Ghana’s capital, Accra, is one of the fastest-changing cities on the continent, with new places to eat, drink, sleep and play springing up almost more quickly than locals and expats can keep up with.

The perfect place for a city break before heading off to discover the rest of the country – be it the beaches of Ada to the east, the colonial forts of Cape Coast and Elmina to the west, Mole National Park in the north or Volta Lake in the middle – Accra’s friendly people and vibrant music and fashion scenes provide an ideal introduction to West African culture.

Visit in the summer for the Chale Wote Festival, browse the markets and boutiques for traditional and modern art and crafts, get bespoke clothes made by one of the city’s up-and-coming designers, enjoy live music at almost any bar or soak up the tropical sun in one of the luxurious hotel pools dotted around the capital.

TO STAY

Labadi Beach Hotel

The Queen chose to stay here during her 1961 visit, as did Prince Edward in 2018. Labadi Beach Hotel is one of the few hotels in Accra to offer beach access, with a small stretch maintained by the hotel (you probably wouldn’t want to swim otherwise). The hotel has an excellent chef and often hosts upmarket balls and events, as well as being a local favourite for its all-inclusive Sunday brunch.

Olma Colonial Suites

A peaceful little oasis right in the middle of busy Osu, Olma has 13 suites (some self-catering), all beautifully furnished with locally made items and set around a lush tropical-garden pool. The suites are perfectly located for both tat and upmarket shopping, as well as popular restaurants and bars on Accra’s very own Oxford Street.

La Villa Boutique Hotel

Winner of the Luxury Hotel Awards for Ghana in 2017, La Villa Boutique offers suites, standard and apartment rooms, all decorated with work from local artists. Walking distance from the bustle of Oxford Street, its plunge pool and verdant terrace bar offer a haven for travellers looking for a little luxury away from the traffic and chaos.

Roots Hotel

Also just off Oxford Street and within easy reach of the shops, restaurants and nightclubs, this old favourite has a roof terrace complete with two small pools that’s perfect for night-time cocktails overlooking over the city. The food isn’t fantastic but the service is better than elsewhere and the hotel is impeccably decorated with African flair.

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