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Accra City: First 2 Days In Ghana


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Willa Chaudhry


Arrival in Accra

Welcome to Accra, the vibrant capital city of Ghana! As you step off the plane and breathe in the warm African air, you can feel the excitement and energy that permeates this bustling metropolis. From the moment you arrive at Kotoka International Airport, you are greeted with a warm smile and a sense of hospitality that is characteristic of the Ghanaian people.


The airport is modern and well-equipped, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free arrival process. After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you can easily find transportation options to take you into the heart of the city. Whether you choose to hire a taxi, take a bus, or arrange for a private transfer, the journey from the airport to your accommodation in Accra is relatively quick and convenient.


Once you have settled into your accommodation, it’s time to start exploring all that Accra has to offer. The city center is a vibrant hub of activity, filled with colorful markets, historical landmarks, and lively street scenes. As you navigate the bustling streets, you’ll be captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of Accra.


The first thing you’ll notice is the vibrant mix of traditional and modern architecture. From the colonial-era buildings in Jamestown to the modern skyscrapers in the central business district, Accra’s skyline is a testament to its rich and evolving history. Stroll along the streets and take in the blend of architectural styles, knowing that each building has a story to tell.


No visit to Accra would be complete without a visit to the iconic Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. This grand monument is dedicated to Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who played a pivotal role in the country’s independence movement. Step inside the mausoleum and learn about Nkrumah’s life and legacy, as well as the history of Ghana’s struggle for independence.


Just a short distance from the mausoleum, you’ll find the Arts and Crafts Market, a vibrant hub for local artisans and craftsmen. Here, you can browse through an array of traditional African sculptures, jewelry, clothing, and more. Engage in friendly banter with the sellers, and don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price.


After immersing yourself in the cultural offerings of Accra, it’s time to indulge in the city’s culinary delights. Ghanaian cuisine is a feast for the senses, characterized by bold flavors and a variety of local ingredients. Head to one of the many street food stalls and sample dishes like jollof rice, kelewele (spicy plantains), and banku (fermented cornmeal). Be prepared for a burst of flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more.


As the sun begins to set, make your way to Jamestown, one of Accra’s oldest neighborhoods. This historic district is known for its vibrant community, colorful houses, and rich cultural heritage. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, listen to the sounds of traditional music, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Don’t forget to visit the iconic lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.


Before calling it a day, unwind and relax at Labadi Beach. This popular beach destination is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and feel the sand between your toes. Take a dip in the ocean, enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the beachfront bars, or simply lie back and let the soothing sounds of the waves lull you into a state of relaxation.


As the night falls, Accra comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From trendy nightclubs to traditional music venues, there is something for everyone. Dance the night away to the rhythmic beats of highlife music, mingle with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in Accra’s vibrant party culture.


After a fulfilling day exploring Accra, take a moment to reflect on the rich cultural experiences and memorable moments you’ve had. The first two days in Ghana’s capital have provided just a glimpse of the beauty, history, and vibrancy that await you in this diverse and captivating country.


Exploring the City Center

The city center of Accra is a vibrant and bustling area that offers a blend of history, culture, and modernity. As you venture into the heart of the city, you’ll be captivated by the energy and diversity that fills its streets.


One of the must-visit landmarks in the city center is Independence Square. This expansive public square is a symbol of Ghana’s independence and is often used for national ceremonies and events. Take a leisurely stroll around the square, marvel at the Independence Arch, and learn about the country’s journey to freedom.


Adjacent to Independence Square is Black Star Square, a vast open space that offers splendid views of the Atlantic Ocean. This iconic site is home to the Independence Day celebrations and boasts a striking black star monument that pays homage to Ghana’s status as the first African country to gain independence from colonial rule.


As you continue exploring the city center, you’ll come across Makola Market, one of Accra’s largest and busiest markets. This vibrant market is a bustling hub of activity, offering everything from fresh produce and spices to clothing and household items. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the market as you weave through the crowded aisles and engage in friendly banter with the vendors.


For a taste of Ghana’s vibrant arts scene, head to the National Museum of Ghana. Located in the city center, this museum showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage, with exhibits on traditional Ghanaian art, history, and archaeology. Delve into the intricate details of Ghana’s past and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s diverse cultural fabric.


Just a short distance from the National Museum is the Osu district, known for its lively atmosphere and eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Explore the bustling Oxford Street, lined with vibrant stores selling everything from clothing and accessories to art and souvenirs. Indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants offering a variety of international and local cuisine, or simply soak in the vibrant ambiance as you enjoy a refreshing drink at a rooftop bar.


