Osu Castle, also known as Christianborg Castle or Fort Christianborg, sits on the shores of Osu, in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, and dates back to the 17th century. What makes it unique is that throughout most of its history, it has been the seat of the government of Ghana. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage and has been a Presidential Museum since 2017. Throughout the years, the castle has been visited by iconic figures such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, and even Richard Nixon. The fort is worth a visit, especially since access to the public is limited to only one day of the week. Read on as we explore the highlights and best things to do. Here is a guide to Osu Castle, Accra.
Things to do
Check out the museum's collection
Today, Osu Castle is a state-of-the-art museum with lots to see and explore. Its collections feature presidential papers and artifacts, wax busts of different presidents, as well as some other possessions like books, clothes, and works of art. We recommend you don’t miss the photo display of some of the greatest Ghanaians and the credential rooms that were used by former presidents of the country as well as some British officials.
See old artifacts
There are some excavated sections throughout the castle where visitors can see interesting and historic artifacts.
Pass by the slave dungeons
While the artifact collections are remarkable and the presidential papers and personal possessions are so interesting to see, make sure you don’t miss some of the most unique parts of the castle: the slave dungeons and the long, damp passage that leads to the Door of No Return, the last stop before the slaves were put on transport ships and taken across the Atlantic.
Catch the view from the castle
Make sure you bring your camera, as the views from the castle are truly breathtaking. From the rugged seashore and the fishing boats to some of the castle’s extensive gardens, everything here is worthy of a photograph. The lush plants and colorful flowers contrast perfectly with the castle’s white walls, making it a feast for the eyes.
Although Osu Castle has been turned into a museum, it is still heavily guarded, so expect to see a lot of security around the castle. If anything, it is a good thing and should make visitors feel safer.
Photography is allowed
Taking photos is allowed inside the castle, so don’t forget to bring your camera, as there will be plenty to photograph, both inside and outside the property. The surrounding views are breathtaking, too.
Best time to visit
Osu Castle is open to the public only on Fridays, between 9 am and 4 pm. Upon entry, you will be welcomed by a guide who will walk you through the castle and tell you about its history. Although the tour is free, the guide might appreciate a little tip. The best time to visit Osu Castle is in the afternoon, as that’s when the light will be best, and it will make the scenic sites look even more surreal.
Be mindful on the way to the castle
If you’re thinking of exploring the neighborhood on your way to Osu Castle, you might want to know that it’s one of the busiest parts of Accra. Here you’ll find some of the best restaurants, bars, and shops, but you will also bump into locals trying to sell you fake watches and different types of clothing items on the streets. Also, take note that the area gets even busier in the evenings.
Watch out for heavy traffic
Traffic in Osu can be quite intense, and locals have a very hectic driving style, so make sure you keep your eyes wide open when crossing the streets.
How to get there
Osu Castle is easily accessible by public transport within Accra. Depending on where you’re coming from, different routes might be available, but the bus lines that stop closest to here are 416 and 469. The nearest station to Osu Castle is a 10-minute walk away.
Walking in Accra is relatively safe, so another option to get to Osu Castle from the center of Accra is on foot. Expect an approximately 30-minute walk, depending on where exactly you’re coming from.
The fastest and most accessible way to get here is by car. The fort is less than five minutes away from Accra’s center. There is parking available at the castle. Car rental, however, is expensive in Ghana.
The price per kilometer is not standardized in Accra, so prepare to negotiate with the taxi driver if necessary. Some might take advantage of the fact that you’re not a local and ask for an overpriced fee for the ride.
Trotro is a type of shared minibus that works as a taxi but has fixed routes in Accra. They are generally safe and cheap.
Osu Castle information
Address: Accra, Ghana
Opening hours: Fri: 9am - 4pm (closed from Sat - Thu)
Department of tourism: Visit Ghana
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