Accra, the capital and largest city of the West African country of Ghana, is an exciting place to visit. It shares borders with Ivory Coast in the West, Burkina Faso in the North, Togo in the East, while its South looks over the Atlantic Ocean. Accra’s unique geography speaks to its universality and its visitors are in for a rounded experience – from iconic landmarks to vibrant cultures, artistic wonders to breathtakingly beautiful beach attractions. Here is a selection of seven exciting places to visit in Accra, Ghana.
Check out 7 must-see places to visit in Accra whenever you stop by…
#1. Independence Square
The Independence Square flaunts a splash of monuments dedicated to Ghana’s legendary independence struggle championed by the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s pioneer president. These monuments include the Independence Arch and the Black Star Gate, so-called for the big black star (representing the freedom of all black people) displayed high up on the imposing gate. Also to be seen and adored is the Liberation Day Monument. A place memorializing the struggles for freedom, Independence Square is a good place to start your exploration of this beautiful West African city.
#2. National Museum of Ghana
The National Museum of Ghana was opened on 5th May 1957 by the Duchess of Kent, Princess Marina, and is the oldest museum administered by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The museum tells a rich story of Ghanaian society through its collection of indigenous Ghanaian musical instruments, chief’s regalia, beads, textiles, stools, sculpture, pottery, gold weights, and so forth. It also manages to tell the stories of some other African nations and societies, past and present.
Available in the museum are Ife bronze heads from modern-day Nigeria, Senufo masks from Ivory Coast, Bushongo carvings from the Congo, and Zulu bead-ware from South Africa. Modern Ghanaian art — paintings in a wide array of mediums, sculptures, pottery, etc. — are proudly displayed at the museum. It is a fascinating place to immerse in the impressive aura of Ghanaian artistic creativity. The National Museum of Ghana boasts of an impressive archaeological collection, among which are prized artifacts from the Stone Age.
One of the exciting places to visit in Accra, Ghana is no doubt this historical site. Jamestown is one of the oldest districts of Accra and bares a tale in itself. You will see the 28-meter Jamestown lighthouse, a top landmark and attraction for visitors, overlooking its harbor, James Fort. The original lighthouse was built in 1871 but was replaced by the current lighthouse in the 1930s. On a visit to Jamestown, you will encounter bits of the town’s past colonial history; it is also an opportunity to mingle with its current locals, mostly the Ga extraction of Ghana.
#4. W.E.B. DuBois Center
W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential African-American intellectuals, sociologists, and crusaders for justice in 20th-century America. He was the first black American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and was one of the founding fathers of the NAACP. His full name was Edward Burghardt DuBois. Towards the end of his life, he left the US and settled in Ghana until his death in 1963. His home, and place of burial, is known as the W.E.B. DuBois Center. The Center holds his memorabilia and personal library. Admirers of W.E.B. DuBois will find the Center a Mecca of sorts.
#5. Artists Alliance Gallery
When you’re in Ghana, a place you should definitely visit is this location in Accra. Arts aficionados will no doubt love the Artists Alliance Gallery. Established by eminent Ghanaian artist Ablade Glover, it has now become a big attraction for tourists and locals alike. Displayed on three floors are awesome artworks ranging from ancient Kente cloths of the Akan and Ewe people to elaborately carved furniture. Among the Gallery’s rich collection are African masks and traditional coffins in the shapes of different creatures and animals (often referred to as fantasy coffins.) It’s an intriguing place to see.
#6. Shai Hills Resource Reserve
You should get out on a safari before the end of your stay in Accra. Do you care for a view of zebras? How about antelopes? Ostriches? Monkeys? If yes, come away straight to the Shai Hills Resource Reserve, a home to those animal species and many more. You will see majestic hills; so get ready with hike-worthy boots for some climbing activities. There is a wonderful history to uncover about the hills: they offered protection to ancient dwellers against slave raiders. A visit to this place of history and biodiversity will be worth your while.
#7. Labadi Beach
How about wrapping your busy tour of Accra with a trip to one of its top pleasure destinations? More popularly referred to as “La Pleasure Beach,” Labadi Beach is one of Accra’s most pleasant places to sit back, lounge, and unwind. While chilling out on this favorite Ghanaian beach, relax and enjoy the setting sun, the sea breezes, and the waves rushing to the shore. Help yourself to the most delectable cocktails. Try out some of the country’s cuisine, especially Ghanaian jollof rice, which has been in an extended fight with Nigerian jollof rice for supremacy. Sit back and taste it. You will, I bet, be impressed.
Featured image: @sarai.dhologne via @newinghanatourism/Instagram
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A writer fascinated by humanity and diversity. He is the author of Do Not Say It’s Not Your Country.