Kumasi Things to Do

  • the craft shop area
    the craft shop area
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    one of the shops
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    locals
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kumasi

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    Statues

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    In Kumasi you will see several statues in the centre of the city, that all have a strong religious and historical meaning. Like most statues in Ghana they look funny: most of them are made of cement and painted in bright colours. Three of these statues are placed in the middle of the major roundabouts in the city.

    - In the middle of Prempeh II Circle (in the middle of the business area of Kumasi) you can see a small statue of this former King of the Ashanti, or Asantehene as the locals call him.

    - At the roundabout close to the Okomfo Anokye Hospital you will see another Asantehene hold up the "Golden Stool", the Holy seat of the Ashanti's.

    - And in the middle of the a central roundabout opposite the Wesley Methodist Cathedral you can find a statue of an Asantehene with a large brown lion, symbol of the strength of the Ashanti's.

    Other statues can be found in the National Cultural Centre, of which a series of statues are places at the entrance. There you can find a row of statues of the Asantehene's: very, very small men...

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    National Cultural Centre

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    The National Cultural Centre in Kumasi is completely different from the one in Accra. While the one in the capital is a crowded labyrinth full of pushy salesmen, the Kumasi one really is about the culture of Ghana and especially the Ashanti's.

    The Centre covers a large area close to the Kumasi Zoo. the terrain is nicely situated on top of a hill, full of palm- and banana trees, green lawns and other colourfull plants. Inside the walls you find a museum about the Ashanti history, a national library, a restaurant and some stalls where traditional souvenirs can be bought.

    Right in the middle there also is a theatre where you can see traditional dances and music. When I was there, the theatre was closed, but inside they were practising. Through some narrow openings in the walls surrounding the theatre, I still could see some of their skills.

    Address: Bantama Road

    Directions: From Kejetia Circle go up to the West. Just behind the bend in the road you'll see the entrance of the centre

    Traditional dances in Kumasi Entrance of the National Cultural Centre Flowers in the Cultural Centre Important information! Traditional dances in Kumasi

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    Colonial Buildings

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    More than any other city in Ghana, Kumasi has an old centre where you can see beautiful remainings of the Colonial Era. Especially in the valley between the main "circles" in the centre, you'll see a lot of these old buildings.

    There are several old churches (like the Wesley Methodist Cathedral) that are built in a typical Victorian style, as well as a lot of houses. Most of these houses are now covered by thick layers of colourful paint and commercial signs, but especially the first floors are still what they looked like in the time that the British still ruled of the city.

    Address: City Centre (Adum)

    Old building in Kumasi Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Kumasi Old building in Kumasi
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    Kumasi Fort

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    In the centre of Kumasi you will find what is probably the oldest building in the city: Kumasi Fort. This building was built after the British finally defeated the Ashanti during the war in the end of the 19th century. The British burned the complete city to the ground and started the rebuilding with a solid fort that still exists.

    The building is easy to recognise between the modern buildings around it. The walls are painted in a deep, red colour and all around it you see militairy vehicles. That is because today it is used as the War Museum of the city. All kinds of objects of the Ghanaian Army, the Second World war and of course the British-Ashanti War.

    Address: Stewardd Avenue

    Directions: Northwest from Prempeh II Roundabout

    Kumasi Fort
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    Kejetia Market

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 15, 2007

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    The most famous place in Kumasi is its central market, also known as Kejetia Market. It is said to be the biggest market in Africa, and it indeed is huge. It covers a total area of 10 hectares and there are about 10.000 people who work there every day.

    A walk over Kejetia Market really is an adventure. Everywhere you hear people shouting, you smell their goods, you see all the colours of the rainbow, and all the time you just have to go with the flow, because thousands of people are walking the same way as you do. You hardly have to to stand still and have a look.

    Kejetia Market surprisingly actually has a structure. In one lane you see all the vegetables you can think of, in another lane (several hundreds of metres long) you only find plastic goods, and along the railway that crosses the market in the middle, you see nothing but second hand clothes.

    The market really is a must see when you are visiting Ghana. THIS is African culture, this is where you see the real Ghanaians and the real Ghanaian goods. From the sides of the area, you have a great view over the little stalls and their rusty iron roofs. From here too, it is almost the only possibility to take a picture of the spectacle, because nobody allows you to do so inside the market.

    There is no way you can plan a walk over the market. You cross it and see where you end up. It is situated in a valley, so whenever you leave the market you have a good view over the city and you can find your way back easily.