As you wander through the city center, you’ll also come across numerous historical buildings that showcase Accra’s architectural heritage. The Christianborg Castle, for instance, is a majestic colonial structure that served as the seat of government during Ghana’s colonial period. Take a guided tour of the castle to learn about its rich history and its transformation into the presidential palace.


To escape the hustle and bustle of the city center, take a leisurely stroll through the serene and picturesque Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. This tranquil oasis is dedicated to the memory of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Admire the striking statue of Nkrumah, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and fountains.


Exploring the city center of Accra is a captivating experience that offers a glimpse into the vibrant spirit and cultural richness of Ghana’s capital. Whether you’re immersing yourself in local markets, delving into the country’s history, or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, you’ll find that the city center has a charm and energy that is truly unique.


Visiting Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

One of the most important historical and cultural sites in Accra is the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. This grand monument is dedicated to Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who led the country to independence from British colonial rule in 1957.


The mausoleum is located in the heart of Accra and serves as the final resting place for Nkrumah and his wife, Fathia Nkrumah. As you approach the entrance, you’ll be struck by the imposing bronze statue of Nkrumah, his arms outstretched, symbolizing his vision for a united and prosperous Africa.


Step inside the mausoleum, and you’ll be greeted by a serene and reverential atmosphere. The interior is beautifully designed, with marble floors, tall pillars, and a softly lit dome that creates a tranquil ambiance. As you walk through the mausoleum, you’ll find various exhibits showcasing the life, achievements, and philosophies of Kwame Nkrumah.


The exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of Nkrumah’s contributions to Ghana and Africa as a whole. Learn about his role in the independence movement, his vision for Pan-Africanism, and his efforts to promote economic and political unity among African nations. The displays include photographs, personal artifacts, and informative panels that offer insights into Nkrumah’s life and his impact on the continent.


One of the highlights of a visit to the mausoleum is the opportunity to view the final resting place of Kwame Nkrumah and his wife. The elaborate tombs are adorned with beautiful carvings and inscriptions, creating a dignified and contemplative space for reflection and remembrance.


Aside from the mausoleum itself, the surrounding grounds are also worth exploring. Dotted with lush green gardens, statues, and fountains, the park provides a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways, relax on a bench, or find a shaded spot to sit and absorb the peaceful ambiance.


Visiting the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is not only a chance to learn about Ghana’s history but also an opportunity to honor the legacy of a visionary leader. As you explore the exhibits and pay your respects at the tombs, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Nkrumah’s contributions and the significant role he played in shaping Ghana and Africa as a whole.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a student of African politics, or simply curious about the country’s past, a visit to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is a must during your time in Accra. It’s a chance to connect with Ghana’s rich cultural heritage and gain a deeper understanding of the remarkable journey that led to the country’s independence.


Discovering the Arts and Crafts Market

When visiting Accra, one of the must-see attractions is the Arts and Crafts Market. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market is a vibrant hub for local artisans and craftsmen, offering a treasure trove of traditional African art, crafts, and souvenirs.


As you step into the market, you’ll be immediately engulfed by a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and scents. The narrow aisles are lined with stalls and shops, showcasing a wide variety of handmade products. From intricately carved wooden sculptures and masks to beautifully woven textiles and beaded jewelry, the market is a haven for those seeking unique and authentic African craftsmanship.


Engage with the friendly vendors who are proud to showcase their creations. They are happy to share the stories behind their work and explain the traditional techniques used in their craft. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a first-time visitor, the artisans will make you feel welcome and help you find the perfect piece to take home as a memento of your time in Ghana.


Haggling is a common practice at the Arts and Crafts Market, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for the best price. This playful and friendly exchange is a part of the market experience and adds to the excitement of shopping. It’s a chance to interact with the locals, learn more about their culture, and come away with a unique bargain.


While browsing through the market, you’ll also find a wide array of textiles and fabrics. Ghana is known for its colorful and vibrant prints, with patterns that tell stories and reflect the country’s cultural heritage. Take the opportunity to admire the intricate designs, and perhaps even purchase some fabric to create your own tailored garments or home decor items.


Exploring the Arts and Crafts Market is not just about shopping; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in Ghanaian culture and support local artisans. By purchasing from the market, you directly contribute to the livelihoods of these skilled craftspeople and help to preserve their age-old traditions.


In addition to the crafts themselves, the market is also a place to indulge in other cultural experiences. You’ll find street food vendors offering delicious local delicacies, such as grilled kebabs, fried plantains, and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Take a break from shopping and treat yourself to a tasty snack, immersing yourself in the vibrant street food scene of Ghana.


