Ibadan: 9 Things You Will Find When You Get There

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Ibadan (or as it is fully called Ìlú-Ẹ̀bá-Ọ̀dàn which translates to “the edge of the savannah”), the capital of Oyo State, is the largest city in both Nigeria and Africa by land mass. The city houses a population of about 5 million people, a large portion of which are settlers from different parts of the country.

With its seven hills and four rivers, Ibadan is a city of sights and sounds with perfectly sunny days and cool nights. To enjoy Ibadan to the fullest, it’s best to visit between November and February when the heavy rains have subsided.

Ibadan is a great place to visit ot live. Hereare a couple of things you’ll find when you get there.

1. Ibadan is a Historically Rich City

It was formed sometime around 1829. Today, it is a remarkable urban centre, abuzz with activity at every corner. It is fast paced yet has a calm aura to it. The city of Ibadan hosts numerous festivals, often as a form of religious practice, the highlight of which is the Oke Ibadan festival. Other important festivals in Ibadan include the Egungun festival, the Yemoja festival, the Ose Meji festival, the Polo Festival and the New Yam Festival.

Ibadan consists of numerous local government areas or towns. Of the many towns in Ibadan, Bodija is arguably the most popular. It would be advisable to stay in Bodija if you wish to get a complete Ibadan experience. Other popular towns in Ibadan include Agodi GRA, Iyaganku G.R.A and Onikere G.R.A.

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2. Things to do in Ibadan

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Ibadan is not a “dead city”. There is so much to do in the city.  Let’s take you through a few of them.

Visit the Zoological Garden, University of Ibadan

The Zoo, Ibadan-hotels.ngOften called the U.I Zoo or Ibadan Zoo, the Zoological Garden was founded in 1948 to support teaching and research in the Department of Zoology. It remains one of the leading zoological gardens in Nigeria. It has a wide variety of wild animals such as gorilla, lions, chimpanzees, crocodiles, baboons, snakes, etc.

The Zoo is open daily from 8:00am to 6:30pm. The gate fee costs about N500 with extra charges for professional camera users.

 

Visit Agodi Gardens

Agodi Gardens, Ibadan-hotels.ngAgodi Gardens is a lovely park right at the centre of Ibadan city. Agodi Gardens Park which spreads over 13 acres of land, blends various beautiful scenes of nature into one. It features a nursery, arboretum, park and zoo which complement each other perfectly and give a relaxing experience.

The entry fee at Agodi Gardens is about N500.

 

Visit Game World, Dugbe, Ibadan

Game World is a located near Aleshinloye junction. It is a recreational centre where different indoor games such as snooker, table tennis, play station, darts and others are played. There is also a conference centre, minibar and restaurant.
The entry fee at Game World is about N500, participating in other activities on-site may require separate payments.

 

3. Tourist Attractions in Ibadan

Visit the Botanical Garden, University of Ibadan

the Botanical Garden- Ibadan-hotels.ngThe botanical garden is an internationally recognised 70-acre property. It houses various species of endangered and threatened plants. The garden is divided into; the conserved area, the horticultural garden, the nursery, the children’s garden, the rock garden, the open field, the arboretum, the administrative building and the medicinal garden. Each section hosts a wonderful display of botanical beauties.

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Visit the National Museum of Unity, Dugbe

National-Museum-of-Unity-hotels.ngThe National Museum of Unity was established in 1976 and is the premiere museum in the citty. It houses for distinct galleries classified into the Unity Gallery, Masquerade Gallery, Pottery Gallery and Yoruba Gallery. Within the museum, premises are a garden and a kitchen restaurant. The car used by the last Premier of Western Region, Late Chief Ladoke Akintola is also displayed in the museum.
The National Museum of Unity is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm every day.

 

Visit Cocoa House

Cocoa House, Ibadan-hotels.ngBuilt by late Obafemi Awolowo in 1965, this building is the first skyscraper ever to be built in Africa. It was constructed from the proceeds of cocoa sold for export which is how the building got its name. In its earlier years, it was referred to as ile awon agbe meaning the house of farmers. Cocoa House is located at Ijebu Bypass, Dugbe, Ibadan. It is surrounded by local businesses, malls and restaurants.

