. The largest outdoor launderette on the continent is nearby. It's an unbelievable mess of people washing and drying clothes each day, without mixing them up.

Accommodation is plenty in Abidjan, the more fancy places are in Plateau and most budget accommodation is found in Treichville, though there are hotels in Adjamé, Cocody and Marcory as well. There is a camping, about 15 km away near the seafront. Food stalls are scattered all over the city; you will even find them in Plateau and the best place to look for a restaurant is Treichville.

Be very careful when walking around Abidjan at night, as the city has high crime rates and there is a great chance of being robbed.


Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    5 19 N
Longitude: 4 01 W
Elevation:  20 m (66 ft.)

Population: 3,000,000
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: 164%

Hours from UTC: 0
Daylight savings time: n/a

City phone code: Not required
Country phone code: 225

Average Weather Patterns

January26.9°C (80.4°F)4.1 cm (1.61 in)
April28.1°C (82.6°F)12.4 cm (4.88 in)
July25.6°C (78.1°F)21.3 cm (8.39 in)
October26.4°C (79.5°F)16.8 cm (6.61 in)

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