Travel Guide to Aba

Igbo cultural attire

Aba, a city in the south-east of Nigeria and the commercial center of Abia State. Upon the creation of Abia state in 1991, Aba was divided into two local governments areas namely; Aba South and North. Aba South being the main city center and the heartbeat of Abia State, south-east Nigeria. Located on the Aba River.

The city became a collecting point for agricultural products following the British made railway running through it to Port Harcourt and is a major urban settlement and commercial center in a region that is surrounded by small villages and towns. The indigenous people of Aba are the Ngwa. The town is well known for its craftsmen.

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Its major economic contributions to the economy are Textiles and Palm Oil along with pharmaceuticals, plastics, cement, and cosmetics which made the Ariaria International Market become the largest market in West Africa seconded by the Onitsha Main Market. There is also a brewery, a glass company, and distillery within the city. Finally, it is famous for its neat handicraft products.

Aba Festival

The origin of the Aba Cultural Festival is almost lost to memory due to lack of historical records.  It is originally a celebration of victory by the hunters over the initial settlers of the land now known and described as Igarra-Etuno. That is why most of the songs are the original hunters’ songs of victory. It is becoming a huge tourist attraction and one can only hope that someday it could become something bigger and even more revered than the Iwude Festival, the Osun Osogbo Festival, the Argungun Fishing Festival, the Ojude Oba Festival with international clout and flavor.

The celebration of Aba festival in marks the commencement of Irepa/Azebani title ceremony.  And it takes place every seven lunar and usually on the third day after the New Yam Festival, and which is usually in the month of August.

How to Get To Aba

The transportation to and inside Aba County is quite convenient. To get to Aba is not quite difficult. From Lagos, one can take a flight to Aba. There are also transport company buses from any part of the Country that takes you to Aba. There is an Aba Airport which operates regular scheduled domestic flights to Port Harcourt, Delta, Abuja, Lagos and Imo. Several road transport companies provide travel services from various locations around the country to Katsina.

Aba is also a major hub for road transport in the region – a large number of transport companies operate coaches that transport people daily to various parts of the country. Most popularly patronized travel companies include: ABC Transport Company, Dan Dollars Motors Limited, God is Good Motors, Maduako Transport Company Limited, Ibeneme Transport Services and Udenso Nigeria Limited.

The most popular Lagos airline for direct flights from Lagos to Aba is Arik Air. Getting back from Aba to Lagos, there is a direct flight at Aba Airport. The city has direct road networks to Owerri, Port Harcourt, Delta, Abuja, and Lagos.  Aba can be accessed by road from any part of Nigeria.

The bus fare from Lagos to Aba is N6000 and by distance is 606km while the flight ticket to Aba costs about N30000.

The major train station in Aba is the Aba Railway Sation.  Aba is served by a station and a halt (mini station) on Nigerian Railways.The city is second only to Onitsha in mass transportation daily volume in the eastern part of Nigeria.

Getting Around Aba

Like most places around the country, Aba has quite a number of options when it comes to public transportation. They include Keke-napeps, danfo, buses and taxis.  Commercial motorcycles, Okada, have been banned – replaced by commercial tricycles.

Things to do in Aba

A lot of things fly around about Aba, but one thing you would rarely hear is of how boring Aba is, Aba is never boring especially when as a visitor you know the right people and the right place. Fondly referred to very frequently as Enyimba city it is a relatively small town, which a few visitors will claim to be boring. Like in anywhere else, there’s fun to be had in Aba you just need to know where to look.

You could start with a visit to the Aba Museum. Although Aba is a compact city, it boasts of a great museum called the National Museum of Colonial History which serves as a research centre and houses the history of the evolution of the State from pre-colonial till date. The museum is frequently visited by tourists as well as children for educational purposes. Spend time at this museum soaking up all the information you can on Nigeria’s rich history as well as the popular Aba Women Riot of 1929.

Next would be to explore  Ahia Ohuru (New Market). This market may not be as popular as Ariaria International Market, however, it is one of the largest trade centers in the city and the best place to experience the reality of Aba life. There are a variety of commodities on sale – including clothing, food items, furniture, shoes and art –  at the market. If you have no intention of doing actual shopping, a tour around the market in the morning is still an interesting thing to do.

Another stop would be at The Enyimba International Stadium; a multi-use stadium in Aba, Nigeria yet serves as a home ground of Enyimba International F.C. Nigeria’s most Successful club side. The stadium and its residents are the pride of Aba.

Free Things to do

Try the mutton suya at Aba Sports Club. One of the oldest sports clubs in the town, this center still stands as a prime place for relaxation and mutton barbeque. Although not as fancy as other famous spots, around the country, the service is quite impressive and the flavor of the chops keeps you pinned to table ordering for more. A trip to Aba is not complete without exploring the piping hot meat, just off the grill at this Club.

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A visit to the beer parlors which are usually filled with loads of people with a host hilarious stories, dying to tell anyone who will hear. A great way to get the feel of Aba. Beer parlors can also be quite enjoyable for the teetotaler, they’re usually the best places to enjoy local delicacies like Isi ewu and Nkwobi.

One last stop would be at the Aba Festival. That is where most of the songs of the original hunters’ songs of victory are sung. It is becoming a huge tourist attraction and one can only hope that someday it could become something bigger.

