Travel is so critical to my mental health. There's something liberating about leaving the familiar, going somewhere new, and enjoying the moment. It makes me pause and become fully present. I become mindful of my surroundings and have a deeper sense of clarity. All my senses are heightened and even the most mundane things bring me joy.

Sure, I still have to go home and face whatever I'm dealing with but I find myself being more grateful for what I have. The fact that I get to travel makes me incredibly happy because not everyone has that opportunity. I don't take that for granted.

Living in Ibadan for the most part of my childhood, I must say that Ibadan is an untapped sap that needs to be explored more. Ibadan is no doubt an ancient city but what people really do not know is that Ibadan has now seen more modern buildings than it has seen in the past. It’s safe to say that the city is a mixture of both old and new only that the latter happened more recently and is still happening.

Contrary to widely held beliefs, Ibadan is not as local as how people paint it and obviously not as "tush" as Lagos but Ibadan clearly boasts of so many things top of which is the low cost of living. Houses, foodstuffs, and transport costs are relatively low. In Ibadan, you can board a cab for 30naira. I  can imagine the amazement on your face right now😛.


1. Anchor Mall

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

This may not be so hidden however it's still quite new therefore it made the list. Without having to go too far you'll have a wonderful experience. There is a lot to do in this apart from shopping, visitors could play arcade video games, enjoy local and international cuisines, engage in sporting activities like bowling, jumping castle and other kinds of leisure. It is a popular destination for family fun as it offers diverse leisure for visitors to engage in out of preference. There is also a UNISEX salon.

Situated at Oluyole Extension, 1, Zionist Estate, Alao Akala Rd, Ibadan

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

Photo credit: Anchor Mall Ibadan

2. Ado Awaye

Ado Awaye is a community name for two different ancient settlements merged together, "Ado" and "Awaye". Located 20 kilometers west of Iseyin and having to its other bight the Republic of Benin, Ado Awaye is an awe-inspiring town and a home of inimitable wonders. This ancient town in Oyo state is a pride to view as it has a plenitude of naturally happening wonders leaving each guest dumbstruck with amazement.

A suspended lake is one that is formed as an effect of glaciation during the ice age. It is usually suspended on a rock. It is because of disintegration brought about by ice development.

As you look over the hill to the valley below, you cannot but marvel as all you see around you is a breath-taking view of unending luxurious and attractive view. The lush land, the green vegetation, the rooftops of the many houses in various hamlets around the village, the charming mosaic, the interspersing copper colors of rooftops, the forests, the mountains, the soaring blue clouds, and many others are what you would get enchanted by in this scenery.

No two views are the same. In the forests, you could spot a low lying rock that sticks out of the surrounding plant area. It has a relatively flat top that appeared to be alive with activities. Raw and peeled cassava tubers in heaps are laid to one side. A set of open water-filled structures are on another side of this hill. Tour guides will tell you that they are called ‘Iko’ and that is where yam powder is made before they are being packaged in bags and transported to neighboring towns and markets.

There are different landmarks there, namely;

i. Ishage Rock: is the first of the landmarks. This is a large elongate rock boulder well balanced and standing upright on one of its small edges.
Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

ii. Ìyàké Lake: A suspended or hanging lake is one on a mountain, hill or cliff that has no obvious source.

Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

iii.  Agbomofunyake: This is a small hole, filled with water which stands about two meters away from the edge of Iyake Lake. It is said of it also that if anyone dips his feet into the small hole, the person will be sucked through the rock into the bottom of the bigger Iyake Lake.
Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

iv. The Elephant Tree: According to legends, this tree dropped from the sky, and the impact of its fall made it took this form. Although it holds no special power or significance, it is an attractive site that tourists are shown when they visit.

Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

v. Iya Alaro Lake: It is named after an old lady who specializes in dying clothes in Ado Awaye village. The old woman, as the legend goes worships and offers sacrifices to the lake at some specific time of the year.

vi.  Esè àwon Àgbà (Footprints of the elders): a number of indentations can be found. The villagers, however, believe that they belong to ‘elders’ or probably gods who roamed around the mountain.

Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

vii. Esè kan Aiyé Esè kan Òrun (A step between heaven and earth): This is a wide and deep chasm on the mountain separating one part of the mountain from the other part which hosts the peak of the mountain. Here, the rocky slopes along the valley walls, and has only a narrow, very steep and slippery path to link the two parts of this mountain, thereby making it only possible for only the very brave mountain climbers to dare cross this valley.
Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

viii. Maje Kankan Shrine: It is a small crevice that the locals say that any new king to be crowned in the town must come to prostrate and roll on its floor. This is an act of paying obeisance to the gods of the mountain. The floor of this shrine is relatively flat and is covered in soft brown sand.

Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

ix. Iya Oniru Lake: although shallow, never dries up all year-round. It is located on the part of the mountain which homes the peak.

x. Ese kan Iku (Verge of Death): This is a point on the mountain where if you are brave enough to climb to, you can as well scribble your name somewhere. This is to commemorate your brave feat.

Photo Credit: Deedee's Blog

How to get to Ado Awaye

Its a 2 hours 30 minutes drive from Sango, Ibadan
Bus fare; 1300 to iseyin, 300 bus to Ado Awaye
Entrance fee; 1000
Accessible; yes
Tour guide; yes

From Lagos, it takes around one hour and thirty minutes to get to Ibadan. The trip is by road. And if you are an international visitor, you might want to make the trip alone by renting a private/chartered car which you can get straight from the airport but you can also decide to go through public transport.

3. Mapo Hall
Photo Credit: Kollatuneztours

Photo Credit: Negodooz

Photo Credit: Seyekuyinu

Mapo Hall is the colonial-style hall, perked on top of Mapo Hill. It is aforesaid to be the primary government building in Oyo. Mapo Hall was commissioned during the colonial era by Captain Ross in 1929.

Is a colonial architecturally unique edifice situated in the gorgeous Mapo hills, rendering it a famous destination to get a clear view of the old beere district and beyond, sending a transparent impulse of the traditional root of the city? A mini-museum is in this hall that exhibit relics of chains used to hold the tax evaders throughout the colonial era.

Mapo hall is not just a hall!! In recent times, Mapo Hall has been refurbished to wear a new look and is used for conferences. There is a mini-museum which showcases the relics of chains used to hold tax evaders in those days. Inside the hall are photos of all the past Olubadan( Kings) that reigned until date.

The best part is the view from the top. From the top of Mapo hall, you can see a large part of Ibadan city with views of brown roofs. You will surely enjoy the views.

4. Ibadan cultural center
Photo Credit: Atu Samuel Osas

Photo Credit: Atu Samuel Osas

Located on one of the seven hills in Ibadan, the mokola hills. This cultural center exhibits a thrilling figure of theater and artistic work in Nigeria rendering it highly explorable as its also the first cultural center in Nigeria. Without entering the interior, the status and architectural design of this edifice are capable of satisfying the curiosity of respective tourists.

5. Cocoa house

Photo Credit: Oluwakaycee

Photo Credit: Kollatuneztours

The first skyscraper in Africa. Built-in 1965. Cocoa trade was very big back then and the building was built from the proceeds of cocoa trade.

It is special for two reasons. It used to be the tallest building in West Africa and also houses the Odu'a Museum.

On the 25th floor, the Odu'a museum was created to showcase and preserve artifacts from Yoruba culture.

From tools to dressing, the Odu'a museum has it all. There is also a hall of fame that shows off people of Yoruba heritage that have contributed in one way or the other to Nigeria.

6. Agodi Park and Gardens

Photo credit; Ofadaa

Nigerian Blogger, Victoria Oyedepo at Agodi Gardens
Photo Credit; Inside Oyo

Agodi gardens boast a range of recreational activities guests will engage in. With an edifice, playground, water park, zoo, and a forest path. There’s a little bit of something for someone.
The entrance fee into Agodi Gardens is five hundred naira per person.

