Lagos: Living Like a Local

Lagos: Living Like a Local

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Lagos is one of the biggest cities in Africa with over 16million Lagosians living and working in the city.  The city no longer holds the label of the capital of Nigeria but that hasn’t dampened its popularity at all.  It also may not be a tourists’ go to destination as they are probably deterred by negative stories in the media, which aren’t a true reflection of the city or its people.  Lagos can compete with cities like Miami when it comes to the high life and it is also well-known for doing business.   Lagos is a huge trade centre and there are many start-up and tech hubs supporting budding entrepreneurs.


When I visit in a few months, I’m going to live like a true Lagosian.  I’m going to learn (basic) Yoruba and immerse myself into the local way of life.  Here’s what I want to get up to:


  • Night Clubs and Bars
    Apparently night life is even more appealing than day life in the  city.  Lagos has so many top nightclubs and bars on the island and mainland that have been attended by local Nigerian celebrities like D’banj and international stars like Idris Elba.  Most clubs are open every night, with free entry and don’t close until it’s time to get ready for work the next morning.  For a more chilled evening (i.e. no break dancing), I want to visit the New Afrika Shrine, to see performances by Afrobeat artists.  The Shrine was originally established by Fela Kuti and is now run by his son-daughter duo Femi and Yeni Kuti.  Every year the Shrine hosts the Felabration festival, which is a music festival in memory of Fela Kuti.


  • Taxi Ride in Traffic
    Just like if you were in New York, Lagos has an abundance of yellow taxi’s and like other African cities a mass of motorcycles on its streets.  Traffic is crazy in the city.  I’ve been told you could literally spend your whole day trying to get to one destination.  Everybody wants to be in this city and I’m going to find out why!


Bella-Naija-WeddingsPhoto cred Bella Naija
  • Attend a Traditional Wedding
    I’ve seen some beautiful, colourful photos of Nigerian weddings on Bella Naija and I would love to attend one whilst I’m in Lagos. I’ve been to the Nigerian weddings in London, which are just as colourful, but to attend a traditional wedding in Lagos would be even more spectacular.  The atmosphere, the party, the culture all wrapped up in one.  I also want to get a tailor-made dress with matching head tie made.  There are so many bespoke designers in the city and I hope someone can teach me how to wrap my head with the gele.


  • Eat Street Food
    When I told a Nigerian friend I booked a trip to Lagos, the first thing she asked me was “do you have a strong stomach?”.  She went on to reminisce about the tasty street food she used to eat when back home and encouraged me to overlook hygiene (food being made on the streets) and try some.  Another friend told me that I have to use my hands to eat, well for me that’s no problem at all as we use our hands in Sierra Leone too.


  • Meet Social Media Friends
    The wonders of social media.  Although you can’t trust any and everybody you meet online, you can at times make friends that are genuine people.  I’ve been talking to a few African travel bloggers via twitter and a few of them are based in Lagos.  This is the perfect opportunity to meet and hang out with them.  I’m particularly keen on attending one of the tours organised by Social Prefect and Unravelling Nigeria who’ve recently signed up to use our search and book platform for local tour guides in Africa.


What else should I do?  Please add your recommendations in the comment box below 🙂

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