Freetown ( FNA )

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City Guide, Freetown


Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone and is the heart of the Western region. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River. The city lies at the foot of the Peninsula Mountains and faces one of the best natural harbours on the west coast of Africa. The peninsula is home to some of the finest beaches in Africa - Lumley beach, Lakka beach, No. 2 river beach and Toke beach are some examples.

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Freetown is of tropical climate with a rainy season - May through October, the balance of the year representing the dry season. The beginning and end of the rainy season is marked by strong thunder storms. This is a Tropical Savanna Climate.


Tourist attractions


However, there are many hidden gems that can be well worth finding. It is not unusual to be the only visitor to some of them.

Railway Museum

  • National Rail museum, Cline Town. The museum has several steam/diesel locomotives and carriages, including one used by HM Queen Elizabeth II during her state visit. All have been restored. A guide will usually show guests around. Entry is free, but donations are gratefully received.
  • Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, outside Freetown and will require a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Follow the Regent road through Hill Station and Leicester. Watch for the entrance on the right.
  • A visit to the Aberdeen part of Freetown will give a break from the busy city centre. It's a short drive from any part of Freetown by car/taxi. The roads are passable, but watch the speed bumps on the beach road and Sir Samuel Lewis Road.

Culture and entertainment


At night, Freetown cries out through the speakers of local night clubs and bars. New York is not the only city that does not sleep! Sierra Leoneans love to have a good time and in Freetown you’re never far away from an entertainment spot. Some of Freetown’s attractions famous structures include The Cotton Tree, Freetown Law Courts, the Slave Gate and Portuguese Steps, St John's Maroon Church (built around 1820), St George's Cathedral (completed in 1828), Sierra Leone Museum, Foulah Town Mosque (built in the 1830s) ,Sierra Leone Museum (featuring the Ruiter Stone and original drum of Bai Bureh), Victoria Park, creole and colonial architecture, the lively markets and fantastic beaches.


Food and drink


Freetown has a few high-quality restaurants, but very little in the tier below that. Being on the Atlantic coast, some excellent seafood is on offer. Barracuda, grouper, and lobster are readily available. Freetown has a large Lebanese community. Consequently, some very good Lebanese food is available at most restaurants.

Apart from the hotels and restaurants, there are many bars along the beaches, particularly at the Aberdeen end of Lumley Beach. Man of War Bay in Aberdeen has several popular bars and restaurants, all of which have terraces overlooking the bay.

There are countless small bars along every street, often catering for just a handful of customers.

A "must-see" for any visitor is Paddy's on the road into Aberdeen. This bar is famous and was the only place to be consistently open during the war. Get a cold Star and enjoy the atmosphere. Star beer is now available on tap in better bars. Also worthy of a visit is the Hill Station Club at Hill Station. This old gentleman's drinking club was looted during the war, but the building itself survived and the bar will be opened for visitors


Shopping


"Tourists" usually visit Victoria Park in Freetown. There's a huge market full of cloth (gara and other types), dresses, wood carvings of all types, mats, and anything that can be called a souvenir.


Freetown City Map




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