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Credit: Bellanaija
Credit: Bellanaija

The Best Ways to Spend 48 Hours in Lagos

Picture of Fareeda Abdulkareem
Updated: 20 January 2017
Whether you arrive via Murtala Muhammed International Airport or the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, it would be hard to miss the famed three statues welcoming you to the Nigerian capital. After acclimatising to the searing heat, your next 48 hours can be filled with points of interest and stories to tell friends and family for years to come. Here’s our definitive guide to getting the most out of all the cultural charm that Lagos has to offer over the following two days.

Day 1

Get a tour guide

Best sought through friends or family based in Nigeria, or through a trusted referral, a tour guide will furnish you with all the needs you never anticipate and can’t get through conventional means. They’ll be waiting for you when you land with a car or an Uber, complete with air-conditioning and a port to charge your phone so you can Snapchat and Instagram to your heart’s content the moment you arrive.

Have brunch at HSE Café

A cute café tucked away in the famous Fola Osibo Street in Lekki, HSE is easy to miss (located behind Arabella’s Place) but worth seeking out. The café has a minimalist feel and is adorned with contemporary works of cool art, and offers a small but delicious menu of sandwiches, salads and soups, which you can wash down with a beer or some excellent port to set you up for the day. Afterwards, take a walk along Fola Osibo, or get into your car and enjoy Beat FM’s line-up of Afrobeat bangers as you navigate the hustle-bustle and traffic to the next spot.

HSE Café, Emmanuel Abimbola Cole Street, Lekki Phase 1, Nigeria, +234 809 086 5298

Visit the Nike Art Gallery

Arguably the largest gallery in West Africa, Nike Art is a treasure trove of the art world. Featuring an astounding collection of contemporary African art across all forms, the four floors will take hours to explore. If you feel tired, take some time off in the adjoining shop for drinks, and don’t forget to buy some postcards or trinkets before you leave, such as waist beads or deliciously stately necklaces to help you become your own African queen.

Nike Art Gallery, 2 Elegushi Road, 3rd Roundabout, Epe Expressway, Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Phase 1, Nigeria, +234 80 340 96656

Enjoy happy hour at Eko Hotel and Crossroads Restaurant

Head to Eko Hotels & Suites’ open-air bar, where drinks are half-price during happy hour. Located in the same complex is Crossroads, a Tex-Mex hybrid restaurant with large circular tables and friendly waiting staff. Why not sample the excellent cuisine with a few marvellous margaritas, or simply stay at the bar drinking and lounging – just don’t overindulge and fall into the pool!

Eko Hotels & Suites, Plot 1415 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, PMB 12724, Victoria Island, Nigeria, +234 1 277 2700

La dolce vita | Eko Hotel

Shake your stuff at Vellvett

Located within the recently reinvented PiccoloMondo restaurant, Vellvett provides a fusion of grime and Afro-pop all night long for you to dance away the calories.

Vellvett Grill Lounge & Bar, 19b Idejo, Victoria Island, Lagos 101241, Nigeria+234 706 633 3333

Get your smooth moves on |

Day 2

Cross the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge

Take a walk or run across the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, a well-known tourist attraction that is a magnificent sight. Then take the weight off your feet and let your Uber transport you to your next location.

Stroll through Freedom Park

A former colonial institution and trading site refurbished into a park and concept space, Freedom Park is now a cultural site that houses its own arts and recreation centre. Here you can find vendors selling palm wine (a locally fermented alcoholic drink), as well as Veggie Victory, the first vegetarian restaurant in Nigeria, whose vegan suya (a vegan alternative to ‘suya’, which is a type of barbecued meat) is a knockout. Wash it down with Orijin, a popular alcoholic drink similar to beer. Depending on your tolerance, go for either the bitter, cider or non-alcoholic version.

Freedom Park, Hospital Road, Nigeria, +234 806 210 8669

Buy a record or book at Jazz Hole

Wind down the day and wait out the traffic in Ikoyi at The Jazz Hole, a charming store with a collection of records and books, and an in-house café with tasty sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices. The owners are a charming couple who will regale you with stories of Lagos’ past, before allowing you to browse through the comprehensive selection of music that will steal hours from your day.

The Jazz Hole, Shop No. 168, Awolowo Road, Nigeria+234 706 064 8580

You can feed your craving for good books and music at the Jazz Hole | The Jazz Hole

Party with the cool kids at 355

The place most frequented by Lagos millennials, 355 Restaurant & Lounge combines Mexican dining, beer cocktails from their own specially made draft and its signature Wahalarita margaritas, with a lively yet cool vibe to ensure a stellar night out. Wednesdays are its busiest nights if you fancy some midweek madness.

355 Restaurant & Lounge, 9A Oko Awo Close, off Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Nigeria, +234 809 465 6494

The calm before the storm | LostinLagos

Opt for more chilled-out vibes at Lotus

However, if you’re in the mood for something more low-key, head to Lotus, which is cosier and presents a selection of alternative live music on weeknights to go with the food and cocktails.

Lotus at Pattaya Bar, 1611 Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island, Nigeria, +234 807 760 6870

You’re not going home, so enjoy the ambience |