Fun in Accra: A Guide to Enjoying Ghana’s Capital City
The word “Accra” is derived from the Akan word “Nkran,” meaning ants, which refers to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra. The name specifically refers to soldier ants and was applied to both the town and people by the Twi speakers. Ghanaians are the most hospitable and friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with. They are always smiling and happy, which becomes infectious; it’s almost impossible not to feel happy in their company. Indeed, living in Accra, one is expected to get a scolding or two from total strangers. Your upbringing becomes everyone’s business, especially when one is going wayward.
Ghana’s capital city, Accra, ranked as the 146th most expensive expat destination out of the 227 cities analyzed in the 2022 Mercer Cost of Living Survey. Accommodation in Ghana is particularly expensive and will take up most of an expat’s budget. Household utilities and communication technology are also costly. Many expats choose to live in the Airport Residential Area, East Legon, Spintex, or Osu. Prices in these areas tend to vary, with some of the more prestigious properties costing upwards of $3,000 per month. Accra is the site of Kotoka International Airport, which most expats use as a transit point to other regions of Ghana.
There are many delicacies in Accra, ranging from local to continental meals. There are also Ghanaian’s favorite roadside foods and snacks such as “kosua ni meko,” which is boiled egg with hot ground pepper, abotsi meat, poloo, gob3, which is beans with fried plantain, hausa koko, and koose, just to mention a few. While meal prices in Accra vary, the average cost of food in Accra is 130 Ghanaian cedis per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Accra should cost around 50 Ghanaian cedis per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.
Expats should opt for casual clothing due to the hot weather condition. Leave your designer labels and jewelry at home. Shorts are acceptable for both men and women, but I suggest you keep them decent to avoid judgmental looks from the locals. There are several pubs, restaurants, and beaches in Accra where you can go on dates with that special someone or friends to grab drinks or a meal after work on a Friday night or over the weekend. Such places include Bosphorus, Potbelly Shack, La Maison, etc. Labadi Beach is often called the perfect city beach by tourists and locals alike. It is the most popular shoreline in Accra. There are also a number of schools, both private and public, for families planning on moving to Accra.
The traffic situation is bad during the weekdays when both workers and students are rushing to their workplaces and schools. However, on the weekends, it’s a different situation as there is little or no traffic at all.