The ancient city of Ibadan is a city that holds some of the historical treasures and memories of the colonial era in the country.
Founded in 1829, the city of Ibadan was built on 7 hills: Oke padre, Oke Are, Oke Ado, Oke Bola, Oke Mapo, Oke Sapati and Oke Mokola and 7 valleys where the settlers converged: Idi Arere, Idi Ose, Idi Ishin, Idi Ape, Idi Ayunre, Idi Obi, and Idi Ito.
With a population of about 3.5million, Ibadan is the largest city by land in Nigeria and third largest city in Africa, after Cairo and Johannesburg.
Contrary to the belief that Ibadan is the city of brown roofs, there are thousands of modern buildings with beautiful designs and structures. If you are looking for a place to visit for your holidays, honeymoon, vacation or touring the country, then you should definitely search our lists of hotels in Ibadan and visit Ibadan.
Let’s talk about the places you should visit when you are in the city. Here are the top 10 things to do and places to visit in Ibadan.
This is one of the most recent recreational and entertainment centers in the ancient city where people visit to have fun. You might have seen this particular facility in music videos by popular Nigerian artistes without realizing it’s located in the city of Ibadan as most musical videos are believed to be shot in the city of Lagos.
Occupying over 13acres of land, the Agodi gardens is located in the heart of the city of Ibadan with an in house zoo, a large swimming pool, an amusement park and a large space for picnics and hangouts with friends and family. Don’t forget to brace yourself for a boat cruise because there is a river where you can get a boat ride with just a token.
There are about four major malls in the city: Cocoa Heritage Mall, Ibadan City Mall, Ventura mall and Jericho Mall. These are commercial and recreational centers where people troop in and out everyday To engage in different activities. The Ibadan City Mall and Cocoa Heritage Mall has the famous Shoprite and other big supermarkets in the building. These Malls have recreational centers like the Cinemas, eateries, game houses, stalls and boutiques, phone shops and other shopping places where you can get yourself just about anything you want.
IITA FOREST RESERVE
Spread across about 350 hectares of land and situated at the outskirts of the ancient city, The International institute for tropical Agriculture (IITA) forest reserve was established and is being managed by the Natural resource management department of the IITA. The facility is diversified and preserves over 200 species of butterflies, birds, and more than 400 plants used for medicines. To enjoy the tour round the forest, you should be at the facility early enough so as to cover a good distance and have enough time to admire their exotic assortment of plants and animals.
THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
Establised in 1948, the University of Ibadan is a small town in the city and houses over 35,000 residents. The campus is the first in West Africa and boasts of Alumni’s like Wole Soyinka and other dignitaries in the country. The environment and atmosphere of the campus would remind you of a few foreign movies as the structures were constructed by the colonial masters. The university is also home to one of the biggest Zoological gardens in the country with varieties of wild animals. Ranging from mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians. It has a museum within its premises. Don’t forget to stop by the Institute of African studies to catch a glimpse of some historical artifacts and paintings.
Another place you will want to stop by is the famous Mapo hall, the first town hall in Oyo state. After four years of construction the hall was completed and opened in 1929 by one by one of the colonial masters, captain Ross. From the name, Mapo hall, you can tell it is located at one of the 7 hills on which Ibadan was built, Oke Mapo. The Mapo hall has 7 columns and a mini museum. It also has displayed, pictures of all traditional rulers (Olubadan) of Ibadan land till date.
WNTV (NTA Ibadan)
While you are at it, the first Television station in Africa, Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) now known as The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is in the city of Ibadan. The station which was established in 1959 is just a few feet away from the government house and is a sight to behold. The historical station has one of the oldest buildings and broadcasting equipment used for the first TV shows and programmes in the country. There is an in house museum in the station which holds interesting historical memories.
The 26 storey building was built in 1965 using proceeds from cocoa trade and exports by western Nigeria. Formerly known as “Ile awon agbe” meaning “the house of farmers”, the 105m tall building was once the tallest in The African continent. The building was so famous after construction, people travelled from places far and near the city to behold the sight of the cocoa house. Though the building was gutted by fire in 1985, 20 years after its construction, it was renovated in 2006 and activities has since resumed in the building as it now holds important political and recreational activities in the ancient city.
Erected in 1936 at Oke Are, in Igbo Agala, Ibadan, Bowers memorial Tower is over 60ft tall and is the highest point in the city of Ibadan. The structure was erected in memory of Captain Robert Lister Bower, the first British resident of Ibadan and the traveling commissioner for the interior of Yorubaland south-west Nigeria. With 47 spiral staircases, the tower would give you a birds eye view of the city and is a good place to start or end your tour of the city.
Built in the early 90’s, the Irefin palace has about 125 rooms and was built with mud blocks and houses over 300 members of the Irefin Family. It is one of the most famous family compounds in the city and has produced a ruler who constructed a strong fence round the building. The building was one of the major tourist attractions of the city in the early 90’s and has remained so till date.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF UNITY
Located in the heart of the ancient city of Ibadan and opened on the 4th of April 2002, the National museum of unity is home to Priceless historical artifacts from all over the country. This is a good place to explore the rich cultures and history of Nigeria as their collection of arts, culture and history would give you a detailed historical picture of the country. The museum has 4 galleries, the unity gallery : which holds arts from all over the country, the masquerade gallery: holding various masquerade arts and masks from all over the country, the pottery gallery: which consists of a collection of ceramic vessels that served different purposes, and the Yoruba gallery: with arts that depicts the history of the Yoruba race.
Visit Amala joints, bars, restaurants and local markets. These are things to do and places to visit in the city of Ibadan and am sure your stay would be fun and activity filled. Don’t forget to bring your Camera or camera phones so that you can take some memories home with you and share with your loved ones.