    Directions: Directly east from the central "Kejetia Circle"

    Kejetia Market A train crossing Kejetia Market
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    Trading streets

    by Pieter11 Updated Mar 12, 2007

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    A fascinating thing to see in central Kumasi are the many streets that are completely full of large and small market stalls in open air. Everything is origanised according to product-type, and everything is huge!

    Two of the streets are the mainstreets in- and out the city. The road heading north is full of everything you can ever think of for cars. Headlights, wheels and tyres, window wipers but also complete engines are for sale at the side of the road. It is said that you shouldn't leave your car here unattended in the area, otherwise you'll find it back in piece in several of the many stalls.

    The road heading south coming from the centre, is full of all wooden products. Window- and doorframes, tables, chairs, but even custom made coffins that are made at the side of the roads are for sale everywhere.

    Coffins at the roadside in Kumasi Coffins at the roadside in Kumasi
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    Kumasi Market

    by grets Written Jan 21, 2007

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    Wild, chaotic, busy, rowdy, hectic, crazy, riotous, frenzied, confused and full of activity – Kumasi market is all these things and much, much more. The largest outdoor market in West Africa, it is certainly the largest and most crowded market we’ve ever been to. Everything you could possibly want – and quite a few things you are sure NOT TO want – is available here, from clothing, household good, food, furniture, gifts and everything else in-between.

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    Manhyia Palace Museum

    by grets Written Jan 21, 2007

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    The former Royal Palace has now been turned in to a museum. The palace is modest by European standards, but offers an interesting insight into the way of life of the Ashanti rulers and their culture. The palace was built in 1925 by the British as compensation after razing the original palace to the ground by fire whilst searching for the Golden Stool (which incidentally they did not find as it was hidden away. The British took away what they thought was the Golden Stool, which in reality was a replica painting with gold paint.) The proud Ashanti, however, refused to accept the building as a gift, and insisted in paying for it.

    The palace was the residence of Nana Agyeman Prempeh I and Nana Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II – the 13th and 14th kings of the Ashanti Kingdom, and much paraphernalia pretaining to their reign can be found within the palace museum, such as foot rests, guns, pictures, chairs, furniture, models of the kings (VERY lifelike indeed!!!!), cloths, peace pipes, scales and much more. We had a very informative but slightly eccentric guide, who would repeat himself, not once, but several times. Although photographs were not permitted inside the palace museum, in the room with the model of Nana Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen Mother who led the 1900 war against the British, he locked the door and suggested we took pictures.

    Manhyia Palace Museum Nana Yaa Asantewaa
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    The Craft Centre

    by grets Written Jan 21, 2007

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    The Craft Centre is a part of the Cultural Centre, but I must confess I found it disorganised and somewhat ramshackle. There were some good items of arts and crafts on sale, but they were spread about over a fairly wide area and I felt as if I had to really go in search of finding something to buy. The sales people were not too aggressive, which was nice. I bought some jewellery and I was tempted by some beautiful paintings, but as it was lunchtime, there was no-one about to give me a price of the works and I was in a hurry because we had an audience with the King, so I had to leave it.

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    Ashanti Besease Shrine

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    The ancestral shrine house at Besease was built around 1850 and is one of ten remaining examples of traditional Ashanti architecture. Most were destroyed by the British. The shrine is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    More information about the shrine house traditions can be found under the Local Customs heading

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    Meet the king

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    One of the highlights of my visit to Ghana was meeting Nana Okyere-Antwi I, the Ashanti King. Our trusted guide, Noah, had managed to secure us an audience with the king, through a local contact. We shook hands are he explained about the Ashanti kingdom and its culture before allowing us time to ask questions and take photographs. You may not address the king directly; you talk to him through his assistant who would in turn present the question to the king. In fact, we would ask Noah the question, he would relay that to the local guide/interpreter who again would pose the question to the king’s assistant. It was a surreal and extraordinary experience and one which I will never forget.

    King Nana Okyere-Antwi I and us
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    Ashanti Traditional Museum

    by grets Written Jan 13, 2007

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    The Ashanti Traditional Museum is housed within the Cultural Centre in Kumasi. Unfortunately, no photography is permitted inside.

    The museum houses traditional artifacts and possessions from the Ashanti Royal family amongst other things. I found the following items of interest:

    Stools and chairs captured by the British which were brought back by Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Ghana in 1965

    Weights used to measure gold dust. Gold dust was used as a currency for some time in Ghana.

