City Guide: Accra


Busy shopping street scene in Accra. Image courtesy iStock/ruffraido

Accra is a vibrant, bustling space and one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Traffic takes forever (so ensure you add on extra time if moving around for meetings), but there are some great venues to meet and some superb business hotels to hold conferences and meetings. Here’s the lowdown on the city.

City Hotels:  The New Haven Hotel and the Crystal Hostel are recommended in the affordable price range, with the pricier Pink Hostel as an alternative (and sexier) option. The Paloma’s beachfront location makes it desirable, while Villa Monticello attracts the boutique hotel crowd. Labadi Beach Hotel is a favourite with large conference facilities and a notable restaurant. If you’re doing a quick in and out into the city, you might want to try the Best Western Premier Airport Hotel Accra.

Dining Out: If you’re staying at one of the four or five star hotels, the hotel restaurants are generally good value for money and offer extensive buffets where you can also taste the local cuisine. Heading in to town for a night out is always an option:  make your way to Oxford Street in Osu, where an assortment of restaurants are located close together; Accra Mall has modern cafés and fast-food outlets, but for local and pan-African fare from Nigeria, Togo and Senegal, hip and stylish Buka is the restaurant of choice.

Getting Around: As a foreigner, up until a few years ago you couldn’t hire a car in Ghana (the roads are a law unto their own). Hiring a car with driver advisable and is relatively inexpensive, and taxis are available at all the main centres. There is a public bus transport system, but it’s not always the most reliable mode of transport.

Nkrumah Memorial Park

Nkrumah Memorial Park in commemoration of the first president of independent Ghana, West Africa. Image courtesy of iStock.

Leisure Time: Head for the Arts Centre Market with its many stalls celebrating local craftware and art. Makola Market is the locals’ preferred and busy produce market, while the Accra Mall offers indigenous fabrics and knick-knacks, chain stores and supermarkets. Great views of the city from the Jamestown lighthouse. Local bands play at restaurants and pubs around the city at evenings out can be pretty festive.

Getting there: South African Airways has daily flights between Johannesburg and Accra.

For more information, visit the Ghana Tourism Authority website.

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