This is a guest post by Lagosian, Aminat. Aminat is a freelance business developer who loves to explore and go on adventures in her free time. On a budget. She is an advocate and supporter of social change.
Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria with nearly 16 million residents. Just like any other major city in the world, people come from far and wide to make their dreams come true here.
Lagos is considered the city that never sleeps, so one can’t have a boring moment in this bustling African city.
Although not a popular travel destination, Lagos has so much to offer that once you visit you’d wish that you had included it in your bucket list earlier.
Here are some tips to start with when visiting Lagos:
Asun is spicy barbecued goat meat and bottom line, it’s amazing! It goes with pretty much everything. They are usually sold in aluminium packs and cost between N500 ($1.59) and N600 ($1.90). Although they are mostly sold at night, a few places sell them during the day.
Suya is roasted beef or chicken parts. They are scrumptious and could be spicy. Be cautious where you get it from for hygienic reasons. The best soya spots are in front of NTA (on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island), 1004 flats (right outside the mosque) and the Ikoyi Club.
P.s: Most of the Suya vendors are from the northern part of Nigeria which consist of a majority Muslim population. Therefore the meat used is halal.
Roasted plantain, popularly known as Boli is pretty common in Southern Nigeria and can also be found in Lagos. The best combination of Boli is with spicy sauce and fish.
Other Notable mentions: Jollof rice, Fried rice, Fried Plantain, Amala and Egusi… the list could go on
Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge
This suspension bridge links Ikoyi and Lekki phase 1. Apart from vehicular traffic, the bridge also serves as a recreational facility. Fitness inclined residents of Lekki phase 1 and Ikoyi use the wide curbs of the bridge for jogging, running and power walk, usually in the early mornings and evenings. A lot of Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) movies have been featured on this bridge.
Third Mainland Bridge
The longest bridge in Africa and the third bridge built to link the Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island. This bridge as they say, divides the poor and rich Lagos. On the mainland side, you see the beauty of Ikoyi and Marina with its tall building and on the island side, you see Makoko and environs. The difference is better experienced at night.
The water running beneath it is the Lagos lagoon and you see fishermen doing their thing early in the morning and the evenings. Every once in a while, you see flashy speedboats jetting across the lagoon.
Civic Centre and Civic Towers
Address: Ozumba Mbadiwe Rd, Lagos, Nigeria
The civic properties are grand architectures with a sight to behold. The civic center is used for events and the tower is used for office space.
Nike Art Gallery
Address: Lekki Express way, Lagos Nigeria
This 4-storey gallery is owned by Batik and Textile designer, Nike Davies Okundaye.The art collections are by Nigerians and breath-taking to say the least. Exhibitions change every week.
Every third Friday of the month, Freedom Park in Lagos Island hosts hip and young at heart Lagosians. The evening consists of slow, jazz music at first, then the tempo rises as the Bantu group open the stage and lead the way for three celebrity Nigerian musicians. Entry costs N1,500 ($4.76).
Aside from hosting Afropolitan Vibes , Freedom Park was a prison yard in the early 80’s. You can walk through the old cells and see where renowned leaders such as Ajose Adeogun, Obafemi Awolowo were held prisoners.
Address: 9, 7 Maitama Sule street, Lagos Nigeria
Bogobiri is an African themed boutique hotel. This hotel does nothing but fascinate one. The artworks are made from Nigerian resources. There is an Open Mic night every Thursday with free admission. Also Reggae Night every Saturday is free.
On the other side of the island is the Atlantic Ocean. There are several beaches along the coast. Some of the popular ones include Elegushi, Eleko, Santa Cruz, Oniru and Atican Beach.
Eko Atlantic is an extension of Victoria Island. Built on reclaimed land from the ocean (construction is ongoing), it will be the new hub in West Africa for commercial and residential activities. The Lagos New Year countdown, concerts, beach soccer and many more fun events are held here.
Lekki Conservation Center
Address: Lekki Conservation Centre Rd, Lekki Peninsula, Nigeria
The Lekki Conservation Center is home to the longest canopy walk in Africa. On a good day, you will see monkeys, birds of different species, peacocks, tortoise, fishes and sometimes alligators.
This walk is not for the faint of heart. Once you get to the top though, you get to see most of Ikota, Lekki and the Atlantic Beach. There is also a playground for children, an open field with games and thatched cabins for relaxation.
Note: If you are on the boardwalk, do not eat or bring out food items as the monkeys feel very at home here and may follow you around in order to collect your food from you.
Want to see a play? Go to Terra Kulture on a Sunday. It costs N3,500 ($11.10). There is a restaurant that sells Nigerian delicacies. An average meal costs N3,000 ($9.52). There is a library where book readings occur. An art gallery is located above the restaurant. There is also a gift store where you can get souvenirs.
Lagos Island Market: Idumota, Balogun, Ebute Ero, Jankarra, Oke Arin
Looking for anything – I mean, anything? You will definitely find it in the Lagos Island markets and at the best deal (this solely depends on how you haggle). All you need to do is dedicate hours and be patient then you will find what you are looking for.
Parking is not free in these markets. The standard parking rate is N500 ($1.59), but you can negotiate for less depending on your bargaining power.
This is a starters guide for visitors to the populous west African city, there is definitely more to discover in Lagos. Feel free to add any more tips.
Lagos in a summary : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbsdLI8kaWc
How to get around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkFdU3KsaRc