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Leaving Ikare beach, Lagos |© Cynthia Okoroafor
Leaving Ikare beach, Lagos |© Cynthia Okoroafor
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How to Spend Two Weeks in Lagos

Picture of Cynthia Okoroafor
Updated: 29 September 2017
Lagos is synonymous with culture and commerce, thereby making it perhaps the most central and visited city in Nigeria because of tales of its heritage, energy, and ability to combine business with pleasure through various day and nighttime activities. Two weeks is a rather short time to spend in Lagos, but here’s how to make the most of it.

Day 1 – Landing in Lagos

Day

One quick piece of advice: try to arrive at LOS (Murtala Muhammed International Airport) around noon for two reasons: firstly, irrespective of the day of the week, you should certainly beat traffic going to your hotel, whether on the Mainland or Island and secondly, you can catch your breath, rest for a while, and be ready to begin your holiday immediately.

Evening

For the purpose of this itinerary, we’ll say you landed on a Sunday and are staying on “the Island.” Now, depending on how much rest you need, you can have lunch at Terra Kulture, or just settle for “dinner and chill” at Radisson Blu Hotel. Here you also enjoy a beautiful view of the lagoon.

After, take a drive along the famous Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue and Adeola Odeku Street (and its immediate environs) and catch glimpses of some of the places you might visit in the coming days.

A view from Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos
A view from Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos | © Taiwo Ayanleye / Wikimedia

Locations:

Terra Kulture. 1376, Tiamiyu Savage Str, Victoria Island

Radisson Blu. 1a Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Eti-Osa

Day 2 – Begin Your Romance With the City!

Day

From noon, take advantage of the fact that most people are at work and there will be less traffic. Visit the art galleries, Freedom Park, or the Muson Centre to drink in some of the city’s artistic atmosphere.

Because these places are fairly quiet on Mondays, you can pace yourself and maybe find out about upcoming events. Who knows, you may just climb high on a guest list.

Evening

Head to Lekki Phase 1 for another relaxing evening by the waterside with cool music. Explore the waterfront for options such as Bay Lounge, Sailors, or Farm City. You can stay at these venues as late as 00:00 hours.

Locations:

Freedom Park Mobolaji Bank Anthony Str, Lagos Island

Muson Centre. Muson Access Rd, Lagos Island

Bay Lounge. 24 Admiralty Rd, Eti-Osa, Lekki

Sailors. Admiralty Rd, Eti-Osa

Farm City. Admiralty Rd, Eti-Osa

Day 3 – Explore the Mainland

Day

Some popular venues on the mainland are the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Yaba market, Yaba, Computer Village, Ikeja, and the National Theatre, Iganmu. At UNILAG, you can befriend young and hip Lagosians, then shop for “grade one” secondhand clothes and food and household wares at Yaba market. Computer Village lives up to its name, and at the theatre you might catch a rehearsal, or have a picnic in its parks.

Mind your watch though—you want to be on the side of the traffic heading towards the island once it’s after 4 p.m. if you have appointments later.

Evening

Once you’re back on the island, visit The Jazzhole. Everything about this place will please you—books, music, food (limited options, however), and vintage collections.

Location:

The Jazzhole. Shop No. 168, Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi

The Jazzhole
The Jazzhole | © S3.amazonaws.com

Day 4 – Experience Various Nigerian Foods and Food Cultures!

Day

While the variety of popular restaurants in Lagos are great places to try the local cuisine, only bukas can offer the total Nigerian food experience package. Fantastic options abound on both the mainland and island, including Amala Shitta (Shitta, Surulere), Amala Phase 1 (Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi), White House (Yaba), and Yakoyo (Ilupeju). Just ask.

Evening

Get ready for an evening at Bottles. Bottles is not just about the Mexican food and margaritas they are renowned for, it’s simply a great place to hang out with people from all walks of life while jiving to live music. Don’t expect to have conversations in there though, it’s not called “Wild Wednesdays” for nothing.

Location:

Bottles. 8, Imam Agusto Str, Victoria Island

A plate of pounded yam and egusi soup
A plate of pounded yam and egusi soup | © Toludpilgrim / Wikimedia

Day 5 – Tour Eko Market and Unwind Later

Day

Take a guided tour of the magnificent Eko (also Balogun or Idumota) market in the Marina area of Lagos Island. This mammoth of a market has everything, including local textiles and designs, clothing, hair extensions, jewelry, and household items. This tour also helps you to understand navigation of the market and have an idea of price comparisons for later.

Evening

On to Bogobiri for open mic night. It is firmly suggested that you book a table at least one day in advance, and arrive early. Bogobiri tends to fill up quickly, despite the N500 gate fee, so arriving early—say around 19:00 hours—is even more advisable for those without tables. Hopefully, once the performances start you forget the squeezing and nudging. Remember to put your name down to perform.

Location:

Bogobiri House. 9/7, Maitama Sule Str, Ikoyi

A performer at Open Mic Night in Bogobiri, Ikoyi, Lagos
A performer at Open Mic Night in Bogobiri, Ikoyi, Lagos | © Cynthia Okoroafor

Day 6 – Enjoy Nature at the Conservation Centre. Party After.

Day

The Lekki Conservation Centre is a fantastic ecotourist center. Go bird watching, take long walks, lounge in the tree house, and play games.

