The airport is situated 10km (6 miles) north of Accra city centre.
Comprehensive redevelopment of the terminal was completed in recent years, which has included the provision of a proper lounge and a modern arrival/immigration/baggage hall. Further improvements are under way.
Travellers may experience unexpected delays even after checking in. Passengers should get the required seat reconfirmation stamped on the ticket, ensure that they have emergency funds for food and lodging in the event of the unexpected delays, and arrive at the airport at least two hours before the scheduled departure times.
From Accra city centre, head north following the signs for the airport.Around 1,000 spaces are available in 24-hour car parks at the airport.Several car hire companies are represented at the airport, with booths outside the arrivals hall. These include Avis and Europcar (chauffeur-driven cars only)
There is an an airport information desk in the arrival hall, along with a Ghana Tourist Information counter.: A post office and bureau de change are available. Several ATMs are available in the terminal and Wi-Fi Internet access is available in the Departures area. Card phones are located at several points throughout the terminal; cards are available from the post office and some shops.
Facilities include a bar, restaurants and food kiosks. Shopping There are a few shops in the terminal, including duty-free
Accra has a population of 1,661,400 (in 2001). The local language is Ga but Twi (pron. ‘ch-wee’), Ewe (pron. ayvay) and Hausa arealso widely spoken (as well as English). Accra has rich western looking buildings and dusty shanty towns. Founded during the 17th century by the Ga people, Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast in 1877. Following Ghanaian independence in 1957, Accra became the capital of Ghana.
While visas on arrival are supposed to be available for visitors from countries without Ghanaian embassies or consulates, in practice this works spottily if at all and some travellers have not been able to even board the plane without a visa. It’s thus best to play it safe and get a visa in advance. A three-month single-entry visa costs US$50; a one-year, multiple entry visa costs $80. You must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate which will be presented to customs when entering. Malaria course essential. Travelers that are staying longer than their entry visa (a maximum of 30 or 60 days are usually granted for tourists) are advised to bring their passport for visa extension to Immigration Service early and expect delays in getting their passports back. Two weeks are provided as the guideline for processing time, but this can often take much longer. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of Immigration Service, you may consider going to Togo and back to get a visa stamp at the border.
There are plenty of airlines offering flights to Accra from major UK airports including London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow, Cardiff, New Castle, London Gatwick. Kotoka International Airport is a major hub, with international connections from North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, along with internal connections to Kumasi and Tamale. From the United States, Delta Airlines operates 4 times weekly flights directly from New York. From there, it is possible to connect to all major North, South, and Latin American cities, and the Caribbean.
SUV or Car with driver
If you need an SUV or a sedan there are plenty of affordable options because even the best drivers earn only about $15 a day in Accra. You can book directly from Avis and local rental companies at the larger hotels, such as the Golden Tulip, La Palm, or La Badi Beach. Cars are available on short notice but if you want a van or SUV it is best to book ahead. Rates for car and driver are about $9 (Ghana Cedis 11.25) an hour. For a $75 you can book a ten hour day, but fuel is extra. Rates increase if you leave metro Accra, which is fair because poor roads add to the wear and tear on the vehicle. Toyota Land Cruisers are a popular choice and are widely available.
Accra is relatively safe to walk around during the day (and night, in many areas). Watch out for open sewers, automobiles, (even in the city) when walking the streets.
To flag a taxi wave your arm with your finger pointed down to the ground. On a busy street you will have many taxis driving past trying to offer you their service. There are no meters on Ghanaian taxis. You must negotiate how much you are willing to pay before you start the trip. Try to ask someone local how much a trip to a certain location usually costs. Taxis are generally easy to identify. The two front side panels and the two real side panels are normally painted yellow with a different colour for the rest of the vehicle. That said, the most important way of recognising taxis are by the number plates–they, like many commercial vehicles, always have a yellow background, with black lettering, as compared to the private vehicles that have white background, with black lettering.
Metered Taxi There are some taxis with meters in them. They are generally more expensive, but you can be a little more sure about how much they will cost. Share Taxi These follow fixed routes, similar to taxis’ and have fixed rates per passenger. These can be a very useful way to get about the centre of Accra. The rate is not dependant upon numbers of passengers, so you may be lucky enough to travel in a taxi alone for a fifth the rate you’d have paid to flag it down. Tro Tro TroTros are very crowded and dilapidated private vans that act as the city’s public transit system. TroTros travel along a well known routes in the city, and stop at various points along the way (some stops have signs, others don’t). As a TroTro approaches a stop, a "mate" (the driver’s assistant) will usually yell out the side of the window where the TroTro is going. Many people die in trotro accidents every year.
