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How to Travel From Lagos to Abuja

A beautiful sunset in a new city
A beautiful sunset in a new city | © Özgür Mülazımoğlu / Flickr
Nigeria’s boisterous entertainment centre and the capital are the country’s two biggest cities, each with equally fascinating attractions. Both Lagos and Abuja offer visitors unforgettable experiences and an itinerary filled with things to see and do. If you’re wondering how to travel between the two, then check out our guide for everything you need to know.
Abuja's Central Mosque © Shiraz Chakera / Flickr

Why you should visit Lagos and Abuja

Abuja, a.k.a the Federal Capital Territory, is strategically located in the centre of the country. It is the citadel of power in Nigeria with an estimated population of 6 million people. It boasts modern parks, top-notch architectural designs, a serene ambience and monumental buildings. There’s a wide range of things to see and do here, such as hiking its numerous hills, kayaking, shopping, fine dining and lots more. Meanwhile, the ever dynamic city of Lagos offers a livelier entertainment scene – with numerous tourist attractions like beaches, Africa’s longest canopy walk, conservation parks, museums, art galleries and lots more.

A view of Tarkwa Beach © Satanoid / Flickr

Travel – what you need to know

All you need to shuttle between Lagos and Abuja, is the determination to travel and a means of transportation – there’s no visa requirement, no border, and no language barrier. If you decide to travel by road, get ready to take in the sights and sounds of a number of other Nigerian states. Also, it’s advisable to prepare for weather changes across states and carry a big scarf or sweater.

Catch a short flight

A typical flight from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos lasts 50 minutes and is the easiest and most convenient way to navigate your journey. The Abuja to Lagos route has been ranked the fourth busiest aircraft route in Africa. It’s popularity boils down to its affordability with an average one way ticket cost put at N30,000 (USD$98).

Jump behind the wheel for a road trip

The distance between Abuja and Lagos by road is 536 km (333 miles). A trip from Lagos to Abuja by road will take approximately 10 hours 30 minutes. However, the time taken to travel by road from Abuja to Lagos is about 9 – 12 hours. The time range depends on the following factors; the driving speed, the condition of the road (expect stretches of bumpy roads), the nature and age of the vehicle, and traffic delays. Traveling by road gives you the opportunity to explore other states in Nigeria and their cultural differences, and to take in some amazing tourist attractions like the Oba of Benin Palace in Edo State, Lord Luggard’s rest house in Lokoja and the dynamic culture of the Akure people. There are also general stops where you can buy local delicacies from the road-side hawkers.

Going on a road trip © Henry Burrows / Flickr

Book a seat on a long-distance bus

Finding a bus that goes to Abuja from Lagos and vice versa is not difficult at all. Almost every bus company in Lagos includes Abuja on their schedules. Some of these bus companies include: Peace Mass Transit, ABC transport, Cross Country, Chisco group, GUO transport, Young Shall Grow Transport, GIGM and many more. Most of these buses are scheduled to leave as early as 6am or 7am so they get to their destinations in time. The price ranges are between N5,000 – 9,000 (USD$15 – 25).