    Replica of the king’s bathroom.

    The king should not place his feet on the floor as this would annul his position, so a foot rest of ivory is placed in front of his seat.

    Sculptures, palanquins, staff, stools and swords, including the replica golden stool (which the Ashanti fobbed the English off with as the real thing when they ransacked the palace) which was brought back in 1969 – with the gold covering removed!

    Umbrella tops. The king would always have a servant carrying an umbrella over his head and the tops of these umbrellas are very symbolic: a duck means that you shuold look backwards; a horn signifies power and a hand illustrates how you cannot tie a knot without a thumb!

    A replica of the king’s kitchen. Women were not allowed to cook for the king because jealousy may entice them to poison him, as well as the belief that menstruating women are dirty. The chief cook would always taste the king’s food first, to ensure it was not poisoned.

    A leopard skin drum which when rubbed with a stick over the skin, sounds just like the roar of a leopard. This was used to scare off enemies, making them believe that there really was a dangerous animal around.

    The king’s sandals, with the wooden ones used on rainy days and the gold for ceremonies.

    Kente cloth, old clothes, spittoons and many other items. It is worth having a guide to explain it all to you.

    Ashanti Traditional Museum
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    Churches in Kumasi

    by atufft Updated Jun 5, 2006

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    The string of first missionaries to Ghana quickly died of malaria, but eventually, Ghana became a great success story for the Protestant and Catholic denominations that sent missionaries there. The leading churches in Ghana are the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican Churches, but the Catholic Church, and more recently, the Baptist and Pentacostal Churches have considerable representation. About a third of Ghana is Muslim, but everyone is generally very harmonious about religion, and all over Ghana, traditional tribal spirtualism remains an important part of life. The strength of Christian belief in Ghana is very high as images of Christ and Christian slogans are proudly painted onto vehicles and in homes. Thus, Ghana represents the front line of Christian and Muslim missionary activity, as the Christians moved north from the Gold Coast Slave Fortresses and the Muslim armies and slave traders moved south from the Sahara. At the present time, the Christians seem to be having greater success because the many non-government aid organizations are from the various churches, such as the educational unit of the Presbyterian Church shown here. Thus, while Christian efforts have been a miserable failure in the Arab Middle East, the Muslims have neglected the needs of Africans south of the Sahara, many of whom are converting to Christianity as a way for salvation in this world--food, medical care, and education. Most Churches provide multi-lingual services. In Kumasi, that would typically mean one service in English and another in Akan.

    Methodist Church in Kumasi Many Services offered at the Methodist Church Presbyterian Church in Kumasi Presbyterian Church in Kumasi Presbyterian Educational Unit in Kumasi
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    Ashante Soccer in Kumasi

    by atufft Written Feb 17, 2006

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    Soccer, otherwise known as football in the world, is naturally very popular in Ghana and the Ghanians are very good at it. I paid modest ticket prices for myself and my friend to watch Ghana beat soundly a visiting Morrocco club. The players in Ghana can run fast and scrap well for the ball. The Morroccan's tried a finesse passing game, but it didn't work. The Ghana club was too hard hitting. The stadium design isn't the greatest as a iron fence separates the fans from the field at the lower levels, but this is the largest stadium in the nation and in a city that is fanatical about the sport. Although saches of water pelted the field, I didn't see any of the unruly barbarism behavior frequently seen at the uncivilized European soccer matches.

    Address: Kumasi Stadium

    Directions: Ask around town for the schedule. The stadium is centrally located.

    Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/sport/football/africa/cup_of_nations/kumasi.stm

    Kumasi 80,000 seat Stadium Behind the Iron Fencing Player Down Ball Put Back Into Play Fans Walking Home From Kumasi Stadium
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    Kumasi Open Market is for people watching

    by atufft Written Oct 5, 2005

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    Browse the meat market, currency exchange booth area, tools, toys or row after row of fabrics and clothes--This is the open Market in Kumasi. Central located in a large and spread out city, at least a morning can be spent here people watching or selecting cotton print and batik fabrics. I took advantage of the photogenic vendors...

    Address: Central Kumasi near the main tro-tro terminal

    Christian Fabric Vendors Kumasi Open Air Market Kumasi Open Air Market Muslim Fabric Vendors The Guys Ribbing Me
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