An extra 500 naira is required in order to gain access to the swimming pool area. In fact, for every activity, a minimum of 500 is required: horse riding is 500, the hoverboard is 500, etc.
There are different restaurants and several shops that sell refreshments. There is also a fully functioning bar at the park.

External drinks aren't allowed into the park, however, external food is allowed.
They also have a local shop where they sell palm wine, pepper soup, asun and other local delicacies.

7. Bowers Tower

Photo credit: Dr. Eunice

Photo credit: Dr. Eunice

Bower’s Tower is located on the summit of Oke-Are, the highest hill in Ibadan, from which one enjoys a commanding view of the city. Oke-Are (The Army General’s Hill) is central to Igbo-Agala (Agala Forest) in Sapati area. The Tower was erected in 1936 as a memorial to Captain Robert Lister Bower, the first British Resident in Ibadan and the Travelling Commissioner for the interior of Yorubaland south-western Nigeria, between 1893 and 1897. It offers a birds-eye read of the town of the city. A nice way to finish any visit is to visit the great town.

For the love, they have for the Tower and for allowing one to see the many wonders of the city from its top the Ibadan natives have attached so much importance to the Tower. They have thus created myths and legends out of it. From the ordinary natives to the learned, scholars and researchers have coined out stories and mythological phrases around “Layipo”, that is The Tower! These became household words and customary slang of the traditional town. These became a part of the daily words and activities of the town. Therefore, it's common to listen to such things as “Whoever comes to Ibadan and has not visited this Tower” (called Layipo) to look at the town doesn't know the city
(Ibadan lo mo, o mo Layipo, you only know Ibadan, you don't know the spiral tower).

8. IITA Forest Reserve

Photo Credit: Afrocentric tours

Photo Credit: Afrocentric tours

Photo Credit: Afrocentric tours

Photo Credit: Afrocentric tours

Photo Credit: Afrocentric tours

This reserve covers 360 hectares of land of the 1000 hectares owned by the International Institutes of Tropical Agriculture, it features numerous and varieties of exotic plants that awe it, visitors. It is well known as a bird watcher's paradise. Over 272 species of birds and 236 butterflies, 48 mammals, 28 reptiles and amphibians are housed in the reserve. However, a lake, birds with various fish is a major attraction.

The reserve also offers and characterized by sporting and recreational facilities like the football pitch, the 9-holes golf course, a swimming pool, and lawn tennis court. The arrays of trees planted strategically within the reserve make traveling additional refreshing. It has a hotel on its premises also chattels a lake.

It is particularly a favorite destination for bird watchers, renowned as bird watchers paradise. It is a great leisure destination for tourists who likes to specifically observe nature and see different species of plants and animals.

9. University of Ibadan Zoo

Photo Credit: Naidrenalin Adventures
One of the oldest tourist attractions in Nigeria dating from 1948, despite it long years of existence it does excite its tourists, especially the first-timer, the varieties of animals found in this zoo makes it unique as the zoo with the most diverse types of animals found in the Federal Republic of Nigeria with monkeys of various species, birds of various sorts, reptiles like snakes, crocodiles and others. Mammals like gorillas, horse, camel, hyenas, warthog, foxes, giraffes (You don't need to travel to Kenya to feed a giraffe😉), lions among others are sights catching animals in this zoo.

Photo Credit: Naidrenalin Adventures

10. National Museum of Unity, Ibadan 

Photo Credit: Punch NG

You can visit this museum for sightseeing, as it showcases the rich cultural heritage of Nigerian, there is a mind-boggling and fascinating collection of objects and galleries which keep the past intact and stimulating. The museum is split into four galleries particularly the unity gallery, the masquerade gallery, the pottery and also the Yoruba gallery every with its distinctive content, the annual records of the tourists within the recent report was over thirteen. It is worth visiting.

Do you know other attraction sites in Ibadan? Kindly share it with us in the comment section.

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