Best Things To Do in Lagos Nigeria

The 25 Best Things to Do in Lagos Nigeria (The Ultimate Bucket List)

Looking for the best things to do in Lagos, Nigeria?

Well, you're in luck! In this detailed post, I’ll cover 25 of the best things to do in Lagos – from where to eat in Lagos, to the best day trips from Lagos, to the top Lagos attractions, and just generally all the best places to visit in Lagos.

Travel Lemming in Yoruba Attire

Me Getting Ready for My Friend's Traditional Wedding!

I visited Lagos in late 2018 for the wedding of my good friend Ademola Adewale-Sadik (whose local advice was very helpful in crafting this list of the top things to do in Lagos, Nigeria). I fell in love with the city’s energy, and I bet you will too!

Lagos may not be a tourist city and there are frankly not a ton of well-established things to do in Lagos.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of great experiences to be had in Lagos, so let's dive into our top things to do!

Oh, and be sure to read my post on the best hotels in Lagos Nigeria and be sure to read if you need travel insurance for Nigeria.

Disclosures: links on this page may provide Travel Lemming a commission, which helps us to keep provide free travel content like this! 

1. Brave the Longest Canopy Walkway in Africa at the Lekki Conservation Center

Lekki Conservation Centre, a top thing to do in Lagos Nigeria

Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos Nigeria

You’ll find the Lekki Conservation Centre at the top of most lists of things to do in Lagos, Nigeria, and ours is no different.

This huge expansive of green space is a marked contrast to the concrete that dominates the rest of the city. It’s like a tranquil oasis of peace, nature, and wildlife tucked inside one of the world’s most congested cities.

You can take an organized tour through the center, where you’ll walk on planks over mangroves, learning about the fauna and flora which are native to the area. You’re very likely to see monkeys (watch out or they’ll take your camera), birds, and fish. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a crocodile or a snake.

And for a special treat, brave the longest canopy walkway in Africa, which will allow you to you experience the forest from a different angle!

  • KM 19, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos 550104, Nigeria
  • 8:30 AM – 5 PM (including weekends and public holidays)
  • Adults N1,000, Children (1-10 yrs.) N200, Children (11-17 yrs.) N300, Canopy Walkway N1,000

2. Experience African Art at the Nike Centre for Art and Culture

Nike of the Nike Art Gallery in Lagos

Me with Nike herself!

Founded by the legendary Oyenike Monica Okundaye (whom I'm pictured with above), the Lagos outpost of the Nike Art Centres is something akin to an art gallery, an artist retreat and workshop, and a home rolled into one. 

Inside, you’ll find Nigerian artists, sculptors, and craftsmen honing their skills, several levels filled to the brim with one of the largest collections of African art on the continent, and – if you’re lucky – even Nike herself.

There’s no cost to enter, making it a great free thing to do in Lagos Nigeria, but you’ll have the opportunity to make a purchase should something catch your eye! 

  • No. 2, Nike Art Gallery Road, 3rd Round About, Epe Expressway, Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Peninsula Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 11 AM – 7 PM
  • Free entrance (but booked tour options are available)
  • Flash photography is prohibited inside the gallery

3. Get Educated at the Kalakuta Republic Museum

Kelakuta Museum in Lagos

Have you ever heard of Fela Kuta?

If yes, you’ll love this entry on our list of things to do in Lagos Nigeria. If not, you can’t leave Lagos without learning about this incredible figure in Nigerian history!

Located in Fela’s former house, the museum tells you the story of Fela’s music, activism, and unusual lifestyle. When I visited I was the only visitor, but that made it all the more fascinating.

Bottom line: either before or after visiting the New Afrika Shrine, you should take some time to pop by the small but fascinating Kalakuta Republic Museum.

  • 7 Gbemisola Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria 
  • 11 AM – 6 PM
  • N500
  • Chill out on the rooftop bar and patio after exploring the museum (you might just catch a performance)

4. Watch a Concert at the New Afrika Shrine

New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria

One of the friends I made at the New Afrika Shrine

This open-air entertainment center serves as a next generation of the old Afrika Shrine built by the famous artist cum political activist Fela Kuta in 1970. It showcases some of Fela’s artwork and also serves as a sort of community center.

