The 10 Best Things To Do In Kumasi

Kumasi, affectionately known as the Garden City, is a vibrant hub of Ghanaian culture and history. It’s a place where tradition and modernity blend seamlessly, offering a unique experience to every traveler. If you’re planning a trip to this West African gem, you’re in for a treat. There’s a plethora of activities to dive into, from exploring royal palaces to immersing yourself in bustling markets. Let’s embark on a journey through the top 10 must-do things in Kumasi, ensuring your visit is nothing short of unforgettable.

1. Marvel at the Manhyia Palace Museum

The Manhyia Palace Museum is a site of grandeur and history. Once the residence of Ashanti kings, it now serves as a museum showcasing royal artifacts and the rich history of the Ashanti Kingdom. Strolling through the museum, you’ll feel the weight of history and the pride of the Ashanti people. The storytelling guides bring the past to life, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

2. Shop at the Kejetia Market

Kejetia Market is a shopper’s paradise and a sensory overload in the best way possible. It’s touted as one of the largest markets in West Africa, and rightly so. From vibrant fabrics to handcrafted jewelry, the market’s labyrinthine alleys are lined with treasures waiting to be discovered. Haggling is an art form here, so put on your bargaining hat and dive into the hustle and bustle.

3. Relax at the Rattray Park

In the heart of Kumasi lies Rattray Park, an oasis of calm. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration. With its well-manicured lawns and modern facilities, the park offers a serene environment for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply soaking in the tranquility. The park’s musical fountain is a highlight, especially when it lights up in the evening.

4. Explore the Kumasi Fort – Ghana Armed Forces Museum

History enthusiasts, take note. The Kumasi Fort, home to the Ghana Armed Forces Museum, is a repository of military artifacts and history. The fort itself is a piece of history, having seen many battles. Inside, you’ll find exhibits that tell the story of Ghana’s military from past to present, including the fight for independence. It’s a sobering reminder of the sacrifices made for the nation.

5. Discover the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature lovers, rejoice! The Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for biodiversity. This sanctuary is home to over 140 bird species and a variety of wildlife. It’s also one of the few places in Ghana where you can see monkeys in their natural habitat. The walking trails and the dam offer picturesque views, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and nature photography.

6. Visit the Lake Bosomtwe

Just a stone’s throw from Kumasi, Lake Bosomtwe is a natural wonder. It’s a meteorite crater lake surrounded by lush hills and quaint villages. Whether you’re up for a swim, a boat ride, or simply enjoying the panoramic views, the lake provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle. Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and learn about their way of life.

7. Admire the Art at the Ntonso Adinkra Village

Ntonso Adinkra Village is a cultural gem where the ancient art of Adinkra is alive and well. Here, artisans craft symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms. You can watch the craftsmen at work, learn about the symbolism behind each design, and even try your hand at creating your own Adinkra cloth. It’s a unique souvenir that carries deep meaning and personal involvement.

8. Experience the Kumasi Cultural Centre

The Kumasi Cultural Centre is a hub for the arts, showcasing Ghana’s rich cultural heritage. It houses the Prempeh Ii Jubilee Museum, various craft shops, and performance spaces. The center is a great place to watch traditional dance and drama performances. It’s also an excellent spot to pick up authentic Ashanti crafts like wood carvings and kente cloth.

9. Take a Day Trip to the Bonwire Kente Village

A visit to Bonwire Kente Village is like stepping into a world of color and pattern. Kente, the iconic handwoven fabric of Ghana, originates from this village. You can observe weavers deftly creating intricate designs on their looms. The skill and speed at which they work are mesmerizing. Purchasing kente here not only supports local artisans but also gives you a piece of Ghanaian heritage.

10. Indulge in Local Cuisine

No visit to Kumasi is complete without savoring the local cuisine. Street food is a highlight, with dishes like fufu and goat light soup, kelewele (spicy fried plantains), and jollof rice. For the adventurous foodie, trying the local snail kebabs is a must. The flavors are bold and the experiences memorable. It’s a delicious way to connect with the culture.

FAQs

  • What’s the best time to visit Kumasi?

    The best time to visit Kumasi is during the dry season, from October to March. The weather is pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the city and its surroundings.

  • Are there any festivals in Kumasi that I should know about?

    Absolutely! The Akwasidae Festival, celebrated every six weeks, is a vibrant display of Ashanti culture with traditional drumming, dancing, and processions.

  • Is Kumasi safe for tourists?

    Kumasi is generally safe for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it’s wise to take standard precautions, like safeguarding your belongings and avoiding poorly lit areas at night.

Conclusion

Kumasi is a city that captivates with its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the regal Manhyia Palace Museum to the bustling Kejetia Market, there’s an abundance of experiences waiting for you. Whether you’re soaking in the serenity of Lake Bosomtwe or indulging in the rich flavors of local cuisine, each moment in Kumasi is a treasure. The city’s warm hospitality ensures that your memories of the Garden City will be as rich and vibrant as the kente cloth that adorns its heritage. So pack your bags, and get ready for an adventure that promises to be as educational as it is exhilarating. Kumasi awaits to offer you a glimpse into the soul of Ghana.

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