4 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Ivory Coast

Jul 22, 2021

With its fabulous beaches, serene nature, and remote, old world village architecture, it's not surprising that the Ivory Coast is one of the most popular destinations in West Africa. But the Ivory Coast is more than the exotic vacation. This vast nation has a proud history, with great cultural and artistic traditions.

Its people have traveled far in their own right. Many have been educated in France, leaving behind an indelible mark on the country's culture. At the same time, this densely populated country has emerged as a market leader for the production of the hard, high-quality goods that have become ubiquitous in the Western world.

The most visited sites in the Ivory Coast, such as the beaches of the famous Yamoussoukro and San-Pédro, and the ancient sites of the ancient city of Abidjan, give visitors a taste of this culture's wealth and history.

Here are the best places to visit in Ivory Coast.

Abidjan

Photo of Abidjan
Abidjan: en.wikipedia.org

Abidjan is one of the most multicultural cities in Africa, and with almost two million inhabitants it is also the second-largest metropolis in the country. It has a cosmopolitan and busy atmosphere and is close to the famous beaches of Cocody. Also within easy reach of the city is the fabulous Plateau du Lac near Bouaké, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yamoussoukro

Photo of Yamoussoukro
Yamoussoukro: en.wikipedia.org

Yamoussoukro is a southern city with a splendid, unexpected African flavor. It's a close walk to the center and far enough to escape the crowds. You'll notice the difference as soon as you arrive at the airport or the train station, which is at the top of a peak. From the train station, take a cab (about $12) to the Top Hotel (Map), which is in the central Quartier du Fleuve, the small area of town with cheap hotels, souvenir shops, and bars. Tourists tend to stay at luxury hotels like the Hilton, but there are plenty of midrange hotels, and for budget travelers, the Top Hotel is perfect. Guests of the Top Hotel have an easy time exploring the city: a 30-minute cab ride takes you from the hotel to the airport or any other destination on the beach. There are two cathedrals in Yamoussoukro, of which one is built at the top of the village, the other, in the center of the city, is more important and much bigger. Take a walk around both of them to see their style.

Grand Bassam

Photo of Grand-Bassam
Grand-Bassam: en.wikipedia.org

This is a popular tourist resort on the coast of West Africa, along with Cote d'Ivoire. Grand Bassam was founded in 1961 as a holiday spot and became an international resort. It is relatively cheap, has a few hotels and bars, and is popular with French and European tourists. It is one of the better tourist spots in the region for both its sandy beaches and for nature lovers who enjoy visiting the mangrove swamp and birdwatching. A national park protects a wide area of coastal wetlands and tropical forest. The main town in the district is Bassam, the region's main port. Tourist destinations include the sites of the Fumbissi River and the Gabou-Ivoire. Fishing and tourism is the principal industry.

Bouaké

Photo of Bouaké
Bouaké: en.wikipedia.org

Bouaké is the capital of Côte d'Ivoire and was once described as "an African Leningrad." The city, located on the Atlantic coast, was founded in the 16th century by Arabs. When the French colonized the Ivory Coast in the 19th century, they built Bouaké's fort and its beautiful green-painted Art Deco colonial buildings. These colonial buildings are easily explored on foot, with museums, galleries, and old banks in the Old Town. On the other hand, if you're looking for local life and culture, then head south to the Mali River where you'll find numerous traditional markets, bars, and little cafes along the river banks. Bouaké is easily accessible via several airports, including the main Abidjan airport, and has an airport.