No, until now there has been no scheduled direct flight to Abidjan form the UK. This might soon change, as British Airways is in the process of expanding its network. The passengers who do want to fly cheaply to Abidjan usually take an Air France flight to the city, the duration of which is not more than 11 hours.
Being one of the largest French-speaking cities in Africa and having a strong relationship with France, there are more flights to Abidjan offered by Air France than any other European airline. The flights are both cheap, and the aeroplanes are reliable, which is why seats are hardly ever available at a moment’s notice. Please contact our agents for an up to date status on Air France flights to Abidjan.
Although there are more than five dozen Air France flights leaving for Paris from the UK each week, the trip is planned such that the stop at Paris is of minimal duration. Fourteen flights are departing from Paris – Charles de Gale Airport every week for Abidjan. Most probably, you would be boarding AF 521 or AF 524 to get to the Ivorian city. The Flight AF 521 takes off at 6:30 PM, every day of the week (and has a touchdown in Mali) while the flight AF 524 is operated at 12:10 AM on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays only.
The cheapest time to be in Abidjan is in June when there is a lot of rain pouring over the city. Although you can come to visit the city during this time and massively save on the travelling and accommodation expenses, there would not be much to explore as it rains 22 days at an average during this month and can cause flooding in many parts of the city. Clearly, a rainy vacation is less than ideal. How about coming to the town by the end of September and leave by mid-October for a cheaper trip to Abidjan? It is when the rains are about to return to the city, and with the Holiday season just around the corner, most tourists postpone their travel plans during these times, lowering the demand and thus lowering the prices.
The official name is Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport (ABJ) but for short people in Abidjan call it Port Bouët Airport. The airport processed about 2 million passengers last year and is a regular stop for Air France and Brussels Airlines. The Port Bouët Airport is soon going to be connected to Abidjan Metro, which is a project that started in November 2017 and is estimated to be complete by 2023. Abidjan is a coastal city, with a broken coastline and many islands. Central Abidjan is further inland while the airport looks rights out at the Atlantic Ocean. The centre of the city is about 25 kilometres from the airport, and as you hop from one island to the next, it would take 40 minutes to reach your hotel in downtown Abidjan.
The best time to come to Abidjan is from December to February, and during the month of August. During the December to February timeframe, there is little to no rain, and the weather remains warm and pleasant. Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, the temperature never really drastically fluctuates throughout the year, and the daily mean temperature is a balmy 26°C. So the only thing that could affect your vacation is rain. Even though the rainy season in Abidjan is from May to November, there is a climatic pattern called the Benguela Current which occurs in August. The Benguela Current takes away all the heat and the rain, making August the driest and coolest month in the year to visit the city. While you might experience some rainy days, the average high temperature drops down to just 30°C during August.
Abidjan has been the centre of Francophone Africa for a long time. It has been called the Manhattan of the Tropics, and all that economic activity has empowered the community to build and preserve cultural and natural landmarks of the city.
- Banco National Park is a protected reserve of the Ivory Coast. The national park is close to the centre of mainland Abidjan and is not more than twenty kilometres from the affluent Plateau district of the city. The national park is a piece of the African Rainforest that once covered this entire area and it provides good clean air to the town and its surroundings. There are trails and guided nature escapes that run through the 30-kilometre square area of the protected rain forest. When in Abidjan, most tourists head to this centre of serenity to attain some peace before heading out into the flickering nightlife of the city.
- Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Abidjan is one of the largest cathedrals in Africa, and it was built in 1985. The foundation stone of Saint Paul’s was laid by none other than Pope John Paul II and the government employed Italian architects to create a distinct design. The cathedral has been built high on the hilltop will impressive views. The most striking feature of the cathedral is the symbolic Christ giant that towers above the temple’s highest point. The concrete giant opens its arms like it is about to embrace all of Abidjan.
- Musée des Civilisations de Côte d’Ivoire or the Museum of the Civilizations in Ivory Coast is the place to be if you would like to know a bit more about the musical and cultural history of the country. The museum has everything: from modern to contemporary art, and then there is a whole section for the traditional and folklore artefacts. The museum inspires the tourist to learn more about African culture and artists creating these magnificent pieces, sometimes from plastic bottles and clay. Masks – both traditional and modern, sculptures, motifs and paintings are all jam-packed into this fantastic museum.
The best way to travel through Abidjan is by taxis. Even though the city is quite safe, after the recent unrest, it is advised that the traveller does not walk at night or use the bicycle out of the posh areas of Abidjan. For a taxi ride to and from the airport, it usually takes around 2,000 to 3,000 West African Francs. If the taxi driver asks you for more, try to haggle or excuse yourself, indicating that you’ll find another taxi. Taxis that are “meant for the foreigners” are of red or orange-ish red colour. They are spacious and well maintained. Green taxis are usually shared taxi but are a lot cheaper than the red ones, and they often can be found in the Koumassi Area. Even though buses are available and move around the city in every direction, they are usually crammed to the brim and can be quite uncomfortable.
There are a few five-star hotels in Abidjan. The Ivorians got their independence from the French, but they could not let go of the French standards of luxury. The hotels in Abidjan are the best on the continent.
- Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire
- Hotel TIAMA
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Abidjan Airport
- Pullman Abidjan
- Villa Anakao