General Information

Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre, as it is the seat of the Government of Sierra Leone. 

The city's economy revolves largely around its harbour, which occupies a part of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River in one of the world's largest natural deep water harbours.

The population of Freetown is ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. The city is home to a significant population of all of Sierra Leone's ethnic groups, with no single ethnic group forming more than 29% of the city's population. As in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone, the Krio languageis Freetown's primary language of communication and is by far the most widely spoken language in the city.

Freetown shares border with the Atlantic Ocean and the Western Area Rural District. Freetown municipality is politically divided into three regions: East End, Central and West End of Freetown. The wards in the East End of Freetown (East I, East II, and East III) contain the city's largest population centre and generally the poorest part of the city. The Queen Elizabeth II Quay is located within East End.

The two central wards (Central I and Central II) make up Central Freetown, which includes Downtown Freetown and the central business district (Central II). Most of the tallest and most important national government building and foreign embassies are based in Central Freetown. Sierra Leone's House of Parliament and the State House are on Tower Hill in central Freetown. The National Stadium, the home stadium of the Sierra Leone national football team (popularly known as the Leone Stars) is in the Brookfield neighborhood.

The three westernmost wards (West I, West II, and West III) of the city constitute the West End of Freetown. These wards are relatively affluent. Most of the city's luxury hotels, a number of casinos, and the Lumley Beach are in the west end of the city. The west end neighbourhood of Hill Station is home to the State Lodge, the official residence of the president of Sierra Leone.

Freetown has an abundance of historical landmarks connected to its founding by Americans, liberated African slaves, and West Indians. The Cotton Tree represents the christening of Freetown in March 1792. In downtown Freetown is the Connaught Hospital, the first hospital constructed in West Africa that incorporated Western medical practices.

Nearby is "King's Gate", built in stone with a statement inscribed which reads "any slave who passes through this gate is declared a free man", and it was this gate through which liberated Africans passed. Down by the Naval Wharf are slave steps carved out of stone.

National Railway Museum has a coach car built for the state visit of Elizabeth II in 1961. The Big Market on Wallace Johnson Street is the showcase for local artisans' work. The Freetown peninsula is ringed by long stretches of white sand. Lumley Beach, on the western side of the peninsula, is a popular location for local parties and festivals. Also in Freetown are assorted beaches and markets, and the Sierra Leone Museum featuring the Ruiter Stone.

Industries include food and beverage processing, fish packing, rice milling, petroleum refining, diamond cutting, and the manufacture of cigarettes, paint, shoes, and beer the Fula and Sierra Leonean-Lebanese play a major role in local trade in the city. The city is served by the Lungi International Airport, located in the city of Lungi, across the river estuary from Freetown.

Like the rest of Sierra Leone, Freetown has a tropical climate