Travel Guide to Abuja

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Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria since 1991,  is one of the few properly planned capital cities in Africa. With its beautiful modern parks, architectural designs, and monumental buildings, Abuja is indeed a worthy capital city of Nigeria.  Abuja has been aptly tagged the“centre of unity” due to its physical central position in the country and lack of ethnic and religious differences.

Abuja is bordered to the North by Kaduna State, to the South-East by Nasarrawa State, to the South-West by Kogi State and to the West by Niger State. The city has an estimated population 6 million people, making it Nigeria’s 4th largest city.

Abuja’s cityscape is defined by Zuma rock and Aso rock – where Nigeria’s executive seat of power is located- and other hills and rocks. The city experiences 3 distinct seasons; the warm season, the rainy season and an extremely hot/dry season. The average temperature is 29.1 degrees celsius. This ideal climate makes Abuja a great place to visit all-year-round.

How to get to Abuja

By Road

Abuja is accessible by road from all parts of Nigeria.  Some of the road transportation companies like Young Shall Grow Transport Ltd, Peace Mass Transit and Chisco Transport Ltd transport passengers daily from various cities in Nigeria to Abuja.

By Rail

If you are travelling from Kaduna and neighbouring states, the newly constructed Kaduna to Abuja rail line is a great option for you. It is known to be a significantly cheaper and more direct way to travel to Abuja.

By Air

Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja Runway Temporarily ClosedThere are direct domestic flights from major cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Sokoto, Akure, Enugu, Kano, Benin City, Warri and Calabar. International and domestic airlines like Medview Airlines, Dana Air,  Arik Air and Air Peace, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Air France fly to Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

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Getting Around in Abuja

Taxis are the most common means of transport in the city. Taxis are easily accessible at street sides and travel all routes in the city.  Online cab services like Uber are available and provide cheap ad comfortable transportation around the city.

Other means of transportation include commercial motorcycles and tricycles. These vehicles travel only short distances. The tricycles often have specific routes which they ply.

 

Things to do in Abuja

You can enjoy the sights in Abuja regardless of your budget.  Most of the time, all you will ned to take with you is an adventurer’s eye and a  good camera.

Visit Aso rockAso-rock-Villa-Hotels.ng

At 132 feet, Aso Rock is the most noticeable feature of Abuja. The Nigerian Presidential Complex (dubbed Aso Villa), National Assembly and Supreme Court are all delicately positioned around it, making Aso Rock the most powerful rock in Africa.

Visit Zuma Rock

Road-to-Zuma-Rock-Abuja-hotels.ngAfter taking in the prestigious Aso Rock, head over to Zuma Rock for another breathtaking view. The gigantic 1km long inselberg is irrefutably one of Nigeria’s most famous landmarks. Though it geographically located in Niger Sate, Zuma Rock is a drivable distance from Abuja’s city centre.

Shop for Souvenirs at the Ladi Kwali Pottery

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Ladi Kwali Poetry was established under the Northern Regional Government in 1950. The pottery today, remains a sight to behold. There are world-class clay and wood pot and carvings on display and available for sale. You can also learn about Ladi Kwali and dedication to pottery which earned her a place on the Nigerian N20 note.

 

Free Things to do in Abuja

Jabi Lake

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Jabi Lake is a sight to behold the wonders of nature. The lake is a mystery because its water level remains constant all-year-round. It is also home to crocodiles and other reptiles. At the bank of Jabi Lake, is a newly completed mall which has been constructed to allow you shop or relax on the various lakeside terraces.

National Mosque

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Constructed in the 1980s, the golden dome of the National Mosque, is the most impressive religious site in the city. The best time to see the dazzling dome is at noon when the sun is at its peak.

National Ecumenical Centre (National Christian Centre)National Ecumenical Centre-Abuja-hotels.ng

Also known as National Christian Centre, National Ecumenical Centre is one of the largest Christian centres in Abuja. The cathedral is a great architecture marvel both on the outside and inside. The altar of the church gives worshippers a 360° view of the preacher.

 

How to Spend 48 hours in Abuja

There’s so much to do and lots more to see in Abuja. If this your first time in Nigeria, Abuja is a perfect jump-off point for exploring the rest of the country. If you want to see the best of the city in a short period of time, check out this 48 Hours in Abuja guide.

Day 1

You should plan to stay in Wuse 2 and its environs, this is the fun hub of the city and where most of the interesting activities will take place. There are a number of budget hotels around the area, such as Chateau De Trybze and Rockview Hotel Classic.

Morning: Classic Breakfast and Golfing

There are many restaurants in Abuja city poised to meet your breakfast needs. Craving for local or international cuisines? Some of the restaurants in Abuja which serve local and Intercontinental cuisines are… see more

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Where to Shop in Abuja City

Abuja has a wonderful variety of malls, supermarkets, and open markets. The open markets are stuffed with food stuff, fresh and dry fish, meat, clothes, electronics and other household needs.

Wuse Market

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This is the busiest and most popular market in Abuja. Here you can purchase everything from fresh foods to electronic gadgets. Haggling with traders to get a good bargain is a popular practice here.

