Generally, we Nigerians love to have fun. This we do especially on weekends, after a hectic work week. So usually, we go to the cinema or go to some restaurant of musical concert. And then sometimes due to the unavailability of funds, one may not be able to visit these places.
However, do you know that you could have a whole lot of fun, while improving your knowledge of the world around you. Well that’s what visiting a museum will do for you. The most beautiful thing about this is that most of them charge ridiculously low prices, and some are even free.
Of course, there are more than ten museums in Nigeria, scattered all over the country. So no matter where you are, there should be one not too far from where you stay. Here is the list of the best museums in Nigeria in no particular order
Top Museums in Nigeria
Benin City National Museum
This museum is located in Benin City, the capital of Edo State. Edo state is located somewhere on the fringes of both South western and South Eastern Nigeria. This museum is largely dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Bini Empire. Here you’ll see, the metal works (majorly Bronze) of the old Bini people. The relics from some other old Nigerian civilizations are here. Like Bronze heads from Nok arts. The museum was formerly located in the Oba’s palace until later when it was made public. The museum is located at Rings Road Roundabout, at the heart of Benin City.
Nigerian National Museum Lagos
This museum is not dedicated in particular to showing the history of a particular tribe. It shows the history of Nigeria as a whole. The museum was founded in 1975, and it holds sculptures, and other archaeological items, which are particular to this side of the world. It has a bit of everything, from metal works, to monuments of idols and old carvings. It is located along Awolowo Road, Onikan Lagos. It is open from 6am to 6pm every day.
Jos is located at the Northern part of the country. It is said to be among the coldest places in Nigeria. Well the Jos museum is located close to the Jos Zoo. The museum was founded in 1952. It is particularly dedicated to showcasing the work of arts of the Jos ancient dwellers. You’ll also find bronze heads from Nok here, and a collection of earthen ware from various parts of Nigeria.
National War Museum Umuahia
As the name implies, it is a war museum. It was dedicated to the casualties of Nigeria civil war. Here you’ll see the creativity of the Igbo tribe during the Nigerian civil war. The war museum is located at Ojukwu’s bunker, which housed Radio Biafra during the war. At the museum you’ll see remnants of the war such as armoured tanks, Ogbunigwe (an explosive made by the Biafran side during the war), and many other war implements. It also contains relics of older conflicts like the 1929 Aba women riot. The museum is located in Abia State and is considered the topmost tourism site in Abia state. The museum starts accepting visitors at 10:00am in the morning and closes at 6:00pm.
National Museum Kaduna
It is located at Ali Akilu Road, Ungwan Sarki, just opposite the palace of Emir of Zazzau. It is home to bits of crafts, ethnography and archaeology. Kaduna museum contains artefacts from some of Nigeria’s oldest civilizations, Nok Bronze heads and Igbo-Ukwu art. The Museum is located at the centre of an arts and crafts centre. Here you can see crafts men and women manipulating wet sand, until they become something beautiful. This museum was established in 1975.
Kano museum is also known as Gidan Makama museum. Sited in a 500-year-old Emir’s palace, this museum is dedicated to displaying and preserving the history of Kano, Nigeria’s most populous city. It shows the history of the Kano people such as their religion, economic activities, music, pre and post colonial political figures. Some of the artefacts are in pictures, while some of them are live. In this museum you’ll learn about the history of the Hausa people. Perhaps one of the most attractive features of this place is it’s exhibition of the Hausa architecture. Of which the museum building itself, is one. The museum is divided into 11 galleries, and each gallery highlights something different.
Kanta Museum Kebbi
Oopened in July 1958 and this museum, is a tangible collection of the history of Kebbi State. The museum was once the palace of the Emir of Kebbi. Kebbi has had a violent past, and here we will see some of the testaments. Such as guns, bow and arrow, talisman and other war implements.
Owo Museum Ondo
This museum is located in Owo, a popular town in Ondo state. The museum houses artefacts which were unearthed in the Owo area in 1969-1971, by an archaeologist named Ekpo Eyo. It also contains artefacts, which were formerly kept at the King’s palace. Owo museum also contains artefacts that trace their root to Benin and Ife.
Esie Museum Kwara
This was the first museum to be opened in Nigeria, it was opened in 1945, in Igbomina Kwara State. It has artefacts from as far back as the 17th century. At the Esie museum, you’ll find the largest collection of soap stone artefacts in the world. Esie museum also boasts a large playground. So if you come with children, they’ll find this place very exciting.
Nigerian National Museum of Colonial History Abia
The building where this museum is located was first use as a trading post in the 18th century during the slave trade. The arts here are majorly related to Nigeria’s colonial era and her journey to independence. Here you will find chains, which were used to chain slaves, old currencies and relics of other long abolished practices. The Museum of Colonial history is located at 6 Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba, Abia state.
So here you have it, these are the most popular museums in Nigeria. If you are a tourist, or a lover of art and history, these places will be great to visit. Some of these museums are not in great shapes, none the less, you will learn a lot if you visit. And they are spread everywhere across the country. So no matter where you are, there’s something for you.