Things to do in Elmina

Situated peacefully on the southern coast of South Ghana, Elmina is a beautiful town and also the capital of the Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem District. The town is approximately 12 kilometers to the west of Cape Coast. It boasts a rich history that continues to attract tourists from across the globe. Not many people know that Elmina is the 1st settlement of the Europeans in West Africa.

Places to visit in Elmina

Elmina is located at the coastal plain area of the country. The city gets its name from the Portuguese word for ‘mine’. The area is loaded with gold mines, giving it the name Gold Coast around the time when Elmina was still a British colony. There are so many things to do in Elmina for everyone. You can take the ‘tro-tro’ or the bus to the city before stopping by at Cape Coast and switching for a taxi. Take a drive down to the Elmina Castle, which is 10 km on the west side of Cape Coast. This was constructed in 1482 and happens to be the oldest structure in all of Africa. Incidentally, this is also the oldest fort for slaves in the region. Among other things to do in Elmina, you can also venture out to the preserved courtyard in the Slave Castle of the city. Here you will find the Portuguese Church which is been converted into a museum that is devoted to the history of slave trade in Africa. This is the perfect place to start your tour of the entire castle and indulge in all the other things to do in Elmina.

Visit Elmina

The Portuguese Church and the Caste are not the only interesting places to visit in Elmina, there are several other things to do in Elmina as well. For starters, you can take a day off during your trip and visit the Fort St. Jago, also known as Fort Conraadsburg. What you see today is not the original structure. The original structure was built out of mud and earth and was used to launch attacks on Portuguese owners of the castle, back in the 17th century. When the Dutch took over this structure it was used to protect the Castle instead. The building has served many different purposes throughout the years. In the 19th century the space was used as a prison, later on it was transformed into a hospital. With so many things to do in Elmina, St. Jago stands out as one of the sites of World Heritage Site. You do not have to worry about accommodations either if you are visiting this place. The city has some comfortable lodges and resorts for tourists, like The KO SA Resort, the Elmina Bay Hotel, the Bridge House lodge, and the Brenu Beach Resort.


Elmina Castle

Elmina Castle

Elmina Castle is an important tourist attraction situated in the present day city of Elmina in Ghana. The castle was built during the Portuguese colonial rule in 1482. It was previously known as St. George of the Mina or São Jorge da Mina. Elmina was the first trading post established by the Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa. This makes this castle the oldest building in the region by European colonists.

A museum is located inside the castle that educates visitors about the history of the castle. It also preserves the cultural heritage of the colonial period. The museum was built in 1996 through a joint initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ghana Museums & Monuments Board (GMMB) and Mid-West Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA).

Exhibits inside the museum include centuries’ old paintings and photos of the castle, murals, stone implements, stools, ceramics, beads, gold weights and much more. Visitors can take a tour of the castle to learn about the items on display. They can also view places inside the castle that served as the governor's chamber, slave dungeon, and a prison where the King of Asane was once held as a prisoner. After taking a tour of the castle, visitors can refresh themselves by dining in a restaurant located nearby.