Visit during the day and you’re sure to be greeted by many friendly and chatty locals eager to show you around. Or do like Emmanuel Macron did and come at night during one of the Shrine’s weekend concert events, which are sure to offer you a crazy night out in Lagos.

For a real treat, visit Lagos during the annual Felabration festival and feel the Shrine pulse with Afrobeats. 

It’s located in Ikeja, which means a long drive if you’re staying in the islands, but it’s well worth it (and can be easily combined with the nearby Kalakuta Republic Museum). In my opinion, it’s one of the most exciting things to do in Lagos!

  • 1 Nerdc Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Free entrance
  • In 2019, Felabration will be held from Oct. 15-21

5. Ride in a Keke

A Lagos Keke

What's a keke?

I’m glad you asked! A keke, or keke napep, is Nigeria’s version of a tuk tuk or rickshaw. You’ll find drivers plying the roads all over Lagos, and no visit to the city is complete without at least a short ride in the back of one of these yellow contraptions!

For a real special treat, click the below button to book a tour of the city that’s run entirely in kekes:

6. Take a Trip to the Epe Mangroves

Tired of the chaos of Lagos and need a bit of a break?

Take a day trip to the nearby Epe Mangroves! There you’ll find a smaller Yoruba community very different than Lagos, including a fascinating fish market you can peruse.

But the highlight of any daytrip from Lagos to Epe is definitely going to be taking a small boat or canoeing through the mangroves, where you’ll get a taste of Nigerian nature. Just watch out for the crocodiles!

You’ll need to organize a driver for the day, but otherwise most of the tour can be arranged independently.

7. Visit the Historic Town of Badagry

There’s no understanding West Africa without learning about the tragic history of the slave trade and the havoc colonial slavers wrecked across the region.

A trip to the historic town of Badagry is sure to leave you pensive as you explore relics of this unfortunate chapter of Nigerian (and world) history at the Badagry Black Heritage Museum.

Badagry is also a charming town in its own right, and is near some decent beaches, so it makes for another worthwhile daytrip from Lagos.

Again, to get there it’s likely best to organize a private driver, though there is at least one company offering tours to locals (click here to check them out).

8. Check out the Surf at Tarkwa Bay

Nigeria may not be known for its surfing culture, but Tarkwa bay is starting to put it on the map, as even some of the pros are starting to flock to this hidden surfing gem.

As it’s located on a small artificial island, Tarkwa is only accessible by a 30 minute boat or water taxi from Victoria Island (Mekwe Jetty is one of several places to catch a lift)

Didn’t pack your board? That’s cool! It’s still a great beach (you can rent a chair) and a worthwhile place to visit in Lagos. Plus, watching the surfers at work is always a great thing to do!

  • N200 entrance fee (additional costs for chairs, tables and tent rental)
  • Bring sunscreen and come dressed already, as there aren’t restrooms

9. Try Some Nigerian Food

Jollof Rice, a Popular Nigerian Food

Confession time: I’m a vegetarian, which means I’m about the worst blogger to tell you about the best foods to try in Nigeria. 

But suya, a spicy skewer typically made of beef, chicken, or ram (yes, ram!), is clearly hugely popular with the locals and a must try for any carnivorous visitor to Lagos. As my friend Ademola is fond of saying, “Suya is life.” You can find it being hawked by vendors all over the city, but Ademola swears the best suya spot in Lagos is the Glover Court Suya Spot.

Other popular Nigerian foods to try include jollof rice, akara (deep fried bean cakes), dodo (fried plantain), and puff-puff (fried sweet donut-like balls).

10. Visit the Makoko Floating Village

Makoko Village in Lagos, Nigeria

Just outside of the flashy wealth of Lagos Island you’ll find the severely economically challenged community of Makoko, which is by some definitions the largest floating slum in the world. Definitely the most eye-opening thing to do in Lagos, you’ll witness a hugely marginalized but remarkably resilient community that subsists off the ocean and its own will power.

A visit to the Makoko floating village requires some preparation to be sure you’re interacting with the community in a way that is respectful and not voyeuristic. To that end, it's best to go with a local tour guide, though admittedly that can be a challenge to arrange.

