Ibadan is a city of 3 million people (2011) in Southwest Nigeria. Its historic significance in the affairs of the declining Oyo Empire has endowed it with a lot of places to see and its location at the edge of the Yoruba heartland makes it an ideal location for an exploration of the major Yoruba cities which might not always have as many developed facilities for the foreigner as Ibadan has.
Shared cars and buses are available from multiple bus terminals in Lagos for about ₦1,000 (naira). The journey takes about three hours along the heavily trafficked Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and buses arrive in the southern part of the city. Private taxis can be hired from Lagos from USD30-50.
Regional buses connect Ibadan to all major towns in Southwestern Nigeria, including Abeokuta, Ife, and Oyo. Night buses also connect the city to the north, via Kaduna, Sokoto, Kastina and the east.
Ibadan has an airport, which is served by domestic carriers only.
- 1 Ibadan Airport.
A new higher-speed railway line connecting Ibadan with Lagos via Abeokuta is expected to open in January 2021. In the future, the line will be extended to Kano. The new railway station is located far north of the city centre, meaning you will have to use a connecting bus or taxi.
- 2 Ibadan railway station (18 km north of city centre). NR will offer a daily return passenger service on the line, which will depart Ibadan at 8AM, and Lagos at 4PM. Tickets will cost ₦3000-6000.
There is an extensive network of minibuses and shared cars. A journey from one end of the city to the other costs around ₦100. Okadas (motorcycle taxis) are cheap and available everywhere, though some drivers are erratic.
- 1 National Museum of Unity. Better than most of the regional museums Nigeria, the museum at Ibadan has a large collection of art, drums, and Egungun costumes.
- 2 Agodi Gardens (formerly Agodi Zoological and Botanical Gardens), Secretariat Rd, Mokola Hill. The tropical garden includes a swimming pool with inflatable balloons. Small zoological park. The upkeep can be variable. About 5 km to the north, near the junction of Kenneth Dike Rd and Sango-Ojoo Rd, the Trans Wonderland theme park used to be considered almost like Nigeria's version of Disney World, but it has become a defunct place not worth seeing unless you like seeing amusement rides in disrepair. ₦500 entry and ₦500 for zoo.
- 3 Bower Memorial Tower, Oke-Are. Here you can get some inspiring views over Ibadan, particularly from the top of the tower.
- 4 The University of Ibadan, Oyo Road. Nigeria's oldest university (established in 1948), and originally considered one of the preeminent centres of collegiate learning in Africa. The beautiful campus has several places of interest: the Tower Court, Zoological garden, Botanical garden and an ultra-modern guest house.
- 5 Mapo Hall, Old Quarter. This is another site where you can get good views of Ibadan, particularly of all the brown roofs everywhere. But take care because it is not in the best neighbourhood.
For some outdoor touring and hiking, you could try:
- 1 Ado Awaiye Mountains and Suspended Lakes (about 110 km northwest of Ibadan; once in Ado Awaiye, take road heading east of central mosque for about 1 km), ☏ . This is perhaps some of the best hiking in western Nigeria, up a rock dome where some depressions are filled with water and where you can look across the surrounding Nigerian countryside. There are like 600 steps, though, so prepare for a bit of a workout.
- 2 Old Oyo National Park, Iseyin - Oyo Rd, Isokun, Oyo (park office 57 km north of Ibadan, actual park is like another 40 km north), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This national park has sadly rather fallen by the wayside. It used to the home of the critically endangered African wild dog, but no longer. There are in fact few animals left. But there are some interesting rock formations and natural landscape features to see.
If you're wanting the outdoor market experience, you could try the Oje, Bodija, or Dugbe Markets. For a more cosmopolitan experience, there are the Heritage and Jericho Malls.
For meals, you could try Kokodome Plus, Marthas Kitchen, Latitude Cafe & Lounge, Ibachi, or the Wimpy Ibadan.
- 1 Adis Hotels Ibadan, 1 Akinsehinwa Street (east of Agodi Gardens), ☏ . Gated hotel in neighborhood with wifi, restaurant/bar, and airport shuttle. Dependable lodging. 23600 Naira.
- 2 Best Western Plus Ibadan, 25 Jibowu Cres, GRA, ☏ . Dependable chain hotel close to Ring Road with hot tub, pool, gym, free breakfast, restaurant/bar, buffet a/c, wifi, airport shuttle. Very sleek. ₦36751.
- 3 Mauve21 Hotel, MKO Abiola Way, Oluyole, ☏ . Place looks like it was hosed down in, well, mauve. Has a big events center and club, plus security gate, gym, bar, and wifi. On the commercialized "Ring Road.".
- 4 Biobak Kitchen & Apartments, Ibadan, 25 Okediji Ave, Off Awolowo Ave, Old Bodija, ☏ . Place kind of looks like an apartment complex in a quiet neighborhood close to the Agodi Gardens and Oyo State muni buildings with a security gate and restaurant and bar.
- Premier Hotel, Mokola Hill (Mokola Hill, off Mokola roundabout, Mokola-Sango road.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. ₦25000 - 80000.
- Plaza Park Hotel, Bodija Road. Cheap, clean rooms near the university. Secure location, pleasant staff. There is something of a cockroach problem, though.