Lagos

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Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria. With an estimated population of 8.8 million inhabitants in the city, or rather 10.7 million in the metropolitan area, Lagos ranks second only to Cairo as the largest city in Africa. The UN estimates that at its present growth rate, Lagos state will be third largest mega city in the world by 2015 after Tokyo in Japan and Mumbai in India.

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Hotels

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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Lagos

Badagry Town: The Ancient Slave Port of Badagry-also known as the 'Point of No Return'. This ancient town of Badagry was founded around l425 A.D. Before its existence, people lived along the Coast of Gberefu and this area later gave birth to the town of Badagry. It is the second largest commercial town in Lagos State, located an hour from Lagos and half hour from the Republic du Benin.

Sights

There are over a dozen beaches in Lagos, making for a wide array to choose from. Good for picnics and barbecues

  • Lagos Bar Beach. This Beach is named after the sand bars that characterize the coastline of Lagos, not because of the myriad of bars that run along the beach itself. Very popular among beach goers,it is the main inner city beach, as the other beaches provide more of a “get away” from the city. Some of which include; Lekki Beach, Alpha Beach, Eleko Beach and Akodo Beach (to the East) and Tarkwa Bay, Ogogoro Island, Atlas Cove, Lighthouse beach, Ilashe Beach, Agaja Beach and Badagry beach (to the West) among others.
  • Tarkwa Bay. Tarkwa is a man made bay and beach created during the formation of the Lagos harbour. It's a sheltered beach within the harbour breakwater. It is easily accessible by boat from Tarzan Jetty at Maroko (Charge per person is low and affordable) or under Falomo bridge on Victoria Island. The beach is a pleasant outing and has safe bathing even for children. It has its own resident community, most of whom make their living from the tourists who visit the beach. There's also the possibility to surf in a corner of Tarkwa Bay and other water sports such as Jet Skiing and Water Skiing are fairly common.
  • Lighthouse Beach.Right beside Tarkwa Bay is the Lighthouse Beach, named after the 110-year-old lighthouse that guards the entrance to Lagos harbour. The Lighthouse can just be seen from the beach, and is well worth a visit as well. The walk along the beach between Tarkwa Bay and Lighthouse Beach is very pleasant– and at times one can be the only person on the beach. You can watch the many ships queuing up to enter the port on the nearby horizon.
  • Eko Tourist Resort (Akodo Beach), KM 22 Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ibeju, Lekki LGA, Akodo, (Bookings)+1 777 0700, +1 470 2865. This place is at least a 40 minute drive from Lagos. The Resort has chalets,restaurants and a large conference hall on 10 acres, with more than a half a mile of clean beach.
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About Lagos

Background

Also known as Èkó in the Edo language, and also affectionately called 'Gidi' or 'Las Gidi' as a form of slang-by the younger generation, is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria.

  • Formerly the capital of Nigeria, Lagos is a huge metropolis which originated on islands separated by creeks.
  • The city is the economic and financial capital of Nigeria.
  • Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo; indeed the present name is Portuguese for "lakes". Another explanation is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal - a maritime town which at the time was the main centre of the Portuguese expeditions down the African coast and whose own name is derived from the Latin word Lacobriga.
  • From 1404-1889 it served as a major centre of the slave trade, ruled over by Benin chief called the Oba of Lagos.
  • Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from 1914 up to 1991. The city was stripped of its status when the Federal Capital Territory was established at the purpose-built city of Abuja.

The city of Lagos lies in south-western Nigeria, on the Atlantic coast in the Gulf of Guinea, west of the Niger River delta, located on longitude 3° 24' E and latitude 6° 27' N. Most of the population live on the mainland, and most industries are located there too. Lagos is known for its music and night life which used to be located in areas around Yaba and Surulere but in recent years more night clubs have sprung on the island making the island especially Victoria Island, the main nightlife attraction.

Activities

Lagos is for tourists like England is for food. It's a stereotype and not really true, but you have to put the effort in to see it.

There are a lot of great beaches. Especially if you make the effort to get outside the city and explore like Badagry). Inside the city, Lekki is about as good as it gets.

There are also lots of markets to see, although it can be very tiring. Usually safe during the day.

