Lagos, Nigeria, has many important historical attractions, from the National Museum to the Presidential Palace. Visiting these historical attractions is one of the best ways to get a sense of the History and culture of the area.
This section will discuss some of Lagos, Nigeria’s most fascinating historical attractions. From significant monuments to colonial architecture, these sites will give you an insight into Lagos’ long and storied past:
Visit the National Museum
The National Museum in Lagos, Nigeria, is the country’s premier cultural institution, established in 1957. This museum contains a variety of artifacts that tell the story of Nigeria and its people – from ancient to modern times. The museum collects and preserves various items related to social History, art and culture, religion, and natural History, among others. It also contains several monuments commemorating important people and events in the History of Nigeria.
Visitors to the museum can explore exhibitions such as:
- Traditional African Art Gallery
- A History showcase
- Collections of masks and sculptures
- Ancient pottery collections
- Textiles Gallery with various traditional fabrics
- Pre-historic galleries with fossil finds from multiple regions in Africa
- Natural History displays Nigerian animal species and plants
- Photographic exhibits depicting essential people in Nigeria’s past.
In addition to its permanent displays, the National Museum has regular loan exhibitions from other museums worldwide, such as Britain’s Royal Museums Greenwich. In addition, the museum offers guided tours for groups and public programs such as lectures, art classes for children, workshops for artists and musicians, and film screenings featuring Nigerian or international films about Nigeria-related topics.
Explore the National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art in Lagos, Nigeria, is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city. This beautiful building houses an extensive art collection from modern and traditional African artists. From strikingly colorful sculptures to awe-inspiring oil paintings, visitors can explore a variety of works spanning centuries and cultures.
This impressive museum gives visitors insights into the country’s past and complex cultural heritage. Exhibits are comprised of pieces representing various forms of Nigerian art, such as monumental bronzes, intricate beading, terracotta figures, and more. A permanent exhibition is also dedicated to famous Nigerian photographer J.D Ojeikere, featuring stunning black-and-white landscapes.
Beyond admiring the artwork on display, visitors can attend workshops and programs led by experienced artists that enrich the guest experience at the National Gallery of Art. After exploring this beautiful building, guests will have a greater understanding and appreciation for Nigeria’s artistic heritage – making this historical attraction a must-see during any visit to Lagos!
Take a Tour of the National Theatre
The National Theatre of Nigeria, a multidisciplinary cultural complex in Lagos, is integral to Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage. Constructed in 1976 and completed in 1977, the theatre consists of outdoor and indoor venues for drama, music, and dance performances. The outdoor facilities include:
- Lush lawns.
- A designated picnic area.
- An open-air theater.
- A cultural sculpture garden.
Inside the building are five halls, including:
- Main auditorium (seating capacity up to 3,000);
- Mini auditorium (seating capacity up to 600);
- The Institute for Cultural Studies And Training;
- Arena Complex;
- Confederation Rehearsal Hall;
- Green Room with dressing rooms;
- Conference Hall 1 & 2;
- Exhibition Gallery;
- Lobby Theatre and Lounge.
It gives Lagos National Theatre a vast potential to house world-class performances in music, drama, dance, etc., while providing room for other activities such as seminars and workshops and professional events like film festivals.
At the National Theatre, visitors can learn about Nigeria’s History through its many art exhibitions featuring ancient artifacts from around the country and contemporary works of art by famous Nigerian artists. Enjoy educational programs that unite students with celebrated scholars from Nigeria and worldwide. Alternatively, explore the shops onsite offering souvenirs inspired by traditional African crafts such as Batik fabric artwork or Mabira weaving patterns used in traditional costumes from northern Nigeria. Visit Lagos National Theatre to experience its excellent History filled with culture and exciting artistry!
Nature and Wildlife
If you’re looking for a great way to explore the natural beauty of Lagos, Nigeria, look no further! There are various activities and sights to enjoy regarding nature and wildlife in Lagos. From stunning lagoons and pristine beaches to fantastic wildlife preserves and birdwatching excursions, there are plenty of ways to explore the natural aspects of this vibrant city.
Let’s dive into what Lagos has to offer in terms of its wildlife and nature:
Visit the Lekki Conservation Centre
Lagos offers many experiences, and the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) is no exception. Established in 1990 under the aegis of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, this protected area is dedicated to preserving Nigeria’s diverse wildlife species while providing facilities and programs that promote environmental awareness and education.