Visiting the Arts and Crafts Market is a sensory delight, from the colorful array of products to the lively atmosphere. It’s a chance to discover and appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship of Ghana and take home a piece of its rich cultural heritage.


Remember to bring some cash with you, as many of the stalls may not accept credit cards. And most importantly, take your time to leisurely browse through the market, enjoy the vibrant ambiance, and make memories that will last a lifetime.


Tasting Local Street Food

One of the highlights of visiting Accra is immersing yourself in the local street food scene. Ghanaian cuisine is a delectable fusion of flavors, spices, and traditional cooking techniques that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.


Accra offers a plethora of street food stalls and vendors where you can indulge in a variety of mouthwatering dishes. From savory to sweet, there’s something to satisfy every craving. One of the most beloved street food dishes is jollof rice, a flavorful and aromatic rice dish cooked with tomato paste and spices. Often served with a side of grilled chicken or fish, jollof rice embodies the essence of Ghanaian comfort food.


Another popular street food delight is kelewele, spiced and fried plantains. These golden and caramelized bites are made by marinating ripe plantains in a blend of ginger, garlic, chili powder, and other seasonings before frying them to perfection. The result is a deliciously sweet and spicy snack that is both crispy and tender.


For those seeking a more adventurous culinary experience, try some banku and grilled tilapia. Banku is a fermented cornmeal dish that is often served with a spicy pepper sauce and accompanied by grilled tilapia, a popular local fish. This combination of flavors and textures is a true delight for seafood lovers.


No exploration of Ghanaian street food would be complete without sampling some of the country’s beloved snacks. Grab a bite of kebab, skewers of seasoned meat grilled to perfection. Or try some bofrot, fluffy and deep-fried dough balls dusted with powdered sugar. Wash it all down with a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice or a local favorite, coconut water straight from the fruit.


As you navigate the bustling streets of Accra, you’ll find street food vendors at every corner, especially in areas like Osu and Jamestown. The smell of sizzling meat, the sound of sizzling oil, and the sight of locals eagerly devouring their meals will inevitably draw you in. Don’t be shy to step up to the vendor’s stall, place your order, and engage in friendly banter.


Indulging in the local street food not only satisfies your hunger but also allows you to connect with the vibrant culture and culinary traditions of Ghana. It’s an opportunity to embrace the relaxed and convivial atmosphere of street dining, where strangers become friends over a shared love for delicious food.


As with any street food, it’s essential to choose vendors who maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness practices. Look for busy stalls with a high turnover of customers, as this is usually a good sign of freshness. And remember, street food is meant to be enjoyed with an adventurous spirit, so don’t be afraid to try new flavors and step out of your culinary comfort zone.


Tasting local street food in Accra is an experience that truly immerses you in the flavors and culture of Ghana. It’s an adventure for the senses, a chance to discover unique flavors, and a delicious way to connect with the local community.


Exploring Jamestown and its History

Jamestown, located in the heart of Accra, is a neighborhood that holds a significant place in Ghana’s history. As you step into this vibrant area, you will be transported back in time, immersing yourself in the rich heritage and captivating stories of the past.


Jamestown was one of the earliest settlements in Accra and served as a British colonial outpost. It holds a unique place in Ghana’s history, as it was a key center for the transatlantic slave trade. The remnants of this dark era can be seen in the historic landmarks and architecture that still stand today.


Start your exploration of Jamestown by taking a stroll through the narrow streets, lined with colonial-era buildings that exude a certain old-world charm. As you walk, you’ll notice the colorful houses, adorned with intricate wooden balconies and verandas, each one telling its own story.


One of the iconic landmarks in Jamestown is the Ussher Fort. This imposing fortress, built by the Dutch in the 17th century, stands as a solemn reminder of Ghana’s painful past. It has witnessed the atrocities of the slave trade and has been preserved as a poignant testament to the resilience and survival of those who endured unimaginable hardships.


A visit to Jamestown would not be complete without exploring the Jamestown Lighthouse. This historic lighthouse offers breathtaking panoramic views of the neighborhood and the surrounding coastline. Climb to the top and take in the picturesque vistas, capturing the beauty of Jamestown against the backdrop of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.


Stroll further into the heart of Jamestown, and you’ll reach the old fishing harbor, where local fishermen bring in their daily catch. Here, you can witness the bustling activity of the fishermen as they mend their nets, prepare their boats, and venture out to sea. It’s a vibrant scene filled with the sounds of the waves, the calls of the fishermen, and the wafts of fresh ocean air.


Wandering through Jamestown, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter the friendly locals, who are always ready to share stories and engage in conversation. The warmth and openness of the community will make you feel welcomed and give you a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who call Jamestown home.


