Western Area


The Heart of the City

The vibrant and energetic capital city of Freetown is located in the Western Area of Sierra Leone framed by the majestic Sierra Lyoa mountains rising behind it. It is divided into the Western Rural area, comprising Waterloo, Koya, the mountain axis and York. The heart of the city, which sits at the mouth of the largest natural harbour in the world, is in the Western Urban area and is divided into Eastern, Central and Western sections.

The local name for Freetown before Europeans arrived was “Romarong”, meaning the place of the wailers, due to the sound of the constant weeping and screaming of victims of storm and cross current disasters at the mouth of the Sierra Leone River.

Today, Freetown is a mass of colourful markets and a maze of streets and alleyways with plenty of enticing and interesting things to see and do.


Food in Freetown is varied. There is something to cater for every taste-ranging from the various international menus in hotels and restaurants. Typical local dishes include potato/cassava Leaves with rice, bitters, Crain Crain, Sawa Sawa, Okra soups usually served with FooFoo and Jollof rice are a must. Many restaurants also offer the catch of the day, whether it’s a thick meaty baracuda steak or fresh juicy lobster. See our restaurant directory. Restaurants to note include the Senegalese restaurant and Crown Express on Wilkinson Road, Oasis juice bar on Murray Town Road and the newly opened Bistro on Beach Road.


Freetown is home to many good hotels and guest houses offering differing levels of services and facilities to cater for your needs. See our accommodation directory for details.