How To Spend 48 Hours In Accra

Akwaaba to Accra, Ghana | © USAFE AFAFRICA / Flickr
Akwaaba to Accra, Ghana | © USAFE AFAFRICA / Flickr
Photo of Hakeem Adam
30 January 2017

Accra is Ghana’s capital, and every year millions of visitors come for either business or pleasure to explore the culture and sights of the city. There are many amazing things to do while in Accra from clubbing to contemporary art, street food and historical tours. Knowing about some of these activities will come in handy when planning your trip to Accra. If time is at a premium for you, here is our advice on how you should spend 48 hours in Accra.

Day One

Once you arrive at the Kotoka International Airport, you can decide to stay at one of the many luxurious hotels within the airport’s vicinity such as Holiday Inn, Golden Tulip Hotel and the Airport View Hotel. Conversely, you can move into the heart of the city and lodge at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel or Kempinski Hotel Kempinksi if you want the finest, luxury stay here. Accra also has a number of guesthouses like the SSNIT Guest House if you are on a budget. Regardless, you will find comfortable accommodation, no matter how much you wish to spend.

The Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra | © James Cridland / Flickr

For breakfast, you can move towards Labone where some of Accra’s best coffee shops like Café Mondo and Vida e Café are situated. These cafes provided freshly brewed coffees, teas, pastries and salads and are also comfortable, casual spaces where you can sit and get ready for the rest of the activities Accra has planned for you.

Now that you are settled into the pace of Accra and have got a little taste of the culture, visit some of the museums and galleries to learn more about Ghanaian people, their heritage and history. The National Museum is a good place to start this cultural exploration as it houses artefacts from across the country from the many ethnic groups. Gallery 1957 in Kempinksi also has a fine collection of contemporary art from upcoming Ghanaian artists like Serge Attukwei-Clottey and Jermaine Quarshie.

Ghanaian contemporary art by El Anatsui | © Cliff / Flickr

You should have worked up an appetite after a long day of walking through museum and gallery spaces, learning more about Ghanaian history and culture. Tea Baa in Osu is just the place to have dinner. This small and cosy restaurant is the only place in Accra that serves the cold, zesty and delicious teas. Their legendary coconut rice and slow cooked lamb should leave you licking your fingers. If you are not too tired after this, you can check out some of the popular clubs in Accra like Carbon, Twist or Venus where the coolest people come out to party to the best music from trendy local and international DJs.

Tea Baa | © Hakeem Adam

Day Two

Your first 24 hours in Accra must definitely have made you crave more from this dynamic city. There is no better way to start your last day here than with Waakye. This rice and beans meal is relished by Ghanaians and is taken as a breakfast and lunch meal by many residents of the city. You can buy it from some of the stalls such as Osu Shell Waakye or Aunty Mumi Waakye. Waakye should give you all the energy you will require to enjoy Accra before you leave.

No matter your experience in Accra, you will surely want something to help you remember your time here. The Arts Centre is a great place to pick up a souvenir gift. It is the biggest art market in Ghana and you will find items like traditional beads, drums, xylophones, rings, trinkets, and traditional Ghanaian cloth such as Kente. Jamestown is a historically significant community in Accra, as it was a major point of departure for slaves to America and Europe during the slave trade. The James Fort Prison, Ussher Fort and Franklin house are major monuments in Jamestown. It also hosts the famous Chale Wote Street Arts Festival in August.

Franklin House, a slave trade relic | © David Stanley / Flickr

With your time in Accra drawing to an end, you would have grown fond of the city, its architecture, people and life style. You can strengthen this bond by trying out some of the local street food. Ghanaian cuisine is rich in flavours from all over the country, and also caters for different dietary restrictions as well. Here are some places including the Osu Night Market where you can find the most delicious street food in Accra like Banku and charcoal grilled tilapia, crabs and octopus. You can also try out the locally brewed gins and spirits like Palm Wine and Akpeteshi before saying goodbye to the city

Grilled Fish | © Devin Hunter / Flickr