 

Visit IITA Forest

iita-forest-ibadan-hotels.ngThe International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a research and training institute for students as well as professionals in the area of agricultural research. A third of the campus consists of unspoilt tropical forest, a natural preserve for birds and other fauna, a lake about 3 km long. The lake has been spawned with various fish species and is a lodestone for anglers.

Guides are available for you if you wish to take a tour of the forest, try their luck at angling in the lake or watching for rare migrating birds.

 

Old Oyo National Park

old-oyo-national-park-ibadan-hotels.ngOld Oyo National Park, the park which was named after the Old Oyo – the political capital of the Oyo Empire between the 16th and 18th centuries, is situated just about 51 km north of Ibadan city, and it harbours Nile crocodile, rock python and land tortoise.

The northern end of the park includes the relics of the old city walls of Oyo-Ile, the great Agbaku cave which has evidence of stone age, the “Kosomonu” hill, the old Akesan Market, Alaafin’s Palaces with crucibles of pottery used some centuries ago.

 

4. How to Spend 48 hours in Ibadan

Heading to an Ibadan for a short stay, and you’d like to see as much as of the city under 48-hours? Here are some helpful tips for you on how to make the best of your stay.
Day 1:

Start your first day watching the sunrise through the city’s hills. For the best experience, you may prefer to lodge at Premier Hotel. The hotel sits atop the Makola Hills which is one of the highest points in the city ad gives a perfect view of the diversity of Ibadan…see more

 

5. What People Eat in Ibadan

Resturant to Ibadan-hotels.ng

Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant

Premier Hotel, Mokola, Ibadan

Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant is an Asian themed restaurant which serves Cantonese cuisine. It serves a variety of meals categorised as Starters, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork, Noodles and Rice, and Vegetable and Seafood Cuisine.
Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant is open for lunch from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and for Dinner from 7:30 pm to10:30 pm.

 

Kokodome Restaurant

Cocoa House, Dugbe Area

Kokodome Restaurant was established in 1989 and is the oldest nightclub in the city. Rated one of the best restaurants in the city where the restaurant and bar surrounds a swimming pool. It has half a dozen billiard tables and attracts a large number of clients. It serves both Nigerian cuisine and continental dishes

 

Kabachi Chinese Fusion Bistro Restaurant

Ventura Mall, Sango-UI road, Samonda

Reputed to be the city’s best Asian restaurant, Kabachi Restaurant serves various selections of Asian cuisine with a fusion of barbeque and suya meats. At Kabachi, the teppanyaki chefs whip up meat, fish and vegetable dishes such as Chow Mein and Sichuan beef. Kabachi Chinese Fusion Bistro Restaurant is child-friendly, yet suitable for a romantic night out.
It is open from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm daily.

 

Cafe Chrysalis, Bodija

23 Ilaro St

Cafe Chrysalis is a reputable cafe with a modern cultural setting that gives a sense of home-away-from-home. The menu comprises a mouth-watering variety of cuisines; from their meals to confectioneries, burgers and crepes. Cafe Chrysalis offer live music, buffets and brunch. It’s a great place for group outings.
Open hours are: Monday-Saturday: 9:00am-10:00pm, Sunday:12pm-10pm

 

Martha’s Kitchen

129 Railway Sidelink, Magazine road, Opp Rehoboth Plaza, Jericho

The meals at Martha’s Kitchen are a unique blend of mouth-watering Nigerian and continental cuisines that gives the customers a rush
Martha’s Kitchen features; American meals, Asian meals, Barbeque, Burgers, Grills, resturantJuice & Smoothie, Pizzas, Sandwiches and more.
Open hours: Monday-Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 12pm – 8pm

 

Tutti Frutti

Ventura Mall, Sango-UI road, Samonda

Tutti Frutti is known to be the best ice-cream place in Ibadan. For all the desert lovers, this is the place for you. The restaurant serves fro-yo, ice-cream and yoghurt, boasting a large variety and textures. It is a child-friendly establishment; it is also great for group outings and romantic meet-ups.

 

6. Getting Around Ibadan

motorcycle-okada-hotels.ngUpon arrival in the city of Ibadan, you will find that it is one of those cities where transportation is easily accessible. Whether it’s the public bus system (danfo), the quick motorcycle ride (okada), or the convenience of a shared or private cab, Ibadan has all you need to suit your budget and desire.

