Lagos

Dubbed the New York of Africa, Lagos is one of the most popular West African tourist destinations. It’s not hard to see why the city has such a reputation, as it’s packed full of energetic young people and constantly buzzing with activity, from daytime rush hour to rich nightlife. As a commercial and entertainment centre, Lagos is a top spot for both business visits and tourist trips, and offers a great choice of accommodation and activities for those travelling on a budget. 

One of the most beautiful sights in Lagos is Tarkwa Bay. A man-made bay easily reached by boat, it’s a great place for swimming and water sports. Immediately next to the Bay travellers can find the Lighthouse Beach. This iconic beach is named after the historic 110-year-old lighthouse sat at the mouth of Lagos harbour, which is in use to this day. In addition to the stunning ocean vista spanning over Tarkwa Bay and the lighthouse, the beach also offers great opportunities for visitors to take a serene walk and observe the accosting ships.

Lagos is the site of more than a dozen beaches, which offer tourists the chance to bask in the sun, and enjoy the beautiful scenery accompanied by a cool breeze and a myriad of fun activities. Many of the beaches allow for picnics and barbeques, which makes for a fantastic day by the sea. Lagos Bar Beach is a fantastic choice for kicking back, thanks to the numerous sand bars found along the coast line, after which it’s named. Meanwhile, more adventurous travellers can go for a horse ride at Oniru Private Beach for as little as N500 (equivalent to £1.01)!

Nature lovers should add the Lekki Conservation Centre to the list of must-visit places in Lagos. Run by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, the lush park is a serene oasis in the heart of the city. It features the longest canopy walkway in Africa, spanning over 400-metre-long trail winding between stunning flora and fauna. Tourists can stroll through a boulevard of coconut trees and marvel at wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys and a variety of exotic birds. There are also open grasslands housing mongoose, bushbucks, hogs and many other interesting animals.

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  1. Get an insight into Nigeria. The National Museum of Nigeria is over 50 years old, and features a collection of some of the most important West African antiquities in the world. A site of cultural and historical significance to the country, the museum is a fantastic place to visit if you want to learn more about traditional Nigerian life.
  2. Experience local culture. The National Arts Theatre is an integral part of the preservation of Nigerian culture and entertainment. Housed in a stunning structure in Iganmu, the theatre is made up of a number of rooms and halls designed to host Lagos’ range of cultural events. Enjoy a relaxing day in the serene environment, or take part in one of the many exciting activities happening there weekly.
  3. Have your pick of antiques. Music and book lovers will have a blast at the Jazz Hole. An oasis of calm in the bustling city of Lagos, this charming book and record store offers a selection of African artworks and antiques at bargain prices. If you are willing to linger, you can also enjoy a delicious cuppa in the charming café, and learn more about local culture from the proprietor.
  4. Marvel at works of art. Run by Nike Okundaye, one of Nigeria’s most influential artists, Nike Art Gallery features four storeys of stunning contemporary and traditional Nigerian works of art. There are also a number of documentaries on Nigerian art being screened, and resident students learning different art forms, such as the classic Nigerian indigo dying. Whether you want to buy art or just browse, you won’t be disappointed by your visit.
  5. Learn the story of slavery. If you have a keen interest in history, make sure to include Badagry Town on your Lagos itinerary. Founded by missionaries in 1842, this little town served as a slave port for Africans being transported to Brazil, and was aptly dubbed the "Point of No Return" as a result. To this day Badagry remains the vestige of slavery in Africa, and even has a museum dedicated to telling the story of oppression.

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