5 Most Underrated Cities in Nigeria

Abuja, Lagos and Calabar are the most famous cities in Nigeria, but there are many other interesting and fabulous cities that don’t get much love from Nigerians because the popular ones have stolen all the glory and dominated everywhere. These underrated cities are liveable and exciting. You don’t have to wake up 4 am to beat traffic or squander your salary before pay day just because you are living above your what you can afford.

We rated these cities by combination of factors like low cost of living, cheap housing facilities, low crime rates, quality educational facilities and good amenities. Here are 5 most underrated cities in Nigeria that will provide you with the lifestyle that is good enough for you.

1. Enugu

People often forget Enugu because it is not full of drama like Lagos or Abuja. But the city has its own energy and unique beauty. The city is truly comfortable to live because of its laid-back quality of life and Enugu people are really nice. Enugu, popularly known as the ‘coal city’ is blessed with interesting neighbourhood, beautiful attractions and great architecture. Enugu has become one of the liveable cities in Nigeria with improved housing and public transportation. The streets and districts have grown increasingly sophisticated with stylish malls, inclusive bars and clubs, contemporary restaurants and many other amenities. Enugu offers unusual experiences for affordable lifestyle compare to the popular cities.

Coal City Shuttle by Jide Odukoya  Photo by: Jide Odukoya

2. Ibadan

Many people have the notion that Ibadan is still that ancient town with panoramic brick townhouses our fore-fathers lived in. Well, that is no longer the case, there is much more to experience in this metropolis. The underrated city has been reborn in the past few years with upscale neigbourhood, beautiful hotels and restaurants – even local ‘bukas’ such as Mama Ope Buka at Mokola has stepped up its game. Places like Agodi gate has been restructured and no longer as rowdy as it used to be. You will find great street foods – local specialties such as ‘Amala and Ewedu with roundabout meats’ – this makes this city more memorable. Nightlife in Ibadan is exciting, especially in the trendy part of the city – live music, clubs and bars, you will surely be entertained. Low living and housing cost, big business interests – lots of companies ( both local and International) are opening branches in Ibadan. Everything is now bigger and better in Ibadan.

Ibadan  Photo Source:  Adeleke.T on Flickr

3. Ilorin

Ilorin is really a great place for a family to live. The underrated city is blessed with lots of natural resources, beautiful attractions, quality educational facilities, Ilorin University campus, historical relics, modern infrastructures, and low unemployment rate. The city has several health care facilities that cater for its residents. Shopping in Ilorin is supreme, you will find lots of shops and mall. Ilorin is a great place for people who wants a relaxed lifestyle.

Ilorin  Photo Source:  Bukola Saraki on Flickr

4. Onitsha

Onitsha has been booted off most Nigerians’ radar because they think it is boring and undeveloped. However, the city has been  growing quietly and now it is really a warm city where you can enjoy the big metropolis’benefits on a moderate budget. The underrated city is an exciting places to live, it gives a subcontinental thrill and the locals are proud of its charm and laid-back atmosphere. You should see an Ibo guy talk about Onitsha, you will love it. Onitsha is growing rapidly, the city is attraction lots of foreign Industries with huge capital resources. Onitsha has got everything that will give you a comfortable lifestyle, from cheap housing to low cost of living. Maybe that is why the locals love their city so much.

Onitsha Head Bridge  Photo Source:  Jujufilms on Flickr

5. Sokoto

Sokoto is perceived to be unsafe, so it is not surprising that the city is not exactly a place people want to live, work or visit. However, the city is a vibrant city with cosmopolitan vibes. The city is surrounded by interesting sights and attractions, beautiful architecture, scenic lakes and dams, good housing stock and a great neighbourhood development. Sokoto is said to have some of the best road networks in Northern Nigeria. If you love Northern music, art and culture, you will love Sokoto more. Meat is cheaper at Sokoto Meat Market. Sokoto is an exciting place to live.

