Since its founding in the 17th century, Accra has grown into a buzzing capital city known for its rich Western-style buildings and friendly population. The sprawling city stretches nearly 25 kilometers to the east, and its modern cityscape is characterized by genteel leafy residences, gourmet restaurants, congested pavements and hip nightlife. The result is one of West Africa’s most exhilarating cities.
Accra’s National Museum is a good introduction to the country, with exhibits that tell Ghana’s story from prehistory through today. The extensive collection features carvings, clothing, paintings, thrones, pottery, tools and other artifacts, and there is a fascinating exhibit dedicated to the history of the slave trade.
Visitors can learn more about Ghana’s slave trade at Osu Castle. The 17th-century Danish castle was once a holding place for slaves before they were shipped off to the West, and today is the seat of the Ghanaian government. The castle is heavily guarded, and photos are forbidden, but it is still worth a visit to explore this haunting time in Ghana’s history.
The heat in the capital is sometimes stifling, but Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park offers plenty of shade. Created in tribute to Ghana’s leader during the independence movement and the nation’s first president, the park contains Nkrumah’s mausoleum and a monument dedicated to his work.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Center is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the civil rights movement. The American activist moved to Ghana after he concluded that African Americans would never be accepted in the United States, and the center combines monuments to him with an enormous research library. Du Bois’ home is open to visitors, who can also pay tribute to the leader at his nearby grave.
One of Accra’s most charming districts is Jamestown, a quaint but active fishing center whose main street leads directly to a working lighthouse open to visitors. A small road leads to one of the country’s largest fishing harbors, where dozens of small boats can be seen drifting off to sea each morning. Hire a local guide to take you to the district’s hidden delights, including cliff-top harbor vistas, winding alleys and historic stone houses.
The Center for National Culture, known locally as the Arts Center, is a must-visit place for visitors who love to shop. The stretch of stalls sells arts and crafts from around the country, including authentic sacred stools featuring traditional Adinkra motif designs. The artwork adorning the stools represent the things Ghanaians value the most: God, community, strength, love and family.
Foodies will also find much to love in Accra. The city is full of traditional restaurants serving up some of the country’s favorite dishes, including waakye, a mix of spicy rice and beans, fufu, made of plantains, yams or cassava with a side of goat meat, and banku, a fermented corn dish served with okra or grilled tilapia fish. Wash it down with a beer from one of the city’s many expat bars.
At night, head to the beach to cool off on the palm-fringed sand under the glittering stars. There, DJs spin reggae music that mixes with the Atlantic’s rolling waves, and party-goers indulge in local beers and fried plantains spiked with cayenne pepper, salt and ginger. The atmosphere really represents the Ghanaian ideal of the easy life, and the friendly locals are almost always welcoming to visitors.
Accra Geographical Location
Accra is on the southeastern coast of Ghana facing the Gulf of Guinea. It is the largest city in Ghana with 1,660,000 inhabitants.
Accra Dhabi Language
English is the official language of Ghana with nine others sponsored by the government, Akan, Ewe, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Gonja, Ga, Nzema, and Kasem.
Accra Predominant Religion
- 69% Christian
- 16% Muslim
- 8% Traditional
- 6% None
- 1% Other
Of the Christian population most are Pentecostal while the remaining is split primarily between Protestant and Catholic.
The Cedi is the official currency of Ghana.
Accra is usually warm throughout the year with most of its rainfall occurring during October and its rainy season between April and July.
Accra Main Attractions
- Bojo Beach
- Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
- National Museum of Ghana
Other Attraction in Accra
- Aburi Botanical Gardens
- W.E.B. Dubois Center
- Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity
- Labadi Pleasure Beach