Located in Lekki, on the outskirts of Lagos, the LCC boasts an impressive array of flora and fauna. Here you can observe a broad spectrum of grasses and shrubs unique to this region and colorful birds fluttering around in trees or perched on branches. Monkeys frolic among lagoon-side mangroves or stroll through shady forests filled with bamboo, palms, ferns, and giant evergreens. Not too far away, you’ll discover surprisingly calm vervet monkeys perched atop branches looking for their next meal.
Aside from its vibrant wildlife population, the LCC also prides itself on its knowledgeable guides who take visitors through informative tours that cover topics such as conservation laws, protecting endangered species, and eco-friendly living initiatives launched by NGOs such as Trees for The Future. With over 3 million tropical trees planted at Lekki Conservation Centre so far – many rare wildlife species had found sanctuary here, much like they would have years ago before civilization encroached upon their habitats.
It’s easy to spend hours exploring this haven – observing nature’s wonders while discovering things about yourself simultaneously. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience that blends natural beauty with educational opportunities, visit Lekki Conservation Centre for your itinerary!
Explore the Badagry Heritage Museum
The Badagry Heritage Museum is a testament to the remarkable History of Badagry, one of the six original divisions of Lagos State – located along the coast of West Africa. The museum offers a glimpse into the local customs and cultures and explores the ancient slave trade on these historical grounds.
The Badagry Heritage Museum offers an interactive collection of artifacts related to various subjects, such as African traditional religion, culture, politics, economics, and daily life in early 20th-century Lagos. It includes antique items that showcase traditional beliefs and customs throughout Nigeria’s pre-colonial period, such as tools used in Yoruba customs, masks used in Ifa worshiping ceremonies, traditional wooden palanquins (locally referred to as “Edan” or “Nege“), ornamental beads known as “Gemilia” which are often found in ceremonial beaded necklaces (called “Ileke“) and coral beads (“Esere“) typically used for financial transactions during modern times. Additionally, visitors can explore slave dungeons constructed for the infamous slave trade that occurred through this region during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Unique activities such as historical story-telling sessions by experienced guides at Agu Lagoon beach provide insight into this dark African history period. In addition, these stories offer an authentic cultural experience that introduces visitors to various aspects of indigenous African music and drumming performances from local entertainers known as “Emu” or “Talking Drummers,” who use rhythm instruments to tell stories about various topics from folklore to current events.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil atmosphere aside from sightseeing at ancient monuments or exploring unique finds at markets, then head over to Tarkwa Bay Beach, where you can marvel at exquisite views while lounging on pristine white sands or take advantage of available water sport activities like jet skiing and jet boarding!
Go on a Boat Ride on the Lagos Lagoon
A boat ride on the Lagos Lagoon offers an excellent opportunity for nature lovers to explore some of the natural wildlife in and around Nigeria’s largest city. The lagoon is home to various birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, amongst other creatures. The animals are mainly active at night when they feed in the open waters, so it’s a great way to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitats.
Local guides can organize trips on traditional wooden canoes for those looking to get closer to the wildlife. It is also a great way to explore areas inaccessible by car. It’s also possible to observe some aquatic life directly as you cruise through the waters, with glimpses of crabs and sea snakes being widespread sightings. Various birdlife, including white storks, spoonbills, and egrets, also call this place home. Fishing trips are also an option for those seeking a more hands-on experience with nature.
Whether you’re an avid birder or simply looking for more tranquil activities during your stay in Lagos, a leisurely cruise along the lagoon will surely be an unforgettable experience!
Lagos is a hot spot for culture and History as Nigeria’s largest city and Africa’s fifth largest city. From world-class museums, churches, and galleries to historic parks and ancient traditions, the city is infused with diverse cultural attractions that draw in visitors worldwide.
Let’s take a look at some of the top cultural attractions in Lagos:
Visit the National Arts Theatre
The National Arts Theatre in Lagos, Nigeria, is an excellent cultural destination for History and art lovers. Situated on the grounds of the former Federal Palace Hotel in Iganmu, it was built in 1976 to serve as a venue for the country’s artistic performances.
This large and impressive building stands out from its surroundings due to its unique architecture, designed by Chief DOM Adetokunbo Adegboyega. The façade showcases a combination of traditional African motifs alongside more contemporary designs. You will also find modern cultural touches such as galleries, libraries, theater complexes, restaurants, and leisure facilities.
The variety of attractions that could be enjoyed at the National Arts Theatre include:
- Theatrical performances such as musicals, ballet, and opera;
- Film screenings;
- Art exhibitions featuring paintings by local artists;
- Photographic displays;
- Musical concerts featuring both national and international talents;
- Lectures on philosophy and architectural debates;
- Concerts featuring Nigerian contemporary music;
- Film festivals showcasing both Nigeria and international movies;
- Seminars on History and culture;
- Symposiums about current events related to Africa;
- Conferences exploring issues such as development or education reform in Nigerian society, amongst many others.
