As the former capital of the French Colony in CI this place has a few gems to see if you are into colonial architecture. Some buildings have been restored while you need to use your imagination with others...I thought they were kinda neat. If mix it in with some shopping you can spend a lazy afternoon walking around shopping and taking snaps (photos) of the area
Along Blvd Treich Laplene there is a place to hire a horse and go for a escorted ride around town or on the beach. Try it during the week and you might be able to get the price down a bit as at $30-40 for 30 min to an hour it was a bit pricey for us and we passed
Nick Amon is a local Ivoirian artist. He is a bit contemporary but his shop is work a look and part of the profits do to teach little kids how to paint so it helps the locals if you choose to make a purchase.
Tired of seafood and French dishes? Seems like there is a Pizzaria in most corners of the world..ehy they are easy to make right? This place is right on the corner of Treich Laplene and Blvd GA. Like most places it has a bar etc....a nice break from the norm
This place was right on the street about a 5 min walk south from the hotel. They have/had BBQ chicken or fish with rice. One of the best meals we had on the trip. There is not that much traffic on the road at night - maybe some foot traffic. They have a CD player to belt out some local tunes and a bar if you are not hungry. It is just a small place but the locals do stop by. service was friendly but if you want to eat right away..like in other parts of Africa you need to order an hour in advance. We had consumed a few beers prior to seeing our food....not a bad thing unless you are starving.
Favorite Dish: Both the chicken and the fish were great.
In Treichville you can go to the Gar De Bassam and catch a bus that leaves more or less every hour or so. The bus or the shared vans that are also at the stop will get you there cheaper than a taxi. It is about a 45 min ride - 30 in a cab but you alot more for a cab. If you are staying in Bassam and heading back to Accra the same day you might want to catch a cab as the departure time of the first bus leaving for Abidjan is a bit close for the departure of the STC bus. The bus station in Grand Bassam is next to a Ecco Bank with an ATM if you need cash.
Grand Bassam has it share of local shops to buy things. Most sell slight variations of the same stuff you can buy anywhere in CI. We found a guy less than a block N. from our hotel on Treich Laplene that sold hand painted fabric. We bought a table cloth with 8 napkins for around $20...might have over paid but Kim liked the design and the guy was not a hard seller...did not pester us too much. There are locals wood workers that make masks or furniture in the same row of shops. If the shop keepers don't have what you want they will find it within reason...I bought a couple of masks for a few bucks that were small enough to fit in my pack. Make sure you bargain with these guys
What to buy: Hand painted cloth or wood carvings
What to pay: You can spend as little as $2.00 and $100 plus for larger pieces
Favorite thing: There were 3 banks when we were here in 2/10' All have ATMs but they either shut them down on weekends or they run out of cash then so make sure you have plenty of cash to get you thru the weekend so you can avoid changing money with a local that tries to do you a favor of exchanging cash at a 1/3 of the going rate. We exchanged dollars on monday morning in the Ecco Bank. The other banks are SGBCI and Banco Atlantic.