Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey…
People aren’t as willing to obey Nigeria’s call anymore but that doesn’t take away from the reputation she has built for herself since her independence in 1960. From then till now, Nigeria has become the 7th largest country in the world and the largest in the whole of West-Africa.
With an estimated population of over two hundred million citizens, Nigeria boasts the strongest economy on the African continent which is due to its huge exportation of petroleum. This amongst others is what makes Nigeria hugely relevant in Africa. That brings us to today’s discussion; 15 Most Beautiful Cities in Nigeria.
Home to over 200 million people and Jollof Rice, Nigeria’s rich adornment in culture and architectural feats make it a really beautiful country. With this beauty distributed among different states, we’ll be taking you on a textual trip around these cities and highlighting the reasons why your next holiday should be to Nigeria, ‘The giant of Africa’ (Which also happens to be the home of the African giant).
Kicking off the list is the capital of Nigeria. Abuja previously called Suleja was created in 1976. It was created to take over as the capital of Nigeria due to the political tussle for power in Lagos the former capital.
The structure of Abuja was based on the way Brazil chose its capital Brasilia. A quick jump into recent years, Abuja has become one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria. Organized and planned, Abuja is divided into factions and districts. This separation helped improve security in the state making it the preferred choice for the country’s policymakers and the bourgeoisie.
Classified under the most expensive cities in Nigeria. Abuja also called ‘the Hills’ by the younger age demographic due to its rocky parts brags of a neat environment and smooth stretches of road. It is also the dwelling place of some of Nigeria’s monuments. Some of them are;
The star of the 100 Naira (currency spent in Nigeria) note.
With a circumference of 3.1 km, this monolith served as a source of protection for the Gbagyi people against invading neighboring tribes during inter-tribal warring. The rock is said to have a face and can be seen along the Abuja to Kaduna express.
Abuja National Mosque
Built-in by Lodigiani Nigeria Ltd in the ’80s. The mosque is available for the public to come to appreciate its design at any time except during congregational prayers. The mosque has a conference room and a library.
The Ministry of Defence
One of Abuja’s architectural wonders is The Ministry of Defence which is shaped like a ship. The ship house is located Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Garki, Abuja.
A beautiful sight of cascading water, rolling off rocks into a cool body of water to make a splash in and calm ya nerves. The Gurara Falls is surrounded by countless beautiful exotic birds that help tie up the experience into a beautiful bow. If you ever find yourself in Abuja, Gurara Falls is somewhere should pay a visit.
Other places you should consider visiting are Jabi Lake which is one of the biggest in Nigeria with water-based activities, a mall (Jabi Mall) for shopping and a cinema in case you want to catch a movie. The city also hosts a plethora of 5-star restaurants like Nkoyo (local cuisine), Blu Cabana, and Wakkis (Nigerian-Indian restaurant).
Lagos the largest state in Nigeria inevitably makes it on the Most beautiful cities in Nigeria.
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With over 21 million occupants it has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. In 2016 the UN predicted Lagos to hit 24 million citizens in 2030 with Lagos being the 17th busiest city.
Five years later and it looks like Lagos is going to surpass that prediction with a couple of years to spare with it moving to the 7th busiest city in the world. In reference to New York, Nigeria is often referred to as the ‘African Big Apple’
The culturally rich and population-dense city was the capital of Lagos in 1975. December 1991 saw Lagos lose its title as the federal capital of Nigeria to Abuja. Ikeja, the capital of Lagos houses the state’s policymakers and is one of the exclusive residential areas on the Lagos mainland.
Either on the island or mainland of Lagos, you are surrounded by people that are hardworking in whatever they do and places that leave you bewildered from beaches, resorts restaurants to state of the art hotels and architecture. There is also a beautiful display of religion, culture, and for the foodies’ authentic local cuisine.
Below are some street foods to try while in Lagos.
Beans are soaked in water to soften, peeled, blended, season to taste, and then fried till golden brown. Growing up this was eaten on Saturday or Sunday mornings with pap, (blended guinea corn) Custard, and Agege bread. But this can be found on the streets of Lagos being stirred in vats of oil with its delicious aroma filling the air.
A street food that when paired with local pears and coconut hits all the right spots. If charcoal smoked isn’t your style then the boiled option is also available variety.
The golden kid of all finger foods and the celebrity of all street foods. Rising above it is peers it has become a staple at parties.
Named by the Spanish for its seaport’s role in the shipping of slaves in the 16th century the era of the Atlantic slave trade. Originally know as Akwa Akpa, Calabar is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria.
Due to it being a major hotspot for the exportation of palm oil and slaves Calabar easily became a tourist attraction. Located in the south-south region of Cross River its capital, Calabar is often called the tourism capital of Nigeria which is a result of the initiatives put in place by Donald Duke.
Whenever I hear Calabar, two things come to mind, the first thing I can’t say and the latter is one the most popular festivals in the world. I’m talking about the Calabar carnival which happens to be the biggest carnival in Africa. This event alone attracts over two million tourist annually.
