Friday, July 12, 2024
Grand-Bassam Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Grand-Bassam is a town in the Ivory Coast’s south-eastern region, east of Abidjan. It served as the French colonial capital from 1893 until 1896, when the government was moved to Bingerville after a yellow fever outbreak. Until the 1930s, when Abidjan began to flourish, the town remained a major seaport.

Grand-Bassam is a commune as well as a sub-prefecture of the Grand-Bassam Department. Because huge areas of the town have been abandoned for decades, it has the feel of a ghost town.

The Ébrié Lagoon divides the town into two halves: Ancien Bassam, which faces the Gulf of Guinea, is the old French colony. It is where the finer colonial structures, some of which have been restored, can be found. A church and the Ivory Coast National Museum of Costume are also located in the neighborhood. On the inland, northern side of the lagoon, Nouveau Bassam is connected to Ancien Bassam via a bridge. It arose out of the African servants’ section and is today the town’s primary commercial hub.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand-Bassam is headquartered in the town. The Cathédrale Sacré Cur in Grand-Bassam is the cathedral of the diocese.

It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.

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Grand-Bassam | Introduction

Tourism in Grand-Bassam

Grand-Bassam is a town in Côte d’Ivoire’s Lagunes area that is brimming with French colonial beauty. From 1893 to 1896, it served as the capital of the French colonies in the area, until the government was relocated to Bingerville after a serious outbreak of yellow fever. The city’s population returned, and it remained a major seaport until the 1930s, when Abidjan’s boom destroyed the city’s golden period. Grand-Bassam was nothing more than a ghost town by the time it gained independence in 1960, until a rise in tourism in the 1970s led to its redevelopment. The town now has a population of around 5,000 people, while certain portions are still mostly deserted.

How To Travel To Grand-Bassam

Grand-Bassam is 45 kilometers east of Abidjan and takes 45 minutes to get by car.

Bush taxis from Abidjan’s Gare de Bassam are the most affordable alternative, costing about CFA 500. Buses, which depart from Abidjan’s Gare Routière d’Adjamé for CFA 500, are another option.

The gare routière (bus station) in Grand-Bassam is located in the heart of town, just across from the Place de Paix roundabout.

How To Get Around In Grand-Bassam

The town is essentially separated into two half. The historic French town of Ancien Bassam, on the south side of the Ébrié Lagoon, is home to the majority of the colonial buildings and attractions. Nouveau Bassam, which arose out of the ancient servant quarters to become the primary commercial center, is located to the north of the lagoon. A short bridge spans the gap between the two.

Because the town’s central area is small, walking is a convenient method to get about. If you want to go farther, you’ll need to arrange for a bush taxi.

Prices In Grand-Bassam


Milk 1 liter $1.97
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.70
Cheese 0.5 kg $5.50
Apples 1 kg $
Oranges 1 kg $
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.03
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $9.50
Coca-Cola 2 liters $2.22
Bread 1 piece $0.74
Water 1.5 l $0.85


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $
Water 0.33 l $
Cappuccino 1 cup $2.90
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $1.70
Coctail drink 1 drink $


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $
Water 0.33 l $
Cappuccino 1 cup $2.90
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $1.70
Coctail drink 1 drink $


Antibiotics 1 pack $
Tampons 32 pieces $
Deodorant 50 ml. $4.40
Shampoo 400 ml. $4.60
Toilet paper 4 rolls $
Toothpaste 1 tube $2.80


Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $58.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $69.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $70.00
Leather shoes 1 $85.00

Sights & Landmarks In Grand-Bassam

  • Cathédrale du Sacré Cœur.The French erected this beautiful temple of worship in 1910, and it was refurbished in 2004.
  • Centre Céramique, Rue Bouët.Ceramics and pottery are possibly Grand-most Bassam’s important businesses, after tourism. This is a museum of Ivorian traditional ceramics as well as an exhibition space for local craftsmen’ work.
  • Mairie de Grand-Bassam (Town Hall), Boulevard Gouverneur Angoulvant.A French colonial structure that has just been repaired.
  • Musée National du Costume (Costume Museum). This architectural jewel, housed in the old French governor’s mansion, is one of the town’s great attractions, with its huge exterior staircase. Its exceptional collection of traditional costumes, masks, jewelry, and ethnographic images offers a fascinating glimpse into Ivory Coast’s culture and history, both during and after colonial times. The museum’s 4000m2 space also exhibits a variety of publications, traditional home models, and life-size dance sets. Consider hiring a guide for further information if your budget permits. 1000 CFA.
  • Old Post Office. An exquisite structure that has just been repaired. It is no longer used as a post office.
  • Palais de Justice (Law Courts). It was built in 1910 and used as a court until 1954. This edifice has not fared as well as the other French colonial constructions, and it is said to be beyond repair.
  • Maison des Artistes. Unlike several other buildings in town, the name of this bright structure accurately indicates its purpose. You may observe local sculptors and other artists at work, as well as view and purchase their works, at this “home of the arts.”

Food & Restaurants In Grand-Bassam

As previously mentioned, there are several dining alternatives in and around the central market, as well as hotel restaurants. The “marquis” restaurants along the northern, lagoon edge of Ancien Bassam, which offer local and traditional African food, are a more fascinating option. The price is reasonable, ranging between CFA 1900 and 2300.

  • Le Quai (Northern edge of Ancien Bassam), +225 0769 6975, Located near the lagoon’s edge in the maquis region. This restaurant specializes on combining African and French food. 3000-4000 CFA
  • Maquis l’Estomac. Also providing African cuisine on the lagoon’s beach at Ancien Bassam. CFA 2000 and above.
  • Bassam Pizza. The solitary pizza in Grand-Bassam, according to reports, has gotten mixed reviews.

Things To Do In Grand-Bassam

  • Swim at Grand-Bassam Beach. Ancien Bassam’s beach is particularly famous among Ivorians. The place is bustling on weekends, but you can have it all to yourself during the week. Strong currents and a lack of lifeguards should be avoided.
  • Canoe trips. It is possible to arrange for some local boatmen to take you up the lagoon to witness some traditional fishing in the scenery.
  • Fête de l`Abissa (Festival of the Dead). This colorful and vibrant event, celebrated between late October and early November, honors individuals who have died away among the local N’Zima people.

Nightlife In Grand-Bassam

Most hotels and even eateries have their own bars, which are popular with residents during the week and weekend visitors from Abidjan. There are a few nightclubs in the town’s north end, including:

  • Épilogue (Grand-Bassam, Rue Congo en face du Trésor Public),  (+225) 07 18 50 15. 18:30-05:00. The first Bassam’s nightclub featuring audio and video animation. There is a VIP area.Epilogue is open 7days /7 from 18:30 to 06:00 GMTSpecials daysTuesday : Karaoké nightThursday : Live variété with an orchestra 1000 FCFA – 250 000 FCFA.
  • No Limit Nightclub,  +225 49425560. Fr-Sa: 9pm-6am. The city’s biggest nightclub, and allegedly one of the largest in West Africa. In Nouveau Bassam, in a contemporary structure.



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