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An industrial and modern city, Abidjan has a number of cultural offerings for business travelers as well as tourists en route to one of the ivory coast’s bountiful beaches. Notable spots include the Galerie d’Arts pluriel,(Rue des jardins) which is run by local arts historian, and the musee National (32 boulevard carde),which houses traditional artworks. The cathedrale st paul (boulevard languraire) is also well worth a visit.

BUY: The marche de cocody (boulevard de France) has a top floor geared for souvenir hunters with intricate woodcarvings, masks, textiles, jewels,  and timeless examples of Ivorian art.if you’d like a more local  feel, though, head  to marche de traichiville on avenue  victor blaka.  It is in Chinese built building, but inside you will find a truly Ivorian market experience, packed to the rafters with everything  from unusual foods to exquisite antiques. 

Bon Appétit: Don’t miss eating at one of the many maquies dotted along the streets of Abidjan.
Unique to the country, they’re a type of open air restaurant serving simple but delicious braised chicken and the fish dishes, cassava, and the ubiquitous Ivorian stew, kedjenou. On the opposite end of the scale is Aboussouan (boulevard Giscard-d’Estaing),which takes these very same maquis dishes and perfects them into haute cuisine, pairing them with a selection of wine. English language websites abidjanito.com , provide comprehensive coverage of dining and night life.


BED TIME: Most good accommodation is found in the streets between the Musee National and the bottom tip of the Abidjan plateau, where you’ll find the novotel Abidjan (+222520318000), which boasts an excellent view and all the business traveler trappings. A more humble but not lesser stay is found at the villa anakao (Cocody ii Plateaux,+22549742113), a boutique hotel with a handful of personalized rooms with artwork handpicked by owner Caroline and her family.


HIP TIP: Take a break from the shopping and nightlife of Abidjan and explore banco national park and its stunning wildlife; its previously difficult trails have now been upgraded. Don’t forget your camera!

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