To get a deeper understanding of the neighborhood’s history, consider visiting the Brazil House Museum. This small museum showcases the cultural exchange between Ghana and Brazil, highlighting the Afro-Brazilian influences that are still evident in the architecture, dance, and music of Jamestown.


As you explore Jamestown, take the time to appreciate the vibrant street art that adorns the walls. Colorful murals and graffiti bring a sense of modernity to the neighborhood, juxtaposing the old and the new. The art tells stories, expresses emotions, and reflects the spirit of the community.


Exploring Jamestown is an immersive experience that allows you to connect deeply with Ghana’s history and culture. It’s a chance to reflect on the struggles and resilience of the past, while also appreciating the vibrant and thriving community that exists today.


As you leave Jamestown, you’ll carry with you the memories of its captivating history, the warmth of its people, and the rich cultural tapestry that makes it a truly special place in Accra.


Relaxing at Labadi Beach

No visit to Accra is complete without a visit to Labadi Beach, a picturesque stretch of sandy coastline where you can unwind and soak up the sun. Located just a short distance from the city center, Labadi Beach offers a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life.


As you step onto the golden sands of Labadi Beach, you’ll be greeted by the gentle sounds of crashing waves and the salty breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is known for its pristine beauty, with clear blue waters and palm-fringed shores that create a postcard-perfect setting.


Find a spot on the beach and lay back on a beach chair or spread out a towel, creating your own little oasis of relaxation. Take in the sights and sounds around you as you feel the warm sand between your toes and bask in the tropical sun. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape to unwind or a place to enjoy beach activities, Labadi Beach has something for everyone.


The ocean waters at Labadi Beach are inviting, providing a refreshing respite from the hot Ghanaian sun. Take a dip in the sea and feel the cool water enveloping your body. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try your hand at some water sports such as jet skiing or paddleboarding, available for rent along the beach.


Labadi Beach is not just about relaxation; it’s also a place to indulge in delicious local cuisine. Stroll along the beachfront and you’ll find a variety of restaurants and food stalls offering tantalizing Ghanaian dishes. From fresh seafood grilled to perfection to local favorites like grilled plantains and kebabs, the beachfront eateries cater to the taste buds of every visitor.


As the day progresses, Labadi Beach comes alive with vibrant energy. Local musicians and dancers will entertain beach-goers with traditional music and dance performances. Immerse yourself in the lively beats of West African music, and if you feel the rhythm, join in the dancing and create memories that will last a lifetime.


If you’re in the mood for some relaxation and pampering, you’ll find beachside resorts and spas at Labadi Beach offering wellness services such as massages and wellness treatments. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience, allowing the tranquil sounds of the ocean to enhance your serenity.


As the sun begins to set, Labadi Beach transforms into a romantic haven. The sky is painted with hues of orange and purple, creating a breathtaking backdrop for a leisurely evening stroll along the shore. Grab a refreshing cocktail from one of the beach bars and find a comfortable spot to watch the sunset, witnessing nature’s masterpiece unfold before your eyes.


Labadi Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. It’s a place where you can truly unwind and connect with the laid-back pace of life in coastal Ghana. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, an adventure in the water, or a taste of the local culture, Labadi Beach is the ideal destination.


As you bid farewell to Labadi Beach, you’ll carry with you the memories of its scenic beauty, the warmth of the Ghanaian hospitality, and the rejuvenation that comes from immersing yourself in nature’s bounty.


Experiencing the Vibrant Nightlife

Accra, the vibrant capital city of Ghana, truly comes alive after the sun sets. The city offers a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene that caters to every taste and preference. From pulsating nightclubs to cozy bars and live music venues, Accra’s nightlife has something for everyone looking for a good time.


If you’re a fan of live music, Accra has a thriving music scene that showcases local talent and international acts. There are numerous venues, such as Alliance Française, +233 Jazz Bar & Grill, and Republic Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy performances ranging from traditional highlife music to contemporary Afrobeat and reggae. Immerse yourself in the infectious rhythms, dance the night away, and experience the heart and soul of Ghanaian music culture.


For those seeking a more lively and energetic atmosphere, Accra boasts a variety of nightclubs that will keep you dancing until the early hours of the morning. Places like Carbon, Plot 7, and Twist Night Club are popular destinations for party-goers, offering a mix of Ghanaian and international music genres, top DJs, and extravagant dance floors. Get ready to let loose, dance to the pulsating beats, and make unforgettable memories on Accra’s vibrant dance floors.


