Aug 23, 2018
Nigeria’s capital city is more than just a city to do business in. From dramatic rock monoliths to fascinating cultural icons, it’s worth taking some time out of your schedule to explore this intriguing destination.
Starting from the farthest attraction from Fraser Suites Abuja, we’ve planned out a day’s itinerary for you, so read on for some ideas on how to spend a day in Abuja.
Start your day with a picturesque view at the Gurara Falls, a 2-hour drive from Fraser Suites Abuja. At its most impressive, this 30m-high waterfall spans up to 200m across during the rainy season as the whole cliff face is engulfed by a curtain of white water that plunges into the Gurara River below.
During the drier months of October – May, you can take a dip in the clear pools at the bottom of the falls. Besides coming here to admire the rock formations, the Falls are also an ideal spot for birdwatching.
As you head back to city centre, make sure to explore the 725m-high Zuma Rock, located along the main road from Abuja to Kaduna. The full climb will take you 5 hours so do be prepared with the right gear. Keep a lookout for the human face on the monolithic igneous inselberg (erosional remnants made of granite or cooled magma). It is highly revered by the Koro peoples (original occupiers of the rock) as it is considered to be the home for spirits of the dead.
Think you might have seen this rock somewhere else? You’re probably right ─ check your 100-naira note.
If you prefer to combine your exploration of nature with history, opt for a visit to Aso Rock instead. Dominating the city skyline at 400m high, this large outcrop will give you the best vantage point of the surrounding countryside. Attempt a climb if you’re up for a challenge or simply take a leisurely walk around it. Watch the plenary at the nearby National Assembly or tour the Supreme Court and catch the court proceedings. You could even arrange for a tour of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, the official residence of the President of Nigeria.
As you make your way back to the city, how about some shopping in the heart of the CBD? Located just behind popular entertainment hub Silverbird Galleria, shops in this unique market are housed in traditional, round red clay huts with thatched roofs and wooden windows, all showcasing the diversity and indigenous culture of the Nigerians. Catch the artists in action as they work on contemporary African paintings, pottery, sculptures, beaded jewellery, wood crafts, leather bags and more.
Tip: While shopping at the Abuja Arts & Crafts Village, try some of the local food here such as the fried yams with peppered sours or drinks like the fresh palm wine. Alternatively, if you have the time to spare, head to the Bwari Pottery Village where you can watch potters at work and take home some of their creations, which include pitchers, casserole dishes and teapots. This is an hour’s drive away.
Time to work off your lunch by teeing off at the IBB International Golf & Country Club. This 18-hole international standard golf course is one of the most beautiful parkland courses in sub-Saharan Africa, with animals and lakes dotting the lush 101-hectare landscape.
Tip: Pop by The Clubhouse terrace to cool off and refuel while taking in views of Hole 10.
Designed by Manfredi Nicoletti, an Italian architect known for his expertise in architectural ecology and projects such as the Courthouse of Arezzo, this is one of the city’s most beautiful and biggest parks. Inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, the butterfly-filled greenhouses and tropical birds are worthy of a visit. Whether it’s a stroll, ride on the bike or simple picnic you are after, you’ll never run out of options while you are here.
If you have time to spare, take a detour to visit other parks such as the Julius Berger Waterfront Park, Eden Parks & Garden, and Area 1 Recreational Garden, which are all within a 15-minute drive from Millennium Park.
Tip: If you’re feeling peckish after a walk in the park, just a 10-minute drive away is Yahuza Suya, a popular spot serving up authentic Nigerian suya (spicy grilled meat skewers). The chicken suya here is considered one of the best in town.
Immerse yourself in a world of serenity at the Abuja National Mosque. Be wowed by the imposing gilt dome and its four towering minarets, and look out for the calligraphy tiles near the gate as you enter ─ these are actual Arabic religious inscriptions! Located on Independence Avenue across from the neo-gothic designed National Christian Centre, this functions as the headquarters of Nigeria’s Islamic community, with a library, religious school and conference centre all within the complex.
End off your day with a trip to Jabi Lake Park, the closest thing you’ll get to a beach experience in Abuja. Take a cruise or canoe ride on the man-made lake, join in a game of beach volleyball or let your hair down at one of the frequent dancing competitions. If that is not enough, there’s also horse riding and table tennis too. The Jabi Lake Mall is also located right beside the park and opens until 9pm daily.
Head back to your apartment to freshen up before heading out to any one of these options that are all within a 20-minute drive of Fraser Suites Abuja. Just 10 minutes away, visit Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent for its food trucks. You’ll find popular eats such as Chicken Shawarma from Shirley’s Express, The Naija Burger from Johnny Rockets and more.
Alternatively, try Blucabana for your pasta or Lebanese food fix, which opens until midnight on most days. Make sure to taste their popular Veal Cordon Bleu while you’re there. For a dining experience in an exceptional setting, head to Cilantro, which is located within Sarius Palmetum. Surrounded by nature, savour the restaurant’s lovely ambience as you enjoy Indian specialties.
If all that activity during that day has not tired you out, you’ll be glad to know that the city also has several options for night owls.
Dance the night away at The Bank or Sueno, both a 10-minute drive from Fraser Suites Abuja. The Bank is a 24-hour café that turns into a nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays, while Sueno is a great place for tasty food, live music and late-night dancing. If not, head slightly farther out to The Mashoria Arena for the best cocktails and music.
From being awed by nature’s handiwork to dancing the night away, who says Abuja is all business and no pleasure? To top it off, you’ll get to retreat to your own exclusive sanctuary when the day is over if you’re staying at any of our Gold-Standard residences. A brand-new serviced apartment located in the CBD, experience the best of Abuja in comfort and style.