Accra is a bustling, metropolitan city with a huge amount of things to see and do. On the entertainment side of things, it has a number of exciting bars, restaurants and night clubs where the working class like to get down at the end of the day and they are all worth a look. Accra has some really interesting sights to see, such as the National Museum which shows visitors a thick and rich history and culture of the country from prehistory to present. This is the ultimate location to really get under the skin of Ghana and Accra and see how this beautiful country has developed.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is worth a stroll to visit the park dedicated to the man who helped lead Ghana to independence from the British in 1957. His mausoleum is here and you can stroll the gardens which have a number of trees that have been planted by visiting dignitaries from other countries. A trip to the Black Star Square is a great accompaniment to a walk around the gardens and features an eternal flame lit by Kwame Nkrumah in 1961. Black Star Square is the square to honour Ghanian Independence and is a must see.
Ghana is known for its artwork and Accra is no different. The city features a number of great opportunities to take in some examples of Ghanian handiwork, such as at the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop which is the workshop of Seth Kane Kwei who came up with intriguing coffins, carved into forms that represent the deceased persons interests. Other artistic highlights include the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science and the Artists Alliance Gallery which has 3 floors of impressive artworks by local artists that they can also purchase.
Perhaps one of the most memorable things to do in Accra though is a Nima tour. Nima is one of the most impoverished areas of Accra but is a diverse multi-cultural population and is a true jewel of Accra in terms of showing visitors some amazing behind the scenes areas of Accra – or other parts of Ghana as well.
Despite the fact that Ghana and Accra itself have tropical climates year round, they do have rainy seasons. The coastal area, including Accra has two primary rainy seasons – one from March to June and the second in September to October. The first of the rains peaks in May or June and has a temperature drop off. Despite the fact the temperatures remain fairly close to each other year round, the temperature drop off in June after the rains makes June, July and August optimum times to go for those who don’t like extreme heat. Saying this though. Accra and Ghana don’t typically suffer from some of the extreme temperatures you’d find in Saharan Africa, and as a result almost any time of year is a good time to go.
If going during the rainy months, be prepared for storms and heavy rains, washed out road in parts and mud.
Accra is well serviced by a number of airlines coming in from many international destinations. There are daily direct flights from New York’s JFK International Airport and many African airlines fly into the city from places such as Namibia. There are also daily flights from London and Amsterdam.
Getting around Accra can be a bit confusing at first. Taxis from the airport can be extremely expensive or regulated – depending on whether you use an unlicensed taxi or not. The upside is unlicensed taxis usually have professional drivers and nicer cars, so while they’re not unsafe, you will pay more and probably end up avoiding a lot of the “usual” taxi scene that you can get. Private cars with drivers can be arranged and can offer a more luxurious option for the discerning traveler.
Walking around Accra is pretty interesting, and while it’s fairly spread out, it’s incredibly safe and many areas can be safely navigated on foot even after dark. Tro Tros are usually crowded and dilapidated minivans which act as Accra’s main transport system and are the cheapest way to get around town. The locals are friendly so you can get someone to help you understand the Tro Tro system. There are also a couple of large Tro Tro and bus stations you can catch them from. Tro Tros are an effective way to get around the city and they are extremely cheap and a good experience, even if they are cramped and hot.
Bring good walking shoes to Accra. The pavements can be uneven, broken and sometimes of questionable quality in parts. There are some open sewers so do take care. Bring wet weather gear for the rainy seasons. Generally aside from that the usual provisions such as sunblock and mosquito repellent are good ideas. If going trekking make sure to bring a strong deet based repellent as well as usual anti-malarials.
Accra is the capital city of Ghana and is a bustling metropolitan region with a number of interesting things to see and do and is also home to a growing and impressive business district. The greater Accra area is home to around four million people and is one of the largest metropolitan centers in Africa.
Accra was initially founded by the Ga group of peoples which were also kown as the Tumgwa We, when they arrived by sea. The peoples who lived on the site at the time, the Guan or Lartehs, saw the Ga at sea and they looked like ants, which they called Nkran. When the Danes later arrived to the region, they misunderstood Nkran to be Akra, later Accra.
The British, Swedes, Danes and Dutch all had a presence in the area, but all were eventually taken over into British control after several conflicts, some including the Ashanti of the area where the British all but decimated both the Ashanti and their capital Kumasi in 1873. At the end of the second Anglo-Asante War in 1877, the British captured Accra and made it their capital on the Gold Coast, as it hadf a drier climate than the Cape Coast where they were also basing operations around this time. One of the most important events in the region occurred when the train line from Accra to Kumasi was built, helping to connect the region.
Accra was founded when three separate settlements including Jamestown, an important port where built up. It became the capital of the British Gold Coast region. Modern day Accra stretches along the coast of Ghana and boasts a variety of architecture including 19th century buildings to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks. It’s the regions economic and administrative hub, and through this it has developed a reputation as also being a place where one can let their hair down and hit the clubs to enjoy the impressive nightlife on offer.
Some of the buildings in modern day Accra were built with international assistance, such as the French owned Novotel hotel and the National Theatre which was helped with assistance by the Chinese. By having a number of various countries contribute to development projects within the country, Ghana was awarded Gamma-Minus level world city accreditation through the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, which showcases a cities growing level of international connectedness and influence.