Abeokuta is a city found in Ogun which is a state in the south-western geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Abeokuta doubles as Ogun state’s largest City as well as being the State’s Capital. The State is bounded by Ondo to the North, Oyo, and Osun to the East, the Republic of Benin to the West and Lagos plus the Atlantic Ocean on the South. A total land mass of about 338 square meters with an estimated population of about seven hundred thousand city inhabitants. Abeokuta has a Tropical Savanna Climate with an estimated annual temperature of 27.1 degrees centigrade.
Abeokuta is a place with several points of activities around the city which range from commercial to recreational and spiritual. Notable markets include the Iberekodo Market, the Gbangba Market, and the Kuto Market where buyers access a wide range of items. The city also has a number of tourist attractions which include the famous Olumo Rock, the Olubara’s Palace, the Alake Palace Ground and the Lisabi Sacred Forest. Home to diverse great-tasting cuisines and these dishes include delicacies such as the Obe gbure Elegusi and the Lafu and Ewedu dish.
Abeokuta offers an all year round business and calm environment for visitors but this potential becomes more prominent during special events and festivals such as the Olumo and the Lisabi festivals and these special occasions provide the best time for visitors to embark on a trip to Abeokuta as business becomes more lucrative and there is a general appreciation in the feel and entertainment provided by the City.
In recent years, the Lisabi and Olumo festivals have run concurrently bringing sons and daughters of Abeokuta plus Visitors to the ancient City. The festivals which showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Abeokuta people is also geared at fostering and maintaining unity within indigenes of the City features a walk to the Lisabi forest which is a journey of almost 10 kilometres, quiz and football competitions, traditional gun salutes, and road shows. Intending Visitors to Abeokuta would be better entertained and have a greater feel for the City during these and other festive seasons.
How to Get to Abeokuta
The City of Abeokuta can be accessed from different parts of Nigeria using various means of transportation. These travel options to Abeokuta include
Travelling To Abeokuta By Air
Presently, there isn’t a functional Airport either in Abeokuta or in any other parts of Ogun State. Visitors wishing to access Abeokuta by air would have to make use of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos which is the nearest Airport to Abeokuta and which is approximately 63.6 kilometers away from the Abeokuta City metropolis at an average cost of about 18,500 naira depending on the part of Nigeria the Air journey is being initiated by. A drive from the Murtala Muhammed Airport to the Abeokuta city metropolis takes about 45 minutes to complete. However, serious plans are in place to erect an Airport at Abeokuta or alternative towns within Ogun state to make the City and State, in general, more easily accessible by Air transport.
Travelling To Abeokuta By Road
Road transport arguably provides the most patronized mode of transportation into Abeokuta. Most road transport companies offer shuttles (bus and small vehicles) from neighbouring cities and state to Abeokuta. A majority of the influx of road users into Abeokuta are from Lagos owing to the latter city’s impressive business reputation and critical commercial value to the rest of the Country. Also many Visitors to Abeokuta who enter the City via road transport come through or from Ibadan which is also an economically viable and closely domiciled city to Abeokuta.
The average respective distances from Lagos and Ibadan to Abeokuta are 64 and 85 kilometres with respective driving times of about 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on factors such as the physical conditions of the connecting roads and the volume of traffic. The cost of getting to Abeokuta from Lagos and Ibadan average around 800 and 1500 naira respectively using public bus shuttle services while Visitors to Abeokuta by road who opt for private taxi cabs would have to pay considerably higher prices.
Abeokuta has other link roads from Ilaro, Shagamu, Iseyin and Ketou. Major bus transport companies that offer shuttle services from different cities to Abeokuta include the Yomi transport services limited located at the Ita-oshin Motor Park in Abeokuta South and the O3 transport services located at Akinsanya Avenue in Abeokuta South.
Travelling To Abeokuta By Railway
Abeokuta shares a railway connection with Lagos State. This rail line measures up to 78 kilometres in length. The average travel time from Lagos to Ogun via train is about 3 hours. The journey commences at the Ebutte Metta train terminus in Lagos and climaxes at the Lafun train terminus in the city at a cost of about 300 Naira. However, due to the current comatose nature of the Nigerian Railway Sector, accessing Abeokuta by Rail today might prove quite difficult though concerted efforts are being made to resuscitate the entire railway sector in Nigeria.
