The Accra club scene is dynamic, vibrant, and fickle. Activity starts Thursday night — universal ladies’ night — and ends on Sunday night. The main nights are Friday and Saturday. Activity starts around 1am and ends around 5am. Friday seems to be better than Saturday because most Ghanaians head to church on Sunday mornings. During the week, there is no scene.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
First, unlike the West, Ghanaian society frowns upon women going to clubs. Thus, the scene tends to consist of men of all stripes, expat women, Ghanaians who have lived abroad, and ashawo. Teresa confirmed this in two ways: a) she’s never been to a club — actually none of my salesladies have gone to “the club” — and b) she has a female friend who enjoys dancing but is afraid of what the neighbors will think if the friend returns home late.
Second, every club seems to have their share of ashawo. Considering how single women dress for the club worldwide, I think it’s hard to tell them apart from the normal ladies. The later you stay out, however, the higher the concentration of ashawo. This makes sense because even partying girls have to sleep. If you’re looking to find a girlfriend, go to church or meet her through a friend.
Third, be mindful of how Ghana’s Black Stars, the national soccer team, perform. For instance, I made the mistake of going to the club on the same night Ghana lost to Mali for the African Cup. Dead quiet. No one showed up to any of the popular clubs.
Fourth, last March 2013, the US Embassy sent its citizens a warning on “Crimes Against Westerners” which suggested expats be vigilant of their surroundings when out at night. Earlier this year, there were four armed robberies against foreigners with either a machete and/or a gun. One ?Spanish lady was killed in an attack
Below is a list of clubs and bars that I have either visited or were recommended by friends. It is not an exhaustive list.
Osu could be considered the “downtown” of Accra. Most of the active bars and clubs are located here. Osu has an assortment of clubs, bars, and a semi-underground gay scene. (Being gay is illegal in Ghana.)
Duplex: More of a club than a bar, Duplex features a large area for dancing as well as a VIP lounge area. The club attracts the NGO and expat crowd; the music leans toward house and Western pop, e.g. Rihanna. (Closes at 5am on Friday and Saturday nights.)
Firefly Lounge Bar (Osu): more of a bar than a club. If you concentrate, you might trick yourself into thinking you’re not in Ghana. They have good drinks, surprisingly good food for a bar, and comfortable seating. Every time I’ve visited it’s been a sausage fest.
Republic Bar & Grill (Osu): this is a relatively new bar/lounge that opened in 2012. They are known for serving a handful of beers, good mojitos, and akpeteshie, a local liquor. There is indoor seating but most of the scene is on the “patio” or cordoned area of a public street where they’ve put out tables and chairs. The crowd is mostly expats and Ghanaians who have lived abroad in their 20s and 30s. Much of the crowd are those in country for less than 1 year.
For all you local Ghanaian women, this is where I would go to find a “nice” white man.
Django (formerly Reggie Rockstone’s The Office (Osu)): Reggie Rockstone is regarded as the father of hip life — the mix of hip hop and Ghanaian high life. I went to the Office the same night that Ghana lost to Mali so I don’t feel I can comment much about the club. Nonetheless, it is recommended by many.
Bella Roma: Restaurant turns into a club after 10pm. Mix of Ghanaian and expats dancing to mostly house music. Most every weekend night that I have visited, the club is crowded.
Shaka Zulu: Mostly Ghanaian crowd. Good mix of hip life and hip hop beats.
Club Aphro (Aphrodisiac): I have been to this club twice and each time there wasn’t many people there — one time was after the Ghana vs. Mali match. Nonetheless, I have heard many people recommend it so I’m including it here.
Hollywood Boulevard (East Legon): club/lounge that plays hip hop and hip life. Crowd is mostly Ghanaian. Generally, classy place but occasionally attracts the wrong element. Cover on the weekends is 20 cedis. They have good chicken wings.
Lexington (Ring Road): new lounge at the Paloma Hotel. I have never been there but I’ve heard good things about it.
Movenpick Hotel Bar (Ridge/Ministries): I have never been here during club hours. Cover is 40 cedis.
Twist (Cantonments): club/lounge in Cantonments. I’ve never been but I’ve heard it attracts the moneyed Ghanaian set.
I do not recommend the following clubs for expats because they have a reputation for attracting “rough boys” or what Americans call “gang bangers” or “hoods”:
- Vienna City (Circle)
- Krysts (East Legon)
- Jokers (Labadi)