It has been proven over time that travelling is one of the ways of relieving stress. Nowadays many people are creating time out of their busy schedules to embark on a short trip to any destination of their choice. I always believe and also tell my friends that over laboured staff reduce productivity. When you continue to do a particular thing over and over again, you will definitely get bored and your performance will reduce drastically.
Visiting places outside our comfort zone gives us a lot of great memories, open y our mind for more ideas and possibilities. The more you travel, the more you get to know how different people live in different parts of the world. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo. God knows that I would grab every opportunity to explore anywhere in this world.
I made one silly mistake last year when I was in Lagos. Did you know that I spent more than 300 days in Lagos and I never cared to visit any tourist attraction? So, from the day I saw Abuja in my NYSC posting letter, I said to myself NEVER AGIN. This time I must explore the capital city like no other.
Abuja is one of the cities in Nigeria that need no introduction. Is it the quietness? Abuja is the coolest city in Nigeria and enjoys nearly zero crime rates. The city is naturally beautiful, the kind that will make you want to spend more days. It is the home of over three million people. Last weekend I explore the city with TravelStart Nigeria Team comprise of Lola of UnravellingNigeria, Amarachi Ekekwe of Travelwithapen, Fola of folaswaka, NaijaNomads and Innocent of TravelstartBlog. I tried to document as much as details as possible so I could share with you my experience.
Where we visited in Abuja
Abuja is a city with both natural and artificial attractions. So, if I say Abuja is a tourist heaven, I am still on the right track. When we look at tourist destinations in Nigeria, Abuja is an underrated destination. I think that’s one of the main reasons why the number one leading travel agency in Africa Travelstart Nigeria decided to tour around the city. If you are in Abuja either for a visit or business, don’t be in a hurry to go because there are lots of places to explore.
Magic Land Amusement Park
Immediately we left the airport, our first stop was at the magic land formerly Wonderland Amusement park. I have been seeing an amusement park in Abuja but there is none like magic land. The park is well equipped with lots of recreational facilities ideal for children and teens. Magicland is located very close to Abuja city gate and directly opposite the National Stadium. We were the first people to access the park that day so we had the park for ourselves before some students on excursion joined us.
At first, I thought we would not be allowed to enter this architectural masterpiece since we were not Muslims but to my greatest surprise, we were allowed to tour around the mosque. The mosque was built around 1984 and it’s located at Independence Avenue close to National Christian center. The national mosque has a conference room that is capable of accommodating about 500 people, library and residential quarters.
National Ecumenical center
At the entrance, I remembered what David Said, I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. The national Christian center build is the definition of architectural craftsmanship. It’s an interdenominational church building that is any church can use it for any Christian activities.
According to the guide, the church was designed by a Nigerian architectural firm and completed by a foreign construction company around 2004. The altar is at the center of the church and `can complete 360 degrees in 10 minutes.
Apart from the pipe organ that is close to the choir stand, one thing that is outstanding is the church windows colours and symbols. Ordinary, when you look at the windows, you will see the red, green and yellow colour. There is a deep meaning behind each of these colours. The trees signify the two trees in the garden of Eden, the stars signify the stars the three wise men followed when Jesus was born, the dove denotes the symbol of the holy spirit. The dove that descended when Jesus was baptized. The bread denotes the two pieces of bread and five fishes Jesus used to perform miracles and the cross is where Jesus was crucified.
The colours have significant. The red stands for the blood of Jesus, the golden colour shows that Heaven is God, white is purity and the green colour is the trees planted by the river side.
National Children Park and Aso Rock
I think we visited the park at the wrong time because some of the animals and birds we saw online was no longer there except for few like Ostriches, goat, cow, buffalo, rabbit, tortoise etc. There is a cool and perfect relaxation point in the zoo. When you are in the park, you will have a clear view of the Aso Rock.
Unlike the Magic land, Millennium Park is the largest and free to use the park in Abuja. Millennium Park is an ideal place for relaxation, recreation, picnic etc. There is a small river that is running through the center of the park. Millennium Park has recreational facilities for children. I really like the walkway and the fountains.
Arts and Crafts Village
If you visit Abuja either for sightseeing or holiday and left without visit the arts and crafts village, you need to come back and tour around the village because your visit is incomplete without a visit to the arts and crafts village. The village is located behind Sheraton hotel in the central Business District. All the art works are locally made by local craftsmen and artist at the village. Though, the buy some of the arts works from Kano and other states. You can buy clothing, sculptures, painting, leather, textile etc. at the village.
How To Get To Abuja
There are several ways or means of transportation you can use to enter Abuja.
The fastest means to reach Abuja is by air. Travel time from Lagos to Abuja is just 1 hour 10 minutes compare to over 10 hours’ drive by road. Gone were the days when travellers broke banks to buy airfare. Today, Travelstart Nigeria has made things so easy and simple with cheap and affordable airfares popping up left and right from their portal. So, coming to Abuja by air shouldn’t be a problem at all. All you have to do is go to travelstart Nigeria booking portal and book the cheapest airfare.
The option here is limited. Only those in Kaduna state can visit Abuja by rail. The train moves from Abuja to Kaduna and back to Abuja same day.
The bus is the most popular mode of transportation in Nigeria. You can choose any transport company of your choice.
Are you planning to visit Abuja? If yes, don’t leave Abuja without visiting one or two tourist attractions.