Travel Guide to Onitsha City

 

Onitsha is a City in Anambra state which is located in the South-eastern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. With an estimated population of over 5 million, the Metropolitan City is renowned for its River Port and commercial activities and has a Tropical Savanna Climate with an average annual temperature of 27 degrees centigrade and a total area of about 20 square miles. The City which is mostly inhabited by people of Igbo extraction is famous for being home to the River Niger and the Onitsha Main Market which is the largest market in West Africa.

Onitsha is a vibrant and eventful place to visit all year round especially during festivals such as the Ofala and the New Yam Festivals which are always held annually around July or August and superintended over by the Obi of Onitsha who is the paramount traditional Ruler in Onitsha.

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How To Get To Onitsha

Onitsha can be accessed using a number of different means of transportation which include:

Travelling By Air

Anambra State in which the city is located does not have a functional Airport at the moment though concerted efforts are in place to construct a multi-billion naira Airport in the Umueri community of the State. Visitors to the City of Onitsha who wish to facilitate their journeys by Air transport have to make use of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, or the Asaba International Airport in Delta state which is the closest Airport to the city.

Travelling By Road

The city is linked by Road to Enugu, Owerri, Asaba, Awka, and several other towns and villages within Anambra State. Several Mass transit companies like the Ifesinachi Motors Limited, Peace Mass Transit and the Onitsha South Transport Company offer inter-state bus transportation from neighbouring and distant states to Onitsha. Several private bus and small vehicle transporters also provide shuttle services from different parts of Anambra State to Onitsha. The average cost of getting to Onitsha by road from neighbouring towns and villages within Anambra State is 350 naira while the average cost of accessing Onitsha from neighbouring cities outside Anambra is 650 naira.

Major inter-state transport companies that provide transport facilities to Onitsha plus their bus park addresses include

ChiscoTransportt Nigeria Limited – Onitsha-Asaba Expressway, Upper Iweka, Onitsha.

G.U Okeke and Sons Limited – Kilometre 12 Onitsha/Enugu Expressway.

Ekene Dili Chukwu Nigeria Limited – NO 1 Ilodibe Road, Awada Layout, Onitsha.

Travelling By Water

The City of Onitsha boasts a large mass of water boosted by the presence of the River Niger. Due to this aquatic prestige and the commercial viability of the City, most business people transport their goods to the City of Onitsha via the City’s large water mass. This movement is often initiated from neighbouring towns and Villages linked to Onitsha by water and such journeys are made using medium-sized and large ships. Commodities moved to Onitsha via the Waterways are predominantly agricultural products from water-locked rural communities and these are conveyed to Onitsha for sales or for onward movement to neighbouring states. Canoes and speedboats are also used to make these journeys sometimes, while it is definitely cheap, costs depend on the size of the vessel, and the quality of the load being ferried.

Getting Around In Onitsha

Movement within the Onitsha City metropolis is facilitated by the use of several transport options which include the public motorcycles, tricycles, the 18 sitter buses and the private and public cabs. The status of the City as a commercial Centre makes transportation key within the City centre and intra-city movement has been made easier over the recent years by the upgrade in the general road infrastructure of the City.

The most popular form of movement employed by inhabitants of the City is the commercial motorcycles which are relatively cheap and easy to manoeuvre past traffic gridlocks. This is very much suited for traders who are always in a hurry to make it to and from their Business points. Visitors to Onitsha can utilise any of the available means of transportation depending on their budget strengths and preferences. The average cost of moving around Onitsha via motorbikes is 150 naira per trip, 100 Naira for the tricycles, the public taxis, and the 18 sitter buses; and 1500 naira for personalised cab services.

Things To Do

There are a lot of fun activities within the city guaranteed to give every Visitor maximum fun and entertainment. From commercial activities to socio-cultural and spiritual activities, the City of Onitsha offers a lot of thrills for travellers to take advantage of.

Free Things To Do

Visitors to the City of Onitsha who are on a budget have a plethora of activities to engage in that would not blow a hole in their pockets. These include:

Visiting and exploring the River Niger, Enjoying a ride around town, ARRHending festivals like the Ofala and New Yam festivals,  visiting the Palace of the Obi of Onitshaisiting the Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Visiting the Cathedral Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity.

How To Spend 48 Hours In The City

Visitors to Onitsha who have a limited time to spend in the City might find it difficult to fully explore the beautiful sights, scenery, and entertainment that the City has to offer. However, visitors who are on a 48 hours’ time schedule can still get a large dose of the City’s ‘goodies’ by engaging in the following activities:

Shopping at the prestigious Onitsha Main market, Sampling the local cuisines such as Ofe Onugbo, Ofe Nsala, and Ugba., Enjoy a boat ride on the River Niger, Go clubbing, Enjoy an assortment of wines, spirits, and other choice beverages at various Bars, Lodge in a cosy and luxurious Hotel.