How to Spend 48 Hours in Aba

For a wonderful stay at in the city with just a very little time, there are a couple things you can do.  Here are hints on how to maximise your short stay there. You should start your day by paying a visit to the Aba Museum, although Aba is a compact city, it boasts of a great museum called the National Museum of Colonial History which serves as a research centre and houses the history of the evolution of the State from pre-colonial till date. The museum is frequently visited by tourists as well as children for educational purposes.

Next would be to explore  Ahia Ohuru (New Market). This market may not be as popular as Ariaria International Market, however, it is one of the largest trade centres in the city and the best place to experience the reality of Aba life. There are a variety of commodities on sale – including clothing, food items, furniture, shoes and art –  at the market.

One last stop would be at the Aba Festival, free for all and obviously very interesting, that is where most of the songs of the original hunters’ songs of victory are sung. It is becoming a huge tourist attraction.

Interesting Places to Visit in Aba

Aba Museum

Founded in 1985. The National Museum of Colonial History in Aba is often frequented by tourists. Its artefacts and artworks tell a story of the various traditions and cultures moulded together by the coming of the Colonial Masters to form one big tribe. You can also find relics from the now infamous Aba Women Riot of 1929.

The Enyimba International Stadium

The Enyimba International Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Aba, Nigeria. It serves as a home ground of Enyimba International F.C. Nigeria’s most Successful club side. The stadium and its residents are the pride of Aba.

Sugarland

Sugarland is like Aba’s own Hard Rock Cafe. It plays host to comedians and musical acts. For live band lovers, this is tailor-made for you. Also, has Karaoke Nights once a week. While you enjoy the great atmosphere and entertainment, there are a variety of dishes to choose from with the Point & Kill option available for fresh fish, Isi Ewu, Shawarma, Nkwobi, Ugba and Ukazi. Sugarland promises to be a sweet experience.

Aba Sports Club

Aba Sports Club was founded as Aba European Club in 1921 and incorporated as such on 12th March 1926. Its membership was then exclusively European, but by 1926 it had 12 Africans. Thanks to independence its name was finally changed to Aba Sports Club in 1982. Home to various sections for Golf, swimming, lawn tennis, badminton, squash e.t.c, The Sports Club is a great place to come relax and interact with residents. They also have a barbeque spot, with their mutton suya being a tourist favourite.

The Ariaria International Market

The Ariaria International Market is an open-air market in Aba. One of the largest markets in West Africa and nicknamed “China of Africa” because of its versatility in the making of wears, imitation goods and leather works. Ariaria International Market, established in 1976 following a fire outbreak that destroyed the old Ekeoha Market in Aba. it one of the largest leather shoe-making markets in West Africa with an estimated two million traders. The market cuts across three local government areas, the Aba North, Aba South and Osisioma.

Ahia Ohuru (New Market)

This market may not be as popular as Ariaria International Market, however, it is one of the largest trade centres in the city and the best place to experience the reality of this eastern city life. There are a variety of commodities on sale – including clothing, accessories, food items, furniture and art – at the market. If you have no intention of doing actual shopping, a tour around the market in the morning is still an interesting thing to do.

Places to Eat in Aba

Jevenik Restaurant

Jevenik Restaurant is a friendly eatery that serves mouth-watering local dishes, simple continental meals such as fried rice and pasta, fries as well as tasty desserts that are intensely satisfying.  A very popular eatery in the city.

Food World

Located in Aba, Abia. Food World is working in Restaurants activities. Always delicious, portions are generous and come with an option of several different combinations, and side orders.

Divine Restaurants

Divine Restaurants, one of the restaurants and mobile food service located in the heart of the city. Serving delicious and tasty meals at affordable prices.

Dazzles Restaurant

Located in the center of the city, Abia. Restaurants and mobile food service activities. Quality meals with great services.

Places to Stay in Aba
Enitona Hotel

Terminus Hotel

230/246 Azikiwe Road,

Terminus Hotel is quite popular hang out in the city of Aba. The best place to go for a swim. While this is free for those lodged at the hotel, visitors are allowed to take a dip for a token. This spot offers plenty of space for tourists and residents to unwind. You can visit the hotel’s bar for a drink or the restaurant for some tasty delights.

Evergreen Hotel

Located at No 6, Umola Road, Off Ikot Ekpene Road, Ogbor Hill.

Evergreen Hotel is an affordable hotel in the city. This pleasant hotel in Abia offers an intimate and warm setting with adequate amenities to please its customers and a welcoming staff.

Enitona Hotel

No 8, Margaret Avenue, G.R.A, Aba.

Enitona Hotel is also one of the easy-on-the-pocket hotels in the city. This sweet hotel is a hotel with a difference.  The hotel provides pure comfort with everything about it being modern and beautiful.

Benidon Hotel

No 22 Imaculate Avenue Umungasi, Aba.

Benidon Hotel Limited is a cosy hotel providing an intimate and relaxed atmosphere with facilities and amenities of international standards. Benidon Hotel is an affordable hotel in Aba.

The city is filled with exciting places to go and things to do. A relatively small town and so not boring. Like in anywhere else, there’s fun to be in Aba you just need to know where. Good judgment comes from experience.

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