There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Abidjan each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) Third month of the Hijri calendar: Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet, national holiday)
This festival celebrated on the twelfth day of Rabi'al-Awwal commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and is one of the most important days on the Islamic (or Hijri) calendar. Ivorian Muslims use this opportunity to recall the values advocated by the Prophet. It is also a day when families gather to share a traditional meal in a festive atmosphere.March 8: International Women's Day (celebrated nationwide)
Many events are organized on this day in Abidjan and across Ivory Coast by women's associations: conferences, exhibitions, village shows, etc.March or April: Easter Monday (national holiday)
A religious holiday that is also a day of celebrations for all Catholic Ivorians. In Abidjan, they gather in groups to picnic while concerts take place across the city.May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)
Labour Day is a public holiday for all Ivorians. This day is spent on parades and worker marches.Ninth month of the Hijri calendar: Ramadan (celebrated nationwide)
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting begins each day at sunrise and ends at sunset. For the entire month, Abidjan operates at a slower pace during the day and stirs into action at nightfall.First day of the month of Chawwal: Korité (Eid al-Fitr, national holiday)
This festival marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims in Abidjan take this opportunity to visit with family members living outside the capital.August 7: Independence Day (national holiday)
On this day in 1960, Ivory Coast proclaimed its independence. A day of commemoration with official ceremonies, military marches, school parties, singing and dancing.August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)
Each year, Ivorians feverishly celebrate the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.Tenth day of the last month of the Hijri calendar: Tabaski (Eid al-Kabir/Eid al-Adha, national holiday)
This festival celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu'l-Hijja honours Ibrahim's proof of his obedience to Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son Ismael, but just as Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice, Allah told him to offer a ram instead. Traditionally, to remember Ibrahim's offering, each family sacrifices a sheep on Tabaski morning, and the remainder of the day is spent in prayer and celebration, feasting on the roast mutton and sharing the meat with others.November 15: National Peace Day (national holiday)
Established in 1996 and celebrated each year on November 15th, the National Peace Day is an attempt to raise awareness and educate populations to live together and develop better daily behaviours. On this occasion, peace concerts take place throughout the country and thousands of trees are being planted.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
Ivorians celebrate the birth of Christ. In a country where religious traditions are widespread, services are usually followed by family meals.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||24/75||31/88||25/1||Good period to go|
|February||25/77||32/90||40/1.6||Good period to go|
|March||25/77||32/90||99/3.9||Good period to go|
|April||25/77||32/90||112/4.4||Not the best period to go|
|May||25/77||31/88||235/9.2||Not the best period to go|
|June||24/75||29/84||358/14||Not the best period to go|
|July||23/73||28/82||113/4.4||Not the best period to go|
|August||22/72||27/81||43/1.7||Good period to go|
|September||23/73||28/82||108/4.2||Not the best period to go|
|October||24/75||29/84||127/5||Not the best period to go|
|November||24/75||31/88||118/4.6||Not the best period to go|
|December||24/75||31/88||85/3.3||Good period to go|
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport is located in Port-Bouët, about 16 kilometres (10 miles) southeast of Abidjan's city centre.
The Abidjan metropolitan area counts 10 municipalities (Le Plateau, Abobo, Adjamé, Attécoubé, Cocody, Koumassi, Marcory, Port-Bouët, Treichville, Yopougon). Getting around is relatively easy and various modes of transport are available, covering the entire metropolitan area.
SOTRA's express buses connect the various municipalities of the Abidjan metropolitan area (XOF 500 for a one-way ride). They are generally favoured by local workers, which explains why you will find more buses around rush hours. They may be less frequent during the rest of the day. For more information on bus schedules, visit the SOTRA website: www.sotra.ci/www/s3/
Launched in April 2016, Wibuses offer AC, Wi-Fi and security cameras, with a 32-seat maximum capacity. Six lines run through Cocody from 5.50 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. Fares between XOF 300 and XOF 500 depending on the distance.
You can board SOTRA's bus boats at various lagoon stations (Blockhaus in Cocody, Abobo Doumé in Yopougon, Plateau and Treichville). Bus boats can also take you to the heavenly islands around Abidjan. For some of them, regular lines are operated on a daily basis. For others, you need to book a ticket from SOTRA Tourism, especially during the weekend. One-way tickets are XOF 150. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SotraTourisme/
In Abidjan, you will find both “metered taxis” and “communal taxis”. The former are regular taxis that will take you to your chosen destination while the latter travel on fixed routes within the same municipality. Almost all areas have their own taxis, recognizable to their colour: blue in Yopougon, green in Adjamé and yellow in Cocody. For practical reasons, it is recommended to favour metered taxis (of orange colour), connecting all destinations. Count around XOF 1,500 for an average midtown ride.
These are minibuses rearranged to offer more seats. Very popular in Abidjan, the gbaka uses an “apprentice” (also known as balanceur, or “stepper”), hanging at the door of the vehicle to collect fares and pull passengers in and out as quickly as possible. Fares are XOF 200 to XOF 350 depending on the destination.
Woro-woros (meaning “60 francs” in Malinke language, or about the fare of a ride in the 1940s) are collective taxis (you share the ride with other passengers) following fixed routes with precise stops. On Abidjan's main axes, one car out of five is a woro-woro. They are easily recognizable to their yellow colour. An average fare is about XOF 250.
Renting a car may be the most interesting option for getting around Abidjan, provided you remember traffic conditions can vary a lot (the same ride within the city could take 15 minutes to 2 hours).
Upon your arrival in Abidjan, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Ivory Coast Tourist Office
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Abidjan counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
It is recommended to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination, as it could be required by custom authorities. Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory to enter Ivory Coast, and the following vaccines are also recommended before you leave home:
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
To maintain good hygiene, it is recommended:
It is recommended to drink bottled water in Abidjan.
As a general rule, a biometric passport is mandatory to enter Ivory Coast. To find out if you will need one and for further information, visit the country's Ministry of Tourism and Leisure official website (in French):
Further information about visa requirements for English speaking visitors is available on the city of Abidjan’s official website:
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Abidjan, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Abidjan a little easier:
In Abidjan, it is customary to leave a tip at the city's restaurants. A good rule of thumb is about 10% of the bill if you are satisfied with the service.