Therefore, visitors to this unique venue have an unparalleled opportunity to explore Nigeria’s vibrant cultural heritage through these diverse performances and exhibitions. Thanks to its central location, the National Arts Theatre can be conveniently visited anywhere in Lagos. It is open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm with varying showtimes depending on the day’s program, so inquire before visiting!
Explore the Tafawa Balewa Square
The Tafawa Balewa Square, located in the heart of Lagos and popularly called the TBS, is an iconic and essential piece of Nigerian History. It is Nigeria’s most significant open square, with a seating capacity of 15,000 people, and it was named after the first prime minister of Nigeria’s independence in 1963, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
The square is an excellent destination for culture vultures and history buffs alike, who can appreciate its significance. The square has been the venue for several significant events in Nigerian life, such as state visits by world leaders like Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 and US President Bill Clinton in 2000, Nigeria’s 55th independence day celebrations in 2015, and boasts statues of past Nigerian leaders – it’s worth exploring all these monuments to visit.
The iconic African Shrine managed by Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is just one of many unique attractions found nearby this iconic site. Alongside concerts held here every Thursday night at a modest fee, live music lovers can enjoy afrobeat and other new sounds from upcoming artists.
Another nearby hot spot is Freedom Park, where you will be thrown straight into a local culture filled with street food vendors, koro riders (local bike messengers), dancing traders selling trinkets, and artworks reflecting the raw beauty of Lagos city life. Enjoy fascinating arts performances or get mesmerized by a traditional play or two at this vibrant outdoor entertainment hub. To learn more about attending these events, check out Freedom Park’s website at freedomparklagos(dot)org/whats-on/.
Visit the National Theatre
The National Theatre of Lagos, Nigeria, is a landmark cultural attraction in this vibrant city located in central Lagos Island. It is the largest venue for theatrical performances and concerts in West Africa, with a capacity of 1,743 guests. Established in 1976 as part of Nigeria’s silver jubilee celebrations and paid for by the federal government, the theatre has stood at the core of the nation’s arts and entertainment industry ever since.
This unique structure is defined by its avant-garde design and construction. It is an unusual square-shaped building with a main auditorium featuring two banks of semi-circular balconies rising from floor level to form a theater around a 4-story central tower. This tower levels onto a huge flat roof terrace where artists showcase their performance pieces, and visitors enjoy panoramic views across the cityscape.
From musical theatre performances to celebrity concerts to rousing international lectures, The National theatre serves as an official venue for events of cultural significance, both local and national. Its rich program has included famous names like BB King, Liza Minelli, and Femi Kuti. A visit to this renowned venue allows you to experience theatrical works from some of Lagos’ best talents while taking in its elegant tower framed against the stunning backdrop of this cosmopolitan metropolis.
Shopping and Entertainment
Shopping and entertainment options in Lagos, Nigeria, are plentiful and diverse. From colorful markets to glamorous malls, the streets of Lagos offer an array of shopping experiences. So whether you’re looking for traditional Nigerian fabrics or modern styles, you can find them in Lagos.
Explore the many entertainment options, from nightlife spots to cultural experiences. So let’s dive in and explore Lagos’s shopping and entertainment scene.
Visit the Palms Shopping Mall
The Palms Shopping Mall is located in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, and is one of the leading lifestyle centers in the city. It has various stores and restaurants offering a wide selection of high-end fashion and entertainment experiences. Offering innovative shopping complemented by dining and entertainment, The Palms Shopping Mall provides guests with an unforgettable, daily experience.
The shopping mall also boasts some fantastic attractions, such as:
- Kids Clubhouse
- Waterworld Waterpark
- Flamingo Cinemas
- Bowling alley
There are plenty of retail shops, including boutiques from world-renowned designers. Food enthusiasts will feel spoilt for choice as the mall offers cuisine worldwide. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for special events like movie nights, which occur throughout the year.
The Palms Shopping Mall truly has something for everyone making it a great spot for family gatherings or a day full of activities. For even more fun, visit nearby attractions like Lekki Market or experience all Lagos offers, such as beaches and nightlife spots. Regardless of your age or interests, The Palms Shopping Mall provides visitors with a unique shopping experience they can’t get anywhere else!
Explore the Eko Atlantic City
Experience the beauty and vibrancy of Nigeria’s bustling metropolis, Lagos. Home to 21 million people and one of Africa’s most prominent economic hubs, Lagos also compounds several world-class attractions. A must-see among them is the ever-growing Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, which promises to remodel the city’s commercial landscape with its awe-inspiring infrastructure.
