12 Most Loved Cities in Nigeria

Nigeria is a fascinating destination, blessed with amazing cities and towns. Most of these cities and towns are known across the country for their fascinating attractions, beautiful scenery, natural resources and cultural heritage.  Abuja, the capital city is one of the most loved cities in the country. There are other major cities in Nigeria which are very much loved and visited. Some are loved for their homeliness and hospitable demeanour, others are for their economic and business advantages; yet more are loved for their availability of fun, tourism and vacation spots.

We’ve scouted about, dug around and browsed the Internet for recommendations from Nigerians, and tourists, and we still came up with a definitive list of the most loved cities in Nigeria. Therefore, in no particular order, here are the most loved cities in Nigeria to visit:

1. Ibadan

Ibadan (2)

It’s also called the ‘ancient city’ and it’s the state capital of Oyo. It’s described as the biggest city in the whole of West Africa. Located in the south-western part of Nigeria it is densely populated with so many industrial and commercial activities. This city has the first advance learning institution – the University of Ibadan (formally the university college Ibadan), also the first sky scrapper (Cocoa house) and the first teaching hospital in Africa. The city is made up of interwoven streets with local and international markets and malls. This city is known for tourism too, with a remarkable museum in the African study institution, botanical and Zoological garden in Agodi and in the University of Ibadan respectively, Mapo colonial city hall. Life in this town is beautiful with diversity of lifestyle and culture.

2. Abuja

Abuja Residential Area

Nigeria’s Federal capital, Abuja is currently one of the most developed cities in the country. Little wonder it is loved and experiencing alarming levels of immigration. Abuja is Nigeria’s seat of power and it is believed that in Abuja, life is good. Whether rich, middle class or poor, there somehow is a place for all. It is also considered a highly business destination. While in Abuja, experience a different kind of sightseeing that will make your visit memorable. Places like Jabi Lake, Silverbird Cinema and Millennium Park are really cool spots to unwind and have fun. For folks who love to shop, some of the big shopping stores in Abuja will give you value for your money.

3. Jos


‘J town’ as it is popularly called is one of the “cool” and most loved cities in the northern region of Nigeria. Aside from its recent crisis, the city is a lot of fun and people love it particularly for the weather and serene environment. The southern part of Jos is said to be peaceful and the people there are really accommodating. What’s more? The standard of living in Jos is very affordable. It also boasts a number of attractions including two museums, a wildlife park and game reserve, breathtaking waterfalls and striking hills and rocks. Jos is a beautiful town and is a really nice place to raise a family or live.

4. Calabar

Calabar Carnival, Cross River State

Located in South-eastern Nigeria and watered by the Great Kwa and Calabar rivers, the city is home to a variety of attractions such as Obudu Cattle Ranch and Tinapa Resort. The city attracts visitors with its array of tasty delicacies, beautiful architecture and festivals. Every year, Calabar hosts Africa’s biggest street party known as the Calabar Carnival, where diverse colourful cultural costumes are displayed. There’s never a dull moment in this carnival. For indigenous vacation in Nigeria, Calabar is often the first location that comes to people’s mind. The city boasts of several other attractions including an integrated sports complex, a free trade zone and Port and an international air and sea port among many others.

5. Minna

Minna                       Photo Source: Juju Films on Flickr

Located in the west central part of Nigeria, Minna is a quiet and loveable commercial city. This beautiful town was a collection point for agricultural produce way back then. According to history, Minna was a labour camp for railway construction and this led to the gradual development of the town to now a major commercial city. The populace in this area are involved in all sorts of farming. This town is not densely populated and it has a blend of several cultures and life styles. Minna has some notable tourist sites to her name amongst which are the Gurara falls, Baro port (which was used in the colonial days for transport), The Wushishi Transway engine (First railway Locomotive engine and others like Kainji lake national park that is not so far from the city. Electricity is very constant because of the proximity of the Kainji Dam to the town. Food, accommodation, transport and general life style here is quite affordable.

6. Enugu

Enugu CIty

Popularly known as ‘coal city’, a pseudonym that was given to Enugu due to its mining activities.. Located at the south-eastern part of Nigeria, it’s the state capital of Enugu. It’s described as one of the oldest urban areas within the region. Her populace are involved in agriculture, besides the mining of coal and other solid minerals. Enugu is loved by so many not just for ‘coal’ but for its notable tourist destinations like Nike Holiday Resort, Iva Valley (coal mine) and the famous Nmanwu Cultural Festival. The road network here is well designed with so many state of the art buildings (complexes and malls). In general, it is highly commercialised and life in Enugu is like living on a fast lane.

7. Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt is a coastal city with scenic shorelines. This city as described by tourist is a “centre of black jewel (oil)”. It is known as the Garden city because of its greenery and aesthetic parks within the metropolis. This city is the state capital of Rivers located in the south-south region of Nigeria. This town is known for its level of commerce as far back as 1912 due to the presence of the sea port (used for exports). This city is densely populated and full of industrial activities. It is home to so many multinational companies, most of which are affiliated to oil and gas. Port-Harcourt city is loved for numerous reasons but most for its wealth as a result of oil. She is home to many tourist sites such as Sea Ports, Isaac Boro Park, Monument of Jaja, Bony Island, Ifoko Beach, the oil refineries, the tourist beach etc. The standard of living here is high and this spans across food, shelter and clothing. The city is well known for its lively and dynamic nightlife.

8. Uyo

Jos                        Photo Source: Jae Pete on Flickr

Once adjudged the neatest city in Nigeria, Uyo is a cool, calm, classy and serene destination. Also in South-eastern Nigeria, it is the capital of Akwa Ibom, a major oil producing state in the country. The city is loved for its peace and serenity among other things. Although life in Uyo is quite expensive, people don’t mind because of the low crime and crisis rate. The inhabitants are predominantly farmers and traders. With the increased level of infrastructural growth and human development, Uyo is definitely a place to look out for. The Ibom connection and Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Ibom Tropicana Resort and other projects under construction are some of the soon to be bubbling spots in the area.

9. Kano

Durbar Festiva, Kano State

The city of Kano is the capital of Kano state in Northern Nigeria. The second largest city in Nigeria, Kano is the second major seat of the Hausas/Fulanis, the other being Sokoto. Kano is an ancient city and is the pride of most Northerners. The city boasts an international airport and a number of tourist attractions including Bagauda Lake/Tiga Lake Resort Man-made, Tourist Camp, Audu Bako Zoo, Gidan Makama Museum Monument/Museum and Kofar Mata Dyeing Pit among others. The major festival is the Durbar festival hosted by the Emir of Kano to mark and celebrate the two annual Muslim festivals Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The majority of the populace are farmers which is no surprise since Kano is considered the most extensively irrigated with over 3 million hectares of land suitable for cultivation.

10. Warri


It’s one of the biggest cities In Delta state. Located on the Lower Niger/Delta coast line. Its not the state capital but it’s more popular and has a lot of history compared to Asaba the capital. Its an old town known for oil production and the presence of the traditional kingdom Warri, dated back as far as the 15th and 16th century. Its a port town that has a lot of industrial activities (oil and steel). People from this notable town are called wafarians, known for business and tourism. The presence of oil has a ripple effect on its commerce. Tourism here is huge as tourist are exposed to attractions like the palace of the Olu of Warri, Nama palace, Koko Red Mangrove Swamp, Effurun Garden Park, beaches and resorts.

11. Lagos


It’s the most populous city in according to population census. It is also known as the economic capital of Nigeria. This mega city is separated by water bodies into two main parts (Island and Mainland). It is located in the south-western part of Nigeria. Lagos is known for commerce, filled with industries from all economic sectors. The road network is next to none and it boasts of a good number of tall buildings and sky scrappers. The nightlife in this city is as busy as the day, painted with a lot malls, clubs, restaurants and bars. Visitors will always have a first class experience in terms of buying and selling. Lagos has local and international markets of all kind. The coastline makes Lagos a ravishing beauty!