7. Where to Shop in Ibadan

Dugbe Market

open-air market-hotels.ngDugbe Market is a popular open-air market located in the Central Business District. It is a major hub for transport and trading. It situated close to several landmarks such as the Cocoa House and the recently built Cocomall. Dugbe market is the biggest clothing market in Ibadan, Oyo State.

 

Palms Shopping Mall, Ibadan

Palms Shopping Mall Ibadan-hotels.ngPalms Shopping Mall, Ibadan in is reputed to be the largest shopping mall in West Africa. The mall is located at Liberty Stadium Road, New G.R.A. It offers a wide array of commodities such as clothing items, foodstuffs, electronics e.t.c. Palms Shopping Mall also houses a cinema and several restaurants. It’s a great place to spend the day and have fun while shopping.

 

Heritage Mall, Dugbe

Heritage is beautiful mall is one of the most visited places in Ibadan. The three-storey mall also houses FilmHouse cinema, Shoprite (Africa’s leading retailer), Mr Price, a food court with various restaurants, a painting shop and a club that connects the three floors of the mall.

 

8. Where to  Stay in Ibadan

Premier Hotel

Mokola Hill, Ibadan

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Premier Hotel is located on top of the Mokola Hill which gives it the appearance of a “watchtower” at night. From its vantage point, you can have an overview of the city from all floors at the hotel. Premier Hotel boasts various recreation facilities, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, car park, internet access etc.

 

Carlton Gate Hotel

Quarters 860, Agodi GRA, Ibadan

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Located in the heart of Ibadan City, Carlton Gate Hotel is a majestic establishment that houses a variety of top class facilities. The hotel is ideal for leisure and business guests and boasts luxurious rooms.
As a guest at the hotel, you will have free access to the internet services, the in-house swimming pool and the pool bar.

 

Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre

1 Nihinlola Street, Ibadan.


Kakanfo Inn is appropriate for mini vacations, business travels, and romantic getaway. The in-house restaurant at the hotel serves a wide array of Nigerian and international. The bar is well stocked with varieties of beverages. You can also take out time to enjoy an afternoon in the swimming pool or just relax by the poolside. Free wi-fi access is also available.

 

Travel House, Ibadan

Plot22A, Block X, MKO Abiola Way, Next to Access Bank, Mobil Ring Road, Ibadan South West.

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The halls of Travel House, Ibadan are tastefully adorned with beautiful paintings. The hotel’s restaurants serve a wide array of dishes guaranteed to keep guests coming back for more. Travel House perfectly combines beauty with affordability to give an air of sophistication. The hotel’s facilities include a lounge, bar, parking facilities, restaurant, room service, housing service, and guarded complex.

 

Check-Inn Hotels

1, Check-Inn Close, Behind Zain Head Office, Off Secretariat/U.I Road, Bodija, Ibadan.

Check Inn Hotels is a traveller-friendly hotel situated in the lively downtown area of Bodija. It is a one of a chain of Check-Inn hotels across the country. It is perfect for business guest, leisure travellers and romantic getaways.

 

Your stay in Ibadan is sure to be packed with activities. Ibadan has so much to offer at all price ranges, so hop on that plane or bus today. You will definitely not regret it.

 

9. Getting to Ibadan

Getting into Ibadan is not a difficult feat as the city is a rather popular destination. Various travel options exist from different locations.

 

By Air

The Ibadan Airport hosts various airlines heading to and arriving from various locations within the country. The airlines available at this airport are Overland Airways and Arik Air. These airlines fly from Lagos and Abuja to Ibadan.

Book cheap flights online

By Road

Benin-Ore-expressway-hotels.ngRoad transportation to Ibadan is, however, the most commonly towed route. Various transport companies like Chisco TransportPeace Mass Transit and Young Shall Grow Motors have terminals in the city and make daily trips in and out of the city, from various parts of the country.

People who like Ibadan also like…

There are a few cities in Nigeria that you should also try visiting which offer an experience which is similar to that of Ibadan. Some of them are;

Lagos

This city is the most populous city in Nigeria. It offers all the wonders of Ibadan and much more. Lagos is a mere 3-hour drive from Ibadan city centre.

Abuja

Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It is reputed the be the best jump-off point for first-time visitors to Nigeria. The city offers various parks, beautiful cuisine, theme parks and other cultural tourist attractions.

Port Harcourt

The city, located in the Niger Delta. It is the third most popular city in Nigeria. The city offers a variety of cuisines, beautiful historic sites and hospitable people.

 

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