Founded in the 17th century, and known as the eleventh largest metropolitan area in Africa, the city of Accra is the capital and largest city in Ghana. It is inhabited by about 4 million people which makes it the second largest metropolitan conglomeration in Ghana.
Formally the capital of the British Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957, Accra has transitioned into a modern city that reflects its history through architecture that ranges from 19th century buildings to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks which include the multi-storey French owned Novotel Hotel and the city’s National Theatre.
Accra has a long and beautiful history which makes it home to great cultural and historic places and it offers tourists so much to do and so much more to see. From economic activities like Atlantic fishing to manufacturing of textile, clothing and chemicals, to night clubs, restaurants and hotels.
In 2010, Accra was designated as a Gamma-Minus level world city by the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network (GAWC) which indicated that Accra is a growing level of international influence and connectedness.
There are many special places in Accra that will give an editor of a glossy tourist brochure a tough job of choice, but if you are in Accra, the National Theatre is one of the places you must see, especially if you want to see local talents and different types of performing arts. Visit the Labadi beach, Accra’s most popular beach and enjoy some of the best of Ghanaian cuisines and entertainment.
Makola market is the place you must be if you are interested in traditional African shopping. It is a fantastically hectic market teeming with women with no-nonsense business sense and you can find just about anything that can be bought or sold here.
There is also the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, where Ghana’s first President has his final resting place. It is a serene place with a museum which sheds some light on the Ghanaian leader after whom it is named.
Other notable places you must see include Jamestown, the Independence square, and Artists Alliance Gallery with all kinds of art items on display for shoppers. The historical Osu Castle, W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Centre, among many others.
There are no shortage of delicious food, nice wine, beer and spirits in Accra. The hotels, bars and restaurants stock foreign and local brands of drinks and delicacies but you must enjoy some of Accra’s special cuisines to have a perfect feel of the city. Accra’s main dishes include kenkey with hot pepper and fried fish, red red or yo-ko-gari, banku with fried fish and pepper or with okro or groundnut soup, bean stew, fried plantain or tatale, omo tuo (rice balls) served with palm or groundnut soup. On Sundays, fried yam with chofi (turkey tails) with hot fresh pepper sauce, kebabs (meat of liver doused in spicy powder then grilled) form afternoon special. Local drinks include asana or maize beer, palm wine, coconut juice and akpeteshie or palm wine.