16 Fun Places To Visit In Ibadan + Things To Do And How Much It Costs

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Written By John

 

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There are many fun places to visit in Ibadan where you can hang out, play games, take photos and learn about the culture and history of the Ibadan people. Fortunately, it costs very little to visit these places so you won’t need to break the bank while visiting.

Ibadan is the capital city of Oyo state and the third most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano. Located in the South West region of Nigeria. Its name was coined from the phrase “Eba odan” meaning “the edge of the meadow”.

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Ibadan is an ancient city and history says it was built as a war camp for warriors coming from Ife, Oyo, and Ijebu. It is mostly inhabited by people of the Yoruba tribe and was known as a military base that grew till it dominated the Yoruba region militarily, economically, and politically.

The town boasts a population of about six million people making it the second-largest non-oil-producing State second only to Lagos. The city is known for its Agricultural produce including Cassava, Cocoa, Timber, Rubber, and palm oil.

The predominant occupation of the inhabitants includes; Farming, Public service, trading, and Artisanry. Ibadan city also has unique places of interest that can serve as tourist sites.

Fun places to hang out in Ibadan

Many know the city of Ibadan for its brown roofs and old structures but believe me when I say there is more to Ibadan than just that.

The city of Ibadan has a rich history filled with stories of ancient Yoruba warriors, conquered battles, intrigue, and fleeing from oppression. Fortunately, as a visitor or a resident, your stay in Ibadan can be as exciting as the history of this great city.

Also read: Top places to visit in Nigeria

With this list of fun places to hang out in Ibadan, you can be certain that you’ll have a pleasant time.

1) Bowers Tower

places to visit in Ibadan

On the top of Oke Are Hill located in Igbo Agala, the highest hill of the city sits an over 60 feet tall Tower, called Bowers Tower. It was designed by Taffy Jones and named after the first British resident who was also the travel commissioner of the interior of Yoruba Land Captain Bower in 1936.

The Bowers memorial tower is one of the grandest monuments in the city of Ibadan. It was built in honor of Captain Robert Lister Bower. Standing at the top of this 60 feet tower gives you a breathtaking view of the city of Ibadan.

The peak of the tower can be assessed through a stairway. Arriving at the top of the tower, one can get a panoramic view of the University of Ibadan, UCH, and with a sharp sight, one can view the toll gate on Lagos- Ibadan road. This is undoubtedly a fun place to hang out in Ibadan and surely a sight to see.

About 47 spiral staircases lead to this towering edifice and it has two entrances. From the top of the tower, one can appreciate a vast view of the town, like the Cocoa house, the University college hospital, Dugbe market, Agodi gardens, Lagos Ibadan toll gate and of course the signature brown roofs.

The famous Bowers Tower served as a watchtower, during the days of colonization. It enabled the guards and soldiers to observe what went on in the city from a vantage point.

Location and entrance fee

The tower is located at Oke Are Rd, 200285, Ibadan, Nigeria and is open from about 9 am to 5 pm. It costs about 200 Naira to gain entrance. One can decide to have a picnic or create social media content while enjoying the view.

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Also read: 17 Top Fun Places To Hangout In Accra

2) Agodi Gardens

places to visit in Ibadan

Legally known as Agodi zoological and botanical gardens, Agodi sits at the foot of the old Mokola hills. It was created in 1967For a fun-filled day and an amazing variety of activities, Agodi Gardens is the place to be. The garden has a perfect picnic arena with luxuriant vegetation that instantly leaves you feeling relaxed.

Furthermore, it has a grand swimming area and inflatable boats with which one can spend some moments floating on the water. In addition to these, the garden hosts a couple of other attractions that ensure your visit is pleasurable.

Among other things, a mini zoo, water park, and rides for children are part of the fun activities that you and your kids can engage in. Whether it is enjoying a picnic by the lakeside, visiting the zoo, or taking cute pictures, Agodi Gardens definitely provides a fun place to hang out in Ibadan.

If you are someone who loves nature, the sweet smell of flowers, the chirping of birds, and the peaceful aura it brings visiting Agodi gardens is a place you’ll love to see.

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Some fun activities that can be engaged in include

  • A picnic. One can come either alone or with family and friends. The ambiance is great for picnicking.
  • Taking pictures or making videos.
  • Taking pre-wedding pictures.
  • Get together and small gatherings.
  • Garden parties and
  • Plain relaxation or unwinding after a long day.
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Location and entrance fee

Agodi gardens are located along Parliament Rd, Mokola Hill 200285, Ibadan, Nigeria. It is open throughout the week except on Sundays. You can visit Agodi gardens from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm on weekdays, however, the garden closes an hour later (9.00 pm) on Fridays and Saturdays.

