Abuja, a purpose-built capital city, is the second of the ten most populous cities in Nigeria after Lagos, with a population of about 6 million people as estimated in 2016.
Abuja was the name of Suleja, a town close to Abuja and the indigenous people of Abuja are the Gwari people and Gwari language was the major language.
Abuja was chosen as the federal capital territory because it is in the center of the country as planned since the independence of Nigeria to have its federal capital territory in an area neutral of all major ethnic parties. The construction of Abuja started in the early 1970’s but the government could not move due to political and economic instability, however, the decision to finally move there was made by General Murtala Muhammed in 1976.
The Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian center are the religious sites while the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport serves the city. Abuja is an Influential city in Africa because of the status of Nigeria and has hosted top African international conferences like the 2003 commonwealth heads of government meeting and the 2014 world economic forum meetings (Africa). Abuja is the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) and it also serves as the regional headquarters of OPEC. The city has a lot of fun places and resorts centers, hotels and parks for residents and tourists to relax, have fun and spend time with family and friends. Below are places you should check out and things you should do to have fun in the city of Abuja.
The Millennium Park
The Millennium park Abuja which is located somewhere around the presidential palace, very close to the administrative building is regarded as the best picnic spot in the capital city of Abuja. Inaugurated in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II of England, this pack is said to be the largest in the city and has a river that is divided into two parts running across the center. To get the best experience of this park, pack your drinks, food, picnic mats, and camera, speakers and every other thing you would need to be comfortable and have fun. You don’t need to break the bank to have a picnic at the millennium park as entrance is free for all visitors.
IBB Golf Course
This experience is not for golfers alone, tourists go there to relax, meditate, birdwatch and view the ambience and natural landscape of the environment, you can also watch both professional and leisure golfers play on the property. The IBB golf course is located at Aso drive, beside the Nigerian National Assembly and the presidential villa with about 25 Bridges joining the lands as they have so many streams, ponds and lakes in the landscape. The idea to build a golf course in Abuja was birthed in the early 1980’s when Abuja was made the capital territory, officers had to travel all the way to Lagos to play golf, hence the need for a golf course in Abuja and it was finally Established in 1992.
Eat at Sinoni Restaurant
The best of Chinese meals are prepared and served at Sinoni restaurant by professional Chinese chefs from mainland China. They offer services like private dining, outdoor catering services, extensive wine selection and you can pay with your debit card, credit card or cash. This restaurant which is located at area 11, Garki, offers great services and is open to diners, tourists and wine lovers among others.
Towering at a height of 1,300 ft is the famous Aso rock which is used as an unofficial name for the Nigerian state house and presidential villa. It is the most noticeable feature of the federal capital territory as it can be seen from many angles in the city. It is a good tourist site as it encompasses the 400 meter monolith Aso rock and apart from being the tallest and largest rock in the city, it is a major landmark in the city. It is situated within the outskirts of the city, not too far from the metropolis.
A Boat Ride at Jabi Lake
In a city where there are no rivers or beaches, the closest thing to a beach experience in the city of Abuja is the Jabi lake where you can take boat rides, hang out with your family and friends or have a lone time in the natural habitat. There are activities like a dancing competition, horse rides, beach volleyball, table tennis, and water sports at the lakeside which you can be a part of. Jabi lake attracts tourists, families, couples and fun lovers who are advised not to go near the water if they can not swim.
Visit The Arts And Crafts Village
The arts and crafts village is like a mini museum because it has on display several types of artifacts and crafts work ranging from bead works to paintings and sculptures. It can also be likened to a market as it is said to be the best place to get souvenirs in the federal capital territory, Abuja. The village represents the diversity in the cultural heritage of Nigeria, giving tourists an insight into the beauty that our artifacts and craft works radiate. This center is one of the best hang out spots and is located Behind silverbird galleria in the central business district. The center attracts tourists, artists, curators, historians arts and crafts collectors among others and you might want to bring your friends along plus some cash to purchase an item or two.
National Children's Park And Zoo
If you are visiting Abuja with your children, you should check out the National children’s park and zoo located at Asokoro district, behind the presidential Villa. The Zoo has an impressive collection of domestic animals, reptiles and wild animals such as Zebras, ostriches, camels, crocodiles, elephants and so on. This is a very educative and entertaining place to take your children as they not only get to see a wide range of animals but also learn a thing or two about them. The playground has a lot of exciting children play equipments making it the most interesting place to take your children for fun hangouts in Abuja.
The Mediterranean Hotel
Looking for unlimited fun in the city of Abuja, then you should not forget to stop by this hotel that has all the facilities to offer you exactly what you are looking for. They have restaurants that serve some of the best meals you can get in the city and there is a club for visitors who would like to experience the fun of clubbing. Their bar has a nice collection of drinks, ranging from champagne to wine, cocktails and more. There is an outdoor BBQ every weekend in the premises of the hotel.
This waterfall which is one the the renowned tourists attractions in Nigeria is located in Niger state, not far from Abuja as they share a boundary. The name is said to be derived from a combination of the names of two gods that the Gwari people used to worship, Gura and Rara. The water fall is a destination for fun lovers and tourists as the view at Gurara waterfalls is stunning and you can see a rock formation, flowers and trees. The environment is a good picnic spot and you also get to see animals feeding in their natural habitat.
Visit Eagles Square
A journey to the Nations capital territory would be incomplete if you do not visit the Eagles Square where the biggest events in the country take place. This is where the most prominent government events and programmes take place, from political rallies to religious crusades, ceremonies and other grand activities and gatherings. It was constructed in 1999 and has a large car park that can take about 500 vehicles, making it one of the biggest, if not the biggest even center in Abuja.
I know that you already have a picture of how fun spending time in Abuja would be, but trust me that words are not enough to describe the luxury, ambiance, fun and beauty that awaits you in Abuja. There are both affordable and luxurious hotels in Abuja that would make you feel comfortable and relax at night after your tour of the city.