13 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Ghana

Jul 22, 2021

Ghana is one of Africa's most charming countries, not just for its ancient, rich culture, but also for its natural charms and adventurous tourist activities. One of West Africa's last colonial colonies, the country offers the best of the rainforest in the world, as well as awe-inspiring cave paintings, vast beaches, and limestone mountains. The hinterland, a hotbed of vibrant culture, is a region of national parks, highland lakes, spice farms, and the famous Ashanti region of gold.

Cape Coast is the country's best-known tourist attraction. Not only does it feature Ghana's very own colonial ghost town (along with living remnants of its rich culture), but it also has the country's largest seaport, a lively market, and some of the best beaches in the region. It's also the closest city to the Gambia, which is not only beautiful but is home to one of the world's most incredible beaches.

For many people, visiting Ghana also means a visit to the largest rainforest in West Africa, as well as a chance to hike along the country's beautiful coast, eat at some of the finest local restaurants, and sample Ghanaian home cooking.

Plan your visit to Ghana with our guide to the top places to visit in Ghana.

Kumasi

Photo of Kumasi
Kumasi: en.wikipedia.org

Ghana's second largest city and the capital of the Ashanti Region, Kumasi is located in the middle of the Ashanti Golden Mile of gold mining and the wide Bandama and Volta River valleys. The banks of the Volta River are lined with traditional African villages and Ghana's most famous stilt dwellings, and nearby the city can be found interesting cultural attractions. A number of early music festivals are held in Kumasi. Prominent among them are the Kumasi Arts and Culture Show and the Akan Drumming and Dance Festival. Kumasi is a good base for visiting the numerous cultural centers in the surrounding towns and villages and is the gateway to Ghana's fabulous natural attractions.

Accra

Ghana is often referred to as West Africa's hidden gem. Its varied topography and remote beaches set the scene for some of the most beautiful and relaxing spots in the region. Accra, Ghana's capital city, is another popular choice and its colonial architecture and many attractions make it a fascinating place to visit. Accra's most popular sights are the AKUUMA National Museum, and the Ghana Museum of Railway History, home to some of the most spectacular and rare railway vehicles. For a beautiful view of the city, visit the top of King's Castle (kingkutse). The location was once used to launch attacks on invaders, and now features a funicular ride to the top of the castle. Ghana has its own airline, with direct flights to Europe, North America and Africa.

Read more 👉  Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Accra

Tamale

Photo of Tamale, Ghana
Tamale, Ghana: en.wikipedia.org

This bustling city in the Akan section of Ghana, not far from the country's border with Burkina Faso, is popular for the palm wine that is distilled here. The palm wine, also known as ‘Bammale', is much like grappa and is served during traditional music and dance performances, usually on Wednesday nights. When drunk in moderation, it can have a very high alcohol content, but the French refer to it as a ‘sobriety-preserver' (paraphrase). There are plenty of things to do in Tamale including the former capital of the Mandinka Empire, the royal palace of Kotoku, as well as art galleries, postcards and stamps shops, and street vendors. Traveling to Tamale is fairly straightforward with a number of air connections a year.

Akosombo Dam

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Akosombo Dam: en.wikipedia.org

The Akosombo Dam is the world's largest man-made body of water, an hour's drive north of Accra. It's the largest water project in Africa and holds some 6.2 million cubic meters of water and stores it in Lake Volta. The reservoir is used to produce electricity and irrigate the surrounding farmlands. Visitors are given a unique view of a hydroelectric dam that still has some of the original machinery, including the generators that produce the electricity. In terms of access, the best time to visit is between February and April. Akosombo is also the site of a wildlife refuge for Africa's largest antelope, the sitatunga, as well as the Akwapim National Park.

Cape Coast

Photo of Cape Coast
Cape Coast: en.wikipedia.org

Ghana's coastal area is dotted with lagoons and resorts, and Cape Coast, which was once a stop for European slave-traders, is Ghana's oldest city. From the center of town, you'll have access to the International Lake Hotel (Cape Coast Hotel), which offers views over the town and the lagoon. Cape Coast was also once home to the Asante, who successfully fought off two European invasions and defeated the British with the help of the United States. As you walk around the city, keep an eye open for the gold-leaf-covered obelisk from the 1873 uprising, which is located next to the Panine Museum. Visit the gold market, on Sunday morning, if you like gold jewelry, and the Asante Market if you like African fabric.

Bolgatanga

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Bolgatanga: en.wikipedia.org

Ghana's main seaport is Bolgatanga, a town located on the north-eastern coast of the country. Surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Northern Ghana escarpment, it is the cultural and administrative capital of the Upper East Region. Being a fishing town and port, you will see the remains of canoes, catamarans, a barge and a vessel stranded by the waves. The town's second attraction is the Jobi Cathedral, one of the oldest in the country. In the town center, you will find the post office and telephone center and also a number of bars, clubs and restaurants. Nearby, the nearby Sankarani Falls can be reached by foot or canoe, which can be rented near the sea. The river has several rapids, from which you can appreciate the beauty of the landscape. Other places to visit in Bolgatanga include the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Suntrip Island, Tamale Golf Club, the ancient Ghanaian city of Elmina and the Ga Old Town of Tema.