Getting Around In Abeokuta
Intra-city transportation in Abeokuta is relatively cheap and affordable. Vehicular movement within Abeokuta is facilitated by the Combi buses, the tricycles, the motorcycles and the private and public taxi cabs. The particular type of vehicular movement option chosen by a Visitor is dependent on speed, affordability, and convenience.
The commercial motorbikes are cheap and fast although they provide little or no comfort with their average prices hovering between 50-300 naira depending on the distance covered. The tricycles are also cheap and more comfortable than the motorbikes but are considerably slower with prices ranging from 50 to 200 naira.
The Combi buses and public taxis are also affordable modes of transportation within Abeokuta but are always cramped and uncomfortable and take longer to get to their destinations due to the incessant stops for passengers to either board or alight. Prices for these average between 20 to 150 naira. The private taxi Cabs are the most convenient way to get around in Abeokuta but their costs are on comparatively on the high side with prices averaging between 1000-3000 naira.
Whatever the budget of the Visitor to Abeokuta, he/she can easily find a way to move around the City but care should be taken to wear safety helmets in the incident that movement by motorbike is opted for to forestall cranial injury in the case of a crash. Also, seat belts should be worn while moving in cabs or buses within Abeokuta.
Things To Do in Abeokuta
The City is a beehive of activities ranging from commercial to educational and religious. Visitors to Abeokuta can engage in shopping or visit various tourist attractions which are guaranteed to make their stays memorable.
Free Things To Do
Visitors to the city who are on a budget have a range of fun activities to engage in and city landmarks to visit within the City that would provide great thrill and entertainment to the tourists without blowing a hole in their pockets. These include:
Visiting the Nigerian Union of Journalists secretariat
This is where the first Nigerian Newspaper was produced by Reverend Henry Townsend who was an Anglican Missionary in the year 1845
Visiting the Abeokuta Grammar School
Abeokuta Grammar School which is the second oldest secondary school in Nigeria and the Alma Mater of popular personalities like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and the Oluwole twins.
Visiting the Saint Peters Cathedral Church
There lies the building site of the first Church in Nigeria built by the Anglican Missionaries.
Visiting the Palace of the Alake of Egbaland.
Visiting Olumo Rock.
Orisa Igun Shrine.
Attending festivals such as the Lisabi and the Olumo festivals.
How to Spend 48 Hours in the City
The sights and sounds of Abeokuta are so enormous that forty-eight hours would not be enough for a Visitor to experience all the thrills and excitement that the City has to offer. However, the points below would definitely help Visitors who have to spend a limited time within the city to get as much fun as possible from the City before the elapse of their time within the City.
Sample the City’s cuisines
Go on a shopping spree
Enjoy a drive around town
Visit places of interest and City landmarks
Lodge in a cosy Hotel
Where to Shop in the City
Visitors to Abeokuta can get a wide variety of items from shopping malls like the Saraki shopping complex, Alhaji Ayeni shopping complex and the Dangrave Mall. A range of items can be purchased from these and several other Malls in the City. Items on offer at the numerous shopping centres in Abeokuta include fashion items, electronic gadgets plus sports and office equipment etc.
There are also several Markets within the city like the Iberekodo and Kuto Markets which offer a wide range of edible and non-edible items. The Kemta Adire Market is famous for the sales of a tie and dye textile and has played a major role in preserving and showcasing the tie and dye culture and business of the Abeokuta people.
Places to Eat in the City
Local Cuisines such as the popular Amala and Ewedu, Iyan and the Obe ebure Elegusi plus other indigenous and foreign cuisines can be gotten from several restaurants in Abeokuta which include the Royal Mandarin, Madojutimi restaurant, and the Tantalizers eatery. Other popular Nigerian dishes and drinks can also be gotten from these and other restaurants, fast food spots and eateries scattered all over the Abeokuta metropolis.
