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Basic information

  • Area: 999.6 km2 (385.9 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +234
  • Currency: Naira (₦) (NGN)
  • Population (EST): 21,000,000
  • Official language: Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
  • Time Zone: WAT (UTC+1) (UT

10 Reasons to Visit Lagos

1. Lagos is by far the most interesting city in Nigeria, and certainly one of the most fascinating in Africa. When visiting the city, be sure to check out Badagry Town. This ancient slave port is also known as the "Point of No Return". Founded in 1425, there's a tremendous amount of history in this little town, and many lessons to be learned. About an hour's drive outside of Lagos, it's well worth the trip.

2. With over a dozen beaches in Lagos, there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the water and take in a bit of sunshine. Most beaches also offer the opportunity to picnic and barbecue; so it's fun to make a day of it. Lagos Bar Beach is at the top of the list of beaches to visit. Named after the iconic sand bars that run along the Lagos coastline, this beach is tremendously popular amongst the locals because of its convenient location and accessibility.

3. Tarkwa Bay is another beautiful point of interest in Lagos. It's a man made bay and is accessible by boat from the Tarzan Jetty. The water is very safe and clean for swimming and bathing. You'll find the bay to have its own resident community that is very kind and hospitable. Surfing is common in the corner of the bay, as well as water sports like water skiing and jet skiing.

4. Right next to Tarkwa Bay is the Lighthouse Beach, named after the historical lighthouse that sits at the mouth of Lagos harbour. The beautiful house is 110 years old and still shines to this day. This beach is a fantastic spot to take in the whole ocean vista, from Tarkwa Bay to the stunning lighthouse. It's very quiet here, and one can relax, stroll, and observe the beautiful ships coming into the port.

5. Should one desire to get out of Lagos for a bit, the Eko Tourist Resort on Akodo Beach is only a 40 minute drive from Lagos. With its beautiful chalets, restaurants, and lovely beaches, this resort is not only comfortable but offers plenty of sights and things to do. There is a large conference hall that makes this location ideal for business meetings and events. One can also find here over a mile of clean, pristine beach that is great for swimming, lounging, or water sports. The property spans a total of 10 acres, and is a popular excursion from the big city.

6. When in Lagos one must be sure to visit the Lekki Conservation Centre. It's off the expressway, and a peaceful oasis within the city. Thanks to the Lekki Conservation Foundation, this dense park is well preserved and is home to some interesting animals and birds. There are fantastic winding walkways and benches to rest upon. All in all, the park makes for a fantastic afternoon getaway right in the heart of the city.

7. Lagos is home to the National Museum of Nigeria where you'll find art work by some of the best artists in the country, as well as artists from all over africa. The Museum is another great location to spend an afternoon, and dining is available at the Museum Kitchen, where one can taste the native cuisine of Nigeria. Exibits are always coming into the museum from all around the world, so there's sure to be something interesting happening year round.

8. The Nike Art Gallery is another great spot for cultural enrichment. Run by the artist Nike Davies Okundaye, this gallery is great whether one wants to browse or buy. You'll find showcased here some of the best art in Nigeria, as well as documentaries about Nigerian art. There are resident students at the Nike Art Centre that learn all kinds of different forms of art; from the traditional to the contemporary. For instance, there is traditional indigo dying; a classic Nigerian art form. The students also learn quilting and painting, as well as other cultural practices like drumming and dancing.

9. A prime location for experiencing the best of Lagos is the National Theater of Arts and Culture. The theater was built in 1977 to then showcase the International Festival of Black Arts and Culture. Today, it's the main centre for performing arts in Nigeria. It's a huge, 3,000 seat auditorium, and there's also a large conference hall that accommodates 700 people. You'll also find two cinemas within the theater, as well as a lovely restaurant.

10. One very charming place to shop is the Lekki Art Market, located within the Lekki Conservation Centre. Here one can purchase authentic Nigerian Art and West African Art. There are paintings, jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs, and the prices are quite reasonable. It's important to know how to bargain with the vendours because this is very important in any of Lagos' markets.

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