Fun Things to Do in Kumasi, Ghana

Fun Things to Do in Kumasi - Ghana

Known as the “Garden City” of West Africa, Kumasi is Ghana’s second-largest city and the capital of the Ashanti Region. This vibrant city boasts a perfect mix of modern conveniences and deep-rooted Asante traditions. With its colorful markets, royal palaces, craft villages, and lush botanical gardens, Kumasi has plenty of exciting attractions and activities for visitors.

From exploring its many museums that offer glimpses into Ghana’s rich cultural heritage to bargaining at Kejetia – the largest open-air market, Kumasi offers endless opportunities for adventure and insight. Its famous royal sites like the Manhyia Palace and the National Cultural Center give you an intriguing understanding of the powerful Ashanti Kingdom and Kingdom of Gold.

Discover History and Culture at Manhyia Palace

Discover History and Culture at Manhyia Palace - source wikipedia
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As the seat of the Ashanti kingdom for over 300 years, Manhyia Palace provides fascinating insights into the history and customs of the Ashanti people. Wander through the palace museum to see an array of royal regalia, including clothing, jewelry, furniture, and more.

The museum displays an array of royal artifacts, including traditional clothing and effigies of past kings and a queen. The exhibits provide a comprehensive understanding of the Asante Kingdom, showcasing historical videos alongside the artifacts

Shop Till You Drop at Kejetia Market

Shop Till You Drop at Kejetia Market - source wikipedia
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Chaotic, colorful, and full of life – Kejetia Market epitomizes the markets of West Africa. As one of the largest open-air markets in the region, Kejetia has over 10,000 shops and stalls selling everything from fresh produce and spices to fabrics, crafts, clothing, and more. This sprawling marketplace is a spectacle of vibrant colors and lively energy, offering various goods from traditional crafts and fabrics to local produce.

The dances of traders as they move through the crowds and the rich sensory experience give a taste of daily Ghanaian life. Here, you can immerse yourself in the local culture, barter for goods, and even witness the extraordinary skill of seamstresses who can tailor a dress in under five hours.

Discover Military History at Kumasi Fort

Discover Military History at Kumasi Fort - source wikipedia (2)
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The Kumasi Fort and Military Museum offers a unique perspective on Ghana’s military history. Originally built by the British in the 19th century and involved in the Asante Rebellion in 1900, the fort was rebuilt in 1896 and later converted into a museum in the 1950s.

The museum houses a wide range of military artifacts, including weaponry, photographs, and exhibits from the British-Asante wars and World War II. It provides a comprehensive overview of the Gold Coast Regiment and the Ghana Armed Forces, showcasing the military prowess and historical significance of Ghana.

Relax at Lake Bosomtwe

Relax at Lake Bosomtwe - source wikipedia
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About 30 km southeast of Kumasi lies Lake Bosomtwe, the only natural lake in Ghana, formed by a meteorite impact. Surrounded by lush greenery, this lake is a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve and Ramsar wetland site, Lake Bosomtwe harbors rich biodiversity and is an important site for scientific research.

Local residents also rely on the lake for farming and fishing. Spend a day exploring the trails, enjoying picnic facilities, and unwinding along the tranquil shores. The lake supports local economies through farming, fishing, and tourism, and holds a sacred place in the hearts of the Ashanti people. Enjoy activities like swimming, picnicking, or simply relaxing in the tranquil waters.

Discover Ashanti Culture at the Centre for National Culture

Discover Ashanti Culture at the Centre for National Culture - source wikipedia
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In the heart of Kumasi city, a short walk from the Bantama Royal Mausoleum is the Kumasi Centre For National Culture. This cultural hub is dedicated to showcasing Ghanaian culture and the history of the Asante Kingdom. The Centre includes the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, which houses important historical objects, including Okomfo Anokye’s 300-year-old treasure bag.

The museum is a repository of Asante historical items, including the revered 300-year-old treasure bag of Okomfo Anokye. You can also observe traditional crafts like Kente weaving and brass work, offering an immersive cultural experience.

Spot Birds and Wildlife at Owabi Sanctuary

Spot Birds and Wildlife at Owabi Sanctuary - source wikipedia
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The Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 23 km northwest of Kumasi, is a bird sanctuary and nature reserve. Home to a diverse array of wildlife, including over 140 bird species, butterflies, monkeys, and various mammals, it’s a paradise for nature lovers.

