The capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, has a stunning variety of nice issues to do and right here I convey you my choose of the bunch.
In any case, no go to to this nation is full with out spending a minimum of a few days in Freetown and fortunately with some nice historic sights, some fairly spectacular wildlife experiences, to not point out an array of fabulous islands and shoreline surrounding it there’s greater than sufficient to amuse you.
Regardless of being residence to solely 2 million individuals – fairly small in West African phrases – Freetown however throngs with life and gives all the colors and chaos you would possibly count on kind a metropolis on this a part of the world.
I counsel utilizing a taxi or a driver to get round always of the day – it’s fairly sprawling – and whereas the capital will be intimidating, utilizing these types of transport will hope you are feeling extra relaxed to dive in
So right here, with out additional delay are the highest 15 issues to do in Freetown…
- Wish to Journey Sierra Leone: 21 Issues to Know
- 10 Greatest Issues to Do in Sierra Leone
- Full Sierra Leone Packing Record
My journey to Sierra Leone was sponsored by Go to Sierra Leone, however as all the time, all views are my very own.
This web page accommodates affiliate hyperlinks that means Huge World Small Pockets could obtain a small fee on any purchases at no further value to you.
#1 Test Out the Railway Museum
First in on this listing of high issues to do in Freetown is go to Sierra Leone’s nationwide Railway Museum.
Positioned within the east of the capital, this small, however cute museum is a should go to due to its enthusiastic workers and the fascinating story it tells of town’s former railway line.
A go to right here, solely makes you are feeling unhappy that trains are now not operational on this nation (they stopped in 1975) and that having a railway might actually assist the financial system and alternatives of the individuals right here.
Anyway I digress, the Railway Museum, which is housed in a former practice depot was opened in 2044 and there’s a small however fascinating number of carriages and fundamental shows right here.
Prime of the listing might be the carriage constructed in 1961, particularly for Queen Elizabeth II’s first and solely go to to Sierra Leone.
Sadly, plans have been modified and he or she by no means truly rode within the carriage, however you’ll be able to see it right here, together with some footage of her standing subsequent it, in case you’re seeking to get your Royal repair.
#2 Go to St George’s Church & Freetown Central Mosque
And one other place you will get your Royal repair in Sierra Leone (I sound like a mad Royalist right here, which I’d very very like to level out I’m not!), is St George’s church –one of many largest church buildings in Freetown.
Entrance is free and whereas the church is a bit of naked inside, it’s nonetheless price stepping in to take a look.
Don’t overlook to take a look at the customer ebook the place former Queenie and Prince Philip signed their names.
Sierra Leone’s inhabitants is about 60% Muslim and 40% Christian, so after the primary church within the capital, I counsel you head to take a look at the biggest Mosque too.
It’s a gorgeous constructing and several other presidents of the nation, no matter their faith have visited.
I actually appreciated how tolerant Sierra Leonean individuals gave the impression to be whereas I used to be there and visiting these 2 buildings is an effective strategy to get a flavour of that.
#3 Memento Store on the Huge Market
And proper subsequent to St George’s Church is Freetown’s Huge Market – the primary place to select up some souvenirs within the capital.
Wander the two flooring, that are full of native crafts together with luggage, sneakers, jewelry, woodwork and extra.
Upstairs is unquestionably the place to select up some textiles, so if you would like a gorgeous Sierra Leone vibrant skirt – that is the spot.
For extra native market feels – and all of the chaos and cacophony they convey – Kissy Street Market. As all the time with markets, simply watch your luggage and your pockets when you’re right here.
#4 Wander the Nationwide Museum & Peace and Cultural Monument
After the purchasing, it’s again to the historical past books, as visiting the Nationwide Museum of Sierra Leone is unquestionably one of many high issues to do in Freetown.
A small assortment, unfold throughout 2 buildings, there’s an fascinating show in regards to the variety of ethnic teams within the nation (over 18) in addition to a dialogue of a number of the conventional practices, together with music and rituals.
Don’t miss the scary costumes which can be utilized in conventional ceremonies are on show right here.
After which simply throughout the highway from the Nationwide Museum is Sierra Leone’s Peace and Cultural Monument.
Opened in 2011 to show native youngsters about Sierre Leone’s historical past and previous heroes, the monument is testimony to the horrific occasions of the civil warfare right here and all who fought to convey peace, touring right here with a information to actually make sense of what’s happening is unquestionably the best choice.
Actually, touring Freetown with a information full cease is the best choice in case you actually wish to get beneath the pores and skin of this metropolis.
#5 Snap the Cotton Tree
After which, simply throughout the highway from each these high issues to do in Freetown – nicely, truly, it’s sort of in the midst of each of them – is the Cotton Tree.
