Planning to visit Accra? Here are a few tips we gathered from our first trip to the capital city of Ghana.
Flights and Travel
Tip 1: There are direct flights from London to Accra and the flight is exactly 6h 30mins each way. The airport in Accra is clean, spacious and the staff were quite friendly. If you are already in Africa, you can get direct inter-continent flights from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Tip 2: Uber has recently launched in Ghana, however there were only 100 cars in rotation whilst we were in Accra. The rates are much cheaper than a normal taxi. An average rides cost between 5-10 GHc. The traffic can be really bad during the weekdays but weekends are less busy.
Tip 3: We were spoilt for choice for places to eat and drink. Accra is a cool city with a good social vibe. We started off with breakfast at the Alisa Hotel North Ridge, where a buffet costs 75GHc per person. We visited the Honeysuckle pub in Osu but didn’t get a chance to sample their infamous chicken wings as it doesn’t open until 12pm. We then went to the Zen Garden grill and juice bar and had an amazing fruit smoothie.
Tip 4: Gold Coast is great venue for an early night out and Coco Lounge is one of the clubs to go if you want a very late night out. Gold Coast is an authentic Ghanaian food restaurant, which hosts a live band on most nights.
Tip 5: We were lucky to attend the opening night of the Bedford Gallery with the first exhibits being Patrick William Dodoo (pictured above). This gallery was opened to showcase the talented local artists to Ghana and the world. The owner of the gallery started off the Painting In The Open (PITO) initiative where artists paint in the open on Oxford Street and he also plans to organise a Ghana art festival. We also visited Gallery1957 based at the Kempinski hotel.
Tip 6: The Oxford Street Mall and Accra Mall are filled with a lot of restaurants, shops cinemas and more for entertainment. Oxford Street in Osu is also a busy area with street stalls for food and fashion. To shop for arts and crafts the Arts Centre is a good marketplace and Makolo market for more general shopping.
Tip 7: The Ghanaian Cedi (notes) and Pesewa (coins) are the currencies used in Ghana. The currency sign is GHc, Gp (local) or GHS (international). Currently the exchange rate is approximately £1 = 5GHc and $1 = 4GHc. Ghana recently removed 4 digits from its currency to become the highest denominated currency in Africa.
Top 8: You can also use your Visa debit or credit card at the same exchange rate.
Tip 9: We toured the city in a taxi that cost 150GHc for a day. This wasn’t the best idea as it was expensive and a little difficult to tell the driver where we wanted to go, however he was helpful in pointing out some iconic buildings. Although we didn’t try it, there is a tour group called the Accra Walking Tours that takes you around James Town, the heartland of Accra.
Tip 10: For this trip we stayed at a spacious apartment we found on Airbnb that cost £50 a night. There are many good quality hotels in Accra such as Kempinski, Movenpick, Labadi Beach, La Palms Beach and Alisa hotels with rooms starting from £120 a night. We had a lovely lunch at Kempinski and their kelewele was the best we’ve had yet!
Let us know your tips to add to this list when you visit Accra!