If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’re clued up that I was in Lagos at the end last year. I had a marvellous time on home turf, I wrote a post about it here. But if you’re new, welcome!
If like me, you’d rather do more adventurous things in Lagos other than clubs or the many lounges and local beer parlours it has, this post is for you.
I remember searching Google for things to do before I left, so I reckoned someone out there will do just the same, and a handy post like this would be useful to fellow experience seekers like myself.
I’m quick to tell anyone that asks, that Lagos has changed a whole lot. Indeed, there are now many more alternative things to do. Boredom was the list of my worries during the trip, instead, I didn’t get to see a whole lot of things I had on my list, but there’s always a next time 🙂
I visited most of the places listed. However, this is not an exhaustive list of places in each category. Lagos obviously has many more of such places on offer. You’ve just got to look, or ask the discerning ones 😉
Lagos Conservation Centre– I have a post dedicated to the reserve. Click the link to learn more about it, and view pictures. It’s on the roundabout close to Chevron estate in Lekki.
Open mic night at Bogobiri House– Bogobiri is a stylish boutique hotel in Ikoyi(off Awolowo road). During my trip the open mic night was every Thursday and it was amazing. There’s usually a great turn out of mostly young professionals waiting out the Lagos traffic before heading home. I attended twice, the first, the amazing actress and poet Titilope Sonuga was in attendance , and the second, Yagazie Emezi. Go early to find seats! It’s usually a full house. Anyone from the crowd can sign up to perform. Drinks and food are served, a great time is guaranteed.
A fun day is always guaranteed at the beach with friends and family. Expect lots of food and drinks on sale at the popular locations, and of course music and dancing up until the wee hours of the night, especially during the festive season.
Atican Beach– Check out the photo shoot I had there 🙂
Nike Art Gallery– I had a great time visiting the much talked about gallery founded by Madam Nike. There are tons of art from Nigerian, and other African artists. The gallery has four floors overflowing with so many art pieces, sculptures, painting, and the like. You’ll definitely find a brilliant piece(s) for your home. The gallery is immediately to the right after the 3rd Lekki roundabout if you’re coming from the mainland. When I was searching, I found a different(and wrong) address for it somewhere in VI, thank God I continued searching and found the right one. That definitely confused me, so be sure to go to the Lekki location.
Rele– This is a beautiful space with carefully curated exhibitions all year round. Check out the link for my visit to one of its exhibitions.
Whitespace– Hosts various exhibitions, and I believe the space can be rented too for events, pop up shops, etc.
Terra Kulture– It’s great for multitude of reasons. It has a souvenir shop, mini library, a reading room with WiFi(for a small fee), a restaurant, gallery and stage for plays. Located in VI.
Osh Gallery– An alternative space in Lagos, it’s located at 381 Herbert Macaulay way, Yaba. It hosts exhibitions throughout the year, as well as an Artist Development Programme (ADP) that caters to emerging artists.
Afropolitan vibes– Happens every last Friday of the month at Freedom park. It’s open to all and there’s a gate fee of about 500 Naira(less than £2). There’s usually a great turn out, and you’re likely to bump into people you haven’t seen in a while, or find out about those you didn’t know attended the next day on Insagram. There’s usually about 5 live performances by surprise artists. Artist that performed when I attended- The great Majek Fashek made a come back, Nateoc, Brymo, Sina Peters, Simi, and some others I forget. It’s a great vibe, food, drinks, and palm wine are sold on site.
Industry night- Every Wednesday at Spice Route in VI. Up and coming artists perform, and there’s usually a surprise star to close the show.
Afrikan Shrine– Now run by Fela’s children, is located in Ikeja. I heard the best night to attend is on Sunday when Femi Kuti usually performs when he’s in town. Unfortunately I never made it 🙁
Terra Kulture- Check out the site(link above) for a timetable of events.
Freedom Park– I only ever went to Freedom park during Afropolitan vibes, but I hear it hosts stage plays. Check the link for more information.
National theatre – Self explanatory I believe.
Badagry Heritage Museum
For more, check this list here
Quilox- You’ve probably heard about it. Sadly, I never went there to experience things for myself.
There are so many other clubs, I won’t bother listing them, whomever you’re chilling with will know a great place to take you. And if you’re feeling excitable, ask about strip clubs. I heard there are several on both the island and mainland.
RSVP Lagos- One of the new aesthetically pleasing restaurants in Lagos. Check out this review on the place.
Terra Kulture- I had Ofada rice and plantain here and it was the shizzle!
There are so many other restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. The restaurant industry has improved a lot!
Also fast food chains are available- Mega Chicken, Sweet Sensation, Tantalizers, Mr Biggs, Mama Cas, KFC, Domino’s pizza, etc. Lots of the fast food restaurants sell local delicacies like jollof rice, soups, yam porridge, etc
Cold Stone(usually adjoined to Domino’s pizza)- I got addicted to their ice cream with brownie pieces. It was the bomb.com!