Other open markets include; Kado Fish market, Utako market,  Gariki Market, Friday Muslim Market, Abuja farmers market etc.

Abuja is also home to various malls like Jabi Lake Mall, Ceddi Plaza, Next Shopping Mall, Dune Centre or Silverbird Galleria, where you can shop in a serene environment, enjoy a meal or catch a movie.

Ceddi Plaza

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Located in central Abuja, Ceddi Plaza is a go-to shopping destination in Abuja. It houses many businesses including Levi’s store, Nike store, Etisalat, wine shop, restaurants and ATM’s to mention but a few. You can also watch a movie at the cinema.

Silverbird Galleria

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also features a cinema, an arcade game centre and a bowling alley. There is a bookstore, MANGO store, the Body Shop, Pandora and cafes, to mention a few. Shoprite is also in the Galleria to ensure buying and selling in a safe and serene environment.

Places to Eat in Abuja city

Bukka Restaurant

breakfast-at-buka-restaurant-hotels.ngIt is located at Transcorp Hilton Hotel and offers guests different mouth-watering Nigerian dishes like yam porridge, pounded yam, Oha soup, snail sauce, goat meat sauce etc. Bukka restaurant also offers buffets of local and continental cuisine.

Wakkis

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At Wakkis,  you get to see your food as it is prepared in the open kitchen. Housed in a hut-like building made of bricks, wooden poles and straw, Wakkis kitchen offers different cuisines from Indian. It operates a 24-hour service.

BluCabana

blu cubana-hotels.ngLocated in Mabushi District, BluCubana, offers both indoor and outdoor by its swimming pool. BluCubana is also home to a beauty parlour and a gym. Food served includes international appetizers and mains with a strong Lebanese influence. The menu offers different world cuisines such as; pasta, salads, sandwiches, pizzas and barbecued kebabs.

Jevnik Restaurant

Jevinik's food-hotels.ng To enjoy local Nigerian meals, pay a visit to Jevnik offers delicately prepared Nigerian foods(especially meals from eastern Nigeria) such as Afang soup, Abacha, Ekpang nkukwo and pepper soup.

Kilishi

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Kilishi is a  dried meat snack loved by Nigerians. , Abuja is the right place to have a taste of kilishi as it a sack that originated from Northern Nigeria. The Kilishi market in Area 1, Abuja is the main place to eat the best Kilishi.

 

Places of Interest in Abuja

Millennium Park

millenium_park_abuja-hotels.ngThis park was conceived and designed by Italian architect, Manfredi Nicoletti. It is the largest public park in Maitama area. It is a place full of fun and serenity you desire. It features a pool, beautifully structured walkway and a play area for kids.
One side of the Park is dedicated to nature preservation hosting beautiful butterflies and tropical birds. An evening visit to the Park will greet you with the beautiful lightings, delicate animals and picnicking guests. It is a perfect romantic hangout spot.

Usuman Dam

Usuman Dam-Abuja-Hotels.ngHidden in Bwari, the dam offers a quiet and peaceful environment and offers amazing mountain and hillside views.

Nightlife in Abuja

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The city is well known for its sophisticated evenings and vibrant nightlife. At night, you will notice on the side roads, open spaces converted into relaxation spots referred to as gardens. Riverplate Park and the Secret Garden are choice gardens for lone relaxation or with friends.

The clubs, bars, live music, pubs, and lounges ensure your night time is as interesting as your day. Most of the clubs are located in Wuse 2. You should check out clubs like Cubana, Basement, the Bank, Krsytal Lounge, Safari, Klub vanity, Aqua night, etc.

 

Where to stay in Abuja

There are a lot of luxury and budget hotels in Abuja to cater to your needs. Some of them are;

Sheraton Abuja Hotel

Sheraton-Hotel-Abuja-Hotels.ngThis hotel is located in Maitama and is the crown jewel of the hospitality industry. Luxury, opulence and grandeur are a few words that describe the magnificent services and facilities offered at the hotel.

Nicon Luxury Hotel

Nicon Luxury Hotel-hotels.ng
This hotel currently houses 582 luxury guest rooms. With the lavish surroundings and world-class restaurants and bars, your stay here would be coloured with a truly well-deserved relaxation.

Transcorp Hilton Abuja

Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja-Hotels.ng This hotel is situated in Maitama and is conveniently located near local businesses, embassies and government buildings. It is also within close proximity to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and the IBB Golf course.

Koraf Hotels and Apartments

Koraf-Hotel-Abuja-Hotels.ngThis is a budget hotel located at the foot of Dawaki Hills, off Kubwa Expressway. The hotel offers a wide variety of basic and stylish rooms all offered at reasonable prices.

People who like Abuja also like…

Abuja is rightly referred to as the “jump-off city” to tour Nigeria. After you visit Abuja, you may wish to get a  more wholesome taste of the country. The following cities are also great places to visit;

Lagos

Port Harcourt

Ibadan

Benin City

Kano

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