Accra is a sprawling city with about 2 million residents and one of Africa’s safer capitals. Accra has a mixture of modern buildings, shanty towns, occasional castle and lively markets. The central hub is around the Makola Market; just south of the market is the Atlantic Ocean.
5 cool things to do in Accra for any visitor include:
The National Museum: This museum has wonderful displays about Ghana’s culture and history including the slave-trade, and Ashanti Kingdom.
The museum building was opened on 5 March 1957 as part of Ghana’s independence celebrations. The museum has three primary collection areas; archaeology, ethnography, and art, which are used to weave together a story about Ghana’s rich cultural history.
Objects in the archeology section range from the stone age period to the recent historical past. Those on permanent exhibition at the ethnography gallery include chief’s regalia, indigenous Ghanaian musical instruments, gold weights, beads, traditional textiles, stools and pottery.
Makola Market is colorful, bustling, and you can buy absolutely everything. It is one place you can never miss in Accra. Makola Market is the renowned market place in Accra, and a shopping district in the centre of the city of Accra, the capital of Ghana. A wide array of products is sold in the markets and its surrounding streets, from car parts to land snails. Dominated by women traders, the market sells fresh produce, manufactured and imported foods, clothes, shoes, tools, medicines, and pots and pans. Jewellery made from locally handcrafted beads can also be found for sale in the market. Although not too much that the tourist might actually want.
James Fort: This is situated in the suburb of Jamestown. It used to be one of the monuments of the Europeans and slavery. Presently it houses a number of prisoners in Accra.
It was built by the British as a trading post in 1673, where it joined the Dutch Fort Crêvecœur (1649), and the Danish Fort Christiansborg (1652). Fort James gave its name to the Jamestown neighbourhood in Accra.The fort stands next to Jamestown Lighthouse and from colonial times up to 2008 the fort served as a prison.
Christianborg Castle-it is unique among the castles and forts in Ghana as it served as Government House during various periods in the 19th centuries and continues to play that role today. Osu Castle, also known as Fort Christiansborg or simply the Castle, is a castle located in Osu, Accra, Ghana on the coast was rebuilt numerous times. The castle also serves as the place where the late president of Ghana, John Atta Mills, is buried; in a bird sanctuary, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Many international dignitaries have visited the castle while in the region, including U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Additional rooms were built in order to accommodate Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1961, one year after Ghana became a republic.
The Arts Centre is a great place to shop for handicrafts but you must also be prepared for a hard sell. Located on High Street/28th February Road, the National Centre for Cultural Arts (as it is formally known) is the place to go in Ghana’s Central Accra to buy good quality crafts from there and neighbouring countries.
For the tourist looking for generic nick-nacks, there are many things to buy at the Accra Arts Centre – brightly coloured trinkets and clothing, jewellery made from melted down, out-of-circulation coins. But with patience and will, the market also reveals unique handmade items for purchase – woodcraft and contemporary pottery, tribal masks, drums of all sizes (on the spot engraving included), and textiles woven by the Ewe and Ashanti tribes.