If you are considering visiting Bayelsa and want to know the best things to do in Yenagoa, the state’s capital, this post will give you a rundown of everything I did and every place I went during my two-week stay.
This was my third visit to Bayelsa, and because it was my first visit as a tourist, I felt a different connection to the people and places. I saw and experienced things from a vantage point I’d never had before.
Although I did not get to do everything on my to-do list, I am glad I did get to cross a few things off. Here is my itinerary to help you plan your next trip to Bayelsa!
The Best Things to do in Yenagoa
1. Experience Night Life in Yenagoa
As soon as I arrived in Yenagoa, the first thing I did was check out the local nightlife. After a stressful day, you can unwind at Zero’s Pizza and Grill. You can hang out with friends over bottles of alcohol, barbecue, and/or pizza. I had a nice time with my sister and her friends as we enjoyed a freshly grilled barbecue and some drinks.
2. Go Thrift Shopping at Kpansia Market
Kpansia Market is one of the major markets in Yenagoa, and it is located along the Isaac Boro Expressway. During my time in Yenagoa, I visited this market with my sister to buy some foodstuff, and afterward, we went to the thrift section to buy some thrift shoes. There are a variety of items one can buy here at affordable prices.
Although Kpansia Market is open every day of the week, Saturday is its market day. Make sure to visit on this day if you plan to go thrift shopping.
3. Enjoy an Authentic Yoruba Meal at Amala Gateway
If you enjoy Yoruba meals, you should definitely stop by Amala Gateway to satisfy your taste buds. They serve Yoruba soups as well as other traditional Nigerian dishes such as Afang Soup and Fisherman’s Soup. I went to the restaurant and had Efo Riro for the very first time. You can read all about it in this post.
4. Have a Delicious Ice Cream at Ella’s Creamy
Ella’s Creamy is an unmissable spot in Yenagoa. It’s always in my face on all of my visits, and it goes without saying that this is the best ice cream spot in town.
With a branch along the Isaac Boro Expressway and another along Mbiama-Yenagoa Road, Ella’s Creamy falls within everyone’s reach.
5. Eat Bayelsa’s Legendary Bolè at Hospital Junction
I asked the Bayelsa Twitter community for recommendations on the where to have the best bolè, and someone suggested I have Bolè at Hospital Junction. I put it into consideration right away because I had previously received the same recommendation from another source. Once you are in Yenagoa, you won’t have any trouble finding this location because it is a well-known bole joint. I haven’t had enough bolè experience to have an opinion, but this was good. Really good.
6. Go Book Shopping at Ebitare Book House
Ebitare is a massive bookstore in Yenagoa that even has the potential to be one of the biggest bookstores in Nigeria, however, it doesn’t receive much publicity and is therefore unknown outside of Bayelsa State. I assumed that they liked it that way. If you enjoy reading, this bookstore has a reading area and books in a variety of genres.
Ebitare has a hotel and a salon and they are all located in one place along Mbiama-Yenagoa Road.
7. Visit Oxbow Lake
A list of the best things to do in Yenagoa would not be complete without a visit to Oxbow Lake. As one of the major tourist attractions in Bayelsa, Oxbow Lake is never short of people, especially on weekends.
The Oxbow Lake roundabout features restaurants with the lake’s view behind them. At the time of my visit, the main entrance to the lake was closed for maintenance. However, if you happen to visit when the construction is complete, make sure to have a fun boat ride!
8. Grab a Pizza at Pizeria Bayelsa
Pizeria Bayelsa sat prominently on my list of places to go. I was excited to try their renowned pizza, and it did not disappoint. I also enjoyed their cone ice cream very much. Shawarma, fried chicken, and chips are additional options available here. Pizeria is located along the Isaac Boro Expressway, by PDP Junction.
9. Visit Swali Market
The Swali market is truly the hub for everything because it is the largest market in Bayelsa State. Anything you can’t find in Swali Market is definitely not in Bayelsa. I visited this market because it’s situated beside a river, and I thought I would be able to spot fishermen fishing; instead, I met a young man making a fishing net. He told me that unless I went fishing with the fishermen, I would never be able to see them fishing.
I took advantage of the chance to wander the market, photographing and observing people. I was advised to put my phone away so I didn’t fall a victim, because the market is notorious for theft and pickpockets.
10. Visit the Bayelsa State Heritage Museum
For those who appreciate art and history, the Bayelsa State Heritage Museum is a noteworthy location. This is the location to go to if you want to learn about the state from its inception. The museum is home to monuments and sculptures that showcase the cultural heritage of Bayelsa State.
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11. Drive around the City
Coming from the real ghetto, I found Yenagoa to be beautiful and tranquil. I enjoyed all the times I had to transport from one point to another because it was always smooth. Traffic has really got nothing on this state. Keke Napep, which was incredibly affordable, served as the primary mode of transportation. Abia State really needs to see what her mates are doing.
There you have it. This is a list of the major things I got to do in Bayelsa. Feel free to add them to your list when you visit. I sincerely hope you enjoy the city as much as I did.