Grand Bassam is a tropical holiday resort town situated within the Lagunes region of southern Ivory Coast. With a population of just under 74,000 (according to the GeoNames database), this historical settlement served as the capital city of the French colonial masters between 1893 and 1896, making it Cote d’Ivoire’s first capital. The city lost its capital status when a major outbreak of yellow fever drove the French colonialists away.
In 2012, Grand Bassam was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the historical and cultural value of its amazing range of colonial architecture marked by ancient buildings with galleries, verandas and gardens. Today, Grand Bassam boasts of long stretch of beaches, palm trees and resorts lining its coasts. Though the sand is not as pristine as the beaches of neighbouring Assinie, Grand Bassam offers a lot of fun activities for holidaymakers and fun seekers. The seafood is great and the Atlantic ocean view stunning.
Unlike the pricey and upscale Assinie town, Grand Bassam is pretty affordable and if you’re looking to partying and having a good time, then come over at weekends, you will be glad you did.
There’s so much to see in this little historical town called Grand Bassam. Perhaps the most captivating is the Musee National Du Costume, otherwise called the Costume Museum. It is a rich archive of artifacts, masks, sculptures, dresses and models of ancient settlements. Pictures are allowed here, so you can take a lot of memories with you.
There are few colonial houses still standing which are also worth seeing, such as the Cathédrale du Sacré. Another significant must-see treasure of Grand Bassam is the Centre Céramique. It’s a beautiful exhibition of the artistic prowess of the local artisans.
Your stay is incomplete without a visit to Assine, Grand Bassam’s next door neighbour. Its beaches are pristine and immaculate. Though pricier and upscale, Assine offers the ultimate vacation experience for the luxury traveller. Don’t leave Grand Bassam without seeing Assine.
The food scene is pretty amazing in Grand Bassam. Many of the local restaurants and bars are located along the beach and most do offer fresh food to guests on arrival. If you’re really hungry, you will have to place your order and wait for about 30 minutes, depending on the type and complexity of the dish, to get served. You can order some coconuts while waiting, though. Rice, Sea food, Pizza, Chicken Yassa, Aloko, Attiéké and Kedjenou are some of the popular dishes to enjoy. Local palm wine, beer and popular brands of wine and spirits are available.