Are you planning your first visit to Lagos, Nigeria? If so, you are in for a treat and fun experience! Lagos is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty to see and do. To make the most of your trip, we’ve compiled 12 essential tips for your visit to Lagos, Nigeria. From where to stay, to how to get around, and what attractions to visit, these tips will help ensure that your first visit to Lagos is a memorable one. So, grab your bags and let’s get started!
1. Do your research
Before you embark on your first visit to Lagos, Nigeria, it’s important to do your research. You should have a basic understanding of Nigerian culture and customs before you travel to the country. This will help you stay safe during your trip and ensure you make the most of your time there. Consider reading up on the history and culture of Nigeria, such as its traditional music, cuisine, and architecture. Additionally, it’s a good idea to research areas of Lagos that are popular for sightseeing, such as Victoria Island, Eko Atlantic City, and Ikoyi. By researching different Tour Lagos or Tour Nigeria programs, you can be sure to see the best sights that Lagos has to offer.
2. Know your currency
It is important to familiarize yourself with the currency before you tour Lagos, Nigeria. The official currency of Nigeria is the Naira (NGN). It comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes and 5, 10, 25 and 50 kobo coins. Exchange rates can fluctuate so be sure to keep an eye on the exchange rate before you travel to Nigeria. To get the best exchange rate for your currency, it is best to exchange it in a bank or at an authorized exchange bureau. Be aware that credit and debit cards are widely accepted but may incur extra charges. It is also a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases.
3. Pack light
Touring Nigeria often means navigating challenging roads and transportation options, so you don’t want to be weighed down by too much luggage. Bringing a carry-on sized bag is the best way to go. Make sure to bring only the essentials such as toiletries, a few changes of clothes, a jacket or sweater for cooler nights, and comfortable shoes. Consider bringing a small backpack or shoulder bag to store any items you need to keep easily accessible throughout your travels in Nigeria. Also, remember that power outlets in Lagos use European plugs, so make sure to bring an adapter for all your electronic devices. By packing light, you can travel around Lagos with ease and explore all that the city has to offer!
4. Stay in a safe area
For any tourist travelling to Lagos, Nigeria, it is important to make sure you stay in a safe area. There are many areas that are known to be dangerous, so doing your research beforehand is key. Try to find a reputable accommodation, such as a hotel that is located in a safe neighborhood. If you are staying in an AirBnB, make sure to read the reviews carefully and make sure that it is in a safe area. You can also ask your hotel for recommendations of safe areas to visit. Avoid traveling alone after dark, and if you must travel at night, consider taking an urban taxi service.
5. Have cash on hand
When you travel to Lagos, Nigeria, it’s essential to have cash on hand at all times. The country is largely a cash economy, and many places don’t accept cards or other forms of payment. Make sure to have the local currency, Nigerian Naira, on hand so that you can pay for meals, shopping, transportation, and other services without any hassle. If you plan to use ATMs, remember to bring your bank card and know the maximum amount you can withdraw in a single day. Bring more than one credit or debit card as a backup.
6. Learn some basic phrases
If you’re traveling to Lagos, Nigeria, it is also imperative you learn a few basic phrases so that you can communicate with the locals. Almost everyone you come across in Lagos speaks the English Language or the local version, Pidgin English. Most inhabitants also speak Yoruba. Here are some common phrases and words you should learn before your trip:
How far: How are you doing? or What’s up
You dey speak English abi?: You speak English, right?
You fit help me locate this place?: Can you help me with directions to this location?
Learning these basic phrases will help you get around Lagos and make sure you can communicate with the locals. It’s also important to remember to be respectful when interacting with the people of Nigeria.
7. Dress conservatively
Avoid wearing revealing clothing and be aware of the local customs. Although the city is more modernized than most parts of Nigeria, it’s still important to dress respectfully and appropriately for the culture. It’s also a good idea to keep jewelry, watches, and purses to a minimum. Showing too much wealth can draw unwanted attention and make you a target for crime.
8. Be aware of your surroundings
As you travel to Lagos, Nigeria, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings at all times. With high levels of poverty, crime and scams, it is important to remain vigilant and aware of any potential threats. As a tourist, you are more likely to stand out than locals, so try to blend in as much as possible. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing flashy jewelry and clothing, and never leave your possessions unattended in public areas. Pay close attention to people and your environment in order to detect any suspicious activity or behavior. Don’t travel alone at night and always let someone know where you are going before leaving. By being aware of your surroundings, you can help ensure that your trip to Lagos is safe and enjoyable.
