When in Ghana: 4 Things to Do in Accra

Cultural Travel, Ghana — By on March 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

Whether you are looking for luxury, adventure, or a little bit of both, Accra may be the perfect place. Located in the southern part of the country in the Greater Accra region, Accra is Ghana’s capital and a major tourist destination. The city is constantly in motion and will keep you entertained throughout your visit. Though the luxury hotels and beautiful beaches may entice you to do nothing but relax, here are four ideas to get yourself off of the lounge chair and into the city.

Explore Osu: If you are looking for a less intense way to shop, Osu is the place for you. Osu reminded me of a street fair where vendors set up shops along the streets. Anything that you could possibly want you will find in this district. There are restaurants, nightclubs, clothing vendors, and even a grocery store. Fortunately, I was visiting the country during the 2010 World Cup and the city’s officials set up a large screen television on Oxford Street for everyone to watch the games. We spent the majority of our time in Accra in the Osu area. During the day, we were cheering on the Ghanaian football team and eating our fill of street food, and at night we went out. Osu has a little taste of everything from live bands to clubs with live DJs. You are bound to find a place to go out to and have fun.

The Centre for National Culture
is an outdoor market where artisans and craftsmen from every region come to sell their work. One of the great things about the market is that you can find artifacts that are unique to different parts of Africa. So if you are only in the country for a little while, you can see how artwork and design differ throughout the country, without ever leaving Accra. Although this is a great place to find gifts for friends and family, do not get the impression that this outing will be a leisurely shopping trip. You have to be on point here. From the moment you walk past the entrance, people will come up to you, trying to sell you items and bring you inside their shop to show you their collections. One day some friends and I were simply walking past the market when we were confronted by a drum-maker. Somehow we ended being escorted to the shed where his store was located and we all received drumming lessons.

The National Theatre of Ghana
is home to the National Dance Company, the National Theatre Players, and the National Symphony Orchestra. After taking a tour of the building and meeting the dance and theater performers, we decided that we needed to see a show. The performance was hilarious and turned out to be a great way for us to learn more about the culture. All the performers were energetic and kept my attention the entire show.

The Beach: If you do venture to one of Accra’s beaches, you will not be missing out on anything. Within 10 minutes of sitting on the beach, people selling jewelry, cloth, and other trinkets bombarded us. One of my friends wound up purchasing a bracelet she had been searching for while working on her tan. Not to worry, there are plenty of activities to do besides roasting in the sun. For a small fee, you can ride a horse bareback on the beach. For those of you who are new to riding, the owner of the horse will stay with you.

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