Top travel tips from Perri Edwards: a guide to a weekend in Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria has recently become a second home for my family and me, and we can’t wait for the day when we can travel there again safely! But for now, we’ll enjoy it in our dreams. After spending so much time exploring and discovering the amazing places to see and do, I wanted to share with you my ultimate travel guide (for when we can travel there) of exploring Lagos, Nigeria.
First things first, it’s common amongst visitors to Lagos that they extend their trip. You often find the days just fly by and there is so much to do and see, so if you can, plan a few extra days. However, for those with limited time, here is my guide on how to spend 96 hours in Lagos.
Lagos has two parts when you arrive, at the airport you are on the mainland, but if you drive for 30 minutes you are on the island (Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island), which are the central areas where you will find the events, the clubs, restaurants, bars and hotels
Getting around in Lagos is easy, you can order a taxi via a mobile app such as Bolt or Uber. The driver will contact you to confirm they’ve received your request and they are on the way, and again once they have arrived. There are two ways of paying the driver, they either they collect cash or card (transfer is what it’s referred to). Tip: The currency used in Nigeria is Naira (N), N500 is approximately the equivalent to £1.00.
Travel lighter, smarter
Pack no more than 100ml for each product, or better you can pick up your essentials from the local supermarkets, either at Prince ebeano or Shoprite for your toiletries or home comforts. Lagos is known for being hot. It’s scorching hot all year round, temperatures can reach up to 32 degrees Celsius, therefore there’s no need to pack heavy outfits, leave the jeans and jumpers at home! Instead pack light, thin material items, a few pairs of sandals and one pair of trainers just in case you decide to work out or take a walk – but I doubt you’ll be going for long walks in Lagos, instead you’ll want to be travelling in a well air conditioned vehicle relaxing and enjoying the ride while taking in the scenery.
If you want to experience the real hustle and bustle of Lagos, visit a market. All kinds of things are sold there, from fruit and vegetables, toiletries, clothes, materials and jewellery. If you can, grab some material of your choice and get some clothes made, for a truly special memento to take home. There are plenty of tailors in Lagos, and my favourite is Mend in Victoria Island, the tailors work very fast, so come with your measurements and let them create the outfit you desire. I also suggest Lekki arts and crafts market for a calmer market experience or to support the amazing local artists and craftsmen Lagos has to offer.
The great thing about Nigeria is night life starts late. So, you really can never be late to the party. Grab some food from Black bell, for a tasty Nigerian meal at an affordable price that will leave feeling full and content. Another favourite restaurant of mine is Nok by Alara, where fashion meets fine dining.
Freshen up at your accommodation before heading out. One of my go-to places to stay is Maison Fahrenheit, a beautifully decorated boutique hotel. For added peace of mind, hotels now include health and hygiene measures on the Expedia.co.uk, including enhanced cleaning and social distancing policies, or other considerations to help keep guests safe.
Things to do
Lekki Conservation Centre
If you love the outdoors you must visit Lekki Conservation Centre, which is a nature reserve. Take a walk around and be one with nature. The place is amazing, and you will find lots of greenery, which is a rarity in Lagos. I would advise to wear comfortable clothing and trainers, but if you are afraid of heights, I’d suggest you keep your feet on the ground. Tip: Keep your food in a bag stored away because you will be left foodless. Beware of the cheeky monkeys.
Nike Art centre
Lagos has a lot of amazing artists who are very creative and excellent at creating something out of nothing. The Nike Art Centre is a four storey high building displaying a variety of artwork from Nigerian artists, which includes a wide variety of ancient and modern work. Check it out if you have time.
Sip and PaintIt is what it says. Sip (on a glass of wine or juice) and paint (release your inner creative mind), allow yourself to become an artist for the day. The great thing about this activity is that you can choose where you would like it to take place. Whether it’s painting inside an indoor facility, or to paint outdoors in a garden or on a rooftop with a great view of the island, it’s up to you. Check them out on Instagram to see when and where the next event will be.
As you continue to plan and book your future trips, it’s important to always check the latest government advisories and testing requirements. With the uncertainty of the current climate, it’s also good to choose flexible options for added peace of mind. When booking through Expedia, be sure to find refundable and flexible stays by using the “free cancellation” search filter, or selecting “book now, pay later” rates.
Head over to Expedia’s website and start planning your trip!
About the author
Perri Edwards is a British retired track and field athlete who rose to fame when she won the 400m hurdles at the 2008 Olympic Games. She was the third fastest in the world in the run-up to the 2013 World Championships, but finished seventh in Moscow after damaging her knee ligaments during the final. Perri went on to marry former Big Brother Naija housemate Mike Edwards in 2018 after several years of dating. They recently welcomed their son Matthew in August 2020. Follow Perri on Instagram at @itspsd or at https://www.youtube.com/mikeandperri“
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