There is the Lekki Conservation Centre by the Lekki Conservation Foundation, is down on the Lekki/Epe expressway near Chevron.It is really good for relaxation, its a dense park with a few animals and birds, there are walkways and benches to rest on. Fees: ₦500 for everyone

Beaches:

  • Bar Beach: On Ahmodu Bello Way, Victoria Island.
  • Eleko Beach: 56 km, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Turn right just past Total service station, proceed to toll gate, turn left follow road to Rainbow Church sign, turn right onto dirt road. Eleko beach is at end of road.
  • Lekki Beach: Turn right at round-about just past estate (about 9 km), Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki.
  • Elegushi: Elegushi Private Beach, Ikate, Lekki,
  • Tarkwa Beach: Accessible by boat only. Boat can be hired opposite American/Indian Embassy. You can also board water taxis for about ₦300(as of Oct'11) per trip. The beach is good for a one-day picnic because of the absence of hotels and restaurants on it. You can buy good paintings and handicrafts from the local vendors on the beach. The last boats leave Tarkwa bay at 5PM.

Beach Resorts:

  • Hermitage Garden Resorts: Hermitage road, Tiye village, near Akodo, Lekki local government.
  • La Campagne Tropicana: Lekki

Museums:

  • National Museum of Nigeria: Awolowo Rd (Opp Muson Centre), Onikan, Lagos Island. 9AM-4PM daily. Fees : ₦100 fro Nigerians and ₦200 for foreign nationals. The Museum Kitchen is open on weekdays and is a good place to try local Nigerian cuisine.
  • Didi Meuseum: 175, Akin Adesola St, Victoria Island. M-F 9AM-5PM.
  • Nike Art Gallery, 2, Elegushi Road, 2nd Round About, Epe Expressway, Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Phase 1 Peninsula,  +234 80 330 36969,+234 1 270 5964. Run by Artist and Designer Nike Davies Okundaye. A great place for art lovers and buyers. While there, you can browse the art gallery featuring the whole panoply of Nigerian arts, or see some of the documentaries that have been made about Nigerian culture.

Students at the Nike Art Centers engage in a variety of arts.

At the center, traditional arts are practiced, such as indigo dying and sculpting, and also non-traditional arts such as painting and quilting, as well as other cultural activities such as drumming and dancing. The center also organizes tours and accommodation for tourists.

  • National Theatre of Arts & Culture, Mainland, Iganmu-Surulere.. Located on the mainland at Iganmu, it is about a half hour drive from Lagos Island. Built in 1977 as the principal forum for the International Festival of Black Arts and Culture, it has now become accepted as the prime center for performing arts in the country. The main auditorium has the capacity to seat around 3,000 persons and the conference hall can accommodate around 700 people. The building also houses two cinema halls, a restaurant and a bar.

Food

Budget

  • Mr Bigg's. The ubiquitous Mr Bigg's is Nigeria's own McD. While western fare such as hamburgers is served, Nigerian delicacies such as jollof rice and moin moin are more popular. Look for the big 'B' with a red and yellow colour scheme - you shouldn't have much trouble finding one in Lagos
  • Tantalizers. Another leading Nigerian Fast Food Chain, Tantalizers serves Nigerian fast food staples such as meat pies, scotch eggs, chicken, jollof rice, fried rice, cake, and hamburgers. Has about 25 outlets in Lagos

Mid-range

Nigerian

  • Thistle Bar & Restaurant
  • Yellow Chili(specialties include Fried Snail with Fries)
  • Terra Kulture. Located within an art gallery.
  • Whitehouse. Located in Yaba near E-centre.
  • ""Natives"". Located in Victoria Island

Chinese

  • Prime Chinese - Open 24 hours; By far the best Chinese food in the city!
  • Marco Polo
  • Mr Chang's
  • Zen Garden, Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja. A sister restaurant to Pearl Garden (VI), Zen Garden is an elegant gourmet Chinese restaurant. Tends to get crowded on weekends, so plan accordingly. Barbequed Pork is a must-have. A bit on the pricier side, dinner with drinks for two approx. N 10,000 - N 12,000.

