ABUJA: THE CAPITAL CITY WITH A THOUSAND OPTIONS
In addition to its famous architectural buildings, busy streets dotted with all kinds of shops, restaurants with African cuisine or unbeatable nightlife, Abuja will surprise you with its charming, tranquil historic spots, with traditional and family-run century-old bars where friends meet up for a drink, all kinds of neighbourhoods, and cultural centres that offer an alternative type of tourism. Abuja has an authenticity that is hard to match. It is welcoming and diverse.
Abuja is, without a doubt, one of Africa’s most interesting cities.
Named as the fastest growing city in the world, Abuja attracts a number of tourists year in, year out. The city is not only known for its cuisines but the hotels in Abuja are also some of the best hotels in Nigeria. Abuja is strategically located in the centre of the country and is referred to as the Federal Capital Territory. Are you planning to visit the city of Abuja and would like to see a list of places to hang out while in the city? We have carefully put together a list of 20 things to see and do in Abuja.
Popularly referred to as the “Gateway to Abuja from Suleja”, Zuma Rock is top on the list of places to visit in Abuja. Located in Niger State, within the outskirt of Abuja, Zuma Rock is a large monolith, an igneous intrusion comprising of gabbro and granodiorite. It rises stunningly immediately north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, along the expressway connecting Kaduna to Abuja.
Situated within the outskirts of Abuja, Aso Rock is a large outcrop. It is definitely a good tourist site as it is one of the major landmarks in Abuja. Towering at a height of 1,300ft, it is the most noticeable feature in Abuja. The Nigerian Supreme Court, Nigerian National Assembly and Nigerian Presidential Complex. Much of the town of Abuja extends to the south of the rock. In addition, Aso Rock is the unofficial name of the Nigerian State House and Presidential Complex. The Aso Rock Presidential Villa encompasses the 400 meter monolith Aso Rock and is situated within the Three Arms Zone of the Abuja Metropolis.
MAITAMA AMUSEMENT PARK
When it comes to keeping the kids entertained, Maitama Amusement Park is good at that. With a selection of restaurants, merry go rounds, swings, bumper boats, and even slides, your kids will no doubt love Maitama Amusement Park. Depending on the age of the kids, there is a lot of fun things to do in this amusement park in Abuja.
CHAD BASIN NATIONAL PARK
The Chad Basin National Park is one of the points of interest in Abuja. Located not too far from Abuja in the Sudano-Sahelian ecological zone of the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, the park is generally referred to as the conventional basin of the famous Lake Chad. This Abuja point of interest is indeed a haven of adventure where visitors are treated to a number of fun activities. The park is notable for hosting Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1990.
Referred to as the largest public park in the capital city of Nigeria, Millennium Park is a cool hangout spot in Abuja. The Park was inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on 4 December 2003, and is located near the Presidential Palace close to the nucleus of presidential and administrative buildings of the city. One of the distinctive features of this point of attraction in Abuja is the river that runs across it in its main rectilinear axis, thus dividing it into two parts. One part of the park is reserved for uncontaminated nature. The other side corresponds to the major entrance from the road and is dedicated to the scientific knowledge of the natural environment.
ABUJA NATIONAL MOSQUE
Also known as the Nigerian National Mosque, the Abuja National Mosque is often numbered among the places to visit in Abuja. The mosque is located on Independence Avenue, across from the National Christian Centre. The mosque includes the office for the Islamic Center, a conference centre capable of serving 500 persons, and the residential facilities for the Imam and muezzin.
DURBAN STREET NEIGHBORHOOD PARK
A fun hangout spot in Abuja, the Durban Street Neighborhood Park is a public park that attracts all and sundry in the Federal Capital Territory. It is located along Ahmadu Bello Way in the Central Area district. If you happen to be in Abuja and don’t know where to go to relax, you might want to check out Durban Street Neighborhood Park.
MAGIC LAND AMUSEMENT PARK ABUJA
Formerly called Wonderland Amusement Park, Magic Land Amusement Park Abuja is a great place to be. It is situated on a huge piece of land and is well equipped with modern facilities. It is indeed a haven for kids and young adults. It is easily accessible as it is located near the National Stadium in Abuja.
SARIUS PALMETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDEN
Sarius Palmetum and Botanical Garden is one of the great places to visit in Abuja. It has a nursery where people purchase different types of plants especially palms. This point of interest in Abuja is a great place to sit and relax under the hot sun while sipping wine and munching on finger foods in the company of your loved ones.
SHEHU MUSA YAR’ADUA CENTER
Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center is an interesting point of attraction in Abuja. One fascinating feature about this tourist site in Abuja is the unfinished bridge. It is a symbol of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua’s life, work and legacy. Pointing directly to the National Assembly is the axis formed by the beginning and end of the bridge. The centre is open to the public so anyone can visit. While at the centre, you can take a scroll in the carefully landscaped lawns and gardens or view the multimedia exhibition displayed on Shehu Musa Yar’Adua’s life and legacy.
