Abidjan is a city of contrasts and contradictions, a city with a complicated past and an optimistic future—a city that is truly fascinating to experience first-hand. The streets resonate with the shouts of merchants hawking their wares and the unmistakeable beat of Coupé-Décalé (a percussive Ivorian dance music).
In the fashionable districts of Cocody and Deux Plateaux, you’ll find travelers who have taken flights to Abidjan for business mingling with well-heeled local ladies wearing pagnes (brightly colored dresses) in the high-end boutiques.
There’s a healthy choice of things to do in Abidjan. You can get back to nature by visiting one of the city's many protected national parks, like Forêt du Banco in the north, and meeting the colorful creatures who live there. Or even grab your surfboard and catch some waves beyond the many inlets that divide the city.
When the sun sets, Abidjan comes to life, with locals dancing to a jazz soundtrack at numerous venues in the city center.
To keep your energy level up, street vendors serve steaming portions of local favorite fufu (cassava or yams pounded into a dough and served with meat and a vegetable sauce called kedjenou). Innovative restaurateurs also deliver imaginative culinary combinations in a new wave of gourmet restaurants, many of which, like the rest of the city, are heavily influenced by the French.