Ibadan is a city of 3.6 million people (2021) in Oyo State, 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 base to explore the major Yoruba cities which might not always have as many developed facilities for the foreigner as Ibadan does.
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 to Ibadan from all major towns in Southwestern Nigeria, including Abeokuta, Ife, and Oyo. Night buses also connect the city to the north, via Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina and the east.
- 1 Ibadan Airport.
A new higher-speed railway line connecting Ibadan with Lagos via Abeokuta opened 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, National Museum Road (off Dick Road). M-F 8AM-4PM. 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, Sango-Ojoo 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.
- 6 Cocoa House, Dugbe. This is the first building in Nigeria with over 20 floors, it is the first skyscraper in West Africa. It was completed in 1965. It was built from proceeds of Agricultural commodities.
- 7 The Broking House (Femi Johnson House/ The Glass House), 1 Alhaji Jimoh Odutola Road, Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria, ☏ . 7AM-9PM. The Broking House is a 10 storey low rise building in the heart of Ibadan, It is the Second Tallest Building in the Ibadan commercial area of Dugbe. The Building is a commercial building. It belongs to the late Femi Johnson Ogundoyin. The building is mostly built of glass and in the sun; the bouncing of sun rays off the panes of glass provides an amazing view that will overwhelm you. Such a beautiful sight to behold. It houses multiple businesses and finance companies.
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,
- The Heritage Mall or Cocoa Mall, Dugbe. 10AM-9PM daily.
- 1 The Palms Mall, M.K.O Abiola Way, Ring-road. 9AM-9PM.
- 2 The Jericho Mall, 20, Kudeti Avenue, Onireke GRA. 9AM-9PM.
- 3 The Ventura Mall, Plot 5 and 6, Old Aerodrome Road Along Sango-UI Road, Samonda, GRA. 9AM-10PM.
- 4 Foodco Supermarket Bodija, Opposite Aare Ave, Secretariat Rd, Bodija, toll-free: . 9AM-8PM. A supermarket and restaurant where you can buy all your needed groceries and African meals.
- 5 Foodco Supermarket Jericho, 50 Jericho St, Jericho. 9AM-8PM. A supermarket and bar where you can buy groceries and African dishes.
- Foodco Supermarket Ring-road, 17 MKO Abiola Way, New Gra (from Challenge Bus stop, Approach M.K.O Abiola way, it is opposite the chiken republic building at Iyana-Adeoyo), toll-free: . 9AM-9PM. A supermarket and restaurant in the southwestern part of Ibadan. The supermarket is on the ground floor while the restaurant is on the first floor. There is a section of the building where Medplus Pharmacy is located.
- 6 Bodija Market. An open-air foodstuff market, one of the largest in Ibadan.
For meals, you could try Kokodome Plus, Marthas Kitchen, Latitude Cafe & Lounge, Ibachi, or the Wimpy Ibadan.
- 1 Chicken Republic, 96, M.K.O Abiola way, Ring-Road, ☏ . 9AM-9PM. An outlet of the restaurant chain Chicken Republic where meals such as rice, chips, chicken and Soda drinks are sold. ₦1000.
- 2 Ose Olorun Food Canteen (Amala Skye), Beside Polaris Bank(Skye Bank), Bodija Market-U.I (Kenneth Dike way) Road, Ibadan. 9AM-8PM. A restaurant where you can buy local Nigerian meals such as Amala, Pounded Yam, Semo, Rice, etc and their corresponding soups. ₦500.
- 3 Dominos Pizza (Dominos Pizza Ring Road), 6, M.K.O Abiola way, ring road, Ibadan (From Challenge Bus stop, Approach M.K.O Abiola way, the outlet is close to Mobil Filling Station, at Ring Road.), ☏ . 9am-9pm. An international food organisation, they sell pizza and some other baked foods. ₦2000.
- 1 Club Switch, 77, Olusanya Close, off Ring Road, Challenge Ibadan, ☏ . 9AM-9PM. A bar and nightclub where mixed cocktails, soda, beverages and alcoholic drinks are sold. ₦1000.
- 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.
- 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 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 municipal buildings with a security gate and restaurant and bar.
- Plaza Park Hotel, Bodija Road. Cheap, clean rooms near the university. Secure location, pleasant staff. There is something of a cockroach problem, though.
- 5 Best Western Plus Ibadan, 25 Jibowu Cres, GRA, ☏ . Has 50 bedrooms which feature current technology as of 2021 and amenities. Each room is equipped with high-speed wireless Internet access, a work desk, refrigerator, mini-safe and 40-inch HD television. ₦44,263.
- 6 Premier Hotel, Mokola Hill (Mokola Hill, off Mokola roundabout, Mokola-Sango road.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. ₦25000 -₦80000.
- 7 Golden Tulip Ibadan, Golden Tulip Ibadan Quarter 781, GRA, Jericho, Ibadan, ☏ . Features accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Among the facilities are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The accommodations provide a shared lounge and a concierge service for guests. ₦44000.
- 8 Townhouse Hotel Ibadan, 1, NTC Quarters, Iyaganku GRA (Adjacent to Ibadan Tennis Club), ☏ . 3-star hotel in Ibadan with outdoor pool and restaurant. ₦32000.
- Kakanfo Inn and Conference Center (Kakanfo), Nihinlola Street, Off Joyce 'B' Road, Off, MKO Abiola Way, 200261, Ibadan, ☏ . 3.5-star hotel with restaurant and bar/lounge, this hotel has massage/treatment rooms. Free WiFi in public areas and free self-parking are also provided. Additionally, dry cleaning, laundry facilities, and a 24-hour front desk are onsite. All 63 rooms offer free WiFi, rainfall showerheads, and TVs with satellite channels. Safes, showers, and free toiletries are among the other amenities that guests will find. ₦20000 - 80000.
The networks in certain parts of Ibadan can be very erratic at times. On certain days you cannot make a phone call at all or you will not be able to recharge your phone for most of the day making business very difficult at times. But it's occasional and that is the reason if you want to stay for a long term, make sure that you have at least two phones or a dual SIM phone.
- Eruwa is 77 km (48 mi) west of Ibadan