An Introvert's Guide To Accra

Baboon at Shai Hills | © Rene Mayorga/Flickr
Baboon at Shai Hills | © Rene Mayorga/Flickr
Accra in many ways is perfect for the introvert: lively, bustling with plenty of people watching opportunities, and chances to blend in and soak up the atmosphere. It’s a great place to be alone in a crowd and there are also nice spaces around the city to enjoy some quiet time.

For the culture lover

The National Museum is a lovely and serene place to get started. Browsing the exhibits that tell Ghana’s story through various cultural objects is a great jumping off point and will inevitably lead to other discoveries in Ghana like Kente production, beads, or Akan Culture. The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is a great second stop with a great pre- and post-independence look at the life of the revered first president all set in a lovely park where visitors can sit and stroll.

There are is no end of art to peruse with a plethora of galleries to browse. Try ANO Centre for Cultural Research in Osu for a comprehensive archive of Ghanaian art as well as some great exhibitions and resources and the Nubuke Foundation for quirky art and photography exhibits. Gallery 1957 always features some fantastic exhibitions all set in a purpose-built space in the majestic Kempinski Hotel. For an experience that’s off the beaten path, check out The Loom and owner Francis Ademola’s keen eye where art treasures are always to be found. The National Theatre of Ghana is also a must to see theatre, dance, and musical acts; it’s a perfect way to soak up some contemporary culture.

To pick up great gifts, skip the madness of the Centre for National Culture and the line of never-ending vendors and go for the serene environs at Artists Alliance Gallery or Wild Gecko instead.

Nubuke Foundation © Rachel Strohm

For the nature lover

Those who find themselves tired of the city, the traffic, the fumes, and mosquitoes, head to the hills and the Aburi Botanical Garden. The verdant and bucolic haven is perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or to read a book. Like cycling? Then rent a bike at the entrance and zip around the large site to inspect all the flora that has been planted since the late 19th century.

A short trip from the city leads to the Shai Hills Nature Reserve. While there, stroll the small forest, avoid the baboons, and join a tour group for a trek to the caves and boulders that offer wonderful views of the savanna.

Shai Hills Resource Reserve, +233 020 901 0963

Baboon at Shai Hills © Rene Mayorga/Flickr

For the activity lover

It can be tough to get the blood pumping in a city like Accra with its heat, size, and limited green space. Regardless, there is always something interesting and sporty to get into. Horseback riding and polo are available at Accra Polo Club as are Sunday afternoon horse competitions.

Escape the heat by lounging by a hotel pool with a book before taking a dip: the Movenpick and Labadi Beach are very popular and offer multiple pools; in the case of the latter, access to the hotel’s private part of Labadi Beach complete with lounge chairs and lounge service. Similarly, most hotels have tennis courts that offer lessons. Yoga classes are also available at multiple locations as well as Capoeira, a staple at the Alliance Française d’Accra.

For the ultimate introverted workout experience in Accra, take a solo surf lesson at Kokrobite or rent a board and paddle out to the horizon.

Surfing © mottovation / Pixabay

For the music lover

There is no end of live music, and Ghanaian venues are teeming with people going solo. A supremely friendly city, there is always an opportunity to be alone in the crowd in Accra while enjoying live sessions. The Republic Bar & Grill is one of them, with regular weekly live performances from the best performers the country has to offer to the best DJ sets, grab a cocktail and move to the beat.

If Osu is too lively, Alliance Francaise offers a more sedate environment under the stars in its wonderful amphitheatre. +233 Jazz Bar & Grill is the place to hear the best of Ghanaian hi-life and Afrobeats, and the sometimes forgotten Piano Bar is also among the best of vintage Accra venues.

Piano Bar, Teshie, Ghana, +233 024 423 2950

Singer ©Marco Zanferrari/Flickr