ABUJA ARTS AND CRAFTS VILLAGE
The Abuja Arts and Crafts Village is a center for arts and crafts. Located behind the Silverbird Galleria in the Central Business District, Abuja Arts and Crafts Village is one of the best hangout spots in Abuja. There are lots of artifacts and handmade crafts at Abuja Arts and Crafts Village, displayed for visitors to see and buy.
JULIUS BERGER WATER FRONT PARK
The Julius Berger Water Front Park is a recreational spot in Abuja. In fact the Julius Berger Water Front Park is rated in the second position among the recreational parks in Abuja, Nigeria. Present at this hangout spot in Abuja are coastal trains, a merry-go-round, roller coaster, a drop tower, carousel, games arcade, bumper cars and many spinning rides. You will no doubt have a swell time at this park. Also, Julius Berger Water Front Park is one of the best places in Abuja to take your kids to.
The Jabi Lake is a major tourist attraction in Abuja. Situated in a city where aquatic life and experiences is non-existent, Jabi Lake is a haven for Abuja residents. The lake offers an interesting outdoor experience for fun lovers and seekers. For those interested in games such as beach volleyball, water sports, table tennis, and the likes, Jabi Lake is definitely a must visit for them. Ultimately, there is no other place to take a boat ride than Jabi Lake. Visit Jabi Lake for an exciting experience today.
HILLTOP LIFE CAMP
The Hilltop Life Camp is a great place to go for a romantic getaway in Abuja. It is also the ideal place to relax and enjoy sporting activities. Located in the heart of Abuja, this point of attraction attracts tourists in their numbers.
IBB GOLF COURSE
IBB Golf Course is one of the most beautiful parkland courses in sub-Saharan Africa. It is bisected by a number of streams, lakes and ponds with about 25 bridges. The IBB Golf Course is set in the choicest part of Nigeria, near the Nigerian National Assembly and the Presidential Villa. It is about the only place in bustling and heavily developed part of Abuja where animals such as monkeys, crocodiles and pythons are found in their natural habitat. These animals share nature with golfers and their visitors.
NATIONAL CHILDREN’S PARK AND ZOO
Situated in Asokoro District, behind the Presidential Villa, the National Children’s Park and Zoo is a haven for animal lovers. There is plenty of wildlife to admire here, such as giraffes, crocodiles, elephants, camels, monkeys, tortoises, ostriches, zebras and wild cats. Also housed in the zoo are domestic animals, thereby making it a great attraction for children to visit in Abuja. Playgrounds and other exciting activities make this place the perfect hangout spot in Abuja for kids.
Located in close proximity to Abuja, within the Niger State region of the country, Gurara Waterfall is one of the renowned tourist attractions in Nigeria. It serves as a major destination for fun lovers and travelers. History has it that the Gurara falls and river was named after two gods once worshiped by Gwari people: Gura and Rara. It is the favourite feasting spot for herd of cattle that feed on the sparse short grasses carpeting the river banks. If you love to see animals feasting in their natural habitats, then you should definitely visit Gurara Falls Abuja.
A union of gym, lounge, spa and restaurant, Sueno Lounge is a wellness centre to indulge and pamper your body. It is indeed a great is a great relaxation spot in Abuja. The spa offers a variety of treatments, from shiatsu massage, hot stone massages, facials to kids treatments that combines well with the equipped gym. While the restaurant features local and continental dishes. You can also choose the à la carte menu of signature dishes from Europe and the local region all in the heart of Abuja
Zimbabwe is a nice outdoor spot located in the outskirt of Abuja. It is the ideal place for food lovers. Here you can treat yourself to affordable food and drinks, fish, palm wine, barbecued beef, chicken, spicy traditional and bush meat delicacies and a host of local cuisines. If you happen to be in Abuja and do not where to go on a nice cool evening, then go to Zimbabwe!
Other things you can enjoy doing in Abuja is going shopping, restaurants in Abuja, visiting Silverbird Cinemas Abuja and hanging out at the clubs. Also, there are numerous luxury hotels in Abuja you can check out while in town.
From established hubs to gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian delights, abuja is porpularly known for its wide range of nutritious delicacies. some of which include:
If Abuja had a flag or a currency of its own, kilishi will definitely be on it. This is a version of jerky that originated in Hausa land, specificaally Bauchi state. It is a dried form of suya made from deboned cow, sheep or goat meat. this is one of those Nigerian snacks that one can eat till their chin hurts. its spicy taste and crispy texture all together makes it an irresistible snack.
Masa is otherwise known in English as rice cakes. This is a Northern Nigeria delicacy, particularly among the Hausa tribe. Made with rice and just a few other ingredients, this dish is easy and inexpensive to prepare. It is nutritious, delicious and filling. Its fluffy goodness can be enjoyed alone or paired with a sauce.