9. Don’t take photos of people without permission
Nigerian culture is based on respect and it is considered very disrespectful to take photos of someone without asking first. If someone does not want to be photographed, it is best to honor their wishes and move on. Be mindful that taking photos of military personnel, government buildings, and other sensitive areas could also be illegal and could land you in hot water with the authorities. Respect the culture and the people of Lagos, Nigeria and don’t forget to ask permission before snapping any photographs.
10. Be cautious with food and water
Visiting Lagos, Nigeria, it is important to be cautious when it comes to food and water. Make sure to only eat food that is cooked and served hot. Also, make sure to drink bottled water or bring your own water and use it for drinking, brushing teeth, and making coffee or tea. If you buy food from street vendors, be aware of their hygienic practices and ask questions about the freshness of their food before you purchase.
11. Respect religious customs
Nigeria is a largely Christian and Muslim country and most of the people are devoted to their faith. Although there are other religions practiced in the country, Christianity/Islam are the predominant faith. As such, it is important to be respectful when visiting churches, mosques and other places of worship. When visiting any religious sites, dress modestly, avoid taking photographs without permission, and don’t engage in any activities that may be deemed offensive. It is also important to be aware that Sundays are days of rest and worship in Nigeria. Therefore, many stores, shops and businesses will be closed on Sundays. By showing respect for the religious customs of Nigerians, you will make a great impression on your trip!
12. Shop around
In Lagos, Nigeria, you can find some great bargains in the markets, but be sure to haggle for the best price. You may also find some unique souvenirs that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. If you have time, spend a day or two exploring the different markets in Lagos and enjoy the experience. Don’t forget to take advantage of the friendly vendors who are always willing to help you find what you are looking for. Remember that bargaining is part of the culture and expected, so don’t be afraid to haggle!
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The Best Places to Visit in Lagos, Nigeria: A Travel Guide
Now that you are fully equipped with knowledge of what to expect in Lagos, Nigeria, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. With its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and exciting nightlife, there is no shortage of places to visit in Lagos. From the hustle and bustle of downtown Lagos to the quiet retreats of its many beaches, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore the city or take in some of the best hotels in Lagos, this travel guide will help you plan the perfect vacation. Read on to discover the best places to visit in Lagos, Nigeria.
Lekki Conservation Centre
The Lekki Conservation Centre is a must-see for any traveler looking to explore the beauty of Lagos. Located in the affluent Victoria Island, the Lekki Conservation Centre is an oasis of tranquil nature that provides the perfect backdrop for a day filled with exploration and relaxation. The park boasts an impressive lake, lush vegetation, and a network of trails that weave through the park. Visitors can explore the boardwalk, bird-watch, or simply sit back and enjoy the stunning views. It’s also home to several animal species, such as monkeys and monitor lizards, making it a great spot to snap some amazing photos!
Tarkwa Bay Beach
Located on the western part of Lagos, Tarkwa Bay Beach is a popular destination among beachgoers. With its beautiful white sand, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation, it’s easy to see why. This beach is an excellent place for swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking, and other aquatic activities. It also features a wide range of eateries and bars for those who want to take a break and enjoy some delicious local cuisine or drinks. Visitors can also find plenty of comfortable beach loungers available for rent.
If you’re looking for a little adventure during your stay, then be sure to check out the boat rides offered at Tarkwa Bay Beach. You can explore the vast ocean views, visit nearby islands, and even spot some marine life along the way. The beach also offers a variety of other amenities such as volleyball courts and a children’s playground. With its stunning beauty and endless activities, Tarkwa Bay Beach is an ideal spot for beach lovers who are looking for a memorable experience in Lagos.
Located in the heart of Lagos, Freedom Park is an oasis of peace and quiet in a bustling city. The park was originally opened as a military barracks and later repurposed as a park and open space for the people of Lagos. It was named to honor the struggle for freedom of Nigeria during the civil war and is now a popular tourist destination.
Visitors to Freedom Park can enjoy a variety of activities, including bird watching, strolling through the lush green gardens, picnicking, and taking in the sights and sounds of nature. With multiple museums, a botanical garden, art galleries, and more, this is an ideal spot for those who want to learn more about Nigerian culture.
There are also several restaurants and food stalls around the park where visitors can enjoy traditional Nigerian meals. On the weekends, the park comes alive with outdoor music performances and live entertainment, making it a great place to spend an afternoon with friends or family.
No matter what your interests are, Freedom Park offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, this is one of the best places to visit in Lagos.
Other notable places to visit in Lagos, Nigeria include but not limited to the following:
- Nike Art Gallery
- National Museum.