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Established in 1957 as a cultural and linguistic exchange, the Alliance still offers language courses, but is also home to a decent restaurant, film nights, exhibitions, Ghanaian dance and music courses. An outdoor concert space hosts some of the most popular live-music events in the city.
Ablade Glover, one of Ghana’s most respected artists, set up this huge gallery in Omanye House. The three floors overlooking the sea are stuffed full of modern and antique paintings, sculptures, woven kente cloth, jewellery, furniture, masks and clothes. Some are collector’s pieces and all are for sale (they’ll organise shipping for you too). This is one of the best places to see Ghana’s famous carved coffins and is worth more than one trip to take it all in.
Legon Botanical Gardens
If you fancy a stroll among some wildlife, Legon Botanical Gardens are the greenest space in the city and an easy drive from the centre. Popular with dog walkers and families, the lake is surrounded by hundreds of birds and there are easy walking routes through beautiful tropical plants and insects. Have a go at the canopy walk and finish it off with a refreshing drink on the deck of the shady restaurant.
Named for the year of Ghana’s independence, Gallery 1957 is in the Kempinski, one of Accra’s most upmarket hotels. Dedicated to contemporary art, it has continually rotating exhibitions, many of which make their way to Europe or the States, and is one of the best places in the city to see Ghana’s talented artists.
Jamestown is home to more than 20 boxing schools and many of the locals are fanatic about it – hardly surprising given that two of the world’s most successful boxers, Ike Quartey and Azumah Nelson, were born there. The streets are lined with posters advertising upcoming fights and children practise in the streets – book yourself a session at one of the boxing gyms, or soak up the atmosphere at a fight night at the Bukom Boxing Arena.
ANO Institute of Contemporary Art
Right next to Lokko House, this small gallery has big ideas. Founded as a multi-purpose art space, you’ll find exhibition rooms, a library and bookshop, a performance and film screening area and a programme for artists in residence. It’s one of the most forward-thinking creative spaces in Accra and worth a visit as an introduction to the rich culture and creativity of the country.
Accra can get muggy, but there are plenty of places that are easily accessible for a day trip full of fresh air. Try sailing in Accra, surfing at the beaches at Bojo and Kokrobite, walking or cycling in Aburi Botanical Gardens, canoeing down the Volta to the Akosombo Dam from the Royal Senchi Hotel, or sunbathing on the pristine beach at White Sands.
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