Recognized as an inland Ramsar wetland site, the sanctuary plays a critical role in protecting the water source for Kumasi and hosts a myriad of plant species. It offers activities like hiking, bird watching, and picnicking, making it an ideal destination for families and anyone seeking a peaceful retreat into nature.

Learn About Kente Cloth in Adanwomase Village

Learn About Kente Cloth in Adanwomase Village - source wikipedia
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Adanwomase Village, located about 27 kilometers northeast of Kumasi, is a living museum of the traditional art of Kente cloth weaving. With a history dating back to 1697, this village has been the royal weaving village for the Ashanti King and is known for housing the original Sesea swatches, the first Ashanti Kente Cloth.

Here, you’ll learn about the intricate process of weaving Kente, and its symbolic significance, and even participate in workshops. The village also hosts a festival to promote Kente and tourism, offering a deep dive into this iconic aspect of Ghanaian culture.

Savor the Flavors on a Food Tour

Savor the Flavors on a Food Tour - kumasi - Ghana
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A food tour in Kumasi is an exploration of the flavors and aromas of traditional Ghanaian cuisine. Your tour could start with a visit to the local market, where you can learn about the various ingredients that form the basis of the local dishes.

Street food vendors and traditional restaurants offer a variety of dishes, including Egusi with plantains and yams, Koose, Jollof rice, Banku, Ampesi, Waakye, and Aboom. Participating in a cooking class is a great way to learn about Ghanaian cooking techniques and enjoy the dishes you’ve prepared, providing a delicious and authentic culinary experience.

See Butterflies at Bobiri Forest

See Butterflies at Bobiri Forest - kumasi - Ghana - source wikipedia
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For a peaceful day surrounded by natural beauty, head to the Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary. Tucked beside the highway just 30 km north of Kumasi, this reserve offers a unique opportunity to explore a semi-deciduous tropical rainforest teeming with biodiversity.

Spanning 54.65 square kilometers, this ecotourism center is home to about 400 species of butterflies and a variety of birds. You can embark on guided nature walks, learn about the forest’s ecosystem, and enjoy the tranquility of this natural haven.

The sanctuary also offers a guesthouse and visitor center for extended stays focused on environmental education. The best time to visit is between March and June, especially May, to see the butterflies in their full splendor.

Marvel at Okomfo Anokye’s Sword

Marvel at Okomfo Anokye-s Sword - kumasi - Ghana - source wikipedia
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The Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, located in Kumasi on the grounds of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, is a site of great cultural and historical significance. Here, the priest Okomfo Anokye is said to have planted a sword in 1695, a symbol of the unity of the Ashanti nation.

The site is also associated with the legend of the Golden Stool’s descent. The immovable sword symbolizes peace and unity and has attracted notable figures like Mohammed Ali and the Queen of England due to its legendary status.

Experience Nightlife in Bantama and Adum

Experience Nightlife in Bantama and Adum - source wikipedia
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When the sun goes down, Kumasi comes alive. The areas of Bantama, Adum, and Ahodwo offer buzzing nightlife hotspots like pubs, bars, and lounges perfect for letting loose. Echoes Valley has emerged as a trendy hangout with cocktails and games. Or stop by one of Bantama’s casual bars like Phimady Pub or Cheers Bar for live music.

Whatever atmosphere you prefer, you’ll find vibrant nightlife infusing Kumasi with energy and fun. The term “pub” in Kumasi often refers to casual drinking places, and these spots are known for their live music, cocktails, and lively atmosphere. The nightlife in these areas is a blend of local culture and modern entertainment, providing an enjoyable experience for visitors and locals alike.

Key Takeaways

With its unique Asante culture, colorful markets, rich heritage sites, lively festivals, and warm, welcoming people, Kumasi offers visitors endless opportunities for adventure, insight, and fun. From bargaining at bustling Kejetia Market to learning about the powerful history of the Ashanti Kingdom at Manhyia Palace, you’ll gain memorable experiences around every corner.

The city seamlessly fuses modern conveniences with deep traditions, allowing you to both shop at modern malls and explore traditional craft villages. Indulge in red-red and banku at local chop bars, then dance along to vibrant drum beats at an exciting festival. Kumasi’s sights, sounds, and flavors create a one-of-a-kind Ghanaian experience you won’t find anywhere else.

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