Ghana is proof that amazing things come in small packages.
Considered to be one of Africa’s true success stories, this country is enjoying a stable democracy and incredible development.
The combination creates joyful energy across the country.
With Ghana, you get beautiful hinterland, sunny beaches, rich culture, lively cities, welcoming locals, tons of wildlife, and easy access to all parts of the country.
There’s a big difference between northern and southern Ghana – including different religions, geography, and culture.
But you’ll still feel like the country is one harmonious unit. If you’ve never been to Africa, Ghana is known as ‘Africa for beginners,’ making it a perfect destination for those who want to get their feet wet.
At just over two million inhabitants Accra is the largest city in Ghana.
This capital city is full of character and radiates friendliness.
Whether you’re there as a solo traveler or with a family, on your big annual holiday, or there for business, Accra has something to make you feel comfortable.
What tourists really love are the many beaches surrounding the city – particularly Labadi Beach. Accra is home to the National Museum where you’ll find many of the countries historical treasures.
You can also visit the National Theatre, International Trade Fair, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, Independence Square, and W.E.B. Dubois Centre.
At every turn, you’ll find markets, incredible food, wonderful music, and lots of traffic! Top it all off with a trip to one of the many coffin shops in Teshie.
2. Artists Alliance Gallery
This gallery will blow you away with its contemporary and fine art collections.
Created by respected Ghanaian artist, Ablade Glover, the three-story gallery is a treasure chest of Kente clothe, furniture, Asafo flags, masks, and unique metal sculptures.
You can see almost every prominent Ghanaian artist represented and most of the pieces are for sale.
3. Labadi Beach
Arguably Accra’s most popular beach, Labadi is the perfect city beach.
Great food and cocktails are available, as well as local entertainment and people watching.
The beach itself is maintained by the surrounding hotels so be forewarned that there is a small entrance fee for those not staying there.
If you happen to be there on the weekend you’ll for sure catch some native drumming, local reggae bands, and plenty of spots for dancing to hiplife – a unique music style that blends hip hop with Ghanaian culture.
Jamestown is a tough but moving neighborhood of Accra.
There’s a ton of history to discover as both the British and the Portuguese left behind a cultural and architectural legacy.
The Jamestown community is close-knit and the atmosphere is lively.
There aren’t many markers to explain the context of the history that you’re seeing, so a guide is a welcome addition, but certainly not necessary.
The neighborhood is a cross between rural and urban and is famous for turning out incredible national boxers.
5. Cape Coast
Cape Coast is a former European colonial capital and one of the most culturally significant spots in all of Africa.
Originally called Cabo Corso by the Portuguese, the town was once the largest slave-trading center in West Africa.
It was here that slaves were brought, locked deep in the town intimidating castle, and then loaded onto vessels heading to the New World.
What you will see and experience here will move you deeply.
Today Cape Coast is primarily a fishing town with an artsy vibe.
Old colonial buildings line the streets perfect for leisurely strolls.
Use Cape Coast as your base for exploring Anomabu, Elmina, and Kakum National Park.
6. Kakum National Park
A visit to Kakum National Park makes a great day trip from Cape Coast.
There you’ll find 40 mammal species, 300 bird species, and over 600 butterfly species.
The most popular part of the park is the canopy walk.
It’s a string of viewing platforms that are linked by safe and bouncy suspension bridges roughly 30 meters above the park floor.
For a deeper look into the park, make arrangements ahead of time for a park ranger or guide to take you further in.
7. National Museum of Ghana
History buffs will love the National Museum of Ghana.
There are a number of exhibits dedicated to the Atlantic slave trade and the African lives that were irreparably changed because of it.
If you’re looking for a good explanation of the ethnographic diversity of modern-day Ghana, this is the place to go.
Get insights into the past and present people, see traditional household objects, art, the royal Ashanti tools, and learn how to weave Kente cloth.
8. Elmina Castle
The first European slave trading post in Africa was Elmina Castle.
