Yamoussoukro is the capital of Côte d'Ivoire and is perhaps the single most bizarre modern city on Earth. It is a large grid of paved streets and lights with almost nothing at all in between them. It would seem that former President Felix Houphouet-Boigny's dream that his home town would become a busy capital city never came to fruition. The streets are now potholed, the lights no longer work and the jungle is reclaiming them in places. Nevertheless "Yam" is worth a visit.
There are plenty of daily bus services from Abidjan, and most other larger cities have at least one daily departure. UTB is one of the major companies serving Yamoussoukro. Travel time from Abidjan is around four hours.
A very good motorway (toll road/Péage) links Yamoussoukro with Abidjan. It takes 2.5 hours by car. It takes 1.5 hours from Bouaké on a potholed road.
The public gardens, the Fondation Felix Houphouet-Boigny and the old Presidential Palace are all impressive results of public expenditures during Houphouet-Boigny's rule.
- 1 Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. The largest Christian church in the world is the most remarkable legacy of Houphouet-Boigny. Although it doesn't seat nearly as many worshippers, it is structurally larger than St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City (after which it was modeled), with a greater surface area and higher dome. As a condition of his attendance at the basilica's consecration, Pope John Paul II insisted that a hospital be built nearby, and he laid the cornerstone for it during his visit; the stone still stands alone.
There are restaurants, shops, and street vendors selling local dishes in Yamoussoukro.
English- and French-language broadcasts are available from BBC World Service on 97.7MHz.