Ghana’s coastal capital conjures up a colonial past and an exciting future for any visitor. It’s an essential starting-off point for anyone who wants to explore the country, with flights to Accra arriving into Kotoka International Airport. From there, it’s all vibrant streets, colourful houses and a diverse population.
While Accra was a small coastal town for many years, it wasn’t until the British made it the capital of their Gold Coast in the 19th century that it became an international hub.
Having previously been Danish and Dutch, Accra’s full colonial past can be explored at the old forts: British Fort James, Danish Osu Castle (now the country’s seat of government) and the Dutch Ussher Fort. For a more rounded view of the country’s history head to the National Museum of Ghana on Barnes Road, or enjoy a unique view of Ghana’s capital from the top of the red and white striped Jamestown lighthouse.
You can take in a slice of Ghana’s beach life at Labadi Beach, situated just east of the capital. It’s where the city’s residents come together at the weekend for parties and food.
For the best street food in town brave the busy Makola Market, where the whole world, it seems, goes to shop. For a more stylish approach to local dishes such as fufu (mashed cassava) try Buka Restaurant in Osu, a hip open-air restaurant. The area is full of nightlife venues and even the odd roof terrace or two if you keep your eyes open. For Ghanaian handicrafts, the Centre for National Culture is a rabbit warren of stalls selling handmade arts and crafts from all over the country.
After all that you’ll need a rest. From modern skyscrapers, colonial suites and international brands to rustic beachside huts, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Accra when it comes to where to lay your head.