Kumasi affectionately called the Garden City is the capital of the Ashanti Region in the southern zone of Ghana. A hub of culture and seat of the most powerful king in the country, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Kumasi is the place to be for every first time visitor to Ghana.
The popularity of Kumasi stems from how powerful and vibrant it was the pre-colonial era in terms of conquers and trade. In this modern era, the city is still famous for its attractions and trade. Name the central market, one of the biggest open markets in Africa and the beauty of Africa traditions.
Kumasi residents jealously blend traditions with modernity in grand style. Their way of dressing, fashion sense, combining vibrant African prints with contemporary fabric is refreshing and classy. The people are also very welcoming and accommodating, making you feel at home at any visit. Now let’s look at what to expect as a tourist or expatriate in Kumasi.
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Having a comfortable place to lay the head is one of the primary worries of every expat. However, this is never a challenge when you visit Kumasi. Proper and befitting accommodation awaits you when you choose Kumasi as your next holiday destination. As a royal city, visitors are treated like princes and princesses. No matter your accommodation needs, there is a hostel, guesthouse, hotel or villa to suit your status perfectly. Wait, are you thinking of the budget? Don’t be bothered about that; there is something for everyone. There is a long list of 1 to 5-star accommodations to fit your budget. Enjoy the luxury of Golden Tulip or Golden Been hotel, the serenity of Miklin hotel, or the city view of Golden Gate hotel. All comes at an affordable price. On average, you can get a decent hotel room for 20 to 100 dollars per night.
If you are considering an extended stay, then renting an apartment is the best option. Just like hotels, you can get a beautiful place to live with your limited budget. But if you are going to a posh resident, then sites like Ahodwo, Darban, Asokwa residential area, Prabon and Nhyiaeso, among others, are a place of choice.
Visiting Kumasi presents you with an excellent opportunity to taste a wide range of healthy local foods. Have you heard about the famous fufu or probably ampesi with kontomire/garden eggs stew with Koobi (tilapia)?
Right, these are the least of the sumptuous meals to taste when you arrive in Kumasi.
Local food joints like “Barima nkwan”, “Don’t mind your wife”, and “Akrantie Akyi” provide you some of the best local dishes. You can also have continental dishes at the numerous hotels and restaurants around. Famous eateries like Tasty Queen Restaurant, It’s My Kitchen, and Aboude Fast Food etc. serve both local and continental dishes.
Moving to and from Kumasi is never a hustle. With globalization and technology. You can hail a ride at the comfort of your home through apps like Uber, Bolt, and Yango etc. Tired of riding alone, join a taxi or trotro to have a feel of local life.
Places to visit in Kumasi
You will be spoilt with choices if you are tourists seeking to explore the beauty of nature and the landscape of Kumasi. A cultural tourist would also have a lot to write about and a memorable experience. Places to visit in Kumasi include;
Kumasi is a hub of culture in Ghana, and the seat of the Ashanti King (Asantehene) is Menhyia. At Menhyia, you will witness the rich culture of the Asantes and the various wars that subsequently created the kingdom. I almost forgot about the prominent Golden Stool, the symbol of the empire chanted from the skies by the high priest Okomfour Anokye.
Lake Bosomtwe is one of the largest natural lakes in West Africa and the only natural lake in Ghana. Situated at the Bosomtwe district of the Ashanti Region, the lake brings you close to nature. The serenity of the environment and the greens around is breathtaking. You can spend days in the area by lodging into one of the numerous hotels around.
Centre For National Culture
The Kumasi culture center is about 10 minutes’ walk from Kejatia/central market and a few walk from the Bantama royal museum. The cultural center promotes, project, and preserve the rich culture of Asante. There is a designated area for anything culture, including singing, dancing, and drumming, where you experience real Adowa and Kete dance. Historical artifacts and information about great Kings of the Ashanti kingdom are also on display. Visitors can buy paraphernalia as prove of their visit to Kumasi.
Komfo Anokye Sword
The famous Komfo Anokye sword is located on the premises of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Bantama, Kumasi. Legend has it that the famous high priest Okomfour Anokye planted the sword there some three centuries ago as a symbol of unity of Asanteman (Ashanti people). It is believed that the sword is irremovable due to the magic/powers it holds.
The Kumasi central market, or Kejatia, is one of the biggest open markets in West Africa. The market boast of over 10,000 stalls aside from the many tabletops and patronized by over 100,000 people daily. It is the right place to get whatever you need, ranging from foodstuff, clothing, and local herbs, among others. Also, if you want to have an impression of how industrious Kumasi women and men are, check the market.
The Ashanti region is prominently known as the home of quality Kente cloth carefully weaved to feature the various Adinkra signs. If you want to buy quality Kente for gifting or have a feel of how weavers skillfully churn out such quality cloth, then look nowhere than Bonwire.
The security level in Kumasi is generally safe for all residents and visitors alike. Police patrols are prevalent with checkpoints mounted at vantage places and on highways to curb robbery and crime. However, just like any city around the world, there may be pockets of crime. Expats are therefore advised to avoid walking alone late at night. Also, try to pick the number of any vehicle you hire in case of any uncertainties.