Eko Atlantic City is a modern-day massively planned city covering an area of 10 million sqm and located on the edge of Victoria Island. It is designed as a hub of world-class urban living due to its state-of-the-art architecture, charming apartments, parking facilities, expansive shopping spaces, and nightlife entertainment points. The largest African shopping mall, ‘The Palms,’ is also located here, which provides a host of shops selling trendy fashion apparel from all over the world.
Eko Atlantic City has become a hot spot for tourists where people can experience a luxurious lifestyle away from their daily hustle & bustle of the hectic life. It even features public beaches with crystal clear Mediterranean waters hosting events such as jewelry shows and art exhibitions for those who love discovering cultural artifacts! From beautiful beaches to exquisite culinary experiences: Eko Atlantic city has something for everyone!
Check out the Freedom Park
Freedom Park is a historical tourist attraction in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria. It used to be a black market during colonial times, and now it’s one of the largest outdoor entertainment venues in the city. The park hosts open-air concerts, art exhibits, cultural festivals, movie screenings, and more.
Visitors can find food vendors selling delicious Nigerian dishes like jollof rice or pepper soup. Freedom Park also has shops selling souvenirs and local crafts and street performers doing acrobatics and skits. With its unique blend of culture and artistry, Freedom Park is well worth visiting if you’re ever in Lagos.
Food and Nightlife
Lagos is a vibrant city full of life and bursting with energy. As a result, this West African megacity’s food and nightlife scene is diverse and unique. From small local cafes to upscale fine dining restaurants, there’s something for every foodie. Likewise, the nightlife in Lagos offers many options, from live music to luxurious bars.
Let’s take a look at some of the top spots for food and nightlife in Lagos:
Sample the Local Cuisine at the Famous Balogun Market
A trip to Lagos, Nigeria, is incomplete without sampling the local cuisine found at the Balogun Market. Established in 1960, Balogun Market is located within Central Lagos and is Africa’s largest open-air market. Known for its hustle and bustle, visitors can expect vendors selling anything from electronics and clothes to food items.
If you are visiting Balogun Market on an empty stomach, head to one of the many food stalls selling traditional Nigerian dishes. Visitors will find a variety of delicacies, such as:
- Pounded Yam or Fufu with egusi soup made with melon seed extract;
- Isi Ewu (Goat Head Soup);
- Jollof Rice;
- Dakwa (mashed beans + yam combination);
- Catfish Pepper Soup;
- and Suya (grilled beef kebab).
Beyond the delicious cuisine, the atmosphere at Balogun Market is a sight to behold. Various traders calling out in many languages, including Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo, indicate the authentic melting pot vibe here in Lagos!
Enjoy the Nightlife in the Victoria Island Area
Victoria Island is a lively area in Lagos, Nigeria that offers plenty of options for nightlife entertainment. Dance the night away at popular nightclubs such as Lizard Lounge or try something different at places like Quilox Superclub with its unique mix of cultural performances. There are also plenty of lounges and bars to explore, often hosted in historic venues. If you’re interested in more relaxing entertainment, there are music venues playing jazz, R&B, and Afrobeat vibes for your enjoyment.
The Victoria Island area is home to an impressive selection of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines from all over the world. From African staples like jollof rice and suya (barbecue skewers) to Middle Eastern flavors like baba ghanoush and falafel, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. There are also seafood-heavy menus available from many eateries around the area, like Cirque De La Mer, where you can cozy up with a plate of freshly-caught tilapia while taking in breathtaking sea views, or Pimento Restaurant, where you can sample Nigerian specialties like pounded yam or aromatic rice without breaking the bank.
Check out the Ikeja City Mall for Great Shopping and Entertainment
The Ikeja City Mall is an excellent destination for those looking to shop, see a movie, or experience nightlife in Lagos, Nigeria. This shopping complex offers retail stores for everything from clothing to electronics and home goods. Along with the endless shopping opportunities, the mall also features a Cinema theater so you can catch all the latest films.
For those interested in nightlife activities and entertainment, the Ikeja City Mall offers an array of bars, cafes, eateries, and live music. Visit one of their pubs or clubs to start your evening with friends while enjoying some drinks, snacks, and services available until late into the night. The mall also hosts other events throughout the year, such as fashion shows and art exhibitions that will keep the entire family entertained.
If you are in search of a great outing during your time in Lagos, then look no further than the Ikeja City Mall for all your shopping needs, movie-watching delight, and lively nightlife experiences.