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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Abidjan

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.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Abidjan

Located near the equator, Abidjan is the economic centre of Ivory Coast. It enjoys a tropical wet and dry climate, characterised by consecutive warm months throughout the year and high humidity levels.

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 Good period to go
February 25/77 32/90 40/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
March 25/77 32/90 99/3.9 Good period to go 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 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 Good period to go
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Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport is located in Port-Bouët, about 16 kilometres (10 miles) southeast of Abidjan's city centre.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Abidjan and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A-100 motorway (a 30-minute drive).
    • Two parking facilities (P1 and P2) are open 24/7 with a total capacity of 610 spaces (XOF 500 for 1 hour and XOF 5,000 for 1 day). A drop-off area is also available to travelling passengers in front of the airport.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By bus
    • The “Monbus 6” bus line operated by SOTRA connects the airport with the Sud Plateau station from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased onboard the bus and cost XOF 200. For more information, please visit the SOTRA website: http://sotra.ci/www/s3/
  • By hotel shuttle
    • Some hotels offer a shuttle service, connecting their establishment with the airport. Contact your hotel to learn about their service and schedule.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis connect the international airport to Abidjan and its suburb. Easily recognizable to their orange colour, they are available 24/7, right outside the airport. Fares are metered, but you can also bargain with the driver beforehand. Abidjan is a spread-out city, so price and duration of the trip (usually between 15 to 40 minutes) depend on distance and traffic conditions. Count XOF 2,000 to XOF 5,000 for a trip from the airport to Le Plateau city centre or Cocody's residential area.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, duty free and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +225 21 75 79 00
  • Website: https://www.abidjan-airport.com/

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GETTING AROUND Abidjan

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.

By Bus

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/

By Wibus

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.

By bus boats

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/

By metered taxi

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.

By Gbaka

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.

By Woro-woro

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.

By car

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).

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Visitor information

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.).

  • Address: Place de la République, former EECI building, Plateau - 01 BP 8538, Abidjan 01
  • Telephone: +225 20 25 16 00

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Ivory Coast is the Franc CFA (XOF).

1 € = 656 XOF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

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:

  • meningitis
  • polio

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

To maintain good hygiene, it is recommended:

  • not to use ice cubes made from tap water, not to drink fresh fruit juice, not to eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruits
  • not to eat insufficiently cooked food, especially meat, fish and milk
  • to regularly and carefully wash your hands

Water

It is recommended to drink bottled water in Abidjan.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Ivory Coast

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):

www.tourisme.gouv.ci/accueil/infosutiles/106

Further information about visa requirements for English speaking visitors is available on the city of Abidjan’s official website:

https://www.abidjan.com/v/visa-requirements/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Abidjan, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Abidjan a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat ?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it ?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+225
+ phone number
-2 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
There is no daylight savings time in Ivory Coast.

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
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.