Do you think of Abuja as a city of expensive real estate, power and money? You would be right. Furthermore, you could also think of it as the city of rich snobbish kids showing off flashy cars. You’d be right again. However, Abuja is much more than all these.
Recently, I have come to see Abuja for more than just a city of the rich and powerful, made up of outskirts populated by worker ants. The road network is impressive, I mean if only Lagos could borrow a leaf from it. The private gated estates and residences ooze of old money, new money, election money, and aristocratic money in varying degrees everywhere you turn.
More than being just the Federal Capital Territory, a planned city that stuck to its master plan through bulldozers, the sheer force of will and political clout, Abuja is in many cases a splendid city full of natural wonders and man-made beauty alike.
Abuja has a number of great hiking trails. Something not even Lagos can boast of. So when it comes to tourists visiting Nigeria for the first time, Abuja has one over the city of traffic jams. Places, where you can hike in a group or solo in Abuja, include Jabi Lake, Central Wuse 2, Usuma Dam and of course, Dawaki – a layout of rocks and hills.
2. Abuja Arts and Crafts Centre
Nothing says you are a tourist like a little souvenir. Look! I got this from Africa. Okay, but where in Africa though? The Abuja Arts and Craft Village is a really a small village of talented craftsmen who are skilled at working materials with their fingers. They are also adept at producing colourful and intricate works of art. From figurines to paintings, to beaded jewellery, and woven hats and items for interior décor. All of this can be obtained at the Village.
Abuja is not without its parks. To the delight of children and young adults. The Parks in Abuja provide an immediate opportunity for people to leave the house and experience the outdoors. Sure, there are malls and cinemas, but it does get boring.
The Millennium Park, National Children’s Park and Zoo, Abuja Park, Jabi Park, and the International Peace Park among others provide residents and visitors alike a place to appreciate nature. You can also picnic, swim, skate, or simply just sit and talk with friends and family. Of course, there is a host of people who visit the parks for the selfie culture. Not like we judge them. Hashtag, do your thing.
4. Aso Rock
Aso Rock is the city’s most prominent feature. Rising over 400m tall, the monolith is a growing tourist attraction with many taking hiking trips to the rock. Campers and outdoor lovers also have picnics and meetups for Yoga and Dance Fitness sessions at the site of the rock. The seat of the Federal Government is named after Aso Rock and the National Assembly. The Supreme Court and the Presidential Complex are all built around it as well.
5. Luxury Hotels
If you have a taste for luxury and the money to spend on it, Abuja has some of the most luxurious hotels in the country. As you would expect, it is the domain of government lobbyists and international diplomats. Today, some of the Five Star luxury hotels in the nation’s capital include Sheraton Abuja Hotel and Transcorp Hilton Hotel. So whether you are taking family vacations, solo trips, or even a honeymoon, Abuja can provide luxury hotels. Just what you need to spoil and pamper yourselves.