Most neighbourhoods in Abeokuta especially in the densely populated areas have local eateries and ‘bukas’ which offer dishes at relatively cheap prices which are ideal for Visitors to Abeokuta who are on a low budget. These low-cost eateries offer meals that range between 50-400 naira per meal.
The highbrow restaurants and fast food eateries in Abeokuta also offer great tasting dishes in much more conducive settings but at much higher prices. The average cost of dining at these top-rated restaurants and fast food spots is between 1000-2000 naira for one meal.
Nightlife in Abeokuta
Abeokuta is populated by a vibrant and fun-loving population dominated by young people under the age of 40 and this accounts for the bubbling nature of the City’s nightlife. Abeokuta boasts an array of Bars/ lounge and clubs where fun-seekers throng to for the purpose of listening and dancing to excellent music from skilled Disc Jockeys over chilled bottles of wines, spirits, and other beverages while unwinding in a party atmosphere.
Popular Bars and Nightclubs in Abeokuta Include The Following:
Park Inn by Radisson Night Club.
Places of Interest
Abeokuta is an ancient City with a deep and rich cultural and historical background. Consequently, the City has a lot of places of interest in the forms of historical man-made landmarks and works of natural splendour. Places of interest that every Visitor to Abeokuta should visit include
The Olumo Rock:
This is a breathtaking and imposing mountain that can be traced to the days of warfare in Yoruba land. The rock served as a protection to the Egbas from their adversaries. The summit of the Rock offers an amazing view of the City outlay. Within the Olumo rock premises, Visitors would be acquainted with museums and a restaurant that offers an array of great tasting dishes.
The Palace of the Alake of Egba Land
This is the official residence of the traditional King of the Egba Clan in Abeokuta. The entrance Gate is propped up by pillars on either. It bears an inscription written in Yoruba which translates to the Alake of Egbaland Palace. This Palace boasts rich and colourful art designs that depict the history and culture of the Egban People plus palace staff who attend to the traditional ruler.
The Saint Peter’s Church
Following the advent of the first Anglican Missionaries in Abeokuta and the holding of the first Church service in the House of a Man named Shodeke who was the first Nigerian to receive and own a copy of the Holy Bible. The Saint Peters Cathedral Church was erected as the pioneer church building in Nigeria and is till this day widely regarded as the cradle of Nigerian Christianity.
Staying in the City
Abeokuta offers its Visitors an array of accommodation options to choose from. There is a list of hospitality providing institutions littered across the length and breadth of the City ranging from inns to guest houses and hotels. A Visitors choice of accommodation in Abeokuta would be greatly determined by factors such as preference and the size of the budget. In view of the latter factor which is the most critical determinant of accommodation choice, the City offers accommodation facilities suitable for Visitors on diverse budget plans. Below are a few Hotels that are best suited for Visitors to the City of Abeokuta on diverse budget plans.
Low Budget Travelers:
Ideal Hotels for Visitors to Abeokuta under this category include-
Medium Budget Travelers:
Visitors within this category are best served by Hotels such as:
Abeokuta Hill View Hotel,
High Budget travellers:
A collection of Hotels are available to Abeokuta Visitors under this category and these include Hotels such as – Green Legacy Resort, Park Inn by Radison, Daktad Suites and Events Center, and the Upright Hotel and Suites.
Average Cost of Hotels in Abeokuta
The average costs of Hotels in Abeokuta under the three above listed categories are as follows
Low Budget Hotels
Medium Budget Hotels
– 9000 naira
High Budget Hotels
– 30,000 Naira.
Tips for Getting Cheaper Accommodation in the City
Reliable Hotel booking sites such as Hotels.ng can be utilized by Visitors to the city source for and access cheaper temporary accommodation facilities in Abeokuta.
Best Time to Visit
The relatively wide spread of Hotels across Abeokuta precipitated by the lucrativeness of the hospitality industry in the City makes the accessing of Hotels relatively easy and convenient all year round. However during festivities such as the Lisabi and Olumo festivals, the City of Abeokuta usually witnesses an increased influx of people into the City leading to a reduction in the overall availability of Hotels and an attendant upsurge in the price regimen of the available ones.
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