I went on a tour with the incredible Nigerian travel group Naija Nomads, who arranged for a boat tour through the village guided by the son of the head of the Makoko community. Note they arrange tours on a custom basis, so you can book a tour through them and see not only Makoko but a few of the other places on this list of things to do in Lagos too! Click here to check out their tours. 

(Note: I am currently searching for a charity that accepts online donations and is providing assistance to the Makoko community. If you are reading this and are connected to one, please leave a comment and I'll be in touch) 

11. Shop in an Open-Air Market

Lagos is filled with open-air markets that sell everything from textiles to household goods to computers (there’s even a famous “Computer Village”).

Probably the most popular market for tourists, and definitely the most accessible, is the Lekki Crafts Market. For a more local experience, however, check out the huge Balogun Market on Lagos Island. 

  • The markets are generally safe, but watch your belongings and practice common sense

12. Chill out a​​​​t Moist Beach Club

Moist Beach Club, A Top Beach Club in Lagos

Photo courtesy Moist Beach Club

If it’s a weekend afternoon in Lagos, there’s only one place to be in: the beach.

And while there are a multitude of offerings in Lekki and Victoria Island, the newly opened Moist Beach Club is the hottest place to be in town. Offering a swimming pool just steps from the ocean, plenty of seating in the open-air deck, and summer vibes all year around, it’s a great place to kick back, relax, and leave the chaos of Lagos behind you.

  • Oniru Royal Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • N1,000 Oniru Royal Beach entrance fee

13. Wander Freedom Park

At this 19th-century prison-turned-park, you’ll find memorials, fountains, green space, food courts and more in this large urban park. Wander the grounds, bring a picnic, or just sit and people watch.

Freedom Park also plays host to a variety of performances and festivals (you can check the schedule of events here).

  • Old Prison Ground Broad Street, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 11 AM – 11 PM
  • Park visit is free; events usually cost between N200-N500

14. Browse the Jazzhole Bookstore

Jazzhole Bookstore, a Top Thing to Do in Lagos Nigeria

You wouldn’t know it from the unassuming entrance on a busy commercial street in Ikoyi, but the interior of the Jazzhole Bookstore is one of the classiest places to be in Lagos. You’ll find a fascinating collection of books from around Africa and the world, not to mention a small café serving up caffeinated confections and tasty Nigerian morsels. Visit at the right time and you might even be treated to a live musical performance.

Note that the owners are weirdly territorial about taking photographs, which is a shame as the bookstore is one of the most Instagrammable places in Lagos.

  • 168 Awolowo road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 9 AM – 8:30 PM (4 PM – 6:30 PM on Sundays)
  • Buy a drink at the café first and then ask the owner if it’s okay to take a photo or two

15. Check Out Terra Kulture

An arts, cultural, and educational center that hosts plays, art exhibitions, and book readings, Terra Kulture is a great place to visit in Lagos Nigeria if you’re looking to connect with Nigerian art and culture.

If there are no performances on the day of your visit, you can still check out the art gallery and bookstore. Plus, it has an attached restaurant, which is a great place to try some Nigerian food (#9 on our list of things to do in Lagos Nigeria!).

  • Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage St, Off Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 9 AM – 10 PM (12 PM – 10 PM on Sundays)
  • Free entrance

​​​​16. Wander the National Theatre

The National Theater, One of the Best Things to do in Lagos Nigeria

Perhaps no place in Lagos better exemplifies Nigeria than its National Theatre. On the one hand -- it’s huge, filled with history, and bursting with the potential to be a world class venue. On the other hand -- well, it simply isn’t living up to that potential (yet). 

Parts of the theatre have sadly fallen into disrepair, with broken glass and sawdust sprinkled between the rows of the venue’s main auditorium. You can visit by taking a tour of the grounds, which may leave you wistful at what could have been. Or if you’re lucky to be in town on the right day, you might just be able to catch a handful of the performances that are still put on here. 

