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Accra

Country
Ghana
State
GH01
City
Accra
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

        Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with the population of the city proper estimated at 3,963,264 as of 2011. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous. Accra is furthermore the anchor of a larger metropolitan area called the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), including eight districts - Accra Metropolitan, Tema Metropolitan, Ga East Municipal, Ga West Municipal, Ga South Municipal, Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal, Ashaiman Municipal and Adenta Municipal. The GAMA is home to about 4 million people, making it the largest metropolitan conglomeration in the country by population.As a primate city, Accra is the administrative, communications, and economic centre of the country.
          Originally built around a port, Accra stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast and extends north into the interior. It served as the capital of the British-ruled Gold Coast from 1877. Accra has since transitioned from being a 19th-century suburb of Victoriaborg into a modern metropolis; the city's architecture reflects this history, ranging from elegant 19th-century colonial buildings to skyscrapers and apartment blocks.
 



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How to Reach

By plane

Kotoka International Airport is a major hub, with international connections from North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, along with internal connections to Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi.
         From the United States, Delta Air Lines operates 4 times weekly flights directly from New York-JFK and Atlanta. From there, it is possible to connect to all major North, South, and Latin American cities, and the Caribbean.
 

Key places to visit
Labadi Beach, National Museum, Osu Castle, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Jamestown, Kakum National Park


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Places to Visit

Labadi Beach

         One of the most popular beaches in Accra for tourists. Located between two of Accra's most expensive hotels-- La Palm and La Badi Beach--this short stretch of the Atlantic Coast features several makeshift cafe-restaurants, lots of souvenir vendors, and if you are lucky (i.e. on good weather weekends) an amazing cast of characters who will entertain you with drumming, dancing, pony rides, and acrobatic performances. Some people actually go for a swim, but there's plenty to do on-shore. Don't miss it. (Warning: this is a prime-time venue, one highly "not recommended" after dark.) The beach is 'offically' accessible only from an entrance at La By-pass (Labadi Road) for a fee of 5 Gh¢. If you are a guest at La Palm or Labadi Beach Hotel you can access the beach for free through the back gate.
 

National Museum

   Highly worthwhile, the National Museum offers visitors a look at Ghanaian history and culture from prehistory to the present. Cultural exhibits include clothing, thrones, carvings, paintings, pottery, and a variety of instruments and tools used in various rituals. Each of these is accompanied by descriptions of their significance and meaning, so you can learn a lot if you take the time read them! Historical exhibits feature some of the most influential and important parts of Ghana's history, particularly the slave trade. There is also a fascinating exhibit of the history of the Ghanaian currency.

Osu Castle

    Built by the Danes in the 17th century for Sweden, it has changed hands under many rulers before the Danes were finally able to stake claim to the area and the castle. Before it was claimed by Denmark, it was used for trading precious metals, but once the Danes took power, it became a place to store slaves prior to shipping them. Later it became the headquarters of the Danish Gold Coast. Since that time, it has been used as a government building and when Ghana gained independence in 1957, it became the Presidential House. It remains the seat of government today, although there is controversy because of its ties to the slave trade. Visitors are able to go to the castle however, armed guards stand outside and they typically don't allow photos to be taken. Rules about pictures change sporadically, but it's best (safest) not to try.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
 
   The park was created to honor Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to its independence from Great Britain and became the nation's first president. Voted as Africa's "Man of the Millenium", he is a highly important figure of the 20th century. In the park you can see a monument dedicated to him, as well as his mausoleum, where he is buried.

Jamestown

      Jamestown is the oldest part of Accra and remains an active fishing center. It is similar in many ways to Zanzibar's Stone Town, though it has not yet been restored, so it is not typically highlighted on tourist itineraries. Despite this, for many visitors, it is one of the most memorable sights in the city. Jamestown is a short distance west from Independence Square; from the busy street the only real sights are the lighthouse, a prison building housed inside an old colonial fort, and the old Customs House. From the lighthouse there is a road which takes you to the otherwise hidden delight: one of the largest working fishing harbors in Ghana. Go early in the morning and see dozens of small boats bring in the day's catch. It's best to find a friendly local guide so you don't miss the hidden alleys, old stone houses, and fantastic cliff-top harbor vistas.

Kakum National Park

Kakum National Park is in the Coastal Plain region of Ghana and is the best preserved region of virgin rainforest in the country and provides the easiest access to the rainforest for tourists along with the famous canopy walkway.
  Undisturbed rainforest from both the ground and 40m up in the canopy - a fantastic experience. Don't expect to see much wildlife except for birds and insects.

Right Time to Visit

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