Takoradi

Photo of Sekondi-Takoradi
Sekondi-Takoradi: en.wikipedia.org

Situated on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana's capital is a charming town, known for the marabouts, its large market, the bustling Cross Street junction, and its lovely beaches. The Kofi Annan International Airport, 32 kilometers west of the town, receives regular flights from Accra, and there are ferries, catamarans, and river boats connecting the two. Things to see in Takoradi include the historic Wattie Street Market, which takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, and where Ghana's marabouts meet to discuss the political situation. There are many wonderful churches, including the great King's Chapel, a Catholic Church, and the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, built in the year 1790. The latter, with its distinctive rammed-earth and thatch walls, was once part of a hospital for those with leprosy.

Aburi

Ghana's main coastal resort is Aburi, located about 10 miles west of Accra. With sandy beaches, abundant wildlife, a mangrove-fringed lagoon, and vibrant markets, Aburi's beauty lies in its verdant, cool coastal environment. Near the center of town is the beautiful Aburi Castle, built during the first colonial era. Several other sights worth seeing include the Ghana Museums, the Aburi District Gallery, the Asante Hills Cultural Centre, and the Kokrobite Akomfo-Nefesi Stomp for the legend of Akomfo-Nefesi, one of Ghana's most famous mythological characters.

Koforidua

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Koforidua: en.wikipedia.org

Koforidua, which literally means Place of the Horse House, was founded by Fante inhabitants of the eastern Gold Coast at the close of the 17th century. Fertile fields, groves and forest cover this volcanic island, and its dark, romantic, and beautifully preserved early Victorian buildings are protected by the national authorities. Landmarks include the impressive national mosque and the government headquarters of the Obodomari District. Located here is the estate of Sir Samuel Bodie (1776-1852), who was a prominent medical doctor and philanthropist. Having set up a small hospital to cater to the needs of the poor, he gifted the house to be turned into a medical school. Also in the district is the smaller town of Ayigya and the Dixson Nene Park and Greenhouse, where there is a botanical garden and man-made pond. The gardens, established by Dr. Samuel Bodie, remain an inspiration for the people.

The Volta Region

Photo of Volta Region
Volta Region: en.wikipedia.org

Built as a trade center and capital city, the West African region of The Volta is the city of New Voltas - Nouakchott. The Volta Region is a fairly large region in West Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, West Africa and Sahara Desert and straddling the Gabon - Ogooué River. Its capital and largest city is Nouakchott. There are no train or air routes, so it's a 3.5 hour drive from the airport. The Volta Region also includes a number of popular tourist destinations: Kassena National Park is a less developed place. Tourists are also able to visit Diobu and Nanor.

Savannah

Photo of Savannah Region
Savannah Region: en.wikipedia.org

Best known for its huge, forest-covered namesake mountains, Savannah was also the birthplace of the first king of the Yoruba nation, Oba Ja of Benin (AD 1440-1545), who was elevated to his position after a secret, magic battle in which he vanquished an enemy king. The location is also believed to be the home of the god of thunder, Oya. With its lush greenery, Savannah is great for hiking and views, and also offers a number of other tourist attractions including the world's biggest water-powered mill. The Savannah River is the longest flowing river in the world and flows from the mountains down to the sea. The river also forms an easy way to travel between the city and the beaches, which are home to some excellent swimming. Savannah can also be reached by air, with several direct flights from many European cities and as far away as the United States.

Lake Volta

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Lake Volta: en.wikipedia.org

Lake Volta is one of the largest, most dramatic lakes in the world. As its name implies, the lake is found in the north of Ghana, close to the border with Côte d'Ivoire, and has one of the highest water levels in the world. The shores of the lake are not protected and are therefore susceptible to erosion. This problem has been exacerbated by an increasingly severe drought. Nonetheless, tourists can enjoy the natural beauty of the lake, with its forested hills and spectacular rocky islands. The best way to enjoy Lake Volta is to travel by road or boat to Takoradi.

Winneba

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Winneba: en.wikipedia.org

West African Winneba is Ghana's most popular tourist destination. It is a sleepy fishing village that lies on the banks of Lake Volta in central Ghana. Although inextricably linked with Ghana's past glory, Winneba is quite a modern town now and in terms of modern amenities, the town now ranks among the best places to visit in West Africa. There are several pleasant beaches on the beachfront, which makes it a great place to spend a relaxing day with family and friends. Winneba is known for its pristine waters and its 'chocolate' sand, which is a dark and sparkling beach-like sand, unique to Ghana. Other interesting features of Winneba include the steamy Grand Theater with its colorful paintings and music, the Kyebi Shrine, the batik exhibition, and the Akorobe Nuno, a small national park that offers beautiful views of the lake and the beachfront.