Where To Shop

In the city, there are a wide variety of shopping centres where Visitors can purchase a wide range of items. Some of these shopping centres include

Shoprite Onitsha which provides customers with edible and non-edible items such as household items, groceries, and cosmetics.

Onitsha shopping Mall and Emeka Offor shopping Complex which is the largest phone and phone accessories market in the City.

A plethora of Markets is available for Visitors in Onitsha to get any items they may desire.

Prominent on the list of Markets is the city’s Main Market which prides itself as the largest market in West Arica where buyers can purchase all sorts of commodities.

Other prominent Markets in Onitsha include:

Relief Market

Ochanja Market which is popular for clothes and textile materials.

Building materials Market which is ideal for the purchase of all kinds of building materials.

Nkpor Market

Electronics Market which is perfect for buying household electronics.

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Places To Eat

The city has a collection of restaurants and eateries which offer a wide variety of dishes both homegrown and foreign. There are the roadside eateries popularly referred to as the ‘Mama Put’ and the classy Restaurants. Choosing either of the two options depends on the budget and preferences of the Visitor to Onitsha. The average cost of a plate of food at the roadside eateries is 300 naira while the average cost of a plate of food in any of the upscale restaurants is 950 naira.

Visitors can have excellent tasting soups like the Onugbo soup, the Nsala soup which is often served with eba, fufu, pounded yam, or semovita. Other popular dishes such as the goat meat pepper soup, white rice and banga stew, jollof rice and breadfruit porridge can also be accessed by visitors.

Popular Restaurants where Visitors can get treated to these and other delicacies in the city include:

Five Star Foods and Restaurant.

Crunchies Restaurant.

Mama’s Restaurant Omagba.

Nwanyi Oba Restaurant and Bar.

Nightlife In Onitsha

Onitsha has not always been known for a very vibrant nightlife when compared to neighbouring cities. This is probably due to the culture of the majority to be engaged in various business activities during the day and turning in at night only to recuperate. However, in the recent past, there has been a significant upsurge in the quality of the nightlife in the City with the springing up of more nightclubs and hang out spots. Some popular nightclubs include:

The 411 Night Club

The Dam Hotel and Night Club

Onitsha also has several drinking pubs and Bars where traders relax over cold bottles of Beer after the day’s business activities.

Places Of Interest In Onitsha

The city has a collection of interesting city landmarks which provide which is a door to explore and discover the thrills and entertainment on offer within the City. These interesting places in the city include:

obi-onitsha--hotels.ng

The Palace of the Obi of Onitsha, The River Niger, The Cathedral Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha Mall, Onitsha Main Market, The All Saints Cathedral Church.

Staying In The City

Top Rank Hotel

The city offers a variety of accommodation for Visitors and these accommodation offering establishments can be found across the length and breadth of the City. The Main Market of the city accounts for a majority of Visitors into the City and it is therefore imperative for these Visitors to be lodged near the Market so as to ensure easy accessibility to the Market.

Hotels near the Main Market Onitsha include:

Rainbow Palace extension

Jubilee Hotel and the

Lily Garden Hotel.

The River Niger also accounts for a percentage of the influx of tourists and Visitors into Onitsha. Hotels near the River Niger where these tourists and Visitors can lodge include:

Top Rank Hotel

House 135

Another basis for the classification of Hotels in the city that is imperative for Visitors to the City to consider is the cost of Hotels. There are Hotels for the Low budget, middle budget, and High Budget travellers. Ideal Hotels for travellers to Onitsha who are on a budget include the Posh Hotel, the Royal Garden Hotel, and the Adam and Eve Hotel.

Average Costs Of Hotels In Onitsha

Hotels in the city are relatively cheaper than those in neighbouring cities. The average cost distribution across the Low cost, medium cost, and high-cost Hotels are as follows

Low-cost Hotels in Onitsha have an average room cost of 2,800 Naira per night

Medium cost Hotels come at an average room cost of 5000 Naira per night

High-Cost Hotels in Onitsha average a room cost of 15,000 Naira for a night.

Periods Which Hotels May Be Difficult To Secure

Hotel accommodation in the city might prove scarce and difficult to access during festive periods such as the New Yam and Ofala festivals or the Christmas celebrations when the City usually witnesses an increased influx of people. Other times may be on Monday, or on market days. This mass movement leads to a shortage of Hotels and difficulty in accessing the few available ones.

Tips For Getting Cheaper Accommodation

Cheaper Hotel accommodation in Onitsha can be accessed via several reliable Hotel booking platforms such as hotels.ng

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