Lovers of art and all beautiful things will easily find their happiness in Abidjan. You’ll find marketplaces that within themselves give you a glimpse into the wide variety of African crafts that exists. As far as museums go, the Musée des Civilisations (Museum of Civilizations) is a tribute to African heritage. For those who prefer contemporary art, the Donwahi Foundation or the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery will allow you to discover the hidden treasures of the Ivorian art scene.
Facebook group: Nouvelles de mon pays
The Facebook Group “Nouvelles de mon pays” (directly translated as: News from my country) brings together all those who love this country and wish to share their love for Ivorian culture. Among the numerous posts, you will find members sharing new cultural discoveries, but also favourites and a few posts just to make you laugh. You will not be disappointed with this journey offered from the point-of-view of the inhabitants.
Situated in the Plateau commune, the Museum of Civilizations (or in French: Musée des civilisations) is a must-see spot for those wanting to fully understand the country’s history. Here you will find the greatest collection of masks, statuettes, musical instruments and cultural objects brought together. There are thousands of works that reflect the different ethnic groups and religions of Côte d’Ivoire. You’ll enjoy temporary exhibitions, which are always fascinating. Since its renovation in 2017, the Museum of Civilizations has put a special spotlight on contemporary creations, with a room dedicated to artists from all over the continent and a garden enriched with modern works.
This trendy concept store is in vogue in Abidjan with its arty décor that offers a selection of modern designer brands, much to the delight of fashion lovers. More than just a store, the Dozo Concept Store organises meetings with designers, personalised workshops and sewing lessons. As a special surprise, every night a DJ transforms the boutique into a place to dance and have fun.
Opened in 2012, the Cécile Fakhoury gallery contributes to the international visibility of contemporary African art. It represents artists who set themselves apart by their approaches and their enlightened view of society. Thanks to its participation in international fairs and biennials, the gallery offers artists the possibility to be seen and appreciated even beyond the borders of the country.
Calling all bargain hunters and handcraft lovers! The Handcrafts Centre of Abidjan (or in French: Centre Artisanal de la Ville d’Abidjan) has about fifty small stalls full of African handmade treasures. Statuettes, loincloths, masks, ethnic jewellery, and African fabrics, there is something for everyone. Calm and crossed by wide alleys, this place is an ideal setting to visit with family or friends. To top it off, you’ll find the best prices.
Treichville marketAvenue Biaka Boda
This is one of the markets in Abidjan that you should not miss out on. In this popular market, you can find absolutely everything: handicrafts, jewellery, local fabrics, clothes, but also fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s a joyful jamboree that immerses you in the daily life of the local experience. A few small stalls allow you to grab something to eat outside.
Opened in 2008, the Donwahi Foundation is a space dedicated to contemporary Ivorian art. The structure is composed of three villas, which host exhibitions, artist residencies and cultural events. Here, one can contemplate monumental sculptures by artists or watch film projections. The foundation is committed to showcasing a variety that reflects contemporary African art. Those who want to mix business with pleasure can enjoy a drink on the superb terrace.
Kouté marketYopougon Kouté
The Kouté market is the biggest market for second-hand items in Abidjan. You can find everything at low prices. It has also become a meeting place for bargain hunters, who come to find the rare treasures in this real-life cave of Ali Baba. Here, you must be quick, have a good eye, and know how to bargain. If you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find stalls selling delicious fritters, cakes, and fruit juice for a 100% local experience.