As the capital of Ghana, Accra is often considered the most exciting and versatile capital city in western Africa. Located on the Ghanaian Atlantic coast, the city is home to around two million people and is the administrative and economic centre of the country.
Whether you are looking for beautiful beaches, major landmarks, an impressive history or a vibrant nightlife, Accra has it all.
Some of the main attractions are the National Museum, reflecting the country’s heritage from prehistoric to modern times, the Osu neighbourhood with its wild nightlife, and the colonial streets of Jamestown, formerly known as the capital of the British Gold Coast, where performing arts and vibrant colours are the norm. Visit the Jamestown lighthouse for an amazing view over the bay and be sure to keep an eye out for Fort James, a former prison that now serves as a museum - it will lend you an understanding of the nation’s past and those who were convicted.
You’ll also want to see major landmarks such as Independence Square which is the second-largest city square in the world, and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum which pays homage to Ghana’s first president who declared independence in 1957.
Want to discover more of Accra? We’ve come up with an itinerary for you in our b.inspired magazine >>
SLEEP The Villa Monticello (1A Mankata Avenue Link, villamonticello) is a guilty pleasure, locking out the sticky clamour of Accra in favour of marble floors, air conditioning, chunky wood and cool pools. Everything’s clean, orderly and guaranteed to lower the blood pressure after a day’s sightseeing.
EAT La Tante DC-10 (Airport By-Pass Road) is housed inside a formerly derelict DC-10 which stood outside Marina Mall for years, before the restaurant refit. Inside, it’s surprisingly sleek – even keeping the reclining airline seats – and serves typical Ghanian dishes including grilled tilapia.
- The National Museum of Ghana (2B Barnes Road, www.ghanamuseums.org/national-museum.php) is essential for first-time visitors to Accra, taking you through the country’s colonial history and the effects of slavery. Make sure you have a cheerful activity lined up for afterwards, as some of the exhibitions are pretty heart-wrenching.
- Parts of the Jamestown district date back to the 17th century and the narrow cobbled streets are a mishmash of Accra’s history. Among the old forts and lighthouse, you’ll find the fish market and harbour, chaotic street markets and food stalls. Visit Jamestown Walking Tours (High Street, www.jamestownwalkingtours.wordpress.com) to get the most out of your visit.
- Twenty-five minutes’ drive down a bumpy track, and a short canoe ride across the water, is Bojo beach – a slab of Caribbean sand right there in Accra. The sand is golden, the water blue and it’s well-maintained, with lifeguards on duty during daylight hours. Be warned, there’s a GHS8/€1.64 fee, and you’re not allowed to take food or drink onto the beach, you have to buy it there.
The only way to Accra from the airport is by taxi
, which queue at car park 2, close to the arrivals exit. Journeys to Nkrumah Circle or Osu should costs around GHS33/€7, but make sure you agree a price before getting in. The journey time to central Accra is anywhere between 25 and 60 minutes, depending on traffic.