An vital metropolis emblem, this tree is big and is considered the oldest cotton tree within the metropolis courting again to a minimum of 1787.
It’s massively symbolic within the founding of town, by freed slave from Nova Scotia, and is a logo of independence, freedom and self-determinism.
Lots of of bats nest within the bushes round right here too and seeing them take flight within the late afternoon is a fairly spectacular sight.
Simply throughout the highway, you’ll additionally see the Supreme Court docket of Sierra Leone and the blue and white distinctive design of the State Home.
#6 Eat Lunch at Crown Bakery
Phew nicely in any case that sightseeing, it’s undoubtedly time for lunch.
In any case, among the finest issues to do in Freetown is to strive some yummy native meals.
Crown Bakery is a good spot to move for within the capital in case you’re feeling a bit peckish.
Working for 32 years, it gives recent juices, nice espresso, vegetarian choices, worldwide dishes and Sierra Leone meals – it caters for all.
Don’t miss the nationwide dish of Cassava Stew Leaf right here in case you eat meat.
#7 See One in every of Africa’s Oldest Universities
And with lunch out of the way in which it’s again on the historical past path – this time to the Outdated Fourah Bay Faculty – sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest college.
Courting again to 1827, the constructing is now not in use – town’s present college is situated just some blocks from it – however this iconic and atmospheric constructing, which is gorgeous however slowly failing into disrepair remains to be a must-see in Freetown.
And also you even have the prospect to see the Oldest Police Station in Freetown too.
This tiny constructing, stands a bit of means out of the centre, however is cute to drive by in case you’re within the space – you’ll be able to distinguish by the signal above the door!
#8 Stroll Previous the Picket Homes
And final, however not least on the subject of historic sights in Freetown, among the finest issues to do on this metropolis is to see the previous picket homes located together with picket homes.
Courting from the 1800’s and thought to copy the model of American east coast structure of the time, many are thought to have been constructed kind the boards that have been as soon as boat cabins bringing freed slaves again to this newly unbiased metropolis.
They’re fairly photographic and shaped certainly one of my favorite elements of this metropolis.
#9 Seize a Sundown Drink at Aberdeen
And phew, it’s lastly time for a sundown drink and belief me, there’s no higher place to get pleasure from one than Roy’s bar & restaurant which sits proper above the seaside in Aberdeen.
One of many extra well-heeled areas of town, Aberdeen is a coastal strip full of bars, eating places and motels, a lot of which again straight onto the white sands and blue Atlantic Ocean past.
Sunsets over the water listed below are excellent, night time after night time, and what higher strategy to get pleasure from them than from an outside terrace with a chilly drink in hand?
#10 Hit the Seaside
And if seashores are your factor (and let’s be clear, they’re very a lot my factor!), then you definitely’re in for a deal with, as a result of Freetown has some superb ones proper on its doorstep.
Lakka Seaside is the closest of my high picks to town itself, however No 2 Seaside and the gorgeous token Seaside are simple afternoon journeys.
If you’re at any coastal a part of this nation, consuming seafood is a should and I can inform you that my fellow travellers tucked into recent lobsters and shrimps with aplomb.
Consuming seafood and fish is subsequently actually among the finest issues to do in Freetown and Tokeh Seaside Resort is a chief place to indulge!
Study extra about Sierra Leone’s incredible seashores on this article I wrote.
#11 Sail Out for an Island Day Journey
Purchase why cease at mainland seashores, when you’ll be able to get pleasure from some island seashores too?
There’s loads of choices to select from – together with day journeys to the neighborhood tourism mission on Tusso Island (an important spot for the aforementioned recent fish lunch) and in a single day journeys to Banana Island.
Study extra on this information I wrote all about visiting Banana Island.
#12 Discover UNESCO-Listed Bunce Island
And near Tasso Island – infact you’ll be able to mix them into 1 day journey is Bunce Island.
UNESCO listed in 1998 and now uninhabited, this former slave colony has a chilling story to inform about Sierra Leone’s colonial previous, together with the horrific position the British Empire performed on this.
A holding port established in 1667, the place slaves have been stored being boarded onto ships for America, the ruined buildings and encroaching rainforest surroundings of this island make for a chilling, however vital go to.
Cockle Bay is an effective place to move if you wish to seize to Bunce / Tasso Island.
#13 Leicester Peak
However again to the mainland, we head now for this good thing to do in Freetown, particularly if you would like a view over the entire metropolis.
Leicester Peak, which sits 800m above sea degree is situated behind town as you head inland and gives gorgeous panoramic views over the entire capital and the shoreline past.
If you wish to get some nice Insta photographs – that is the place to return!
