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Top 10 Cities Recommended For Tourism By Nigerians

Every time you hear of tourism in Nigeria, it seems its centred on Lagos. So we took a survey to hear people’s opinions of the other states tourists can have fun besides Lagos.

Below are the top 10 cities, other than Lagos, recommended by Nigerians for a great tourist experience (arranged in no particular order):

1. Abeokuta

Olumo Rock- Facebook

This city is growing traction for tourism thanks to Olumo Rock and the Palace of Alake. Other attractions worth seeing in this town include the Oyan River Dam, FUNNAAB Zoo, Adire Market, June 12 Cultural centre, Hilltop Gold Resort, National Museum, Egungun Festival held in May, Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine, Omo Forest Reserve and Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) and Wildlife Park. Abeokuta is great for a city or a daycation and can be accessed by air, railway and road transport.

2. Calabar

Obudu Cattle Ranch- The Guardian Nigeria

This town is popular for the annual Calabar Carnival in December. Some people assume Obudu is part of it but that’s a different LGA. Calabar city itself is full of exciting places to see like Marina Resort, Slave Trade Museum, Calabar Drill Monkey Ranch, Tinapa Resort, Duke or Henshaw Town, Chief Ekpo Bassey, Mary Slessor’s House Tomb and Statue, World war 1 Cenotaph, Calabar Creek/Boat Regetta, Christmas Concert and Calabar National Museum. This town is perfect for city tours and weekend sleepovers. December is tourist peak month in Calabar. Tourists can access the town by air and road transport within Nigeria and by sea between Cameroon and Nigeria. 

3. Enugu

NikeLakeResortHotel

The beauty of the ‘Coal City’ lies in both the Landscape and landmarks around town. Attractions in and around Enugu City include Mmanwu Festival in November, Oakland Parks, Nike Lake Resort, Bona Gallery, Milliken hills and the Iva valley, Iheneke Lake, Ezeagu Tourist Complex (a hill, a lake and a natural spring), National Museum of Unity, Polo Amusement Park, etc. Air and road transport can access the town.

4. Jos

Kurang Volcanic Mountain- The234Project

Best known for its temperate weather and hailstorms, Jos city is a friendly city full of attractions. Such as Jos Museum and Zoo, Jos Wildlife Park, Solomon Lar Amusement Park, Shere Hills, Assop waterfalls, Helena Farm, Rayfield Holiday Resort and Golf cub, Panyam fish farm, Kurang volcanic mountain, Jos Railway Terminus. This metropolitan city in the middle belt of Nigeria is great for a weekend sleepover and can be accessed by air, railway and road transport.

5. Ibadan

Agodi Gardens

Ibadan is the third most populous city in Nigeria. It is an understated yet a cool tourist destination and the home of the oldest University in Nigeria. Attractions in this city include Agodi Gardens and Leisure Park, Trans-amusement Park, University of Benin Zoological Gardens, Mapo Hall, Latitude Cafe and Lounge, Dreamland Zoo, Bower’s Memorial Tower, Cocoa and Heritage Mall, IITA Forest Reserve, National Museum Ibadan, Cocoa House, Irefin Palace, Ibadan City Mall, etc. Ibadan is lovely for sleepovers or daycations and totally accessible by road and air transport.

6. Kaduna

Kajuru Castle- Hotels.ng

Looking for the hip city to visit in the North, Kaduna has you covered.  Feast your eyes on Kajuru Castle, Kaduna National Museum, Kofar Gamji Park, Lugard Tower, National Museum, Sea Breeze Garden, Ahmadu Yakubu Polo Club, Arewa House, Kidzmania Play zone, etc. Kaduna city is great for a daycation, sleepover and city tours. It is accessible by air, road and railway.

7. Uyo

Ibeno Beach- The Guardian Nigeria

Tucked away in the Land of Promise (Akwa Ibom) lies this treasure of a city with subtle attractions. Such as Ibeno Beach, Ibom Connection Monument, National Museum of Colonial History, Àlacarte restaurant, Ibom plaza, Pyramid or Pegasus, Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Legolas Farm, Ibibio Museum, Ekpe festival in December. The good road networks makes Uyo cool for city tours. Uyo is also okay for a sleepover or daycation, and it is accessible by air and road transport.

8. Benin City

Oba of Benin Palace- Edo State Government
Igun Street- BBC

In the ancient city of Benin Kingdom lies a city embracing modernisation while holding on to the traditions of the past. Tourists attractions in this city include the Oba’s Royal Palace, The National Museum of Benin, Igun Street, Emotan Statue and others around Kings Square, Igue Festival in December, Ogba Zoo, Kada Plaza, Hallmark shopping Mall, Sculptures in Ekehuan Campus, Black passionate Art Gallery, Benson Idahosa Gallery at Faith Arena, etc. Benin City is great for sleepovers, City Tours and Daycations. It is accessible by road, sea and air transport.

9. Bauchi City

Yankari Game Reserve- Iexplore
Durbar Festival- Nomad4now

Bauchi City is popular because of Yankari Game Reserve, one of the best tourist destinations in the country thanks to Wikki Warm Springs and the range of roaming wildlife. The city itself doesn’t hold much attraction besides Emir’s Palace, Zaranda Hills, Bauchi City Center, and the Durban Festival held in August. It is great for daycations and easily accessible via road and air transport even though there is a railway station at Bauchi.

10. Abuja 

Jabi Lake- Jumia Travel
Zuma Rock Nigeria

The FCT is slowly becoming a hot tourist destination. From Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Aso and Zuma Rock to Jabi Lake and Boat club, Millennium Park, Abuja Arts and Crafts Village, Zimbabwe (food court),  The Pier Restaurant and Lounge, Abuja Magic land Amusement Park, Sueno Lounge, National Children’s Park and Zoo, Pedam Lake, Silverbird Cinemas Abuja, National Arboretum mini-conservation park, Abuja Stadium, Maitama Amusement Park, etc. It is great for city tours, weekend sleepovers and it’s accessible by road, air and railway (if you are coming from the north).

Now you know, there is more to tourism in Nigeria than just visiting Lagos State. Feel free to explore the beauty of Nigeria.

Featured Image Source: Hotelsng

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Ann Esievoadje

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at annesievoadje.blogspot.com.ng. You can reach her at annesievoadje@gmail.com

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