Evening

Going clubbing in Lagos is definitely something you should do. Remember Adeola Odeku street (and its immediate environs) and Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue? Well, you will find Escape, Quilox, Rumours, Sip, Vellvett, and many more in these areas.

If you’re on the mainland, Club Vegas, The Place, and Rumours are some of your best choices. Altogether, these clubs play fantastic world music, as well as the best of Nigerian Afropop music.

Location:

Lekki Conservation Centre.19, Lekki – Epe Expressway, Lekki Peninsula II, Lekki

Day 7 – Resort to a Getaway

Depending on your budget, choose between La Campagne Tropicana, Kamp Ikare, Grand Inagbe Resort, Whispering Palms, and more. These resorts have great beaches, awesome food and accommodations, and fun activities for guests.

A chalet at La Campagne Tropicana
A chalet at La Campagne Tropicana | © Cynthia Okoroafor

Day 8 – Enjoy the Activities at the Resort

Day

Ardent planners might have a barbecue or brunch or party at the beach. If not, continue with the resort’s flow. In the evening, it’s time to head back for another week ahead.

Evening

If you’re not tired, head straight to the Mainland to catch Femi Kuti and his band at the New Afrika Shrine for a night unlike no other anywhere else in the world.

Location:

New Afrika Shrine. 1, NERDC Rd, Agidingbi, Ikeja

Day 9 – Get More Local

Day

Immerse yourself more in local culture: more Nigerian cuisine and snacks, street art exhibitions, or a local wrestling game at Rowe Park in Yaba.

Evening

In the evening, you can repeat the activities of Days 1 and 2, or head to La Vida Bella for beers and games on a Monday night.

Location:

La Vida Bella. Lekki Coliseum, Lekki Phase 1, Lekki

Day 10 – Explore Lagos’ and Nigeria’s History

Day

Visit the city’s museums. Also, with enough time and energy to spare, a visit to the Badagry Slave Museum would do you a lot of educational good.

Evening

Revisit Bottles for “All you can eat and drink,” AKA Texas Tuesdays in the evening.

Mural at the Nigerian National Museum, Lagos
Mural at the Nigerian National Museum, Lagos | © crashdburnd/Flickr

Day 11 – Shopping: Eko Market

Day

It’s time to buy the things you fancied while window shopping days ago. You may not find the exact same things from before—perhaps because they’re sold out—but you’ll be alright. You’re likely to spend several hours at Eko, so best be prepared.

Evening

For evening plans, opt for suya from either Glover Court Suya spot or—if you can still handle a trip to the Mainland—Awalu suya spot. Both venues are famous for providing assorted choices in beef, chicken, or innards. You can choose to enjoy your suya there or take it away for a more quiet evening in.

Locations:

Glover Court Suya. Glover Court, off Glover Rd, Ikoyi

Awalu Suya Spot. 1-5, James Robertson Str, Akerele, Surulere

Day 12 – Shopping: Lekki Arts and Craft Market

Day

This arts and craft market offers visitors a range of such items from different parts of Nigeria and West Africa. Items gotten from here can be used as souvenirs or decoration, or to give to family and friends back home. The shopping days are split because it is highly unlikely that you can cover two Lagos markets in a day, especially if they’re offering you two distinct sets of commodities.

Evening

Whether you’re on holiday alone, with a romantic partner, or friends, a dinner at Vellvett can suit most plans. Their menu offers an appetizing array of intercontinental food and cocktails, both classic and customised.

Locations:

Lekki Arts and Crafts Market. Oba Elegushi Street, off Lekki-Epe expressway

Vellvett .19B, Idejo Street, Victoria Island

Dinner at Vellvett
Dinner at Vellvett | © Cynthia Okoroafor

Day 13 – Line Up the Best Last-Minute Activities

This is practically your last active day in Lagos, thus you need to make the best last-minute plans that are both as memorable and hassle-free as possible.

Day

Therefore, you can either decide to spend this day nursing probably sore muscles back to life with a massage, or keep the momentum going and head to either Get Arena for go-karting or Kayak Lagos for kayaking. For those who love the beach, you can use this opportunity for another visit. Just take a boat from Fiki Marine to Tarkwa Bay, or drive to Elegushi beach.

Evening

Get ready to be a famous musician for one night at karaoke at Shaunz Bar. Also, try to arrive here a bit early to get in as many songs as possible before people start to troop in. After singing to your heart’s content—and if your flight is not in the wee hours of the next morning, or if you can handle this—choose from the selection of nightclubs in the vicinity to finish off your night.

Locations:

Get Arena. Oniru estate, off Ozumba Mbadiwe, Maroko Rd, Lekki

Kayak Lagos. 17, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi

Fiki Marine. 3/4, Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Eti-Osa

Shaunz Bar. Sanusi Fafunwa Str, Victoria Island

A Lagos beach
A Lagos beach | © Ian Cochrane / Flickr

Day 14 – Getting Set to Go

If you’re like us, you probably already started packing the night before. This also depends on what time you’re scheduled to fly.

Ensure all your previous and latest personal belongings are neatly and safely arranged in your box(es). If you have a few hours to spare in the morning, head to Cactus for a lovely breakfast. Then it’s on to LOS for your return trip.

Location:

Cactus. 20/24 Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island

General tip for transportation – If you don’t have acquaintances here, ride-hailing apps are your best friend throughout your trip.