What to do and see in Freetown, Sierra Leone: The Best Places and Tips

April 5, 2018 Harland Bartelt

First settled in the 18th century by freed slaves from America, Nova Scotia and Great Britain, Freetown is a thriving cultural capital on the Atlantic coast of Sierra Leone. Standing in the center of downtown is the majestic cotton tree, a symbol of freedom said to have been standing since the first arrival of the free settlers. Other attractions include numerous beaches and nightclubs, as well as the Sierra Leone Museum, housing the Ruiter Stone and the original drum of Bai Bureh.
Restaurants in Freetown

1. River Number Two Beach

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 110 reviews

River Number Two Beach

Reviewed By ivanmare - Hermanus, South Africa

We arrived at River number 2 very late at night after our travel from Bo, the staff organized 2 bungalows for us and reopened the kitchen just so we could have dinner. This is excellent service you dont get everywhere in Africa. Setting is incredible.

2. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Regent Village | turn right just past Bathurst, where the sign says 'Congo Dam/Chimpanzee Park', Freetown, Sierra Leone +232 76 611211
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 107 reviews

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

40 minutes outside of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tacugama is set high in the hills of the Western Area Forest Reserve. The 100-acre sanctuary is 10 minutes past the historic mountain village of Regent. To come and see the chimpanzees at Tacugama, please reserve a place on one of our guided tours. There are two daily tours available: at 10:30am and 4:00pm, every day of the year. All tours are by appointment only and group sizes are limited. Please contact us in advance to confirm your reservation and arrive in good time to avoid disappointment. Tour prices: Expat adult $15 or Le 65.000 Expat child $ 5 or Le 25.000 SL adult Le 20.000 SL child Le 5.000

Reviewed By Chris J - Epsom, United Kingdom

Good to see this worthwhile project is returning chimpanzees to the wild. There are lots to see in the various stages of reintroduction and the guides are helpful and informative. The chimpanzees are mostly behind netting (as they throw stones at their keepers and visitors) so getting a good photograph is quite difficult. Nice setting which feels remote from Freetown.

3. Lumley Beach

Lumley Beach Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
24%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
9%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 119 reviews

Lumley Beach

Reviewed By c_loedolff

I've been here quite a few times. Love the long beach with warm water. It has a very nice fish market where you can buy fresh fish at a good price. The price bargaining for the fish is always exciting. Nice restaurants as well. They can do much more with the place...

4. Cotton Tree

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
28%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
26%
Poor
6%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 60 reviews

Cotton Tree

Freetown, settled by freed American slaves, regards this tree as a lasting landmark of freedom.

Reviewed By MugShotPotter - Newnan, Georgia

Oh my gosh, we were standing under the Cotton Tree, taking in the sights when we heard this chirping. Then we say something move. Upon further investigation we discovered 100's of Bats in the tree. Yikes, I could just imagine them pulling my hair out. These were not vicious bats though they just hung around.

5. John Obey Beach

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
78%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 18 reviews

John Obey Beach

Reviewed By Jeremy F - London, United Kingdom

Set on the most beautiful beach in Sierra Leone (better than River Number 2), Tribewanted have set up a perfect resort. Clearly designed for the young eco types, the resort has everything that one could want - fresh water showers, sit-down toilets, mosquito nets on beds and seriously SERIOUSLY good food. You could easily spend weeks at the resort without getting bored, due to the range and quantity of activities they have to offer, from Surfing to hiking to fishing to cooking to helping out in the community to snorkeling. They will even arrange trips to other resorts like Banana Island. During the week, John Obey is usually deserted, with expats often spending their weekends at this paradise.

6. National Railway Museum

Cline Town, Freetown, Sierra Leone +232 77 423575
Excellent
61%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

National Railway Museum

Reviewed By Daniela I - Tirana

Difficult to find, difficult to find it open, but worth a visit!!! It should be open Mon to Friday from 10.00 to 16.30

7. Bunce Island

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
45%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Bunce Island

Reviewed By Robert B

An extremely interesting historic site to visit with a sad "Slave Trading" history the largest slave trading post in West Africa some 30000 slaves passed through here before it was shut down. Really worth visiting. The site has and eeirie feeling of past sadness, but is set in a beautiful tropical backdrop

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Excellent
27%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 29 reviews

Aberdeen

Reviewed By artalmon - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

The Aberdeen beach is a great place to come to. Its been recently cleaned up and great for walking, running, cycling, swimming etc.

9. Sierra Leone National Museum

Siaka Stevens St, Freetown, Sierra Leone +232 22 223555
Excellent
14%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
29%
Poor
7%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 27 reviews

Sierra Leone National Museum

Reviewed By Charine22 - London, United Kingdom

Definite improvements since the last time I was there, not least a knowledgeable guide and the installation of a wonderful display of 'debul' (initiation society devils) plus the setting of some type of context which is very helpful for the first time visitor. Clearly much more needs to be done but it seems that they are heading in the right direction - well done, guys! You are doing a great job: please keep going!

10. Sierra Leone Peace Museum

Jomo Kenyatta Road | New England, Freetown, Sierra Leone +232 76 819242
Excellent
51%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Sierra Leone Peace Museum

Reviewed By Biblioswiss - London, United Kingdom

The curator did his best, but wasn't very well informed, and the displays are very limited. The Memorial Garden was in a desperate state, uncared for. But the archives of witness statements and court proceedings are well looked after. Essential visit for learning about the civil war and its aftermath and for showing you care about what happened in this poor country. The international court room (also the command centre during Ebola) is dusty and unkempt.

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