  • Iganmu Road, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Officially no entrance fee, though better to ask for a paid tour
  • Be careful of scammers outside trying to take you on a “private tour” – talk to the official tour guides inside yourself

17. Enjoy Fine Dining at Shiro Restaurant

Experience the best of high-class service at Lagos’s uber-posh Shiro Restaurant. Inside, you’ll dine on fine sushi in a tranquil ambiance under the imposing presence of a giant sculpted Buddha head.

Or head outside on the deck for a drink or two and enjoy the cool breeze of the ocean air. On weekends, you’re likely to find DJs pumping out club tunes through the late night.

  • Water Corporation Road, Land Mark Village, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island Annex, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 12:30 PM – 1 AM (Mon – Thurs), 12:30 PM – 4 AM (Fri – Sun)
  • Main course starts at N3,000

18. Take a Dip at the Hard Rock Café Lagos

Travel Lemming at the Hard Rock Cafe in Lagos

Looking cool (or trying to!) at the Lagos Hard Rock

Normally I’d be loathed to put a chain on a list of the best things to do in Lagos Nigeria ... or anywhere else for that matter. But the Hard Rock Café Lagos is different. For one thing, it’s an incredible venue in its own right. Set against prime beachfront property in Victoria Island, the café offers a private stretch of sand and an expansive open-air deck sporting an inviting pool (perfect for cooling off on a hot Nigerian afternoon).

The Hard Rock is also a staple of the Lagos music scene, and you’ll find some of the best acts in the city performing here on weekends (when I visited, I was treated to a performance by the remarkably talented Nigerian rapper Vector Tha’ Viper). In short, it’s actually a great place to mingle with Lagos’s trendiest locals. Add in quality food and drinks to boot, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a great thing to do in Lagos, Nigeria.

  • Plot No 3 & 4, Block XVI, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, Near Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Restaurant Hours: 12 PM – 12 AM (weekdays), 12 PM – 1 AM (weekends) || Bar Hours: 12 PM – 1:30 AM (weekdays), 12 PM – 2 AM (weekdays)
Insert Thrive Leads Shortcode

​​​​19. Relax on the Patio at Nok

If you’re the foodie type, you may be surprised at the gastronomical offerings at the city’s many high-end establishments. Perhaps none of these is a more sure-fire night out, however, than the tastefully modern Nok.

From the elegant interior, to the thoughtful menu consisting of Nigerian and international dishes, to the mellow but classy patio, Nok hits the mark on every point.

Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

  • 12a Akin Olugbade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Tues – Thurs, Sun (12 PM – 3 PM, 6 PM – 10 PM) || Fri – Sat (12 PM – 3 PM, 6 PM – 11 PM)
  • Main course starts at N3,000

20. Taste Hans and Rene Gelato

Simply put, this is some of the best gelato you’ll find on the planet. A Nigerian company, but one that churns out the sweet stuff with the skills of an Italian, Hans and Rene gelato is hugely popular with the locals and makes for a great break from the Lagos heat.

There are multiple locations throughout the city, so a sweet treat is never too far away while exploring the best things to do in Lagos Nigeria. 

  • Flagship store: 1 Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 10 AM – 8:30 PM (Mon – Fri), 10 AM – 9 PM (Sat – Sun)

21. Soak in the Vibes at Art Café

A funky café with an eclectic interior and inviting patio space, the Art Café is the perfect place to catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee, grab a drink, or get some work done.

This charming urban oasis is located in Victoria Island (not far from Nok Restaurant), making it the thing to do in Lagos for a quick break from the afternoon sun during a day out exploring, or for a drink and food to wind down your evening.

  • 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Off Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 7:30 AM – 10 PM (Mon – Fri), 9 AM – 10 PM (Sat – Sun)

22. Go Clubbing!

Nigerians love a good party. So even if nightlife isn’t your thing, spending at least one night checking out the Nigerian clubbing scene should be on any foreigners’ list of the best things to do in Lagos.

Top choices include Vellvett and Quilox clubs for a crazy night out in Lagos. 

  • Dress to impress!

23. Browse Artifacts at the Nigerian National Museum

Did you know that Nigeria has hundreds of tribes and subcultures? In this museum, you’ll find important collections of Nigerian art and ethnography from across many of the cultures which collectively make up Nigeria.