Gaining entrance into the garden is free but you may be required to pay for services and facilities used in the garden.

Related: Top 10 beach resorts in Lagos

3) Cocoa House

cocoa house

Completed in 1965 and owned by Wemabond estates, a subsidiary of the Odua group of companies, the cocoa house is an edifice located in Ibadan.

It stands 105 meters tall and comprises 26 stories. It was built with proceeds from commodities like rubber, Cocoa, and cotton in Western Nigeria. In January 1985, the building was gutted by fire, but it has since been renovated and open for use commercially.

The building was once the tallest in West Africa and was formerly called “Awon ogbe” meaning “house of farmers”. The “skyscraper”, houses major firms, and the last floor is reserved for the Odua museum and hall of fame.

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Location and entrance fee

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Cocoa house is located in the Dugbe area, Ibadan, and is unmistakable. Although the building is being used for commercial purposes, one can pay a visit to the museum and hall of fame as a tourist.

4) Mapo Hall

Mapo hall

Mapo hall is a colonial-style town hall in Ibadan City. It is situated on top of Mapo hill and was commissioned by Captain Ross during the colonial era in 1929.

It was designed and contracted by Engineer Robert Jones, and its construction took four years (1925-1929). It has ancient British architecture and was modeled after St George’s hall in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Mapo hall is an important landmark to the natives of Ibadan and is visible from various parts of the city. The building was renovated in 2006 and commissioned by Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria on the 6th of September 2007.

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The hall serves as a political or social event venue in the city. It has served as a venue for the coronation of several Obas. Also, the hall hosts a museum where the relics of chains used to hold tax evaders in the colonial era are kept. It contains pictures of past and present Obas.

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Mapo hall speaks of a rich cultural heritage. Located a few minutes away from the hall is the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan and the Oluloye statue and Dugbe railway station. The hall is currently managed by the Ibadan local government property company limited.

One can take photos or videos, plan a wedding or visit the site for educational purposes.

Location and entrance fee

The hall is located in the older part of Ibadan town. Its main entrance overlooks Ogunmola street, facing Mapo Road. It costs nothing to enter Mapo Hall. Just make sure proper permission is taken from its caretakers.

5) IITA Forest Reserve Ibadan

IITA is one of the most fun places to visit in Ibadan

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is the only protected urban forest in the South West region of Nigeria. It was established in 1967, with the aim of improving the quality of tropical foods.

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The IITA Forest reserve is a massive expanse of Land designed and preserved to promote biodiversity. The forest reserve is distinguished not just for entertainment but education as well.

IITA has a wide range of animals including 200 species of birds, over 100 species of butterflies, over 400 species of plants,  48 species of mammals as well as over 20 species of reptiles. These numbers are just those that have been observed and recorded.

It serves as a training and research institute for students and professionals of Agricultural research and is managed by Natural Resource Management department. It has natural landscaping, wooded lands, eight lakes, ponds, wetlands, and farmlands.

Furthermore, aside from the amazing opportunity to observe rare and protected animals, the reserve offers some fun and entertainment.

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With the forest school initiative, visitors can experience special fun activities like camping, bird watching, picnics, and hikes around the botanical gardens, lakes, and forests.

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Furthermore, you can play golf, go biking and engage in some fishing, Most of the plant species present in the reserve are also beautiful and medicinal. As evident in these available activities, the IITA Forest Reserve is a fun place to hang out in Ibadan.

The rainy seasons are the best times for a tour as the forest is in full bloom. During this period, the lush vegetation is better appreciated and the rare migratory birds that stay there albeit temporarily can be seen.

The facility also has a hotel and restaurants where small programs or conferences can be organized with adequate permission from the management.

Related: Top Fun Places To Hangout In Lagos Nigeria + Videos

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Location and entrance fee

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The forest is located at Oyo road, between Ojoo and Muniyan town, Ibadan, Oyo State. It sprawls over about 350 hectares of land and is open to anyone who wants to visit however, you’ll need to pay for services like the hotel, restaurant, and other activities in the forest. 

6) Trans Amusement Park

Trans amusement park is one of the fun places to visit in Ibadan.

Although old, this is a fun park in Ibadan. It is also called “Trans wonderland”. It has a wonderland theme and is often referred to as Nigeria’s “Disney World”. That is why it is on our list of places to visit in Ibadan for a hangout.

This is a park that features a lot of fun rides and wheels. There are numerous activities to keep you entertained and ensure you have a fun-filled day. Additionally, the park has many activities for children.

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Worthy of note is the ice creamery on the premises. This provides delicious treats that will further enhance the experience. Furthermore, a well-mowed lawn provides a resting area where you can relax on the soft lawn, and bask in the ambiance. This can leave you feeling exceptionally refreshed and invigorated.

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The amusement park was opened on November 29, 1989. It has a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, roller coasters, panoramic wheels, flying chain chairs, dragon boats, space station, basket chairs, electric bumper cars, and much more.

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One can organize a picnic, take pictures and just chill. It’s also very child friendly. Pete’s bar, a very notable venue to unwind and have fun is also located inside the park where you can have a quick snack and relax. It is best to visit during weekends when families come with their kids.

Location and entrance fee

Trans amusement park is located at Sango Ojoo road, Ibadan Oyo State. With a fee of 500 naira, you’ll be able to gain entrance into the premises. Additional expenses may be incurred when taking rides in the park though.

7) National Museum Ibadan

National museum Ibadan

The National Museum of National Unity Ibadan was opened on the 12th of April 2002. You cannot talk of places to visit in Ibadan without mentioning this place.

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Anyone who wants to learn about Yoruba history would be satisfied, following a visit to the museum. It is one of the top places to visit in Ibadan. The museum has four galleries that house a vast array of cultural artifacts. They are:

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  • The Unity gallery
  • The masquerade gallery
  • The pottery gallery and
  • The Yoruba gallery.  

The Unity gallery is home to objects collected from various parts of the country. These include musical instruments like gongs, xylophones, rattles, etc. You can also find other objects there like beads and other crafts.

The Masquerade gallery holds outfits of masquerades and spirit costumes from all over Nigeria. The Eastern “mmanwu” and the Western “egungun” are also on the display including the masks worn by the “spirits”.

The pottery gallery houses a vast collection of ceramic bowls and plates. An example is the Kula.

The Yoruba gallery has relics of ancient Yoruba land and portrays a very rich cultural heritage. Some artifacts that are there include carved door posts and door panels, single head drum, the regalia of an old Chief, etc.

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One can visit these galleries to take a history class, appreciate other beautiful works of art or simply admire the cultural heritage while taking some really nice photos.

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Location and entrance fee

The national museum is located along Alesinloye Area, Ibadan, Oyo. To gain access to the facility, an entry ticket fee of 500 naira is required for adults.

8) University Of Ibadan Zoological Garden

UI zoological garden

The zoological garden of the University of Ibadan was built in 1948, by the University of Ibadan Zoology department. It is a place of educational learning, conservation, and protection of animals and tourism.

The UI zoo is a great place to hang out. It offers the opportunity to see different animals and species in real life not to mention the refreshing feeling of being outdoors in nature.

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The zoological garden accommodates various animals including various species of birds, mammals, and even reptiles. Some animals you can find there includes Lions, Ostrich, Hogs, Alligators, Giraffes, Monkeys, Tortoise, and Camels. In addition, there are a lot of activities you could plan to do as you visit the zoo.

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First, it has a great picnic spot where you can relax and share a meal in nature. Furthermore, you could arrange for an excursion, snap photos, record videos, play games, and connect with the splendor and beauty of nature.  Indeed a visit to the UI Zoo will leave you refreshed and informed about the wildlife.

There are also shops around the zoo in case one gets hungry. The scenery is also ideal for a picnic as there are large trees that provide shade.

Location and entrance fee

UI zoo is located along Appleton Road, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, and is open 7days a week from 8:00 am-6:30 pm. To gain entrance adults have to pay an entrance fee of 500 Naira and an additional 200 naira if they want to take pictures.

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You’ll be charged 1000 naira if you need a tour guide and 1000 if you are using a professional camera to take professional photos.

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9) Irefin Palace Oyo

Irefin palace is one of the fun places to visit in Ibadan.

The palace was built over 200 years ago by Ba’ale Irefin. It was primarily inhabited by one warrior of the Irefin clan which consists of very powerful warriors. It comes highly recommended in the list of places to visit in Ibadan.

It consists of 120 rooms and is presently inhabited by the Irefin family. It is a historical monument and also teaches a lot about the history of Yoruba land.

The palace was built using just mud and timber which makes people wonder seeing as the building is still standing after over two centuries.

Location and entrance fee

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It is located along Beere road Ibadan and is open daily from 9:00 am-6:00 pm.

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One can visit for sightseeing and also for educational purposes. Lots of pictures can be taken too.

10) Oke-Ibadan Hill

It is an ancient historical landmark in Ibadan city and part of the core history of the people of Ibadan. Formerly known as Eleleye hill, Oke Ibadan is also one of the choice places of interest to visit in Ibadan.

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According to ancient history, the hill housed the deity known as “Oke-Ibadan” which protected the people during the war. The hill is still very much revered among the people of Ibadan. It is considered a source of unity and protection among the people of Ibadan.

The “Oke-Ibadan festival” also takes place on this hill. The sight from the top of the hill is very beautiful. The landscape of the city and buildings can be visualized.

11) NTA (WNTV) Ibadan

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Established in the year 1959, this was the first television station in Africa under the leadership of Obafemi Awolowo. It was previously known as Western Nigeria Television and presently Nigeria Television Authority.

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The old buildings and communication devices, used when the station first started, are still there, for sightseeing. The television station also has a museum, that houses objects of interest and fascination.

12) Palms shopping Mall Ibadan

places to visit in Ibadan

Visiting a place without shopping? No. Shopping is compulsory. The Palms city Mall Ibadan was built in 2014 by Persianas properties and is one of the biggest shopping malls in the city. It has a couple of independent shopping malls, fast-food companies, shops, and a host of other fun things.

You can go with friends to see a movie, hang out, window shop, or buy fun things while taking photos.

Location and entrance fee

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The shopping mall is located along MKO Abiola Way, Oluyole 200273, Ibadan. You do not need an entrance fee however if you’ll be doing some shopping then make sure you go along with some cash or your debit card.

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13) Ibadan Recreation Club

places to visit in Ibadan

The Ibadan recreation club was established in 1902 and was known then as the Ibadan European Club. It used to be an all-British club. In 1950, the name was changed to the Ibadan recreation club.

The club is equipped with sand and tar tennis courts, a swimming pool, a billiards table, and a squash court. There is a mini restaurant and bar where you can have a drink or eat when you get hungry. There’s also a grill section where you can buy barbecue fish and chicken.

Location and entrance fee

It is located at GRA, Ibadan North, Oyo. It is a safe environment and perfect for engaging in sports or just sightseeing but you’ll have to pay to use the facilities in the club.

14) Ibadan Polo Club

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Polo is a game played on horseback that is sometimes referred to as ‘horseback hockey’. It has beautiful scenery and is perfect for playing or watching polo and hosting events.

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One can also relax with family and friends here. It is a very safe environment and can be perfect for socialization or sightseeing. It is also the venue for polo tournaments held in Ibadan.

Location and entrance fee

Ibadan polo club is located at 1, Leutemock Cantonment Close, off Eleyele Road, Oyo. To be a member of the club, you’ll have to pay a sum of 405,000 Naira with an annual renewal fee of 80,000 Naira. Military and police families pay a sum of 110,000 Naira.

15) Old Oyo National Park

 

places to visit in Ibadan

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Named after “Oyo ile” old Oyo. The park had two reserves, the Upper Ogun and Oyo Ile, but was joined in 1952 into a game reserve and then a national park.

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Some of the species of wildlife in the park include the patas monkey, buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck, Roan antelope, warthog, Grimm’s duiker, duiker, Colobus monkey, Green monkey, etc.

The park also contains the Ikere gorge dam and other beauties to behold. The Ogun river, Owu, Owe drains the southern forest while the Tessi river, drains the Northern part of the forest.

There are lots of fish species to be seen in the rivers and lots of bird species to be seen too which makes it a perfect venue for sightseeing, bird watching, fishing, and of course taking pictures.

Location and entrance fee

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The park is located in the northern part of Oyo and attracts costs when entering the park.

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16. Oke-Ado Mountain.

Though not in Ibadan town, Oke-Ado Mountain is easily accessible from Ibadan. It is in a community called Ado-Awaye. Now if you are the adventurous type this is a great place to visit.

The mountain is flush with astounding unique geography which makes the 2-4 hours hike to the peak definitely worth it. One attraction that makes Oke-Ado Mountain a fun place to hang out in Ibadan is the opportunity to see the suspended Lake.

Interestingly, all over the world, there are only 2 suspended lakes.  One in the USA and the other right here on the Oke-Ado mountain. Therefore if you are in Ibadan you cannot miss this opportunity to visit a unique sight like this.

Oke ado mountains

Conclusion

As we have noted, there are a lot of fun places to hang out in Ibadan. These places offer education, excitement, motivation, rejuvenation, and relaxation. The beauty of the experience itself cannot be fully pinned down.

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Ibadan is a beautiful city and there are so many places to visit in the course of your stay there. Asides from the fun and relaxation, you’ll come out more enlightened about the Yoruba culture, and the history of the Ibadan people.

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We have to say that seeing is indeed believing. Therefore why not take the step to check out some of these and many more exciting experiences that the city of Ibadan offers?

Make sure to leave us a comment below.


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