Sokoto  Photo Source: farago_eva on Flickr

Do you think these cities are underrated? Is your favourite city underrated? Kindly, leave your comments in the box below.


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Our Readers Comments

  1. I actually agree with you,Ilorin is a lively place have been there a couple of time,as for onistsa is a comercial city and d traffic is the same as it is in lagos and ibadan though av not been to Enugu and sokoto but i feel it will be a place to be judging from what people have been saying about the cities

  2. The photographs you pasted for Ibadan and Ilorin do not really convey the message or tell what is happening there now. Both cities are more beautiful and have good places than the pictures you brought here.

    • Life dey very simple! If you get foto for ths places, for ur favourite city abi if u live there, give to them na and stop criticizin them. Naija people! Haba! una dey difficult to please!

  3. Accomodation in Enugu is something else so i suggest enugu should not be on the list.

  4. As 4me i dont agree that Ibadan is underated bcs things are getting better on daily basis

  5. You just under-listed southern state excluding northern state. You just including sokoto for you to be safe from arguing right?

  6. I think Aba in Abia state should not be underrated. Even though there is no presence of governmental development, I still think there are nice places of great beauty without an access roads.

  7. Nice write up.
    You left out Akwa-Ibom. I’ve been there and it’s a beautiful place to be.

  8. Well,with the current emergency situations in the country it’s difficult to try to experiment on adventure of any Nigerian cities, safety First like they say!

  9. dear sir, i have not travel with brithit airways before, ihope to do so now to enjoy my trip to united kingdom thks frm SANDRA .ENO. ANTHONIA. OVBIOLOKUN .ERHINYODAVWE

  10. i preferred Ibadan cities is more underrated and it has
    new look than the pictures send life in Ibadan very simple
    no rushing than Lagos metropolitan

  11. Ibadan is a very peaceful and beautiful place to live, but the picture used was that of 1930. So try to use recent picture please.

    • Akin, I think there is something really unique about that market scene pic; the colourful food stuffs & rusty roofs are all part of the Ibadan magic. We all know Ibadan has more modern images but the tourists are looking for something unique.

  12. Beautiful article,very informative. keep it up.

  13. Soko.. what?, Sokoto? the dirtiest city I’ve ever been to, any visitor’s contact with a town is probably the motor park, visit Sokoto from the park to the market you’ll understand better

  14. I have lived both in Ilorin and Ibadan, cost of living is very cheap especially Ilorin. But i wonder why Ado-Ekiti is not listed among the most expensive cities. Very exurbit ant cost of living! You may invetig ate this claim pls.

  15. Wat of akure, u seriously need to visit akure

    • Thanks for the info

  16. Thanks.
    I love your piece on Onitsha. However, you failed to add that Onitsha is complimented by Asaba, making both quite exciting.
    Nice blog

  17. Why Owerri and Enugu were not mentioned? These are great cities and cost of living are cheaper as well.

  18. Good post,but the pics for ibadan does not align with the write-up.

  19. Hahaha, u guys should not forget,abuja still remain the best city in 9ja that people always feel spending their life time there,well there are some nice cities that can compete with abuja,e.g-akwa ibom,lagos,enugu,calabar,onitsha etc,but abuja still remain the best..!!

  20. As a youth corper, what will make my service years fun and interesting in Sokoto state?

  21. even excomunist european countries are far way more developed than nigeria.how come countries after 45 years of comunism have 24 hours electricity,clean enviroment,low unemployment and cost of living very cheap.for example i was in romania,1 kg of imported oranges is 800 naira and in nigeria imported oranges price is 2200 naira per kg? fuel is more expensive in romania,but food is 40% cheaper than nigeria.one liter of petrol in romania is 1.45 dollars.in romania the government is paying one year 70% of the salary, if a company is hiring unemployed person.for a new born baby,romanian government is giving to the mother 240 dollars per month for one year.in all schools in romania internet is free.in bus station internet is free.romania oil production is 70% less than nigeria.we believed in promises,we voted for promises and we received promises.any explanations for this?

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