What was once the capital of Nigeria and is now its cultural and economic epicenter, Lagos is an essential stop for those traveling to the continent. A thriving city proudly boasting a live music scene and urban adventures unlike any other, Lagos allows its visitors a unique glance at the face of modern Africa.
History and Culture
Originally, Lagos was comprised of islands separated by creeks with an environment as diverse as its inhabitants. Multiple ethnicities reside throughout the area making it impossible to highlight just one. Located in the southwest region of Nigeria, Lagos was first settled by hunters and fishermen before the arrival of the Portuguese during the Age of Discovery in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Lagos shines brightest in the culinary arena, merging exotic ambiance and dishes that speak volumes about the area, as well as the rest of the world. Culinary options include trendy, stylish accommodations that cater to even the pickiest of diners and those with very specific requirements, including vegetarians, who will be rather pleased at how many options are presented to them. More common ethnic varieties – such as Thai and Italian – are available, but don’t forget to sample some of the area’s finest: fresh fish cooked with native spices and Portuguese flavorings.
Entertainment and Leisure
As many travelers’ destination of choice in Africa, entertainment has played a rather important role in helping Lagos achieve its distinctive status. The most ideal location to begin a day or night on the town is in the square, where visitors have the opportunity to listen to musicians play traditional Nigerian music, participate in painting and magic shows, and hit the multitude of shops which conveniently don’t close until around 10pm.
Shifting from day to night, every genre of music imaginable has a dedicated club, ranging from rock to dance and karaoke. From the heart of downtown to joints spotting the coast, the entertainment venues differ as much as the music.
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For the younger or inquisitive minds in your group, be sure to explore the National Museum, which boasts the heritage of the local people through a trip in time. Thousands of years old treasures are constantly on display providing a fun and learning-filled day trip for all. “Grotto tours” conducted by area fisherman are another popular outing for first-time visitors to Lagos. Whet your desires for natural beauty spots by hopping on a boat and letting a local fishermen escort you through intricate waterways and stunning rock formations in the region.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of all things aquatic, then don’t rule out Funtopia – the entertainment park for all. With water slides spanning across the complex and pools connecting them all, it’s a great way to get out and catch some rays while enjoying a modern commodity.
Travelling via car is, without a doubt, your best option, but a ferry route can get you into places otherwise inaccessible. Public transport is available and one of the cheapest options. This includes taxis and buses, even a rail system which will be completed next year.
Lagos is a hustling and bustling city, but well worth the trip if you appreciate immersing yourself within a varied population and seeing all that Africa has to offer.
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