Note that the museum does get mixed reviews from some visitors on account of the facilities (there is no air conditioning, for example), but that is in some sense part of the experience of visiting Lagos.

  • Awolowo Rd (opposite Muson Centre), Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
  • N200-N300 Entrance fee

24. Visit the Nigerian Railway Corporation Museum

Lagos Railway Museum, a Top Lagos Attraction

All aboard!

Learn about the fascinating history of Nigeria’s agricultural and industrial economy during the colonial period by visiting the Nigerian Railway Corporation Museum.

It’s a very small and somewhat aging museum that receives very few visitors (my party was the first one on the visitors’ log for almost a week!), but the caretaker is eager to pass on his extensive knowledge about the history of Nigeria’s impressive railway network.

  • Federal Road, Railway Compound, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, Nigeria
  • 8 AM – 5 PM (Mon – Sat), closed on Sundays
  • Adult N200, Child N100

25. Get Chatty with a Local

A man in Lagos Nigeria

One of the many friendly locals I met in Lagos

Honestly, by far my favorite thing to do in Lagos Nigeria was to simply strike up a conversation with a random local. Nigerians speak English, which makes Lagos an excellent place to converse with the locals.

Best yet, Nigerians are a chatty bunch! Very chatty! Nearly everyone I met was super eager to chat with me and to hear the perspective of a foreigner.

If you’re a traveler in Lagos, it won’t be hard to find someone to talk to. Multiple times people (including the loquacious man pictured above, who was very proud of this mural) literally just came up to me on the street to strike up a conversation! So smile and keep an open mind and take the time to really chat with the locals. You might learn something new – and you’ll definitely really feel more connected to the energy of the city!

Plan Your Trip to Lagos, Nigeria

Tips for Visiting Lagos 

  • Use Uber or the Taxify app to get around (trust me: Lagos is NOT a walkable city)
  • Plan lots of time to get around: Lagos is notorious for its traffic
  • Sort your visas well in advance (Nigeria's immigration system is slow and incredibly difficult for many foreigners)

Travel Insurance for Nigeria

Headed to Nigeria?

Be sure you have travel insurance covering Nigeria (read why here).

>>Click here to price out policies from hundreds of insurance companies in an instant<<

Where to Stay in Lagos 

Where you stay will have a big impact on your trip to Lagos!

Check out our full article on the best hotels in Lagos, or click the buttons below to book one of our top choice hotels:

TOP HOTELS IN LAGOS



THE WHEATBAKER

​​Located in Ikoyi, the Wheatbaker is a perfect place to stay for any traveler who is looking for the comfort and convenience that a luxury hotel can offer. If you have the time to spare, make sure to try out their various amenities.



MAROKO BAYSHORE SUITES

Maroko Bayshore Suites is set in Lagos and has a fitness center and barbecue facilities. Featuring a restaurant, the property also has a bar, business center, ​and free newspapers.




THREE ARMS HOTEL

Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Three Arms Hotel is located in Lagos. Free Wi-Fi access is available. At Three Arms Hotel you will find a fitness center. Other facilities offered include meeting facilities.


That’s it for this list of the best things to do in Lagos, Nigeria!

Have a question or comment about Lagos? Scroll down and leave a comment!

Oh, and before you go, be sure to pin this for later on Pinterest (or bookmark it in your browser):

Looking for things to do in Lagos Nigeria? We've got you covered for your trip to #Lagos #Nigeria in this comprehensive #TravelGuide on the best things to do in Lagos Nigeria. From the top attractions like the Nike Art Gallery to insider secrets such as finding the best suya spot in Lagos, read this to make sure you’ll make the most out of your travel to Nigeria's capital. #Lekki #Ikoyi #VictoriaIslandNigeria

Pin it on Pinterest!

Looking for things to do in Lagos Nigeria? We've got you covered for your trip to #Lagos #Nigeria in this comprehensive #TravelGuide on the best things to do in Lagos Nigeria. From the top attractions like the Nike Art Gallery to insider secrets such as finding the best suya spot in Lagos, read this to make sure you’ll make the most out of your travel to Nigeria's capital. #Lekki #Ikoyi #VictoriaIslandNigeria

Pin it on Pinterest!

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