Kano travel guide | where to go, what to do, where to stay |
City & Town

Kano city travel guide

Kano Travel Guides: With a population of more than 9 million, Kano City is the third largest city in Nigeria in terms of geographical size, after Ibadan and Lagos.

Historically, Kano has been a centre of trade especially towards the North across the Sahara and South to Zaria and it is currently the largest city in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Kano is one of the nicest cities to visit in Nigeria. It has been one of the most important trading towns for the Hausa, who had a big empire in the 18th and 19th century and are still one of the most influential people in Nigeria.

It’s a bustling and interesting city that has grown at a frenzied pace in recent years.

Formerly walled, most of the gates to the old city survived. The Old City houses the big Kurmi Market, known for its crafts, while old dye pits – still in use – lie nearby. Also in the Old City are the Emir’s Palace, the Great Mosque, and the Gidan Makama Mosque.

Public Notice:

Due to the recent violent attacks in Kano and some other part of northern Nigeria cities/towns, visitors are advised not to travel up north for safety purpose. Please wait until you are told to do so by the Nigerian security agency.

The Durbar Festival: Kano State Durbar or Hawan Sallah as it’s locally called is a royal parade of thousands of men on horses adorned with garments and regalia. It is a colourful display of culture full of pomp and pageantry. A spectacular traditional concert of and bazaar of African music.

Kofar Matar Dyeing Pits: The Kano indigo-vegetable dyeing pits are one of the most fascinating aspects of the old city. Various designs are folded into the material before dyeing and the fabric is often beaten to achieve the shiny, indescent appearance. The techniques employed to obtain this look are unmatched around the world. And, although the methods they use are ancient, these lush works of art on fabric always remain extremely popular and continue to be in great demand.

Kano State History Museum: This history museum at Gidan Dan Hausa house has a collection of artefacts from stone age to present day within the colonial house of the governor from the 1900′s. A friendly tour guide will explain all objects to tourists.

Kano City Gates & Walls: During the reign of Sarkin Kano Usman Giji Masu Dan Wasiri, the grandson of Bagauda, the third King in the Habe dynasty he decided to build and surround the ancient city with a wall as protection against external invaders. This was the year 1112 AD!

Emir of Kano’s Palace, Kano: Also known as “a settlement within a settlement”, the palace was created by Abudullahi Bayero, the father of present Alhaji Ado Bayero (Emir of Kano). This present day Emir of Kano’s palace provides an insight into the typical Hausa architectural design that has been existence for well over five hundred years.

Gidan Dan Hausa, Kano: This is an excellent example of Hausa traditional mud-walled architecture which was built in 1905 as the former and restored home of Hans Vischer, a Swiss – born teacher who contributed much to Nigeria’s education system during colonial times. He was appointed Director of Education for Northern Nigeria by the colonial authorities and by 1914 had established over 1,000 primary schools in the north including one in the grounds of the house. He was known as “Dan Hausa” “son of Hausa” because he spoke the language so well. Today the house is an interesting museum with rooms dedicated to arts and crafts, Durbar costumes and gowns previously worn by Emirs.

Gidan Makama Museum: Located opposite the Emirs Palace, Gidan Makama is a palace built in the 15th century by the 20th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Rumfa (1463-1499). The well maintained compound is great example of the palaces built by the aristocrats who ruled the medieval Sahel. The building’s windows were designed to maximize ventilation and the pillars and gateways are decorated with geometric designs picked out in white. Inside the rooms, white-painted ribs and columns support roofs of split palm wood.

Dala & Goron Dustse Hills: The two hills are undulating landscape around Kano, both within the circumference of the walled city. The two hills provide full view of the horizon around the state capital from their tops. Hence, visitors often climb the hills for what may be described as the aerial view of Kano city and the expansive land beyond.

Mallam Kato Square, Kano: This square in Kano metropolis is a recreation centre erected on a piece of land initially settled by a Quranic mallam who, when displaced by the British colonial powers, prophesized that no Hausa would b erected there.

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Tantalizers outlets: This is a top brand fast-food outlet that are all over the country. Their outlets serves continental and local delicacies, and often have separate sections for them. Address: Almost everywhere in the city Tel: +234 N/A

Mr Bigg’s: This is another popular fast food chain with outlets across the state as well as the country serving pastries, snacks, burgers and hot meals to families, teenagers, and corporate customers for nearly twenty five years. Address: Check out their website for outlet details.

Kurmi Market: Kurmi market is one of Africa’s oldest local market. It is located in the old city and is a maze of narrow alleys where you can find pretty much anything, shop for everything from carvings, calabashes, to to jewellery, brassworks, leather goods and pottery.

Prince Hotel: Located in a quiet district yet only a few minutes from the local and international airports, the multi award-winning Prince Hotel is considered a cut above the rest in the city. Spread over a large area in villa style sections, you cannot help but admire the layout and landscaping. Along with a serene environment and hospitality. The hotel offers well-furnished rooms with air-conditioning, cable TV, writing desk, bedside lamps, internet access etc. Address: Tamandu Road, off Audu Bako Way, Nassarawa GRA. Kano. Tel: +234 (64) 98 4251

Tahir Guest Palace: Offering well-equipped and spacious rooms with 24 hour room service, luxurious bathrooms, climate control, digital TV, Fridge and complimentary tea/coffee items, doors with electronic locking systems etc. Address: No 4 Ibrahim Natsugune Road, Kano. Tel: +234-64-315281, 64-317245, 64-317246

Gibson Royal Motel: Hotel with a mission to take hospitality industry beyond mere accommodation, by providing a peaceful and secured homely environment for their visitors world. It offers good accommodation with well-decorated and equipped rooms, air-condition, digital Tv etc. Address: 25/29 Ijebu Road Sabo Gari , Kano. Tel:+234 64 648254

New Palace Hotel: An ultra modern hotel with 32 tastefully and exquisitely furnished rooms of varying class all designed to meet international hospitality standards. Address: I.B.B. Way, Kofar Kaura Quarters, Kano. Tel: +234 064-30920

Central Hotel: The hotel provide good accommodation at considerably reasonable charges. The rooms are well-kept and equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, writing desk, bedside lamps, internet access etc. Address: 1, Bompai Road, Kano. Tel: +234 (0)64-601120, 600520


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