Abidjan, Ivory Coast - Stein Travel
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Abidjan

Abidjan was once the proud and flourishing capital city of the Ivory Coast, and a jewel in the continent of Africa's crown; however, years of civil unrest and a lack of maintenance have seen the city slowly move away from the reputation it once held as the 'Paris of West Africa'. For those travelling to Ivory Coast, Abidjan will more than likely be your first introduction to the country. The city is testament to what the country once was and what it could be again. This is evident in the sites such as the Hotel Ivoire, which was constructed in the sixties and hasn't changed significantly since then. Visitors can take a trip down memory lane as the hotel's architecture, furniture and decor are all reminiscent of styles that have long-since passed. Abidjan is arranged along the coast and the shores of a lagoon. Some sites in the city include a popular beach area known as Grand Bassam, the public zoo, a rainforest park in the city called Park du Banco, and Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Information & Facts

Climate

Abidjan, and the rest of Ivory Coast enjoys a tropical monsoon climate. Temperatures in this coastal city tend to remain in the region of 70°F to 90°F (20°C to 30°C). Abidjan experiences the majority of its rain during the monsoon months from May to July. October and November can be wet months but the average rainfall for the rest of the year remains minimal. Humidity generally reaches about 80, particularly from January to June when temperatures tend to remain constant at 86°F (27°C). The best time to visit is during the cooler and drier months between November and January.

Eating Out

Leaving your hotel at night is not recommended; however, if you do decide to have an early dinner or a late lunch then the best area to head to is La Plateau, which has a small selection of restaurants.

Language

The official language of Ivory Coast is French but more than 60 native dialects are spoken.

Money

The official currency is the CFA Franc (XOF), divided into 100 centimes. The CFA Franc is linked to the Euro. New notes were issued in 2004 and only those issued by the Bank of West African States ( Banque des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest) are valid currency. There are a few ATMs in Abidjan but most will accept only Visa cards. It is unwise to use an ATM that is not guarded. Credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and better restaurants. Most shops require cash. Travellers cheques are accepted in banks, as well as some tourist orientated hotels and restaurants.

Shopping

Markets can be visited in both Adjambe and Treichville, they are best visited during midmorning before it gets too hot, humid and crowded.

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