FURA DE NUNU
When you walk the streets of abuja, you will encounter beautiful, well adorned Hausa/Fulani maidens, carefully and skilfully placing large calabashes on their heads, usually in groups of three or four, gisting and laughing away as they advertise thier porpular merchandise; Fura de Nunu. When translated in English, Fura de Nunu basically means milk with millet.
This is a local yoghurt produced from the fermentation of cow milk.The art of Nunu production is one of the many unique traditions the Hausa/Fulani’s have preserved for centuries. This meal is highly nutritious and very healthy for consumption. Fura for instance, contains nutrients such as vitamin B, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, maganese, tryptophan, phosphorus and fibre.
Nunu on the other hand, contains vitamins and minerals that support vital physiological process in the body. These include, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, todine and zinc. This is definitely a meal worth trying.
This is a fried and shreded meat made with suya seasoning, predominantly known to be staple amongst the Northerners of Nigeria. Its unique taste and feel in the mouth makes it all an exciting experience.
Transcorp Hilton first comes to mind when thinking of a place to stay in Abuja. Transcorp Hilton Abuja has received the Signum Virtutis (Seal of Excellence) in the Hotels and Resorts Category of the 2016 Seven Stars Global Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards. guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and views of the mountains.
Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some units have a seating area for your convenience. Each room comes with a private bathroom equipped with a bath and bidet. There is free shuttle service, a 24-hour front desk, gift shop, and shops at the property. You can play tennis at the hotel.
Couples in particular like this location thus, it is rated 9.0 for a two-person trip.
Sheraton Abuja Hotel is one of the hospitality pioneers in Abuja. It is a social and vibrant landmark in Nigeria’s capital, located just 40 kilometers away from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and in proximity to the International Conference Center and the Federal secretariat. Sheraton Abuja Hotel is the focal point for events and networking opportunities. Discover one of the best foods in the city at any of her restaurants and bars or enjoy having your successful business meetings here.
Fraser Suites Abuja is nestled in the heart of the modern Federal Capital of Nigeria. The newly opened Fraser Suites features 126 Gold-Standard residences that combine comfort, style & technology with outstanding facilities and exclusive in-house services. With a wide range of apartments from studios to 4-bedroom penthouses, each unit is exquisitely appointed with contemporary interiors and feature a flat-screen IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). The property offers a selection of studios, one, two and three bedroom fully-serviced apartments spread over 8 floors with custom made furniture and fixtures by designers from Italy. Guests can dine at the ‘All Day Dining’ which offers international cuisine round the clock. At the poolside Gazebo, guests can relax and enjoy grills and wood-fired oven pizzas. Fraser Suites Abuja is just 2.4 kms away from the Abuja International Conference Centre, 1.5 km from the National Mosque and is in close proximity to Jabi Lake, Maitama and Wuse.
Nordic Hotel is a high-end boutique hotel in Abuja that offers unique rooms and suites in peaceful and pleasant surroundings for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel also offers a redefined concept of boutique lodging by combining distinctive modern Scandinavian design with exquisite service and comfort.
THE ENVOY HOTEL
The Envoy hotel is a 5-star top-class hotel situated at 305 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria. It is one of the new top players in the game, it is well-situated on the exclusive Diplomatic Drive that hosts many embassies and international agencies in Abuja including the United States of America. It offers 59 well-appointed rooms comprising of 50 Luxury Suites, four Diplomatic Suites, four VIP Suites and one Presidential Suite.
Abuja Carnival is one of the most exhilarating Nigerian cultural jamborees that hold annually (mostly in November or December). It includes street parades, boat regattas and Nigerian States cultural competition. Abuja carnival was established in 2005 to showcase the rich culture and crystallization of the creative spirit and cultural diversity of the Nigerian people, the Carnival has also been established as a major international calendar event, and is unique in many ways. The carnival attracts 200,000 local and international participants consisting of contingents from the states, participating countries, visitors, volunteers, vendors, exhibitors, photographers, set/costume designers, artisans, students, security personnel, Para-medics, traffic officers, officials of supporting agencies and media people. It is also a “breathtaking photo-event which brings over 250 cultures and diverse forms of entertainment together in various events spanning for four days in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. Recently, courtesy of corporate sponsorship, Durbar and Polo tournaments have added
AFRICAN ARTS AND CRAFTS
The African Craft Expo is a yearly event organized by the National Council for Arts and Culture to showcase art and culture of Africa in all its beauty and glory and each year efforts are made to make the next better than the last in aspects of exposure, participation, media coverage and so on. There is no gain saying that Africa is beauty personified and as such, the Expo has over the years been a major event in the tourism sector of Nigeria. the event features participants from different African countries such as Cameroon, Senegal, Mali and Ghana; showcasing the beauty of their countries’ arts and crafts. the event also features musical acts and cultural groups who entertain the people with culinary tourism.