12. Ilorin


Ilorin is a very interesting city. It’s a city that has not really being in the lime light but is surprisingly one of the largest cities in Nigeria. The capital of Kwara, Ilorin is located in the North Central region of the country. As quiet as Ilorin seems, it has an international cargo airport, a 20,000 capacity stadium and the only standard base ball Court in West Africa. Ilorin is also home to several prominent “learned” men and women as the legal profession is really strong there. Ilorin is blessed with several natural resources and the standard of living is affordable. Pottery and traditional textile industry among others are thriving businesses there also. Tourist attractions in the area include the Esie museum and the stately Sobi Hill; and that is why it is one of the most loved cities in Nigeria.

Posts by the Travelstart Blogmaster come from a variety of contributors to this blog. Find Travelstart on G+

204 thoughts on “12 Most Loved Cities in Nigeria

  1. I Rep cool City state(Enugu)anyways proudly Nigerian…..God bless Nigeria

  2. Mx representer to the fullest. I carry my city on ma back. No hesitation no complain. Niger is amazing. Good peoples!

  3. Uyo Ado Ok!!!. The fastest growing city in Nigeria.

  4. ewo, d only thing in warri is their slank, and jaguda, i use to stay in warri, infact i grew up therei left warri 2006, u will not compare warri to benin in any way pllllsssss, may be shld com and take u round benin metropolise u will beg to stay back, interms of light we dey, infraustructure we dey, pls o dont measure warri to benin, am not supprise warri is like dat the state capital of delta state is worst no light at all, everybdy na generator, they even charge bateries and phn 50 per one with generator, too, poor bad governance, calabar is the most finest and neatest city in d whole of nigeria.

    • abeg tell dem.

    • Did u get to read d headline b4 making conclusion about warri being a slank? What has Benin got? Proudly wafarian!!!!

  5. Maiduduri i love my state (home of peace)

  6. Detailing Obudu cattle ranch as being in Calabar is incorrect. The ranch is located in Obanliku local Government area which was formerly part of Obudu in Cross River State. That’s about 6 hours by road from Calabar.

  7. My home town Uyo is worth the trouble these days and my favourite town Calabar also makes the list. Then has Owerri become so bad that it could not get a look in?

  8. Even Kaduna is not there. I thought it could have been ahead of Minna

  9. Jos the only state in the country known to be the largest and only producers of agricultural produce like fresh fruits & vegetable, the that produces cabbage,lettuce,carrot,bitrude etc in nigeria.

  10. What about Taraba State, the nature’s gift to nation, home of peace. I am pround of TRS.

  11. 042 is the best. The pride of the East. Enugu bu Obodo oyibo.

  12. Owerri should be on the list, it has one of the most beatiful hotels in the country.

  13. What of Onitsha in Anambra state where you have the largest market in west Africa,that attracts thousands of visitors in and out of Nigeria.

  14. This Benin City, Abeokuta and Kaduna deserve to be in this list iver Warri, Kano and Minna. If u say mist loved, you need to register the fun, living experiences and kind of people you’ll find in these places. Warri and Minna are kinda dry especially for indigenes not to talk of visitors. Kano is much less exciting and homely as KD! With these the list is complete!

  15. ABEOKUTA…. d emerging city of OGUN STATE….very peaceful

  16. Aba should be there. Atleast show the world how developed Aba is.

  17. Anambra is the best city!Home 4 all,also Nigeria dubai

    • Close ur mouth there lilian , what do u mean anambra
      Is the dubai of nigeria, that’s a big lie
      That state is the worst state ever, there girls is the most unfaithful as far nigeria is corncen, when its comes to blood money anambra is always there to represent, a state where they feel no other tribe in nigeria is better than them, anambra women are been sold into marriages and last but not the lest they have the wost belive. There quest for money is too much. I hate igbo generally they are just mistakes to this great country.

