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On the coast of the Atlantic and at the center of Ghana’s public life, this up-and-coming metropolis is waiting to show you a combination of heritage, culture, and modern excitement in the West African tropics. Where gleaming skyscrapers stand over old colonial forts and open malls share the roads with hip diners and lounges, you can find a great selection of things to do in Accra as you get to know one of the most dynamic cities in the region.
Once an exclusive suburban community for well-off Europeans during the colonial years, this neighborhood was transformed after independence into a model district for the new Ghanain nation. Modern tower blocks, the Accra Sports Stadium, and Independence Square point to the area’s status as a business and civic hub, while plenty of buildings sport the elegant Georgian architecture left over from British rule.
Known as Accra’s West End after the famous London entertainment district, Osu is a hub of commerce and nightlife. Between the historic seat of government in Osu Castle and the clubs and supermarkets along Cantonments Road, this neighborhood offers some of the most liveliest places in the country.
The two oldest districts in Accra stand between a pair of old British forts. Fishing boats still fill the beaches alongside fresh markets, and their distance from the more modern developments have left the area as one of the clearest reminders of what the city looked like during the era of colonial rule.
A host of monuments stand in Independence Square, the second-largest city square in the world, while the nearby Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum commemorates the statesman who led Ghana to independence. Check out the National Theatre of Ghana with its iconic modern design, the Byzantine-style domes of the National Mosque, or see artifacts dating back to the Stone Age in the National Museum.
Accra has something waiting for you around almost every corner. You can join a guide for a look at the open-air markets of the old city or try your hand at Ghanaian cuisine with a cooking class. Learn the stories behind some of the oldest buildings in Usshertown and Jamestown, or pay a visit to Kokrobite Beach and Labadi Beach for plenty of sand, waves, and live music.
There's no need to constantly reach for your wallet in Accra. The following won't cost a penny.
University of Ghana - Drop by this historic landmark and experience a slice of the region's cultural heritage.
Independence Square - This is a buzzing place where you can soak up the vibe and join in on the local way of life.
U.S. Embassy - Allow some time to visit this place of local importance.
Holy Trinity Cathedral - Get an understanding of local religious beliefs at this holy site.
You could even leave your credit card in the hotel safe for the day, because these great attractions won't cost you a dime: