15 Top Places To Visit In Ibadan Plus Things To Do And How Much It Costs

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places to visit in Ibadan

15 Top Places To Visit In Ibadan Plus Things To Do And How Much It Costs

 Introduction

Ibadan is the capital city of Oyo state, located in South West region of Nigeria.

It’s name was coined from the phrase “Eba odan” meaning “the edge of the meadow”.

It’s the third most populous city in Nigeria, coming after Lagos and Kano.

It is mostly inhabited by the Yoruba tribe. It boasts of a population of about six million people.

Ibadan is an ancient city and history says it was built as a war camp for warriors coming from Ife, Oyo and Ijebu. It was known as a millitary base and grew till it dominated the Yoruba region millirarily, economically and politically.

It is the second largest non-oil producing State second only to Lagos. The city is known for it’s Agricultural produce – Cassava, Cocoa, Timber, Rubber and palm oil.

The predominant occupation of the inhabitants include; Farming, Public service, Trading and Artisanry.

Ibadan city also boasts of unique places of interest that can serve as tourists sites.

Also read: Top places to visit in Nigeria

Top Places To Visit In Ibadan

A lot of fun places to visit in Ibadan include;

1) Bowers Tower

places to visit in Ibadan

On the top of Oke Are Hill 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. It was named after the first British resident and travel commissioner of the interior of Yoruba Land Captain Bower in 1936.

About 47 spiral staircase 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 observe what went on in the city from a vantage point.

The tower is open from about 9am till 5pm. It cost about 200 naira to gain entrance.

One can decide to, asides enjoying the view, have a picnic, or create social media content like taking pictures there.

2) Agodi Gardens

places to visit in Ibadan

It is known as Agodi zoological and botanical gardens and sits at the foot of old mokola hills.

Location

It is located along parliament road, Mokola, Ibadan.

It was created in 1967. Some of the side attractions include a mini zoo, a water park, a play area for kids, and a play area for kids.

For the love of nature and the peaceful aura it brings, the sweet smell of flowers and the chirping of birds then visiting Agodi gardens, is a must do.

The visiting hours spans from

Monday- Thursday : 10:00am- 8:00pm

Friday – Saturday: 10:00am- 9:00pm

Cost

Walking into the garden is free but one might be required to pay for facilities used in the garden.

Related: Top 10 beach resorts in Lagos

Some fun activities that can be engaged in includes

  • A picnic. One can come either alone or with family and friends. The ambience 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.

3) Cocoa House

Cocoa house is an edifice located in Ibadan. It stands 105 meters tall and comprises 26 storeys. It was completed in 1965 with the proceeds from commodities – rubber, Cocoa, the cotton of Western Nigeria. It is owned by Wemabond estates, a subsidiary of the Odua group of companies.

It was once the tallest building in West Africa.

It’s initial name was “Awon ogbe” meaning “house of farmers”.

Location

It is located in the Dugbe area, Ibadan and is unmistakable.

In January 1985, the building was gutted with fire, but it has since been renovated and open for use commercially.

The “skyscraper”, houses major firms, and the last floor is reserved as the Odua museum and hall of fame.

One can visit the building as a tourist.

It is in use commercially, but one can pay a visit to the museum and hall of fame above.

4) Mapo Hall

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

Check out this youtube video on Mapo hall

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

Mapo hall is an important landmark to the natives of Ibaday 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.

Location

The hall is located in the older part of Ibadan town. It’s main entrance overlooks Ogunmola street, facing Mapo Road.

The hall serves as a political or social event venue in the city. It has served as a venue for coronation of several Obas.

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.

Located few minutes away from the hall, is the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan and the Oluloye statue and Dugbe railway station.

The Mapo hall speaks of a rich cultural heritage.

It is managed by the Ibadan local government property company limited.

One can take photos or videos, plan a wedding or go for educational purposes.

Cost

It costs nothing to enter into Mapo Hall. Just make sure proper permission is taken from the care takers.

5) IITA Forest Reserve Ibadan

This stands for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. It is the best and 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.

Location

 It is located at Oyo road, between Ojoo and Muniyan town, Ibadan, Oyo State.

It sprawls over about 350 hectares of land.  It is a centre of rich bio diversity. It is home to about 450 different plant species, 272 birds, 236 butterflies, 48 mammals and about 28 reptiles and amphibians. More are still in discovery.

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 a natural landscaping, and wooded lands, eight lakes, ponds, wetlands and farmlands.

It is best to visit in the rainy season as the forest is in full bloom, and the lush vegetation is better appreciated and the rare migratory birds that stay there albeit temporarily, can be seen.

One can take a forest tour, to learn about different plant species, bird watching, fishing, play golf, take pictures, ride bikes and just listen to nature.

Most of the plant species present in the reserve are medicinal.

The facility also has a hotel and restaurants.

Small programs or conferences can be organized there with adequate permission from the management.

Cost.

Entering the facility is free of charge, but additional costs like a tour guide and other activities may incur cost which will be made known to you.

6) Trans Amusement Park

places to visit in Ibadan

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

It was opened in November 29 1989.

Location

Sango Ojoo road, Ibadan Oyo State.

It features 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.

One can organize a picnic, take pictures and just chill. It’s also very children friendly.

Pete’s bar, a very notable venue to unwind and have fun is also located inside the park. One can have fun and have a good dream or snacks there.

Cost

Gate fee is just #500. Additional expenses may be incurred when taking rides in the park though.

It is best to visit during weekends, when families come with their kids.

7) National Museum Ibadan

This is known as the National Museum of National Unity Ibadan. It was opened on the 12th of April 2002. You cannot talk of places to visit in Ibadan without mentioning this.

Location

It is located along Alesinloye Area, Ibadan, Oyo.

It houses a vast array of cultural artifacts.

Ones Inquisition about the Yoruba history would be sated, following a visit to the museum. It’s one of the top places to visit in Ibadan.The museum is divided into four galleries.

  • 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 and not limited to gongs, beads, xylophones, rattles etc

The Masquerade gallery holds outfits of masqurades and spirits from all over Nigeria. The Eastern “mmanwu” and the Western “egungun”. It also displays the masks worn by the “spirits”.

The pottery gallery, puts on display, a vast collection of ceramic bowls and plates. Example is the Kula.

The Yoruba gallery has relics of ancient Yoruba land and portrays 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 Etcetera.

Visiting this museum, a camera or a phone will come in really useful.

One can visit the galleries, take a history class, or appreciate other beautiful works of art.

Cost.

To gain access to the facility, a ticket fee of #250 for adults is paid and #100 for children.

8) University Of Ibadan Zoological Garden

places to visit in Ibadan

 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.

Location

It is located along Appleton Road, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, and open 7days a week from 8:00am-6:30pm.

It is home to a number of animals, especially endangered species and plants.

Animals range from amphibians, reptiles, monkeys etc.

While visiting, one should carry along his/her camera to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and nature, presented before you.

There are shops in case one gets hungry. The scenery is also ideal for a picnic as there are large trees which provides shade.

Cost

#500 for adults.

Additional #200 if using a phone to take pictures

#1000 if using a professional camera.

#1000 for a tour guide.

9) Irefin Palace Oyo

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

Location

It is located along Beere road 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.

It is said to be built with just mud and timber. This puts people in awe seeing as the building is still standing.

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

Opening hours.

It is open daily from 9:00am-6:00pm.

10) Oke-Ibadan Hill

It is an ancient historical landmark in Ibadan city. It is part of the core history of the people of Ibadan. It is also one of the choice places of interest to visit in Ibadan.

It was formerly known as the Eleleye hill.

According to ancient history, the hill housed the deity that was said to house the deity that protected the people during the war. The deity is “Oke-Ibadan”. 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. It is a must see.

11) NTA (WNTV) Ibadan

This was the first television station in Africa. It was previously known as the Western Nigeria Television and presently Nigeria Television Authority.

It was established in the year 1959.

It is close to the states Government house.

The old buildings and communication devices, used when the station first started, are still there, for sightseeing.

The television station 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.

Palms city Mall Ibadan was built in 2014 by Persianas properties.

Location

It is located on liberty road Oyo.

One can window shop, shop or just take pictures.

13) Ibadan Recreation Club

places to visit in Ibadan

It 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.

Location

It is located at GRA, Ibadan North, Oyo.

It is equipped with sand and tar tennis courts, swimming pool, billiards table and a squash court.

There is a mini restaurant and bar where one can wet ones throat. There’s also a grill where one can purchase barbecue fish and chicken.

It is a safe environment and perfect for engaging in sports or just sightseeing.

Costs may apply in using the facilities at the club.

14) Ibadan Polo Club

Ibadan polo club is located at 1, Leutemock Cantonment Close, off Eleyele Road, Oyo.

Polo is a game played on horseback. It is sometimes referred to as ‘horse back hockey’.

It has a beautiful scenery and perfect for playing or watching polo and hosting events.

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.

15) Old Oyo National Park

 

places to visit in Ibadan

It was named after “Oyo ile” old Oyo.

Location

It is located at the northern part of 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.

It has a variety of Flora and fauna.

The Ogun river, Owu, Owe drain the southern forest while Tessi river, drains the Northern part of the forest.

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

There are lots of fish species to be seen in the rivers and lots of bird species to be seen too.

The park also contains the Ikere gorge dam and other beauties to behold.

It’s a perfect venue for sightseeing, bird watching, fishing and of course taking pictures.

There are applicable costs when entering the park.

Conclusion

Ibadan is a beautiful city and there are so many places to visit in the course of your stay there.

Asides fun and relaxation, one comes out richer in knowledge about the Yoruba culture, and the history of the Ibadan people.

One should be sure to visit one or two of these locations for a thrilling adventure.

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