    • Anambra, Hmmmm home of robbers

  18. Ilorin is on the list it should have come before Minna. Kaduna is not on the list it should also have come before Minna. I have been to these cities and know the difference.

  19. Ilorin should be the first on list.Dont hear from me, come and withness it cos its really Good here.

  20. Funniest joke that I have heard lately ‘maiduguri, home of peace’.

  21. I wish I will have the time and resources to visit and explore all these places mentioned and those not mentioned. this write up really make me love Nigeria again. Long live my father land.

  22. I love ma state. Am Proudly Akwa ibomite. Long live Uyo! Long live Akwa ibom!! Long live NIGERIA!!!

  23. ibadan the largest city in west Africa.. Ibadan the city of the heroes

  24. Warri is not not included please.

  25. Because that picture is not even in this Warri am living in. Most of the companies you are talking about have relocated to port Harcourt because of these communities boys and their wahala.

    • Warri is the best in whole of south south or shud I say warri and it’s environ(ughelli, effurun, ogunu, osunbi) bcos it’s like we 4got warri is used to call any whr in Delta state dat is not Asaba just like d Lagosians do

  26. Its a lie guy benin is a dead town no light, water, no road and dust everywhere. U can’t compare warri to benin at all

  27. J twn we d bst….am jostified…

  28. Nnah nawa oooh,see this people oooh a whole Nigerian Dubia(Anambra State -Obodo Oma) not in the list,maka Y? In fact list INVALID,try again later

  29. Jtown is 4 real a tourist and agricultural state.a home of peace & tourism,a home 4 all.

  30. All of us busy clamoring for our states, lets tell ourselves the truth. where is Lagos in this list if the list is as authentic as the blogger makes it out to be? I’m not biased. I live in abuja and come from akwa ibom and schooled in uniport and all these places made the list but the absence of Lagos simply tells me this fellow is just writing for writing sake. 10 ‘most loved’ cities in Nigeria and you don’t mention Lagos? Haba.

    • My dear Dexter, Are you sure you read it all? Lagos is number 11 on the list. And the list is in no particular order.

  31. The greatest market that has sustained Nigeria, Onitsha is missing in the roll call. Why? May be traders are not tourists. What of all the foreigners that are attracted to Nigeria by Otu Onitsha?

  32. good thinking good product. very objective analysis. waooo minna made the list. pls for the critics of the choice come and see for yourselves and you will not regret you did.

  33. Why is the seat of the caliphate not there?

  34. How can you finish this write up without mentioning the seat of caliphate? It should be ahead of warri and ilori

  35. the exclusion of Benin City the craddle of black civilization a moated city with the widest ring raod in the whole of West Africa, the City of bronze the father of many towns and cities including Lagos n Warri list is erroneous.

  36. without Benin City the City of enjoyment in d list it is incomplete.

  37. what of ABA the japan of Africa. a commercial city with a difference. in abia state. Despite that we don’t have road but we still on producing.

  38. Nice one. Perfect description 4 ilorin. It’s good here

  39. Ilu tojinna sinna tosumma Aljanna ilorin ni wao nic one

  40. Best position for the IB’s always on top.

  41. All these beautiful cities that was analysed, what about ehimba city?(ABA)

  42. In Warri we go all it takes to feed d Nation, from farm produce to iron and steel and even to crude oil and not to talk of our ports. We are Mini-Nigeria with great potential. Infact we top d list if it were to b in order.

  43. One most worst city in Nigeria: Aba! Pls show the world the evil of some Governors in Nigeria. Aba stinks!!

  44. I luv my capital ilorin

  45. Uyo and calabar? You’ve made a wonderful selection. Those cities are paradise on earth, a place one need to visit. Weldone for including them in the list.

  46. I hv not seen my kada state, dis survey is not complet without mentioning kaduna state, de centre for learning.

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