Travel to Accra – Bustling Capital of Ghana
Founded before the 16th century when the city of Ayawaso was established 15 km inland, Ghana’s capital stretches along the Atlantic Coast and north into the interior. A smaller town was built on the coast for the trade of slaves, gold, oil and ammunitions. Forts were built by the Dutch, Danish and British (Fort James). The British gained control in 1874 and made Accra their capital. The city has subsequently expanded considerably, surviving two serious earthquakes in 1862 and 1939.
Originally built around the port, its architecture ranges from large and elegant 19th Century colonial buildings to skyscrapers and apartment blocks made of concrete, glass and steel in the 1970s.
The centre of Accra contains the main banks, the large department stores, the Cocoa Marketing board headquarters and a whole area known as The Ministries, where the government administration is concentrated. Most people still live in the poor shanty towns which have grown up around the edges of the city and near the port.
Among the highlights of Accra are the National Museum, with its splendid display of exhibits that reflect the heritage of Ghana from prehistoric times, the National Theatre with its distinctive modern architecture, the centre for National Culture, Independence Square, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the fishing port at James Town and Makola Market.
The City is home to fine public buildings reflecting its transition from 19th century suburb of Victoriaborg to the modern metropolis it is today. Spreading along the Atlantic coast, the city is well endowed with luxury as well as great value hotels, excellent restaurants and nightclubs. A range of absorbing museums and fine public monuments, modern business and commercial areas, as well as busy markets and tree-lined residential suburbs, is already to be explored.
The beaches of the Atlantic coast are popular with visitors and Ghanaians alike. Labadi and Kokrobite Beach, just 25 km west of Accra, are particularly popular at weekends, expect to pay an entrance fee to use the beach. At busy times you will find beach entertainers busking for a small fee, together with beach sellers selling trinkets and souvenirs.
Further along the coast is the quieter Ada Beach and the estuary of the great River Volta. The fine sands of the estuary and the Atlantic coast provide popular resort areas. Watersports and river trips make this a great place to relax, while the waters off the coast teem with game fish.
The most touristy area of Accra is Osu. It’s located quite close to the Art Centre and Liberation Square. The main street (Cantoments Road) and those around the area have plenty of good hotels and restaurants of all kinds. Fast food like burgers and pizza is widely available. International foods like Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, French are also available.
- The dusty roads that lead into Central Accra are lined with open-fronted shacks and stands selling everything from cooked food, trousers and haircuts, electrical goods, or cast iron gates.
- Accra has a great choice of luxury as well as great value hotels, excellent restaurants and nightclubs, a range of absorbing museums and fine public monuments.
- If you’re into the club scene, there are loads of places to choose from. Depending on the style of music, atmosphere and crowd you prefer.