Indian

  • Spice Bar, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island (Opp Park N Shop). the best place to enjoy Indian food. Nice ambiance with great service. Dinner (with drinks) for two approx N 8,000-10,000.
  • Victoria Palace, Danmole Street, Victoria Island.
  • Viceroy's, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island. The newest entrant in the Indian restaurant scene, Viceroy's boasts of the best ambiance among the Indian restaurants in town. The food, though, fails to match the standards set by the likes of Stanley and Spice Bar. Try the Chef's special Nilgiri's Chicken. Also has a decent continental menu. Dinner (with drinks) for two N 8,000 - N 10,000.
  • Cafe Bombay, Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island. In the Food Court of Mega Plaza mall.
  • Sherlaton. Has outlets in two places. One in the mainland (Hotel Newcastle, Antony Village) and another in VI (Hotel Cumberland, Adeola Odeku St)
  • AAA (formerly Stanley), Olutunda Street, Ilupeju,  +234 17754609. Among the best Indian restaurants in town. Chef Anand makes a wicked Murg Mussalam (comes in a large plate that serves 3-4) - don't miss it. The ambiance is slightly dull, though the quality of food more than makes up for it. Dinner for two (with drinks) approx. N7000.
  • F&G Suites, Ilupeju (Opp to Bazaar Shop).
  • Taj, Ilupeju (Adjacent to Shop Perfect, on the same road as Bazaar Shop).
  • Harzoyka, Oduduwa Cr, GRA, Ikeja. Being the only mid-range Indian restaurant in Ikeja (the other option is the extremely pricey Indian restaurant in Sheraton), Harzoyka is a good choice if you are in Ikeja and don't want to go around the city for Indian food. Food is decent with an average ambiance.
  • Karma, Burma Road, Apapa. Dinner for two approx. N7000. Sunday buffet lunch at N 2200 per person.

Thai

  • Reeds
  • Pattaya
  • Bangkok

American/ Continental

  • Bottles (Tex-Mex) - very good and reasonably authentic. Fajitas are very popular. Frozen Margaritas are a must-have.
  • Cactus (Pizza & Sandwiches)
  • Double Four (Pizza)
  • Le Saison (Pastries and Sandwiches)
  • Debonair's Pizza (Victoria Island, Opp to Park n Shop) (Pizza)
  • Goodies Restaurant (Next to Goodies supermarket, near Falomo Bridge, Victoria Island)

Splurge

  • The Cowrie Restaurant(in B-Jays's Hotel)including the traditional "goat meat pepper soup". Nigerian.
  • Il Sorriso - Italian
  • Pearl Garden, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island. The best Chinese food in VI and a favorite among expats. Dinner and drinks for two approx N 15,000. Try the Shredded Chicken with Chili and Peanuts.
  • Fusion - as the name suggests, it is a fusion restaurant! Japanese/Mediterranean Cuisine. Better for Sushi only.
  • Churrasco's (Ozumba Mbadiwe Rd, VI) - Brazilian Steakhouse. Located inside the same complex as the Lagoon Restaurant
  • Chocolate Royal - American/ Bakery

Drinks

Ikeja

  • Africa Shrine in Ikeja. With Femi Kuti, son of the legend Fela Kuti.
  • Lagbaja's Motherland, Opebi Rd (in Ikeja).
  • The Night Shift Colosseum, Salvation Road, Off Opebi Road. Best Music. Well arranged. Big space for dancing and sitting. 9PM-5AM.
  • Options, Allen Avenue - Toyin St T point. Good Music, Spacious, 10PM-5AM.
  • MetroPark, Isaac-John St, GRA, Ikeja.

Ikoyi

  • Swe: Located at the top of City Mall, Onikan, Lagos.
  • Ember Creek: Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. Pool Side drinks overlooking the Lagoon. Unnecessarily overpriced.
  • Reeds: Cool, dimly lit atmosphere with light techno music in the background. Good for cocktails and small bites(Thai specialties). Nice for a romantic date.
  • Waterside :Located on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, beside the lagoon that separates Ikoyi and Victoria Island. Go there to chill by the lagoon in the evening. The decor is minimalistic with plastic chairs and tables but again very few places in Lagos are open adjacent a Lagoon. Try some suya and peppe soup.

