Here's a quick look at the top five things to do in Calabar Cross River State!

As you all know I spent about one year in Calabar, Cross River state thanks to NYSC. And I loved every bit of it and wrote all about my service year here. Calabar or Cross River state, in general, is known for its various tourism hubs, with one of the well-known ones being Obudu Cattle Ranch, which I also visited here.  Also, the Calabar Carnival which usually happens during December is known to bring various travelers from Nigeria and across the globe. However, besides those tourist activities what can else one do in Calabar?

Hope Wadell Learning Institute 1895

1. Visit Colonial Buildings

Calabar was Nigeria’s former capital city so there are several colonial buildings scattered across the town. In fact, this was my favorite thing to do over there. I couldn’t pass a building without stopping to take a picture. Once I even saw a building with a chimney. I don’t know about you but there is just something about the colonial building that’s exciting, especially when you think about all the history involved. Unfortunately, a lot of the structures are poorly maintained as several of them are now houses for the residents. Hope Waddell Learning Institute, behind the governor’s office, was one of my favorite spots and is the oldest school in Calabar. You should also Visit Calabar South which is a host to places like Duke town and Creek town, one of the first settlements in Calabar.

 Hope Wadell Learning Institute 

Hope Wadell Learning Institute

2. Beach Market

Beach market comes alive on Thursday and Sunday. You can get all types of fish there at discounted prices. The fish comes in from Akpabuyo and Bakassi which are local Government areas of Cross River state. During my service year each time I was coming back to Abuja, I made sure to stop by and purchase dried fish and crayfish for my mom. I also heard it’s a good place to thrift but I never got lucky the few times I was there. Since it is located in Calabar South, you get to also see various colonial buildings en route the market. To get to the market, take a cab to Watt Market, at the roundabout, enter a Keke to Beach Market. Transportation should be under 300 Naira only.

3. Marina Resort

I found this place to be quite overhyped but if you are ever in Calabar, it’s a good place to visit. They have a vast array of activities that you could do. You could watch a movie at the Filmhouse, visit the slave museum or sit around and enjoy some drinks while eating Suya. Be sure to also take a boat cruise (1500 Naira) to Twin Island. The view in Marina is breath-taking at night too.

Twin Island 

4. Tinapa Resort

Tinapa Resort is a beautiful place with so much potential but sadly it is mismanaged. It is also a nice place to relax and unwind. They recently launched a monorail which can take you to the Calabar International Convention Centre, though I don’t see the point. There used to be a movie theatre that is no longer functional but there is a waterpark there. The best part of Tinapa is the mall TMart. Although it is in such a sorry state, I got a few pieces for 500 each, talk about a bargain. I really hope the government looks into Tinapa because it is sad to see so much potential wasting away.

 TMart Mall

Monorial Tinapa 

Tinapa Lakeside Hotel by Beniboba 

5. Taste the Local Delicacies  

Cross River state is well renounced for their various dishes and what better place to try them than the state of origin. Afang soup and fufu is the major delicacy among the Efik people, you can find it in almost every restaurant. A few of my favourite dishes include Ekpang, Edikangkong Soup, Fisherman stew, White soup, Seafood Okro soup, and Coconut rice among others.

Afang Soup Source

 Have you been to Cross River State or Calabar, what did you enjoy doing there? What’s your favourite dish or activity to do in Calabar?

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  1. Funny how we undermine the wealth we have in our box. I'll do my best to enjoy these places more this year.
    Nice review.

  2. Such a beautiful place! I love that kind of architecture and seaside!


  3. nice piece princess. plus its Edikangikong soup :)

  4. One place I look forward to visiting soon.

  5. Great post!


  6. @thebeautifulEagle Please do girl, I plan to revist one of these days too.

  7. @Jointy&amp, right! I love that kind of architecture as well. Thanks for stopping by

  8. @Unkown thanks for the correction
    @Tamie you'd love it when you do visit
    @Rachel thanks hun

  9. I thought it was just me who thinks the monorail is absolutely unnecessary. It has no economic advantage whatsoever. Just millions of naira sunk into a white elephant project.

    Now that I'm away from home, I think what I miss the most is good food. Lol.

    Lovely post. You should get paid for this.


  10. @DiveintoMauve, your not the only one oh. While the monorail is a good thing, who does it really help. Besides Tinapa is not as lively as before. I wish they had just used to funds to revamp Timart. And the food is what I miss too but luckily I learnt how to prepare a few of the dishes. Thanks for stoppin by maybe in time that could happen.

  11. @Adeola, you would really love it. Thank you