#14 Chimpanzee Sanctuary
And it’s good to know that Leicester Peak is on the way in which to in all probability Freetown’s most established attraction – the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Established in 1995, this conservation organisation rescue orphaned and captive chimps – typically from abusive home conditions – and units about rehabilitating them, with the purpose to grasp them again into the wild.
Residence to over 100 chimpanzees, there’s every day excursions of the centre you’ll be able to get pleasure from with a information, which lets you see our closest dwelling ancestor – it’s fairly the factor!
Excursions final 45 minutes and offer you a great deal of details about the lives of the chimps, how they impart and survive within the wild, in addition to the prospect to go to a number of the “households” they’ve right here.
An vital centre for analysis, in addition to lobbying for measures to guard these superb animals, visiting the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a incredible strategy to assist the work they do right here.
You possibly can even keep in a single day too.
Study extra on this put up I wrote about every thing you want to know earlier than your go to.
#15 Study Extra Okada, Keke or Poda Poda
And at last, heading out in some native transport to discover Freetown is a key, if not daunting and exhilarating strategy to get to know this metropolis.
Okada, Keke and Poda Poda are all types of public transport, which locals depend on and have varied ranges of hazard related to them, so that you’ll take any of them at your personal threat.
First up are the motorcycle taxis, which whizz round this metropolis at startling charges, largely with out helmets. These are known as Okada and they’re a lot of accidents involving them – you’ve got been warned!
Subsequent up are the tuk-tuks. Barely extra protected, these are known as Keke in Sierra Leone and I used them for brief rides a few instances – principally as a result of they will’t get that quick!
And third are the Poda Poda – the minivans loaded with individuals and items that traverse the capital. Weighed down with passengers and virtually bulging on the sides with age – they’re an iconic picture of Freetown that can all the time be sealed in my thoughts.
Mini Journey Information to Freetown
When to Go to?
the quick reply is between Decemeber and February.
Study extra on this put up I wrote all about when greatest to go to Sierra Leone.
How Lengthy to Go to For?
1 week is an effective period of time to see rather a lot that Sierra Leone has to supply, together with Freetown, the encompassing seashores and islands, plus a number of the close by wildlife locations too, reminiscent of Tiwai Island.
Most travellers arrive into Sierra Leone through the capital’s worldwide airport.
Flights from Europe are direct with Brussels Airways, Air France or through Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc.
Kenya Airways and Turkish Airways additionally function flights right here from different locations.
As all the time I take advantage of Skyscanner to search out the very best airplane costs.
To get from the airport to central Freetown, it’s then greatest to take the ferry service, which is timed to run with arriving flights.
Sea Fowl Specific are the primary operator and tickets value $45 USD.
The ticket workplace is situated outdoors the airport, simply throughout the road from the arrivals corridor.
Study extra in this put up I wrote all about arriving into Sierra Leone’s airport.
It’s greatest to get round Sierra Leone care of a tour firm or an organized driver.
Go to Sierra Leone can assist with each.
The place to Keep in Freetown?
It’s seemingly you’ll keep in Freetown for a minimum of one night time throughout your time in Sierra Leone, so right here’s my high lodging picks within the capital:
All of those really useful choices are located within the Aberdeen district of Freetown, the place the ocean ferry from the airport arrives into, making issues good and straightforward.
Journey Insurance coverage for Sierra Leone
World Nomads gives easy and versatile journey insurance coverage. Purchase at residence or whereas travelling and declare on-line from wherever on the planet.
Alternatively, in case you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent distant employee searching for journey well being cowl, take a look at Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance coverage insurance policies.
Journey Cash in Sierra Leone
Money is king in Sierra Leone, so I counsel bringing a lot of USD, Euros or Pound Sterling with you, which might then be exchanged in banks or on the road in Freetown.
Don’t depend on ATMs as many don’t work and money withdrawals are restricted.
Paying by card on this nation is de facto solely accessible in top-end motels, eating places and bars.
On the event that you would be able to pay by card (and as an excellent backup choice), I extremely suggest a Smart card.
The simple strategy to spend overseas with actual change charges and no sneaky transaction charges, I by no means journey wherever with out mine.
Signal as much as get yours right here.
Journey Well being
You want a Yellow Fever certificates, in addition to a Covid-19 vaccination certificates to be granted entry to Sierra Leone.
Convey paper copies of each to indicate officers at your level of entry.
All the time seek the advice of a well being practitioner earlier than you journey to West Africa.
They are going to advise you about different really useful vaccinations to get forward of your journey, in addition to about any anti-malaria remedy chances are you’ll want.
The place to Journey After Sierra Leone?
After Sierra Leone, I travelled north to The Gambia.
Study extra about travelling with incredible West African nation right here.
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!
So there you’ve got it, the 15 greatest issues to do in Freetown.
Are you planning to go to this metropolis?
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