Calabar is riddled with state of the art hotels, a clean and friendly environment which makes it one of the best cities to visit in Nigeria. Here are some places to play a visit and some delicacies to try whenever you find yourself in one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria.
Indulge in some Monkey business…
Pay a visit to the Drill rehabilitation center or Drill Ranch which was put in place to protect an endangered primate species. built by Peter Jenkins and Lisa Gadsby in 1991.
Try some White soup.
Afia Efere or White soup is a delicacy common in parts of Calabar. It is best paired with pounded yam or white rice. I’ve had the privilege of trying it out and it was worth it.
Parte after Parte
If you are ever in Calabar at the latter part of the year then the Calabar carnival is where you should be. The largest street part in Africa where people come from far and wide just to groove to the music and watch all the colorful costumes showcased at the event.
4. Port Harcourt
Making it on the list of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria is the fifth largest city in Nigeria. I’m talking about Port Harcourt the capital of Cross River. This is one of the first places oil was found in Nigeria.
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The discovery of oil in these parts hugely sped up development. This brought about flyover bridges, buildings, and a lot more. Oil firms like Shell and Chevron have offices at the often called ‘Pitakwa’
Beauty and Nigerian cities go together hand in hand and Port Harcourt is no different. Its tall buildings, neat environments and, active night life is what makes it rival cities like Lagos and Abuja. The city is responsible for having groomed some big names in the Nigerian entertainment scene like Burna Boy and Duncan Mighty.
Overall PH is a stunning city. The people are friendly and happy which is something common in cities across Nigeria. The influence of oil in the city makes it one of the expensive-st cities in Nigeria.
When in the capital city of Cross River, here are a few things to experience;
Bole and Fish
I know what you are thinking, Bole is common street food in Nigeria which is a hundred percent correct but Port Harcourt is the Bole capital of Nigeria. The roasted plantain is paired with a grilled fish topped off with a tasty spicy sauce made of bell peppers, onions, and vegetable oil. Roasted yam is also an option to round up the whole experience.
Isaac Boro Park
If you are more about the outdoors then Isaac Boro park is a place to be. Named after army man and Nigerian activist Isaac Boro, the park is serene and quiet for you to have a picnic and munch your Bole and Fish.
The hustle capital of Nigeria, The city that does not carry last makes it unto the most beautiful cities in Nigeria. Although the city is the capital of Delta, it has undergone the most development over the years.
A state that falls under the oil production states has beautiful stretches of road and beautiful surroundings
Con: Due to the influence of oil in the city it isn’t one of the safest of all the cities to drive at night which largely affects the nightlife of the city.
Here are some places to check out while in Warri;
Abraka Turf & Country Club
This resort is a place you and your family can come to relax and get away from the stress and noise of the city.
- Main Warri Market
- Red Mangrove Swamp
- Warri City Stadium
- Udu Bridge.
6. Akwa Ibom
The leading city in oil and gas production in Nigeria made it into the list of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria. Its capital is Uyo
Nicknamed ‘The Land of Promise’ Akwa Ibom is found in the southern part of Nigeria. It also happens that is a coastal city and has a very active port. The city is beautiful and has good roads for commuting for its over three million population.
It is also home to the best stadium in Nigeria which is built like the Allianz Arena in Germany. Its Airline company Ibom Air is the first in all 36 states in the country.
Godswill Obot Akpabio International Stadium
This stunning stadium is capable of holding 30,000 fans. Other features include an overhead cover that protects the fans from rain, armored VIP and VVIP centers,
The rocky capital of Ogun state is falls under the most beautiful cities in Nigeria.
Its name which means “under a rock” developed due to its role during the Yoruba civil war where people took to the rock for protection. The rock being the Olumo rock has become a tourist attraction for people who find themselves in the city. The whole of the city can be seen from the top of this rock.
The city itself a really beautiful place to be. State-provided cabs are available for easy commuting. There are also a lot of places to chill and relax where around the capital. Here are some places to check out.
A monumental rock the given you the feel of being on top of the world. From the top of this rock, the whole of the city can be seen. Taking a hike to the top you’ll learn about the history of the rock.
- Alake’s Palace
- The Abeokuta Cental Mosque
- The Centenary Hall
On the list of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria is the biggest city in term of land mass and the capital of Oyo.
The cradled Yorubaland. This city plays an important in Nigeria having a lot of the country’s and Africa’s first. Home to the first Skyscraper in Nigeria, the first television station in Africa, and the momentous first university in Nigeria; The University of Ibadan.
Compared to other cities in Nigeria, Ibadan is inexpensive to visit and live in. In terms of interstate travel, you can not help but pass through the city of brown roofs.
Some places to check out include;
Built in 60’s this 25-storey tower of spiral stairs overlooks the city.
- The University of Ibadan
- Club deRock
At the end of the list of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria in no particular order is the city of coal Enugu.
Located in the southeastern part Nigeria is one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria which is the host of one of the countries most prestigious festivals which is the New yam festival.
Enugu was largly the British colony so most of its architecture are a throwback to the british rule so are the narrow roads.