Sailors lounge- Located on Admiralty way, Lekki, it was my go to place to chill at night while on the island. It offers amazing views of the lake and overlooks the Ikoyi-Lekki link bridge.
There are several other lounges offering great views all along the admiralty way right into Lekki phase 1. And of course tons of other lounges all over the city.
Shaunz Karaoke bar- Self explanatory. Some friends went there and had an amazing time. However, I didn’t so can’t speak from personal experience. Of course there are tons of other karaoke bars, just ask 😉
Also, most areas and community have their local lounges popularly known as beer parlours. So if you’re up for a local and inexpensive experience, check out your nearest one.
Gone are the days when the only cinema in Lagos was the Silverbird Galleria in VI. Now, there are lots more around town. Every Shoprite mall has a cinema. From what I remember, there’s a Shoprite mall in Lekki, Surulere, Festac Town and close to Ajah area(I don’t know the name of the area but it’s some minutes before Ajah). Also there are Ozone cinemas around town too, one in Yaba I’m sure of, and for the others, you’ll have to ask.
Work space with WiFi
Sao Cafe– In Lekki phase 1. The décor and interior of this place is goals! Their menu prices were ridiculous though. Imagine a bottle of water for 500 Naira when normal retail price is 50 Naira? I also ordered burger and fries that costed 2,500 Naira. If you can afford it, it’s a great hangout with lots of sockets to power those laptops and phones. It had only just opened under new management while I was there so their WiFi wasn’t running at the time, so ask to make sure, before you sit and get comfortable buying their expensive things!
Cafe Neo– In Victoria island, and other locations. Cute cafe where you’ll find creatives creeping in and out for meetups, or work.
Stranger– In Lekki phase 1, was a bit hard to find as there was no sign outside. So look out for the house number and there’s a travel agent sign board at the gate. It’s a brilliant concept store that has a section selling carefully selected African designer collections, and has a workspace area. Sells whiskey, coffee, teas, pastries, etc.
Terra Kulture has a dedicated reading room with individual cubicles and fast working WiFi for a small fee.
Blogs/ Instagram Accounts on Lagos
Obviously there are loads more, these are the ones I follow.
Eat Drink Lagos – They organised a Food festival during my trip. It was a nice day out and it had a great turn out. They hosts other events throughout the year. Check the link for more details.
LivinginLekki – For all things involving Lekki. Think bars, restaurants, events, exhibitions, reviews etc.
Nothingtodoinlagos – The name is more like a question. So if you’ve got nothing to do in Lagos, check them out. They’ve got lists of interesting things happening around town.
Socialprefect – A travel blogger and tour guide changing the face of tourism in Nigeria.
YagazieEmezi – Digital influencer and photographer who moved from US back home to Nigeria in 2014. She curates her life and work pursuits on her IG page. She curated her first exhibition BiaLere last year and announces events happening in the city mostly involving the art and media world.
Social Prefect Tours– Founded by Chiamaka Obuekwe, she organisers trips around Lagos and other states in Nigeria. I didn’t attend any of her trips, given that I’m an adventure seeker myself. But she does a pretty good job from what I’ve seen and reviews.
However, I’m sure there are other tour companys and the like, you can find for yourself.
Places to stay
If you won’t be staying with family or relatives, these offer an easier way to find and book accommodation
If you’re not interested in braving the crazy public transport system, there are tons of Taxis zooming past that can be easily flagged down.
Uber is also available in Lagos, but I’ll advice not to use this during rush hours or long distances. Lagos traffic is highly unpredictable and you don’t want to be stuck in a 2 hour traffic while in an Uber car! Yes, the traffic can be that long. I experienced it several times and wanted to kill someone! 😀
Other place of interests
For photography hunters, almost everywhere in Lagos gives you an opportunity to capture great moments.
But for peculiar buildings and architecture- Alara Lagos is a sight that I unfortunately didn’t get to see in person. It’s a concept driven store stocking luxurious designer brands, from the big players to lesser known designer brands.
Also, the Cathedral Church of Christ(Anglican Church)- Located on Broad street, in its majestic glory seems out of place in the hustle bustle Lagos. Wanna find out more cool places? Check out Yagazie’s IG
Sites like wakanow.com is great for price comparison. However, in my experience, I found going directly to the airline’s site was cheaper. So I used Wakanow to find the cheapest, then went to that airline’s site to make the booking. Thus eliminating any added fee from Wakanow 🙂
Airlines flying around Nigeria and some other African countries- Aero Contractors, Arik, Dana Air, Medview airlines.
There we have it! A comprehensive list of things to do in Lagos other than going clubbing or lounging in a beer parlour. I love lounges though. If you go to one, order asun(peppered goat meat. warning- very very spicy!), nkwobi or pepper soup. They are yum!
Lagos is a great city. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Has this post been helpful? Please let me know in the comment section below! And if you visit any of these places, let me know how you found it.
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