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

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

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

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

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.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. PORT HARCOURT, THE GARDEN CITY AND THE ECONOMIC HUB OF AFRICA.

  2. i think we hv beautiful places

  3. Whao, ibadan, d pace setter. 1st on d list, hw 1daful my city is.

  4. Am pleased to have read this. Today i have known the different cities that has the biggest Cities, most liked, and it economical value.

  5. Most of all in CROSS RIVER my beutiful state

  6. How can you not list Owerri? How?

    • Thank you o! Owerri, the entertainment capital of Nigeria!

  7. 042, The Empire State of Nigeria…she is like a mother, she gave birth to so many Nigerian past, rising and reigning super stars ‘both soccer super stars, movie super stars and music super stars. Many of them started their carriers in coal city before heading to any other cities like Lagos, Abuja and outside the country. Here’s my lil’ anthem for my city. Like mama you birth me, Coal city you nurse me, like teacher you thought me, Hilly City you bred me…If i got a second life, i will still be your son and when i got my first son, i will nick name him Coal city, you will love his serenity just like the Coal city.

    I love you; the city of Life in my city, the city of big ladies and gents…THE CITY OF GREAT KINGS AND PEOPLE!

    • So Loving ur comment!

  8. Warri is the only city mention here that is not a capital city. I’m proud of my Home.

  9. I am proudly Akwa Ibomite. Akwa Ibom ayaiya.

    • We are the real yobeans, what a wonderful? Come on “The young shall Grown”.

  10. I read through your list i travel widely in Nigeria. For what reason is Ibadan on the list and why Kano and Niger or are you doing quota system here? Apart from Abuja, Jos, Enugu, Uyo. Calabar and perhaps Lagos, others shouldn’t make this list. It will also be good to note places of interest in each town.

    • Perhaps Lagos?
      …..and u r evn questioning Ibadan?im not sure u r a Nigerian.
      Anyway…….”Not to know wat happenef before u were born is to remain a child forever”

  11. Ilorin <3 <3 Love my state capital

  12. Am pleased to know we have such a wonderful places in our country

  13. woooooo!!! wat a wwonderfull city. I love my City KANO STATE OF NIGERIA.
    by Sarki Daura””

  14. Wow! Ilorin afonja,gerin Alimi….Proud to be a Kwaran(an ilorite)

  15. Hmmmmmm, I’m happy to see my state calabar among d 12 most loved cities in Nigeria.d state dat hosts Africans biggest street party know as the calabar carnival. I luv my state.

  16. I have travelled wide around Nigeria. Beautiful place, people and good culture. I think i prefer Enugu. It’s really a beautiful city and very lovely people.

  17. I love that your Enugu city. Cool place.

  18. There is no place like home, I love Kano city. Thank God it is among the nice places in Nigeria.

  19. Enugu is a very cool & hospitable city in Nigeria.

  20. And Why is Kogi state not mentioned? O.jo.ro

  21. Na true my sister, Kogi should also made the list of the most loved cities in Nigeria,because the kogites love their city the way it is like this,in the hands of their PDP Gov.

  22. And Why is Kogi state not mentioned?

  23. And Why is Kogi state not mentioned? Pls, kogi suppose to dey there ooo

  24. Portharcourt de center of black oil. I love my city

  25. Enugu coal city is a place to be .. I love my state!

  26. proud to b a Josite, Jos pikin no dullin

  27. Am sure you people got it wrong here in the North for excluding Kaduna….It’s the capital of northern part of the country.

  28. Warri,with much critics and scorn…she could still make the list…Damn!! Am proud of her.Waff! I present no matter the course.”Area Ay”.

  29. Nice and well Mentioned, Hoping for more cities to make the list #upcoming *OSOGBO* nd more

  30. Akwa-Ibom THE LAND OF PROMISE!!!

  31. Ds foto of J’town is an old 1.cos dere r nolonger bikes in d city center

  32. if u any 1 of us mentioned d most loved state in Nigeria without Katsina he made a big sin coz ………..

  33. I like this information full of life, bring about awareness to our environment. Infact over whelm by the submission.Thks.

    Yelola

  34. whateverrrrr still love my Anambra

  35. As an artiste and video director, I traveled a lot across Nigeria,so I guess u are right to some extence,but not 70% right, u omit some beautiful livable and admirable city, when last did u visit akure, or kaduna and some other beautiful cities u didn’t mention here? Nigeria is a blessed country with some fabulous and fantastic great city.

  36. Wow!! More of this please. Is very very educative.

  37. Interesting misses-Kaduna,Akure,Abeokuta and Benin city.Lovely cities.

  38. Ibadan as no 1. is beautiful, I love my state.

  39. Am stil looking for aba, abia state……
    .
    .
    I Dnt think this post is complete ;-)

  40. am very sure the writer, ve never been to owerri, where money is spent. dat city should be on this list.

  41. Jos popularly known as “J TOWN” which is nw J city is the Europe of Naija bcos of it weather n beautiful serenity which includes water falls, hills, rocks, beautiful landscape etc is d number one home of tourism. Places like Lagos ” eko oni baje o” abuja, Calabar, Akwa Ibom, Akure, n Ibadan are also nice

  42. Well, you are not far from the truth, but much is missing regarding my vast traveling experiences. Abuja, Enugu, Calaba, Uyo,Jos are OK. Cities like PH and LAG are popular base on economic status but very stressful places to be. Sir, Ibadan, kano, did not make the list by my rating. I prefer you mention Akure, Kaduna, Asaba. Even Abakiliki of today is a sweet place. Except you are talking about money and population.

  43. Akwa Ibom Ayaya

  44. #042 Is a place to be. very cool, beautiful place and nice people to meet in coal city “iluvENUGU…

  45. Very few other states might be better than 042/Coalcity/Enugu, but the fact still remains that any sincere Nigerian that come across Enugu falls %100 in love with the Coal city…….uncountable non coal city guys have testified. Enugu is awesome. Come and see it yourself. God bless u as u come.

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