Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Lagos (Nigeria), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Lagos is one of the most populated cities in the world, and one of the largest cities in Africa. It has been named a mega-city and although it’s not the typical destination for most tourists, there are still lots of things to do in Lagos.
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Lago’s Lekki Market is a very rewarding place to visit as the market offers a mix of incredible hand-made art like wood carvings, traditional clothing items, pictures, and jewelry while at the same time being relatively well organized and less chaotic than other markets.
Lekki Market can be found beneath the Lekki-Epe expressway. One thing to be kept in mind is that everything has to be bargained for. Initial asking prices are never fair, and if you want to buy some well-priced souvenirs you will have to spend some time negotiating prices.
The Cathedral Church of Christ
It took more than 20 years to build the Cathedral Church of Christ before its inauguration in 1946. The long wait has proven to be well worth it as the cathedral is today considered one of the main landmarks of Lagos.
The cathedral is built in an elegant Norman Gothic style and features an organ built by a German company. It’s a great symbol of Christianity in Lagos.
What makes the church so interesting and worth a visit is not just its beautiful architecture but also that it serves as the burial place of the first African bishop in the Anglican Church, Rev Dr. Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Make sure not to miss the cenotaph erected in his honor.
Makoko Floating village
Makoko is one of Lago’s most remarkable areas. The village (often called a slum) is located inland from the Third Mainland Bridge of the Lagos – Ojoo expressway and is partially built on stilts right on the waters of the lagoon.
The living conditions here are challenging and even basic needs like clean water are often not met. Despite these problems, life in this area is often fascinating for outsiders.
Countless little boats serve as the only form of transport here and frequenting the canals to transport goods and people from one area to another. Most of the people here are fishermen which is why there is a well-known fish market adjacent.
Lekki Conservation Center
Lekki Conservation Center offers 190 acres of greenery including Africa’s longest canopy walkway. The park is a real oasis of greenery and a great place to escape the bustling city streets of Nigeria’s capital.
This center is an important safe haven for endangered species like bushbucks and mona monkeys. Interestingly, the Lekki Conservation Center offers different kinds of habitats here including grasslands and thick forests, making it a very diverse place to visit.
The park rangers employed here serve as guides and do a great job spreading knowledge about the animals and plant life.
Kalakuta Republic Museum
The Kalakuta Republic Museum is dedicated to the legendary Fela Kuti, one of the most influential musicians in all of Africa. The museum is situated in his former house which also served as the ”revolutionary headquarter” of the Kalakuta Republic.
This so-called republic had been proclaimed to protest against Nigeria’s military junta brutally ruling the country in the 1980s. Fela Kuti not only established a recording studio here but also a free clinic that offered health care to the city’s poorest residents.
Most of the interior has been preserved including many of Fela’s personal belongings and furniture.
Ride in a Keke
Keke’s can be found everywhere and offer easy transport no matter where you want to go. Negotiating the prices is necessary as the drivers will try to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.
Driving around the city in a Keke is really exciting as most of the drivers have what almost seems like a miraculous ability to weave in and out of traffic at top speed.
Tarkwa Beach is one of the most attractive places to spend a few hours at the water in all of Nigeria. You can get here with a water taxi from the city center and enjoy a relatively quiet stretch of sand within minutes of leaving the hustle and bustle of Lagos.
The atmosphere here is very relaxed and pleasant and there are also a few beach bars and restaurants found here serving hearty foods making sure no one has to go hungry.
Nigerian National Museum
One of the most interesting museums of Lagos is the Nigerian National Museum. The museum is worth a visit not just for history fans but also for art lovers as it houses a great collection of local art including wood carvings, statuary, and paintings.
Some of the country’s most interesting archaeological and ethnographic artifacts are also on display here. This museum is a great place to visit in Lagos if you wish to learn more about Nigeria as a country.
Nigerian Railway Corporation Museum
Another interesting museum worth a visit is the Nigerian Railway Corporation Museum. It was established by a former superintendent and has been build up with a lot of passion and love for everything related to railways.
The museum offers great photographic archives showcasing the history of Nigeria’s railway. The Jaekel House, in which the exhibits are located, is a typical colonial mansion built in 1898 and has been very well conserved since then.
Even though the name suggests otherwise, The Jazzhole is actually one of Lagos’ most popular and renowned book stores. The store has been recommended by many of the country’s most famous authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
And it’s a real gem if you like literature. The contrast between the hot and crowded city streets and the relaxed atmosphere in The Jazzhole is remarkable and makes the store feel like a real oasis.
It is quite ironic but right across from Lagos’ Ministry of Justice is the Freedom Park, one of the city’s most idyllic green spaces. The park was established on the grounds of a former prison and features several statues dedicated to the former prisoners.
The Freedom Park is known for being the venue of many music events throughout the year and there is also a great bar here that comes alive at night.
The atmosphere here is very open-minded and the shade provided by the many large trees make Freedom Park a fantastic place to spend a few hours.
New Afrika Shrine
New Afrika Shrine is a performing arts theater in the Alausa neighborhood north of the city center. The venue is a real party hotspot and there are several shows a week taking place here.
All types of music are being played here and there are also dance shows taking place as well as other cultural events and private parties including birthdays, weddings and so on. Plenty of snacks are served here as well and of course all kinds of alcoholic drinks.
The Eyo Festival is one of the cultural highlights of the year and is dedicated to commemorate the life of the Obas (kings) and to represent the spirits of the ancestors.
Unfortunately, the festival has lost a lot of its significance as most Nigerians have turned to Christianity and Islam. Today the festival has a rather touristic character but it is worth a visit nonetheless.
The highlights of the Eyo Festival are its costumed dancers which use the streets of the Island of Lagos as their stage.
Eleko Beach is found on the Lekki Peninsula east of the city center. The beach offers an incredible stretch of beautiful sand and is never too busy due to its incredible length.
There are many small food stalls found alongside the beach which offer great food including fresh fish. There are also plenty of accommodation options found here which makes staying here overnight very pleasant.
Hi-Impact Planet Amusement Park
The Hi-Impact Planet Amusement Park is a great place for anyone looking for a few hours of easy fun and entertainment. The park opened in 2015 and is very modern offering a huge array of rides.
Some of them are thrilling and adrenaline-inducing and others being suited for families with children. There is also a Ferris wheel here that allows great views over the park’s surroundings.
The park’s go-karts are another highlight and offer breathtaking speeds of over 100 km/hour on an excellent track.
Want more recommendations on things to do in Lagos, Nigeria? Leave a comment below!