Victoria Island

  • Michael's: Coldest beers in town! Expatriate hangout.
  • POP!: Owned by Nigerian soccer legend Austin "Jay-Jay" Okocha, it's got a nice restaurant and a trendy bar.
  • Pat's Bar: Ajose Adeogun Street. A sports bar with a rugby theme, Very popular with expatriates of all nationalities and the prostitutes that love them.
  • De Marquee New, Hip joint atop Mega Plaza, Lagos's premier shopping mall. Smoking on the outside terrace only. (WARNING: As of Dec'13, De Marquee has been shut down temporarily for renovations)

Apapa

  • Monalido: at Corner of Creek road, Entry ₦500 per person. Good music, sufficient space for sitting. Good, big dance floor. Every one welcome. 10PM-5:30AM. Drinks are at very competitive prices, Nice Food Restaurant as well open till 6AM.
  • Club 21: Wharf Rd, ₦500 per person. Music, sufficient space for sitting. Big dance floor. Every one welcome. 10PM-3AM. Drinks are at competitive prices.

Yaba

  • Koko Lounge: Cool as it gets. Co-owned by Africa's biggest hip-hop star, D'Banj who makes frequent appearances. Wednesday night is comedy nights. Classy VIP. Reasonable prices.
  • The Psychiatric Hospital : Located actually inside a real Psychiatric hospital in Yaba is a small restaurant. Tables and chairs thrown around in the lawn, you can hangout here with friends for hours

Shopping

Unless you are in a supermarket or restaurant/bar with fixed prices, you will be expected to negotiate the price you pay for an item down to the lowest the vendor would sell. When you are stuck in traffic, expect to see hawkers selling anything from potatoes to drinks . Expect any brand names in these informal markets to be fake, and should you wish to purchase them aim for a very low price.

If you hold a Visa, MasterCard or Maestro Credit/Debit card you can withdraw cash in Naira from various ATMs around Lagos. Visa machines can be found at Standard Chartered Bank. MasterCard/Maestro machines are found in Ecobank and some Zenith Bank branches.

Foreign currency, U.S. Dollars, Pounds Sterling, or Euros can be exchanged in various places, usually near large hotels and the airport. These are not formal bureaux de change and you will need to negotiate the exchange rate. It is strongly recommended that you count your money in front of the exchanger, and don't be afraid to walk away if you are not happy with the deal. Be wary of your safety in money changing areas, and take care to make sure you are not followed when leaving them.

There are formal Bureau De Change existing in the various banks, and you can be rest assured about transacting with them, although their rates may be slightly higher or lower than the rates outside.

Some of the good places for shopping are:

  • The Palms Shopping Centre: No 1, British International School Way, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki. 10AM-9PM daily. [2]
  • The City Mall: Opp Muson Centre, Awolowo Rd, Onikan, Lagos Island. 10AM-9PM daily.
  • Mega Plaza: 21st Century Mall, 14, Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island. 10AM-10PM daily.
  • Silverbird Galleria, 133, Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria Island,  +23412706361. Silverbird Galleria With five hi-tech cinema halls showing the best box-office movies in the industry. There's also the Media Store which sells Music and Movies, Magazines and books, as well as computer and gaming consoles. The Galleria also houses restaurants, bars and gift shops. Lastly, there is Wi-Fi connectivity and a bowling alley within the premises.
  • King's Plaza, No 80, Adeniran Ogunsanya.Off Bode Thomas, Surulere. A large shopping mall consisting of Gift and clothing stores, restaurants, a cinema hall, and others. There is also a popular place called Computer Village in Ikeja the capital of Lagos.
  • Lekki Art Market: Located close to the Lekki Conservation Centre, it is a great place to buy Nigerian and West African art. From paintings, to jewelery, to souvenirs to accessories and clothes, You'll find a great deal for your goods. Brush up your barganing skills. The place is a bit tricky to find, take a right from the roundabout before Chevron and ask for directions. The place tends to flood during heavy rains, so try to avoid going all together or take an SUV with a high ground clearance.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Lagos on Wikivoyage.

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