For a very long time, the city of Ibadan has been stereotyped as a very local and ancient city, which is why J.P. Clarke in his poem “Ibadan”, describes Ibadan as a “running splash of rust”. Nevertheless, contrary what people think, Ibadan has a lot of beautiful sights to behold.
Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, located in the South-Western part of Nigeria. Although majorly occupied by the Yorubas, the languages spoken include Yoruba and English. Ibadan often regarded as both the largest and most populous city in Nigeria. Ibadan has a couple of tourist attraction centres as well as shopping malls, restaurants and cinemas, which can create long-lasting memories for you and leave you asking for more.
So, can any good thing come out of Ibadan? Yes, it can!
48 HOURS IN IBADAN: DAY 1
The decency of an accommodation goes a long way in determining the comfort of a visitor. There are several areas where visitors could consider staying which include, the Government Reserved Area (GRA), Iwo Road, Dugbe, Sango, Ring Road, Mokola, Jericho, Bodija, amongst others. Hotels like Adis Hotels, Carlton Gate Hotels, etc could be ideal for you. Just in case you’re ever confused about where to stay, you can always check hotels.ng, as you would find the most credible and reliable information you may need on the best possible hotel for you.
Morning: The Bower’s Tower Experience
On your first day in Ibadan city, visit the Bower’s Tower to get a panoramic view of the city. The 60-foot tower located on Oke-Are’s Hill was built in 1936 in remembrance of Captain Robert Lister, the first person from Britain to reside in Ibadan. From the tower, you can get a sneak peek of some of the interesting places you would be visiting eventually.
From the Bower’sTowerr, you will see the University College Hospital (UCH), University of Ibadan, Cocoa House, Dugbe House, Agodi Gardens, Iwo Road as well as many old and rusty rooftops. The tower has 47 spiral steps leading to its top. These steps allow one person at a time. For those who like to take antique photos, be sure to take a good camera with you, because it will come in very handy at this moment. This tower is perfect for taking antique photos, so come along with a phone that has a good camera.
Afternoon: The Amala Story + Zoological Excursion
There are a lot of restaurants ranging from local to Intercontinental, in Ibadan. If you are interested in eating finely prepared Amala and Ewedu soup, try out the restaurant by Skye Bank on Bodija road. However, if the local meals are not really your type, visit Domino’s Pizza or KFC in Bodija, or Martha’s Kitchen in Jericho.
If you want to have a feel of what it means to see wild animals up close, then head over to the University of Ibadan Zoological gardens after lunch. The zoo, established in 1948, is located within the premises and is run by the Department of Zoology.
The zoo has lions, giraffes, reptiles such as snakes, crocodiles, and alligators and a couple of other animals. You will definitely love relating to the monkeys. A gate fee of 200 Naira is charged at the entrance of the zoo and there are food stalls, just in case you want to munch on something. There are also tour guides available, ready to answer any questions you might have about the animals. This also avails you the opportunity to see other interesting places within the University like the botanical garden, Oba dam, UIbookshopp, and the University of Ibadan swimming pool.
Evening: Chinese Fusion or Club Turnup?
What better way to an end a fun-filled day than going to the cinema. The serene and quiet environment at the cinema offers you the opportunity to end your day in a very relaxed way. There are several options open to you about cinema to visit. You can either go to Ventura along Sango Road or the Film House in Dugbe. There is also an Arcade game within the cinema where you can try out different games.
The Kabachi Chinese Fusion Bistro is also a great spot for Chinese delicacies but if you are not a fan of Chinese cuisines, you can still order a drink and enjoy the soft music playing in the background. This is definitely a cool way of enjoying the evening and if you still intend to extend your fun into the night, then you can visit any of the following clubs: Club Beatnation, Kokodome, Hexagon club & lounge, 411, Club 0305, Club E – Bevande, GB lounge or Option 24/7. Any of these options would be a perfect way to end an interesting day.
For dinner, If you want to have the best of Nigerian Jollof, make sure to visit Diamond Restaurant, which is close the UCH Ibadan. You could also visit Soups and Sauces, located at Bodija for the best of beef, chicken etc. In the event that you like taking continental dishes while also watching a T.V, then Champ’s Restaurant at Heritage Mall would be an awesome place for you to visit
48 HOURS IN IBADAN: DAY 2
Morning: The Garden of Agodi
It’s a brand new day. You are probably hungry and need to get some food fast. Well, you can start the day at Domino’s Pizza, which is located at Awolowo Avenue, Bodija. Aside from pizza, they also serve chicken strips, drumsticks, cheese bread, and drinks.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the Garden of Eden but let me introduce you to Agodi Gardens and Park, built in 2014. It has an extensive landscape of 150 hectares. The park has meticulously manicured vegetation, beautiful tall trees, a mini zoo, a swimming pool, a lake for boat cruising, and a lot of space. It is an ideal place to relax and cool off and the perfect spot for picnics. The serene environment is equally great for meditation.
Afternoon: Dugbe Hub
A trip to the Cocoa House, the tallest building in West Africa, should be your next stop. The Cocoa House is at Ijebu Bypass, Dugbe. The first skyscraper ever built in Africa and was built by Obafemi Awolowo in 1965.
Still located within the Dugbe vicinity is the National Museum of Unity which was established in 1976. The museum has four distinct galleries – the Unity Gallery which is a compilation of a variety of musical instruments from all over Nigeria, the Masquerade Gallery which is dedicated to the departed spirits that are an integral part of Nigeria, the Pottery gallery which displays a unique collection of ceramic vessels and finally the Yoruba gallery which pictorially displays the history of the nation’s past.Another interesting place to visit is the Ibadan City Mall, which plays host to a couple of stores like Shoprite, Cold Stone etc. You can shop at Shoprite, grab a snack and combine it with a delectable ice cream from Cold
Another interesting place to visit is the Ibadan City Mall, which plays host to a couple of stores like Shoprite, Cold Stone, and the likes. You can shop at Shoprite, grab a snack and combine it with a delectable ice cream from Cold Stone. At the Game World in Dugbe near Aleshinloye junction, there are different indoor games such as snooker, table tennis, darts and video games. Ibadan City Mall also houses a minibar and restaurant where you could have lunch.The Ibadan City Mall would give a world-class experience of being in a mall.
Evening: Karaoke on the Rocks
As the sun goes down on your final day in Ibadan, head over to the Latitude Cafe and Lounge to relax. The lounge is totally awesome as it makes provisions for Karaoke. The sing-along routine is usually exhilarating, and simply fun if you are a music lover. Apart from the good music, you can also enjoy their delectable drinks. This is definitely a cool way to spend the evening, enjoying the beautiful night view till you decide to retire to sleep.
For dinner, try out places like KFC, either the one at Bodija or the one at Ring Road, for your continental dishes.
It is imperative to know that the city, though ancient, is still very much alive and 48 hours is barely enough to explore all that Ibadan has to offer visitors and tourists. Wouldn’t you rather just see for yourself?
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