Oyo is a city in Oyo State, Nigeria, founded as the capital of the Oyo Kingdom in the 1830s and known to its people as ‘New Oyo’ (Ọyọ Atiba) to distinguish it from the former capital to the north, ‘Old Oyo’ (Ọyọ-Ile), which had been deserted as a result of rumors of war. Its inhabitants are mostly of the Yoruba people, and its ceremonial ruler is the Alaafin of Oyo.
The major market in the city is Akeesan market, also called Oja Oba (King’s market) due to its close proximity to the Alaafin’s Palace, which is opened on a daily basis unlike the other marketplaces, such as Ajegunle market, which is opened for a five-day interval, and Sabo market (five days).
‘Oyo town’, as it is fondly called, is known for the high educational pedigree of the old St Andrew’s College, Oyo (SACO), which was one of the first higher institutions in Nigeria. It is home to many secondary schools, including the famous Olivet Baptist High School and Federal Government Girls College, and a few tertiary institutions such as Federal College of Education (Special), Federal School of Survey, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, and a private owned university by the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo (ACU)
The city has three LGAs viz: Atiba LGA, headquartered at Offa-Meta; Oyo East LGA, headquartered at Kosobo; and Oyo West LGA, headquartered at Ojongbodu.
The city is on the A1 highway, north of Ibadan.
The play Death and the King’s Horseman is based on an incident that happened in Oyo in 1946.