There are loads of places in Accra to splash the cash - but some of the city's most rewarding offerings are also great for those with less money to burn. Learn about Ghana's history by perusing some of its capital's most popular museums, sample some seriously great street food or take a cheap day trip - Accra has a lot to give the traveller with a tight budget. Here's Time Out's pick of trips, activities and experiences in the Ghanaian capital that sit at the more affordable end of the spectrum.
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 perspective. Much of the display is dedicated to indigenous art and crafts: there are regalia, musical instruments and the all-important royal Asante stools. Other displays include Asante gold weights, currency, instruments, textiles and leatherwork. Slighty hidden away is the chair used in Kwame Nkrumah’s inauguration and the chair of the last British governor, rescued from Christianborg Castle. An exhibition about the slave trade is essential viewing, outlining the era’s brutal history, and showing poignant relics such as shackles. There’s also a gallery with pieces by Ghanaian artists.
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 consists of five acres of land and holds a museum tracing Nkrumah’s life. There are many personal items on display, but the centrepiece is the mausoleum, Nkrumah and his wife’s final resting place. Tours in English can be taken. Kwame Nkrumah is an essential part of Ghana’s history and a good half-hour here will fill you in on most of the details. Events are held on Independence Anniversary celebrations on 6 March and the Celebration of Emancipation Day on 1 August.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an African-American civil rights activist who became a citizen of Ghana in the 1960s. He was known as the ‘Father of Pan-Africanism’. The centre, where he and his wife once lived, and where they are now buried, houses his personal library, a small museum with a handful of personal effects such as his graduation robes. The couple’s mausoleum is surrounded by Asante stools, a seminar room, a restaurant, a gallery, an amphitheatre and a research centre for Pan-African history and culture.
More of a street stall, Katawodieso is almost legendary in Accra. Run by the matriarch Ruby Duff-Tay and her sisters, it serves traditional Ghanaian food. Within a courtyard are bubbling pots of banku, fufu and jollof rice. The speciality here, however, is waakye – a dish of refried beans, rice, spicy sauce, some well-cooked meat and a bit of fish, usually eel. Walk in, take a seat if there is room, or order in the kiosk from one of the smartly dressed waitresses and see what arrives. The restaurant has been at this location for a quarter of a century and is known by everyone in Accra.