One of my favorite times, if not my absolute favorite time of year in Ghana, is the Holiday season. Most of work and politics die down and people go home to be with their family and friends. The season is filled with many fun events, some personal – including many dinner parties and get togethers, church – and many communal – festivals, parties, etc.
Although traffic grinds to crawl, crowds at the market become unbearable, and the hot and dry harmattan, unrelenting, there is a feverish high and stunning bronya dresses that make all of the commotion worth it.
I decided to take on this post because I know that there will be a lot of returnees in town this holiday. Below are some of my favorite spots and activities from Christmas last year. I will repeat a number of these and add a few others this time. I hope this serves as a springboard for the things you may want to do.
- Philipos – food lovers avenue to begin the Christmas cheer with some banku and large tilapias. I usually sneak in my own avocado (or pear) since they do not always have it.
- Akyeke spot behind the Oxford mall (behind ShopRite in Osu) – the environment leaves a lot to be desired but the food is great. Order Akyeke, tilapia, alloco (fried sweet plantain), and their avocado salad. There are occasional street acts, like kids spitting fire, and music that play from the shop across the street to keep you entertained.
- Republic – honestly my favorite spot from last Christmas’ show-down! Order Kokrokoo and fried cassava sticks and pork (I never eat pork but I have tasted this pig treat and know it is worth breaking my values for). Great vibe to lay back, listen to music, and chit chat with friends.
- Coffee Lounge – the mixed meats jollof rice was a favorite before I got tired of meat. They give huge portions and the food is generally tasty. The environment is very coffee shop-esque, which is great.
- Coco Lounge – great hangout for a friend’s birthday or friends who want an “Abrokyerie experience”. The decor and ambiance is gorgeous.The food is okay – it is nothing to write home about but the ambiance makes it worth it (be warned: you cannot go in shorts and flip flops).
- SkyBar – perhaps the highest rooftop bar in Ghana. It hosts a perfect aerial (well, as aerial as we can get here) view of Accra. The night is even better if you go when the bar has an African DJ. Note: You must RSVP online or know someone who lives in the building, so check that out.
- FireFly – had a great time here last year. It’s best to go with friends who love to dance or else, chale, you bore.
- Twist Night Club– either right before or right after Christmas. Yes, there’s a crowd in town but with great DJs, it can be a fun, wild night out in town if you are up for it. It’s mostly cold in there though, so either reserve seats, come comfortable enough to take the standing and crowd, or come ready to dance.
- Gold Coast Restaurant – if you like crowds and don’t mind highlife, this is a great spot to order food, get drinks, and dance the night away.
- Bojo Beach – I didn’t go to Bojo during the Christmas holidays but it is my favorite beach to go to if that is on the agenda
- A1 Raceway – located in community 25 in Tema and definitely worth the trip. I have taken friends several times and loved it each time. There promises to be a great experience there for the holidays! You can get a max 2 drinks and ride on the raceway or the more recently added dirt bikes (dirt bikes open on Sat and Sundays only and closes at 5pm)
- Family/Friends Visit – get invited to family dinners. We did ours at my friend’s place and we had caviar, delicious eba and stew, and some Russian liquor. One of the most fun nights I had all of last year.
- Get Out of Accra – My friends and I disappeared to Peduase lodge in Aburi that was super fun. The place was empty so we had the pool and the whole spot to ourselves. I eventually found out that there were frogs in the pool – after I had gulped down gallons of pool water in my attempt to swim – but nonetheless, the secludedness of it all made up for the frog water. I cannot recommend enough how important and refreshing it is to get at least an afternoon out of the city.
My bestfriend, who I did most of these activities with says to add Urban Grill and a trip to Ada to this list. So if these two spots are not great, that is not my fault.
I am really excited about festivals this year. I will definitely be attending Afrochella. Hope to catch you there.
P.S. Accra is very small with the same type of crowd at most events so be warned, you will likely see the same folks everywhere.