A city in the south-western part of Nigeria, Ibadan is the capital city of Oyo State and the third largest metropolitan area, by population, in Nigeria, after Lagos and Kano. Better known in Yoruba as Ẹ̀bá-Ọ̀dàn, meaning ‘the city at the edge of the savannah’, it is also the largest and most populous city in the country and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg.
Ibadan is very old as it was the centre of administration of the old Western Region since the days of the British colonial rule. The city has stood the test of time and while it has developed into a metropolitan city today which is home to about 3.5 Million people, it shows more than just scars of history. It has got a strong combination of tradition and sophistication, and is still driven by its ancient heart.Its location and persistence has made the city a nexus of culture and Jumia Travel, Africa’s largest hotel booking portal shares all the details.
TOP 20 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN IBADAN
1. BOWER’S MEMORIAL TOWER:
An over 60 feet tall tower located on the hill top of Oke Are in Igbo Agala (Agala forest) area of Ibadan,the Bower’s tower is the highest hilltop in the city and it has about 47 spiral staircases. It is not only ancient but unique as it offers a panoramic view of the whole city from the top.
2. MAPO HALL:
Mapo Hall is a large Ibadan City Hall built in colonial architectural fashion. The Hall lies top the Mapo Hill in Ibadan, Oyo State. The construction of the Hall took four years and it was finally unvielded in 1929. It was constructed for administrative use during the colonial era. Mapo Hall is well known for its seven columns which represents the seven hills on which the city of Ibadan was built.
Mapo Hall boasts of a mini museum which hold various relics of the colonial era. There are also various pictures of the city’s rulers, dating back to the first Olubadan to current available at the hall.
3. AGODI GARDENS:
The most popular of the city’s six parks, Agodi Gardenis a lovely park which spreads over 13 acres of land is a lovely park right at the center of Ibadan city. Most tourist flood the location for different forms of entertainment and recreation.
4. COCOA HOUSE:
Cocoa House is a 26-storey building in Ibadan constructed in the year 1965. It was once considered the tallest building in tropical Africa. Cocoa House was established using the proceeds of Cocoa trade and export proceeds.
It is a property owned by Odu’a Investment Company and was formerly known as Ile Awon Agbe which means House of Farmers. Cocoa House was gutted by fire in 1985 but has been renovated and is still in use today. The hill can seen most parts of the city, it was renovated in 2006 and has played host to several political and social events in Ibadan.
5. UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ZOO:
The University of Ibadan Zoological Garden and Nature Park located in the department of Zoology at the University of Ibadan. The renowned zoological garden was established in 1948 as a menagerie to support the conservation of wildlife and research. It grew into a full fledge museum in 1974. There are a wide variety of animals ranging from mammals to reptiles, amphibians and birds available at the zoo. Ibadan Zoo is open all week between 8am and 6:30pm.
6. IBADAN CITY MALL:
Ibadan City Mall is a one stop shopping and leisure centre which boasts of various fashion stores, restaurant and food courts, a cinema, grocery outlets and entertainment centres. The mall features a large parking space and it is perfect for family outings and recreational activities. The famous shoprite can be found Ibadan City Mall.
7. NATIONAL MUSEUM IBADAN:
The National museum of unity Ibadan serves as home to a number of priceless historical relics and artifacts that celebrate the rich historical culture of the Nigerian people. The museum is divided into four sections namely, unity gallery, Yoruba gallery, masquerade gallery and pottery gallery. You can visit the museum with friends and there are tour guides available to explain the significance of various elements in the museum.
8. IITA FOREST RESERVE:
The IITA Forest Reserve (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) is a 350 hectares of land established and managed by the Natural Resource management department of the IITA. The IITA Forest Reserve was set up to provide solutions to the degradation and extinction of natural resources in Nigeria.
The forest reserve preserves is absolutely beautiful, highly diversified forest reserve which preserves over 200 birds species, over 220 butterfly species and 440 plants used for medicinal purposes.
9. IREFIN PALACE:
Visit the Irefin palace to learn more about the beautiful history of Ibadan people. The palace was built in 1902 and is made up of 185 rooms. There are people who still live in Irefin Palace till date.
Ibadan boasts of a number of family compounds including the Irefin palace, one of the most popular compounds which once produced the Olubadan. The ancient structure of Irefin Palace is one of the major attractions within the city of Ibadan.
OTHER TOP ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO IN IBADAN ARE:
10. University of Ibadan
11. Old Oyo National Park
12. Ventura Mall
13. Cocoa/ Heritage Mall
14. Oke Ibadan Hill
15. Check out WNTV
16. Institute of African Studies
17. Obafemi Awolowo Stadium
18. Try out tasty delicacies and local Ibadan Restaurants
19. Visit the various bars & lounge
20. Oluibadan Palace
Ibadan is quite metropolitan and as such, most of its hotels can compete with hotels in cities like Abuja and Lagos. Visitors can choose from over 300 hotels within the city via Jumia Travel. From ultra-chic and luxurious to, quaint and charming or affordable and basic, No matter your preference and even budget, there is a perfect match for you. For budget travellers, there are decent midrange options on the ground.
Like true Nigerians, the people in Ibadan love to buy and sell. Shopping is taken seriously around the city and visitors who visit find a lot of options. There are several major areas to go shopping in Ibadan- from the local and bespoke to the mega shopping center. There are also many craft, books and souvenir shops in the Old City. Most visitors love to buy the adire – “tie-dye” cloth dyed locally in large pots of indigo is popular in the city- as souvenirs.
People in Ibadan love to eat. A lot. And there are plenty of terrific restaurants in and around the city. One of the first places locals will take you is to a get amala, ewedu or efo — basically, their most favorite local meal. The local foods are best gotten in market areas and bukka around town. There are also opportunities for fine dining either at the top hotels including Owu crown hotel and Premier hotel.
Located at the hub of Ibadan’s commercial centre, Cocoa House is the first skyscraper in Nigeria.