Accra, the capital city of Ghana, has emerged as an important destination for both leisure and business visitors. This thriving coastal city in West Africa is a must-visit for most tourists visiting the Dark Continent. However, if you haven’t visited Accra and planning to do the same, here is a guide for beginners which will provide details on what to see and do here.
Navigating a new city for the first timers is particularly worrisome and tedious. This becomes rather arduous when you are visiting a continent like Africa. You might not be aware of what all to eat, see, experience and have a memorable time here.
Just sample all that you might confront when landing in Accra for the first time. This information is important particularly for those who are visiting the city for the first time. If hunger pangs have overtaken you after your tiresome long-haul flight, a big plate of spicy bean stew, popularly called ‘Red-Red’, and bigger bottle of Star beer is ready to welcome you at the many restaurants here. This will probably be your first meal in the damp tropical heat of Accra. For most tourists, this could truly be a major culture shock. But you must be ready to savor the traditional African cuisines that this city has to offer. Visiting foreign lands is apparently the best thing for you to explore the city and know about its culture, people and food. Accra being a global city in West Africa would just not disappoint you. If you are looking beyond authentic African cuisines, then head to the restaurants in the city offering international cuisines. The restaurants here in fact cater of every palate. So, you needn’t worry, and enjoy your stay in the city thoroughly.
Where to start your visit from
You should begin your tour of Accra from the Oxford Street. This is the best place to know about the city and its varied colorful aspects. The Oxford Street is in fact a colloquial name ascribed to the stretch of Cantonments Road cutting through Osu, the city’s nightlife epicenter. This area of the city is colorful and chaotic, but nevertheless you will simply love visiting it and spending a great time. Here you will see dazzling glass office blocks and many new buildings coming up. Frankie’s, a 3-story fast food restaurant, is ready to catch your fancy, and so does Lizzy’s, a bar built of shopping containers. If you are looking for pizza then just head to Mama Mia. Visit the Dynasty restaurant for best Chinese cuisines. Want to taste West African snacks and food, then consider visiting restaurants like ‘Monsoon’, ‘Mr Biggs’, ‘Citizen Kofi's Sky Bar’, ‘Asanka’, ‘Blue Gate’, ‘Zion Thai’, ‘Epo’s’, ‘Ryan's’, ‘233 Jazz Bar’, and ‘Taverna Tropicana’.
Enjoying major attractions
After getting a glimpse into the city’s main cultural, nightlife and food hub, it is equally important to know about the famous attractions in Accra. The new presidential palace ‘Flagstaff House’ is a major attraction. Nkrumah Memorial Park is another must-visit attraction in the city. The first president of modern Ghana declared the country’s independence in the year 1957 from this place. It is situated nearby the congested High Street. The impressive mausoleum and the reflections from the surrounding moat dancing on curved walls present a fascinating sight. The Independence Square situated just to the east of High Street should also be visited. This is a major venue for national celebrations and is also home to the memorial to the Unknown Soldier.
Among other important attractions to visit in Accra include the National Museum and the Center for National Culture. The National Museum is situated on the Barnes Road and is home to an extensive collection of historical treasures of Ghana. The exhibits here are showcased in two sections. The first section is exclusively devoted to Ghana’s culture and history, while the second section showcases a collection from various West African countries. The Center for National Culture will mesmerize you with the display of traditional handicrafts procured from various regions of Ghana and West Africa. You will also find many art galleries and workshops. The traditional textile market and the arts and crafts bazaar can be seen selling items and souvenirs crafted in metal, leather, wood and clay.
An overview of all that one can see, do or eat in Accra provided here would prove to be a beneficial guide for those planning to visit the premier West African destination for the first time.