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GVI’s Guide to Ghana’s Capital Accra

Article by GVI


Posted: March 23, 2023

Accra, the bustling capital of Ghana, is a haven for adventurers! From its vibrant markets and colourful art installations, to its exciting nightlife and historical sites, there is something for everyone who visits this West African city.

Explore the Markets of Accra

Accra is a city with plenty of vibrant markets that should make it top of your list of must-explore attractions. The largest local market is Makola, located just outside the Central Business District. Here, you’ll find a huge range of everyday goods, from cooking ingredients and textiles to electronic gadgets and handicrafts. With so much to see and bargain for, Makola is an entertaining and cheap day out.

Other markets around town offer an exciting mix of local and imported wares. The Oxford Street in Osu is popular for its trendy boutiques, while Black Star Square is a must-go for souvenirs such as hand-woven fabrics and locally-made jewelry. For an unforgettable experience, head to the lively art and craft markets such as Jamestown Fish Market and A&C Shopping Mall.

Take in the City’s Historical Sites

Accra has a fascinating history and it’s well worth exploring some of its most iconic landmarks. A great starting point is the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park. This impressive monument houses the tomb of Ghana’s first president, preserved in a giant granite cube. Here you can also find a museum and library, showcasing both the political landscape of Ghana and its cultural heritage.

Christiansborg Castle is another important site, located along the busy beachfront at Osu. This castle was once the headquarters of Danish slavers in the early 17th century, and bears witness to the country’s past. Inside, there is now a palace, chapel, gardens and opera house, open to visitors.

Sample the Local Cuisine

Accra may be known for its African dishes like fufu and jollof rice, but there are plenty of other international options for foodies to explore. Street food is plentiful here, offering a delicious way to sample some of the country’s local flavors. Don’t leave Accra without trying some grilled corn on the cob from one of the many street-side vendors!

Restaurants range from high-end spots serving gourmet fusion dishes, to hole-in-the-wall eateries providing classic Ghanaian street food staples. There’s something to suit every taste and budget! A great place to grab lunch is Osu food court which serves excellent authentic Ghanaian dishes at great prices.

Catch a Performance at National Theatre

The National Theatre is the perfect place to catch a show in Accra. This grand venue was built in honor of Ghana’s independence in 1962, and has since played host to some of the country’s best performing artists. With plays, musicals, comedy acts, dance shows and more regularly being held throughout the year, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy Accra’s cultural side.

Visit the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park

At the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park you can pay homage to Ghana’s first President. Located in Accra’s well-known Independence Square, this site is a must-visit for anyone seeking to learn more about Ghana’s beloved leader. Alongside Nkrumah’s tomb, there is also a museum, library and memorial dedicated to his life and legacy. Take a guided tour to find out more.

Wander Through the Lively Arts and Crafts Markets

Whether you’re a dedicated souvenir hunter or just after a unique experience, Accra’s arts and crafts markets are must for any visitor. Be sure to check out Jamestown Fish Market which sells handmade jewellery, textiles and sculptures handcrafted by local artisans that you won’t find anywhere else! Other markets with interesting goods include A&C Shopping Mall, Osu Oxford Street and Black Star Square.

Spend an Afternoon at Labadi Beach

The beautiful Labadi Beach is definitely worth a visit while in Accra. The area is packed with beachgoers throughout the summer months and provides the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Spend a day here lounging on the sand with 12 miles of white sandy beaches to explore. Get stuck in with a game of beach volleyball or check out some local food stalls for some delicious snacks! Alternatively, take a relaxing stroll along its shoreline as you soak up one of Accra’s most beautiful sights.

Enjoy a Relaxing Day at Independence Square

One of Accra’s greatest attractions is the Independence Square. It was here that Ghana attained its freedom back in 1957, making it an important part of the nation’s history. You’ll find plenty to see including monuments, beautiful gardens and an impressive fountain. Independence Square is also a great place to unwind with its green spaces providing some much-needed respite from city life.

Tour the Wli Waterfalls

Just outside of Accra lies Wli Waterfalls – one of Ghana’s most stunning natural attractions. This peaceful destination not only boasts mesmerising views but also offers plenty of adventure such as nature hikes, trekking, swimming and rafting opportunities. If you’re looking for respite from city life then Wli Waterfalls is definitely worth adding to your list!

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with a Safari Tour

If you’re an adrenaline junkie then you should definitely hop on an exhilarating safari tour while you are in Accra. Travel around in style with 4×4 jeeps as you explore wildlife sanctuaries and national parks such as Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve. Along with breathtaking scenery, you’ll also spot gorillas and antelopes on your travels!

Stroll Along Accra’s Beaches

Accra has a stunning coastline packed with stunning beaches to explore. Head along to Labadi Beach for a spot of sunbathing or watch the sunset from Coco Beach – whatever you choose you won’t be disappointed! If you’re feeling adventurous then take an evening stroll down La Pleasure Beach or take part in some water-sports such as surfing or water skiing.

Explore Kakum National Park

Kakum National Park is one of Ghana’s most enchanting attractions. Here you can find lush rainforests that are home to powerful elephants and leopards as well as over 200 species of unique birds. A day exploring Kakum National Park will certainly be full thrills as well as some awe-inspiring sights!

Get Up Close to Nature on a Canopy Walkway Tour

For those seeking an extraordinary experience then take a canopy walkway tour through Kakum National Park! Suspension bridges that hang at approximately 40m above the forest floor offer spectacular views of wildlife up close – it’s certainly not one for those scared of heights! A guided tour will also provide valuable information about the park’s eco-system meaning you can learn something new while taking in these amazing views.

Take in a Match at Accra Sports Stadium

Accra Sports Stadium provides great entertainment for any sports fan – whether it be national football or rugby matches or premiership games. You can also catch other international events here too such as hockey and athletic competitions – there’s something for everyone at this thrilling venue!

Hike Up Mount Afadjato for Spectacular Views

Mount Afadjato is another incredible attraction not far from Accra – this majestic peak offers stunning views of the landscape and hustle of city life from 885m above sea level. Experienced hikers have their pick of routes; from moderate routes suitable for beginners to more rigorous trails for seasoned trekkers.

Unwind with a Swim at Weija Lake

Spend an afternoon unwinding by Weija Lake – located just 45 mins drive away from Accra this picturesque spot offers serenity away from the hustle and bustle of city life along with stunning views across the Haatso plains perfect for those seeking relaxation or adventure! Conquering rapids or simply taking a relaxing dip in its clear waters – you decide how you want to spend your time here.

Discover Ghana’s Wildlife at Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve

Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve offers exciting sightings of wildlife species such as African Boer goats, warthogs and baboons all year round. Grab binoculars, cameras and a guide before you explore – it would be an unforgettable experience! Guided tours provide valuable knowledge about local fauna too so don’t forget your guide book!

Volunteer or intern with GVI in Ghana

Contribute to the education of children, gender equality, community development, public health, and environmental education in Ghana by joining one of GVI’s award winning volunteer or internship programs. Learn the true meaning of hospitality, solidarity, and generosity by living and working in communities rich with cultural heritage and brimming with a spirit of possibility.

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