Lagos, Nigeria is one of the most LIT places on the planet. Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite made it to the bucket list of people travelling to Africa just for fun. This doesn’t mean people aren’t visiting — according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, business travellers spent $4.8B USD in Nigeria in 2015 alone.
Tyler Cowen at Bloomberg recently shared how he visited Lagos as a “tourist” just to do some market research on one of the most dynamic economies on the planet. Let’s face it, “bleisure” travel is a thing. Increasingly people work hard and play harder, especially when they are racking up air miles.
We know that fun during a work trip isn’t quite the same as exploring just because — but who says it can’t be epic. We had the pleasure of checking the city out the rapid fire with our friends Maps Maponyane (South Africa), Joy Mwiandi (Kenya), and Yagazie Emezi (Nigeria) — here’s what we found:
Leave the office and cancel all afternoon meetings. Lagos has been alive all week and it’s finally your time to play.
Radisson Blu Hotel Boat Launch
Hopefully, you’re already staying at the Radisson and enjoying views of the Lagos Lagoon daily, if you’re not — you can still head over to the hotel and rent one of two yachts available for cruising in the Las Gidi sun.
It doesn’t come cheap but it’s definitely worth the experience. Take it up a notch by bringing along a picnic basket and some cocktails or wine and make an afternoon of it with your cocktails who are likely also ready for the weekend.
The high-end boutique is buzzing with Lagos socialites beginning their weekend browsing local designers latest digs. The champagne comes out and the conversations get flowing giving you an inside look into the movers and shakers of the city while browsing some items to take home.
Grab a reservation for this dinner hotspot serving up international cuisine that’s worth the ticket. The space is astounding, the service is phenomenal, and the people are stunning. It’s a great way to start your evening.
This little nook might not always be packed — but the service and the bar selection is on point! In a city where “the customer is always right” is a foreign concept having a place that gets it makes a world of difference. Grab one of their “fishbowl” cocktails or one of their high-end cognacs and ease into the night.
While we prefer this hotspot mid week, Fridays are guaranteed good time. Whether you’re looking to pull an all-nighter or just a solid two-hour turn-up, Quilox is Victoria Island’s consistent nightlife destination.
Craft by Lou Baker
Hands down our favourite place for brunch in Lagos — Craft’s take on chicken and waffles will have you wondering how Atlanta got to Nigeria. The ambience is EVERYTHING, the owners are wonderful, and their young daughter is decidedly the hostess with the mostest.
Fresh juices, desserts and more complement the menu which is carefully “crafted” to suit all of your brunching needs.
Lekki Conservation Center
Get a window into Lagos before it became the metropolis it is today and get up close and personal with its furry inhabitants. While the guides could use some training, the tranquillity of the gardens is not to be overlooked.
The longest canopy walk in West Africa is also a nice touch if you’re daring — be clear though — these monkeys play no games. No sudden moves as you’re moving about.
Nike Gallery + Lekki Craft Market
Nike (pronounced nee-kay) is named for the gallerist and patron who has one of the largest collections of African art on the continent. Packed to the brim with mostly visual art this is a must see if you’re in the Lekki neighbourhood.
While you can easily get lost in the gallery all day we advise you to browse the 4 floors in about an hour and then head out to the market before it closes. Much less hectic than the Balogun market downtown, the Lekki market focuses on hand-made items vs Chinese imports.
It’s a wonderful place to grab souvenirs, fabric, and other unique finds before you head home.