If you prefer a more relaxed and intimate setting, the city is dotted with cozy bars and lounges where you can unwind with a drink and enjoy the company of friends or friendly locals. Places like Skybar 25, Republic Bar & Grill, and Bloom Bar offer a laid-back ambience, creative cocktails, and a chance to socialize in a more relaxed setting. Engage in lively conversations, sample unique local concoctions, and embrace the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Ghanaian social scene.


Accra’s vibrant nightlife is not limited to bars and clubs, as the city also offers a variety of entertainment options. Catch a movie at one of the modern multiplex cinemas, watch a theatrical production at the National Theatre, or test your luck at the buzzing casinos. Accra ensures that there is always something exciting happening, keeping you entertained throughout the night.


Beyond the traditional venues, the streets of Accra come alive with impromptu gatherings and pop-up events, particularly during festive periods and special occasions. From local street parties to night markets and cultural festivals, the city’s vibrant spirit spills out onto the streets, adding an element of surprise and excitement to the nightlife experience.


While exploring the vibrant nightlife of Accra, it’s important to embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself in the local culture. Engage with the friendly locals, try new dance styles, and sample traditional drinks like palm wine or locally brewed beers. By opening yourself up to new experiences, you’ll create lasting memories and gain a deeper appreciation for the vibrant energy that permeates Accra’s nightlife.


As with any nightlife experience, it’s important to exercise caution and be mindful of your surroundings. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, travel with a group if possible, and take necessary precautions to ensure your overall safety.


Experience the vibrant nightlife of Accra and allow the city to show you its spirited and energetic side. Dance to the rhythm of the music, interact with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the pulsating energy that makes Accra’s nightlife truly unforgettable.


Reflecting on the First 2 Days

As you near the end of your first two days in Accra, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences and memorable moments that have filled your journey so far. From the bustling city center to the historical landmarks, cultural markets, and vibrant nightlife, you have been truly immersed in the beauty and diversity of Ghana’s capital.


Arriving in Accra, you were immediately captivated by the warm hospitality and the vibrant energy that permeates the city. The bustling streets, the blend of traditional and modern architecture, and the sights, sounds, and smells of Accra’s rich cultural tapestry instantly drew you in.


Exploring the city center, you discovered the significance of Independence Square and marvelled at the grandeur of Black Star Square. The experience of delving into the vibrant Makola Market and visiting the National Museum deepened your understanding of Ghana’s history and cultural heritage.


Visiting the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum was a humbling experience, a chance to pay homage to Ghana’s first president and his role in the country’s independence movement. The exhibits and displays inside the mausoleum gave you a deeper appreciation for Nkrumah’s legacy and the struggles that Ghana overcame to achieve its freedom.


The Arts and Crafts Market provided a glimpse into the artistry and craftsmanship of Ghanaian artisans. Engaging with the vendors, haggling for unique treasures, and immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the market allowed you to support local businesses and take home beautiful mementos of your time in Ghana.


Tasting the local street food was a delightful adventure for your taste buds. From the flavorful jollof rice to the spicy kelewele and the fresh seafood at Labadi Beach, each dish introduced you to the vibrant flavors and culinary traditions of Ghana. The street food experience was not simply about satisfying hunger but also about connecting with the local culture and the friendly people who prepare and serve the delicious dishes.


Exploring the historical neighborhood of Jamestown provided a glimpse into Ghana’s past. The colonial-era buildings, the Ussher Fort, and the bustling fishing harbor stirred emotions and reminded you of the resilience and strength of the Ghanaian people throughout history. Interacting with the locals, witnessing their vibrant art scene, and experiencing the warmth of the community left an indelible mark on your journey.


Relaxing at Labadi Beach allowed you to unwind and recharge amidst the natural beauty of Ghana’s coastline. The serenity of the beach, the refreshing ocean waters, and the chance to witness breathtaking sunsets deepened your connection to the natural wonders of the country. The lively atmosphere, local delicacies, and the opportunity to mingle with fellow travelers and locals made Labadi Beach a true haven of relaxation and enjoyment.


Experiencing the vibrant nightlife of Accra took you on an exciting journey through the city’s energetic music venues, pulsating nightclubs, and cozy bars. The lively music, energetic dances, and warm social interactions showed you the lively and spirited side of Ghanaian culture after dark. The vibrant nightlife of Accra left you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the vibrant energy that flows through the city after sunset.


As you reflect on the first two days in Accra, you realize that this captivating city has so much more to offer. Its rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality have left an indelible impact on your journey. You eagerly anticipate the adventures that lie ahead as you continue to explore Ghana’s capital and all the treasures it has in store.