where to stay in freetown

Sierra Leone is a small country along the coast of West Africa, nestled between Liberia and Guinea. A devastating civil war broke out in the 90s, bringing the country to its knees. 

As it started to recover and was on track to becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in West Africa, it suffered an Ebola outbreak in 2014. 

It has been clear of Ebola since 2016, and tourism here is slowly starting to return. Compared to other countries in West Africa though, accommodation in Sierra Leone is expensive.

But, we’ve found the best accommodation options for where to stay in Freetown in Sierra Leone and some good options for those wanting an affordable beach break too.

Where to stay in Freetown Sierra Leone

It’s unavoidable. From the little information available online, even budget accommodation is very scarce in the capital city of Freetown. We searched everywhere for a room priced below USD 50 per night, with no luck.

The Swiss Hotel is the best option here; it is clean, comfortable, and well-located, priced at USD 90 per night.

The Mamba Point Hotel is another good choice, with rooms starting from USD 120; however, it’s just a little further out of town. 

The beaches along the Freetown Peninsular are the drawcard for most people visiting Sierra Leone. 

The city is busy, polluted, and fast-paced, so an escape to the solitude of the pristine beaches, only thirty minutes drive from Freetown, is the way to go.

Best Beaches in Sierra Leone and where to stay

The most popular beaches to chill out and relax at are River Number 2 and Tokeh Beach.

where to stay in freetown sierra leone coconuts
Where to stay in Freetown? Head to the beach!

1) River Number 2 in Sierra Leone

This beach has gorgeous white sand, lazy palm trees, and surf that is safe to swim in. The special thing about this beach is that it’s run by the community.

This means the money you pay to stay here will go back into the community.

They cook meals, serve cold drinks and look after you during your stay. They also keep this beach incredibly clean and free of garbage.

Where to stay in Sierra Leone at the beach

River Number 2 Guesthouse – They offer some basic guestrooms, including breakfast. The rooms look out onto the beach, and the price is always negotiable. We were initially quoted USD 60 per night; however, after some negotiation, we agreed on USD 40 per night.  

NOTE: River Number 2 is very busy with tourists and locals partying over the weekend and the music continues well into the early hours. For this reason, don’t expect much (if any) sleep at all.

They offer camping space for those who bring their own tent too. The price is approximately USD 15 per night.

Cockle Point Resort– This is the place to come and relax if you want the best of both worlds. Access to the gorgeous beach (10min walk along the beach to River Number 2) and right next to the cool lagoon. 

You’ll get a clean and colourful room for USD 40 per night.

Check out their website here for more details.

where to stay in freetown kids in the village

2. Tokeh Beach in Sierra Leone

Tokeh Beach – This is arguably the best stretch of pristine white sandy beach on the Peninsular. The options for accommodation here are only in swanky resorts, but they’re good value for what you pay.

The best option is The Place Resort. Prices here start from around $100 per night. Not only do you have the most beautiful beach on your doorstep, but this place also has a pool, an on-site restaurant (with char-grilled lobster and a fantastic wine list), and a fast wifi connection.

3. Banana Island, anyone?

For those travellers who would like to escape the mainland and experience some real solitude or hiking, perhaps a trip to nearby Banana Island might be for you.

The most popular place to stay is at Dalton’s Banana Guesthouse. The simple bungalows here are all that you need to spend a night or two.

The only way to reach the island is by small boat. This can be arranged in advance by the man that runs the guesthouse.

NOTE: Eat fantastic meals here in the evenings. It was some of the best food we’ve eaten in Sierra Leone. I’d recommend ordering the catch of the day!

If you decide to explore more of what Sierra Leone has to offer, I’d recommend you check Booking.com to get the best deals on accommodation. We really enjoyed this country; the people are friendly, the seafood is delicious, and the beaches were a highlight.

Travel Tips for Africa

We’ve got some comprehensive blogs about travelling in Africa – what a massive continent this is! Have you ever wondered, how many countries in Africa are there? 54 or 55? 

We cover them in depth in our Ultimate Africa Bucket List.

It’s worth reading these 17 ESSENTIAL Things to know before travelling to West Africa and be sure to take a look at our delicious Food Map of Africa!

Check out our AFRICA Page for detailed blogs about individual countries.

If you’re looking for a place to find our best advice, tips, and suggestions on travel gear and products we use and love, then our Travel Resources Page is for you.