The city of Accra is a wild mix of village and city. In certain neighbourhoods, such as Osu, you’ll find a near resemblance to many cities in the “western world”. You’ll find lavish sushi restaurants, shopping malls, and fast food chains like KFC. But then not far over, in other neighbourhoods, you’ll find yourself amidst the street culture that engulfs much of the rest of Ghana. If you’re like me and you arrive in Accra after months travelling through some of the lesser developed parts of Africa then arriving in Accra can feel like a real treat. However, if you’re hoping for an authentic African experience, you might want to get out of Accra as soon as possible. Moreover, have your wallet ready as eating and sleeping in the center of Accra is far from cheap.
Time Needed: 2-3 Days
Daily Budget: 50-60 USD
Things to do and see in Accra
To be quite honest, there isn’t a lot for tourists to do in Accra. This is a city that caters largely to expats and the thousands of foreigners that work and volunteer in Ghana. There is, of course, the sea and quite a few places you can hit the beach nearby. However, if you’re like me, after months away from things like shopping malls, there are some things to keep you entertained.
- Accra Mall: Fit with a movie theater, food court, and loads of beautiful people, Accra Mall is a nice escape from the rat race of the city. Sure, you probably didn’t come to Ghana for a shopping mall, but if you’ve been in Africa for a while, it’s nice.
- Osu Castle: Though the bigger castles down the coast such as Elmina and Cape Coast Castle are much more impressive, Osu is worth a quick visit.
- Jamestown: This is the old town of Accra and though it’s a bit rough it makes for an interesting visit.
- National Museum: One of the best museums in the northern half of Africa, the National Museum in Accra is well worth a stop.
- Labadi Beach: Probably the most popular beach right in Accra. It’s nice, but you’d be better suited to head farther from town if you’re looking for a beach.
Where to Eat in Accra
There is a good variety of foods in Accra. You’ll be able to find everything from Ghanaian cuisine all the way to things like sushi. There’s even an Argentinean grill, although the foreign products are really expensive.
- Monsoon Sushi: Right on the main strip of Osu, Monsoon has some of the best sushi you’ll try. The problem is that it’s incredibly expensive. I paid about $45 just for a couple rolls and a bowl of miso soup.
- Maquis Tante Marie: In Labone, this “maquis” has really nice African food.
- Drinking in Osu: If you’re looking for nightlight, give Oxford Street in Osu a shot. There’s lots of bars, pubs, and restaurants there.
Where to Stay in Accra
I opted to stay just outside of Accra in the suburb of Teshie due to a lack of really good accommodation choices for budget travellers. There are a couple places in Teshie worth staying at that are also along the beach, but you’ll need your own wheels to be here. I can’t recommend any other budget place in town since I didn’t have time to look around, but check booking sites like Hostel World for deals.
Getting out of Town
Accra is well-connected not only in Ghana, but all of Africa and globally. From here in town, you can catch a bus, plan, or tro tro just about anywhere.
- Plane: The airport isn’t far from Osu and shouldn’t cost you too much for a taxi. You’ll find it near the Accra Mall.
- Bus: Buses connect at various chaos points throughout the city depending on the destination you’re going. Ask your hotel for the latest information.