Places to See
The National Museum
The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
The National Archives of Ghana
Ghana’s Central Library
Christianborg Castle, built in the 17th century by the Danes
WEB DuBois Memorial
Independence Square, aka "Black Star Square"
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
Labadi Beach - The best beach in Accra. Located between two of Accra’s most expensive hotels– La Palm and La Badi Beach–this short stretch of the Atlantic Coast features several makeshift cafe-restaurants, lots of souvenir vendors, and if you are lucky (i.e. on good weather weekends) an amazing cast of characters who will entertain you with drumming, dancing, pony rides, and acrobatic performances. Some people actually go for a swim, but there’s plenty to do on-shore. Don’t miss it. (Warning: this is a prime-time venue, one highly "not recommended" after dark.) The beach is ‘offically’ accessible only from an entrance at La By-pass (Labadi Road) for a fee of 20,000 cedis. If you are a guest at La Plam or Labadi Beach Hotel you can access the beach for free through the back gate. (N.B.: it is reported that non-hotel guests can enjoy the facilities - pool, fitness, sauna - for 90,000 cedis a day at La Badi Beach–a good deal if it is true.)
Jamestown - Accra’s oldest neighborhood still an active fishing harbor, Jamestown is the oldest part of Accra, and is similar in many ways to Zanzibar’s ‘Stonetown’ though it has not yet been restored, and so it is not typically highlighted on tourist itineraries. That’s a shame because it is one of the most memorable sights in the city. Jamestown is a short distance west from Independence Square; from the busy street the only real sights are the lighthouse, a prison building housed inside an old colonial fort, and the old Customs House. From the lighthouse there is a road which takes you to the otherwise hidden delight: one of the largest working fishing harbors in Ghana. Go early in the morning and see dozens of small boats bring in the day’s catch. It’s best to find a friendly local guide so you don’t miss the hidden alleys, old stone houses, and fantastic cliff-top harbor vistas.
Things to Do
There is go karting near labadi beach and a bowling alley in teshi. Osu also has a go karting ring.
two places worth going to near accra - The Liberian refugee camp and Kokrobite - Big millys
If you are looking to escape the sun and cool down take a tro down to La Palm hotel. For a mere 15,000 cedis you can lie next to the pool all day long. With a pool side bar and food brought to your sun lounger what more could you ask for! They also have a great little ice cream parlour with loads of different flavours. I thoroughly recommend spending a day chilling out there!
Accra is currently a very safe, stable country with relatively low crime levels compared to other West African countries. Take sensible precautions but be assured it is quite safe.
Bywel’s bar in Osu is a frequent hangout of expats on Thursday nights meaning that it is target for muggings. Be sure to leave in a large group and enter a taxi immediately upon exiting the bar.
Cases have also been reported of people snatching cell phones in the streets. Avoid using your cell phone out in the open if you do not absolutely need to. You may run the risk of having someone snatch it from you.
Be aware that chloroquine-resistant malaria is widespread and you must take sufficient malaria protection including mosquito avoidance, mosquito repellants, and chemical prophylaxis. Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into the country. Hepatitis A&B, Cholera and Typhoid fever innoculation is also recommended. Risk of Meningitis is high in the northern third of Ghana which is a part of the Meningitis belt of Africa. This applies especially during the dry windy periods from December to June. A polysaccharide vaccine is available for Meningitis types A, C, Y and W135. Although the AIDS/HIV rate is lower than other sub-Saharan African countries, do not have unprotected sex. Receiving a blood transfusion while in Ghana greatly increases your risk of acquiring HIV. Also you should avoid contact with still freshwater as there is a risk of schistosomiasis. Some restaurants will approach European health standards, but be prepared to pay for this. Smaller restaurants, often called "chop bars," will likely not meet these standards. Because of the tropical climate near the coast, travelers will need to stay hydrated. Bottled water is available everywhere. Volta Water has been a reliable brand, but do check to make sure the seal has not been broken.
Do try and pick up on respectful practice (such as not eating or offering with your left hand), but in general Ghanaians are quite accepting of tourists getting it wrong. Greetings are very important. Ghanians are not forgiving of people who do not take time to greet others. Sometimes greetings come in the form of a salute accompanied by a "good morning" or "good afternoon". The expected response is the same (a salute with a "good morning or afternoon").
Telephone and postal services can be unreliable within Ghana itself but international post, at least to and from Accra is reasonably reliable (approx a week either way to the UK for example). Ghanatelecom is the most widespread phone company, but is not yet entirely reliable or widespread. The mobile network is good in urban areas. With a recent ICT boom in the country’s urban areas, you’re never too far away from an internet cafe where one hour of internet access should cost GH₵0.50 to GH₵1.00.