Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, is huge, complex and can be confusing at times even for its residents. With millions of people, from the city centre to the suburbs, striving to make ends meet, there’s seemingly limited time for fun. That is why it is wise to make the best out of it when you can find the time for fun.
It is virtually impossible to take in all that the city has to offer, but there are places you can find calm amidst the hustle and bustle. You can enjoy inner peace and tranquility without having to go back to the same old places. Either visiting or residing in the city, there’s something for everybody if you’re willing to look.
With Abuja’s array of activities and locales in mind, PREMIUM TIMES has rounded up 10 coolest places to chill out in the city. From classic landmarks to new hot-spots, we think everywhere on this list is worth a visit.
“Luxury” can be ambiguous but when it comes to Dunes Center, it means making your dreams come true. From original antiques and gift shops to quality boutiques, as well as a supermarket, pastry shop and world class restaurant, Dunes is carefully chosen to define luxury. Dunes is a topnotch place to be during festive periods, vacations, romantic outings or just for sightseeing. While coming, make sure you are with your family, friends and loved ones but most importantly your phones and gadgets so as to click away at memorable moments you are sure to make at this cynosure of attraction. And don’t be surprised if you run into the “Kukere” crooner, Iyanya, who is the current brand ambassador of Dunes. Location: 44, Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama.
- Sky Bar Rooftop Lounge
Do you want to hang out in a place that’s a little more quiet, romantic and private, as well as have a top view of the entire capital city? If yes, the Sky Bar Rooftop Lounge is the ideal spot. You and your loved ones will be swept off your feet by the stunning view of the city. They have a very rich menu ranging from salads to foreign foods and an impressive selection of African dishes. Their service might not be as fast as your normal eatery, but you won’t even notice because you’ll be carried away by the ambience. They play the kind of music that soothes the soul. In all, this is the perfect spot for couples to rekindle the fire of love. Location: Summerset Continental Hotel, 73 Usuma Street, Maitama.
- Vines Hotel
Vines Hotel is an unsoiled and comfortable hotel offering value and coziness. The rooms are tastefully decorated, the furniture polished and they have modern amenities. In this hotel, it’s absolutely quality over quantity. Vines Hotel is a unique hospitality outfit tucked away in the quiet Durumi District of the city of Abuja. They have one of the rarest customer services in the city. If you are staying for a long duration, you will be given discounts on hotel rates. This is a sure place to cool off and hide away from the stress of the day during vacations or just to chill out.
Location: No.6, Okene Street, Off Moshood Abiola Road, Off Ogun Street, Area 2, Garki.
- Usuman Dam
The dam is a little wonder the capital city hides; it has a peaceful and quiet setting and offers amazing view of mountains and hillsides. If you are looking for an opportunity to have a feel of nature with your loved ones, then Usuman Dam is the place to be. It is cased in a natural and breathtaking surrounding which cannot be ignored from the undulating landslides to its sizzling rock formation crowned with the interesting cleaves and savanna vegetation.
It is located 25km from Abuja on the Kaduna highway, 6km up the Bwari road. The common vegetation in the area is shrub savanna.
- Millennium Park
Millennium Park offers one of the best spots for a picnic in Abuja. Evenings are especially nice to enjoy the beautiful lights at the park.
Parking is plentiful and the park’s entrance is off the Three Arms Zone road.
Millennium Park offers visitors opportunity to savor the freedom and freshness that nature offers.
At weekends, visitors can frequent the garden to relax.
Carry along a food basket, a blanket and a bottle of wine; then you are set to have a time of your life at Millenium Park.
- Koraf Apartments and Hotels
Located at the foot of Dawaki Hills in Abuja, Koraf Hotels and Apartments is an inexpensive and vibrant lodging set of apartments with a tranquil setting, picturesque and impressive environment. Unsurprisingly, what makes Koraf a special hangout spot is not just the hotel itself or the beautiful apartments it offers, but the natural surroundings, quiet nature which is beset with rocks and green vegetation. You can share a bottle of wine with your loved ones here while enjoying a view of the city through the Dawaki hillside stretching out in front of you.
Location: Plot A13, Dawaki Extension 1, Off Kubwa Expressway, Opposite Gwarimpa Estate
- Gurara Falls
Gurara falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Abuja. The fall has amazing scenes of rock formations together with beautiful flora of evergreen trees and bushes, rivers, ponds and waterfalls all around you. Gurara river is a large tributary of river Niger and is always in full spate during the rain seasons.
It is the perfect place to have a quiet time away from the economic recession. It is located between Suleja, just on the edge of Abuja, and Minna, the Niger state capital.
The beautiful thing about this trip is that you can make a stopover at the famous Zuma Rock in Suleja. It is a double barreled fun trip.
- Jabi Lake/ Jabi Lake Mall
Encircled in a sea of water and gorgeous scenery, Jabi Lake offers the closest to beach experience within the city.
It offers amenities like speed boat rides, canoe rides as well as other water sports to shake off your aqua phobia while you are on board. Jabi Lake Mall is the most recent addition to the Jabi Lake environs, housing the Jabi Shoprite and others. It is situated on 5 hectares of land on the eastern shore of the Jabi Lake.
While visiting Jabi Lake, stroll into the magnificent mall and feed your eyes to a feast of products available in stores all located within the mall. No doubt, nothing beats a day at Jabi lake, it has the full package when it comes to having fun.
- Pedam Lake:
Not quite popular but this is one of the most unique natural settings in Abuja. It lies behind the Presidential Villa, sprawling towards Nasarawa state. It is not well developed for tourism. However, it is the perfect place for those looking for extreme adventure. It is accessible through the Abuja Park and Zoo or through some other less known routes from Udoma Street in Asokoro.
- Abacha Fish Market
There are days you want to eat something fishy. On these days, you’d be well-advised to head to Abacha Fish Market. Whether cooked or barbecued fish, Abacha Fish Market is the place to be for fish lovers in and around Abuja. Drinks here are at very affordable rates. It’s the perfect rendezvous when you just want a casual evening hangout with friends.
Located at Mogadishu Cantonment in Abacha Barracks along Karu/Nyanya expressway, this is the most popular place for all kinds of fish cuisine.
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