Built-in the 15th century by the Portuguese, it is located in what is now present-day Ghana.
Over the centuries it’s been controlled by the Dutch and the British and primarily served the Caribbean and Brazil slave routes.
You can see the luxury accommodations up top, where the Europeans stayed, and then visit the dungeons below where one cell held up to 200 people.
It’s a very eye-opening look at a difficult aspect of African and European history.
The castle is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Monument and is part of the national museum system.
Perhaps the most chill beach in Ghana is Busua.
It’s a magnet for the backpacker and volunteer crowds who love to come to unwind on the beach for a few days at a time.
Roughly 30k from the city of Takoradi and situated right between Dixcove and Butle, the village of Busua has potential for great excursions, making it an ideal base camp.
Many beaches in Ghana have a strong surf, making swimming a little precarious, but Busua waters are as relaxed as its vibe.
Because it’s primarily a tourist town, you’ll find great hotels and restaurants, shopping, and renting surfboards and bicycles.
10. Mole National Park
This is the place for family safaris in Ghana.
Mole National Park covers a large savannah filled with African elephants, buffalos, baboons, warthogs, and kob antelopes.
You’ll find almost 100 mammal species and at least 300 bird species here.
The park allows walking and driving safaris and you can rent a parked vehicle if you don’t have your own.
Going between December and April is the best time for elephant sightings, though you’re guaranteed to see plenty of mammals year-round.
11. Akwidaa & Cape Three Points
For discerning beachcombers, Ghana offers Akwidaa – with a long and pristine white sand beach, you’ll find it’s one of the best that the country has to offer.
Explore the nearby cocoa plantations and forests and get a night-time guided tour of the turtle nesting spots along the beach.
If you like, you can take a canoe ride to Cape Three Points, the southernmost tip of Ghana.
There’s a great bar scene, good food, and plenty of local attractions to provide a good combination of lazing about and seeing new things.
The second-largest city in Ghana is Kumasi, once the capital of the powerful Ashanti kingdom.
The city itself is still heavy with Ashanti traditions.
The main attraction here is the Kejetia market.
A place where you can get lost for days.
In fact, sometimes the entire city can feel like one big market.
Visit the Manhyia Palace and learn about traditional African democracy.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the National Cultural Centre and sit in on a dance or drumming class.
Inhabited primarily by the Mole-Dagomba group, Tamale is the country’s northern capital.
There are several gorgeous mosques here and the cultural center has craft shops, dance and music performances.
Considered to be the ‘kitchen’ of Ghana, you’ll find fantastic local and exotic foods here.
It’s probably the fastest-growing city in West Africa and it’s also probably one of the most welcoming.
Farmers by tradition, this hot and arid land are located close to the Sahara Desert.
Don’t miss the two traditional palaces of Dapkema and Gulkpe Naa.
14. Lake Bosumtwe
Just 32km from Kumasi is Lake Bosumtwe.
This crater lake is almost 90 meters deep and was created when a large meteorite collided with Earth.
The lake is surrounded by fantastic trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
In addition, you’ll find that many locals visit here as the lake is a sacred site for the Ashanti people.
Folklore holds that the people’s spirits come to Lake Bosumtwe after death in order to say goodbye to the god Twi.
If you’re looking for a relaxed place for water sports, this is an excellent weekend destination.
15. Volta Region
The largest man-made lake on Earth is Lake Volta in Ghana.
Stay in the neighboring towns of Ho or Ewe as you explore this lush and beautiful area.
Enjoy Aburi botanical gardens, music cruises on the lake, canoeing, monkey sanctuaries, fishing, waterfalls, and a Kente weaving village.
If you’re up for it, you can hike to the top of Mount Afadjato, Ghana’s tallest peak.
Be sure to check out Shai Hills, a wildlife preserve, and Xavi, a bird-watching sanctuary, while you’re there.
This is truly one of the most beautiful parts of Ghana and is not to be missed.