Accra area guides • Accra Central

Your guide to the best shops, restaurants, clubs, live music, art and culture, spas and bars in the central district of Ghana's capital city

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Overview

Independence Square (aka Black Star Square)

Independence Square (aka Black Star Square) © Daniel Neilson


Along the traffic-choked High Street and 28th February Road, which run parallel to the Atlantic Coast, are many of the major banks, international offices of multinationals and the High Court. The road then opens out and whisks past the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, the Centre for National Culture (Art's Centre) and into Independence Square and Independence Arch. Behind the square is a long expanse of beach, although it's not the best for bathing. The Centre for National Culture is a maze of hundreds of stalls selling crafts, textiles, instruments and antiques from all over Western Africa. And although strictly in the Osu neighbourhood, the beach-bound Osu Castle, also known as Christianborg Castle, is along the beach road and included in this section - it is still the seat of the government until it fully moves to Golden Jubilee House. Locals generally refer to Osu as Oxford Street, the vibrant area a couple of kilometres inland.

You'll also find the remarkable (for all sorts of reasons), Independence Square. With modernist and Soviet-influenced lines, the stands around Independence Square can seat 30,000 people. The vast area, built under Kwame Nkrumah, is designed for huge events and military marches, but it is usually empty except for a few soldiers sheltering from the sun. The only times the square comes alive are at commercial events such as concerts and fashion shows, which take place throughout the year. Even if there's not much happening it's worth wandering around just to marvel at the sheer audacity of it all.

The Independence Arch, at the centre of the busy roundabout, is also known as Black Star Square, thanks to the motif that dominates the arch. The sculpture is a nod to Ghana's acclaim as the 'Black Star of Africa': it was an inspiration to other African countries vying for independence and the Flame of African Liberation, lit by Nkrumah, still burns strongly nearby. Please note that there are (seemingly unwritten) laws about taking photographs and we strongly suggest that you don't take photographs of any part of the area.


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Sights and museums in Accra Central

Independence Square and Independence Arch

  • Free

With modernist and Soviet- influenced lines, the stands around Independence Square can seat 30,000 people. The vast area, built under Kwame Nkrumah, is designed for huge events and military marches, but it is usually empty except for a few soldiers

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum

  • Critics choice

A national park erected in memory of Osagyefo (the Messiah) Doctor Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president and one of its founding fathers. Built on a former British polo field, it was the point where Nkrumah declared independence in 1957. The park

  1. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum, High Street
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National Museum of Ghana

  • Critics choice

The National Museum is home to some of Ghana’s most absorbing historical finds. The museum, opened by the Duchess of Kent in 1957, gives an opportunity to travel through the country’s history from both an archaeological and ethnographic

  1. Barnes Road, Adabraka
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Arts Centre Market (Centre for National Culture)

  • Free

This is a popular location for tourists wanting a one-stop-shop for arts and crafts. The stalls are crammed full with textiles, carvings, bags, music instruments, clothing and jewellery. The stalls continue through the main hangar, and into an

  1. 28th February Rd, near Kwame Nkrumah Monument
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National Theatre

The unmistakable architecture of the National Theatre deserves to be seen – it has been described as either a ship, or, more abstractly, as a seagull spreading its wings. Chinese developers built the theatre and it opened in 1992 as the

  1. Liberia Road and Independence Avenue, Adabraka
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Shops in Accra Central

Joe’s Perspective Art Boutique

  • Critics choice

This luxury art boutique set up by Kukua Ampah has recently opened a branch at the new Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel. Many of the elegant and creative pieces here are bespoke and adapted by Kukua. Modern works of art incorporating the rich cultural

  1. Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Independence Avenue, Ridge
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Stellar Sounds

Need something to blow you away sonically? Stellar Sounds is the place. Stellar Sounds are purveyors of very fine audio gear that sounds as crisp as it was recorded, but the speakers, sound systems, TVs and headphones look incredible too. The shop

  1. Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Independence Avenue, Ridge
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Stellar Deluxe

Another great addition to the Mövenpick’s already pretty good retail option is Stellar Deluxe, a very high-end retail outlet from the South African company. The store on the upstairs gallery is an intimate venue for trying on a pair of the latest

  1. Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Independence Avenue, Ridge
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Restaurants in Accra Central

Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel

  • Critics choice

Backed by palm-studded grounds and a sweeping azure pool, Accra’s newest luxury bolthole is certainly living up to its hype. Waiters on roller blades glide across the gleaming patio, supplying fresh snacks and icy drinks to holidaymakers stretched

  1. Independence Avenue, Ridge
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Novotel Accra

This four-star family-friendly hotel might lack some of the pizzazz of the beach resorts, but the Novotel’s selection of restaurants and facilities provides ample entertainment for holidaymakers of all ages. The walls are covered in local art, as

  1. Barnes Road
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