Now with so many events and groove happening in Lagos, the centre of excellence, everyone wants to visit Lagos. But not everyone does their research on Lagos and they end up going to Lagos and feel lost, confused etc. I am an Abuja breed, lol, but schooling in Babcock University made get in tune with Lagos and its hustling and bustling. So here are just a few tips I know you should know when visiting Nigeria’s Mega City (a place where EVERYONE is on a hustling spree).
- Know everything you can know about the island, mainland and airport terminal; unlike the Abuja and other states airport that all local flights goes from one airport terminal, the Lagos local terminal is divided into MM1 and MM2 and most times I always miss what terminal I am supposed to go to. MM2 has Dana Air, Azman Air, First Nation while MM1 has Air peace and Arik. Once you are able to determine the terminal you are landing in, you will be able to direct whoever is coming to pick you properly.
Now, if you attending an event happening on Lagos Mainland; Ikeja, Surulere, Yaba, Magodo, Gbagada, Festac, Ketu, etc. make sure are staying close to the venue as Lagos traffic is not to be trusted and can happen anytime of the day. Same goes for the island; Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, etc.
Ps; make sure you travel on a weekend preferably Sunday as the traffic is lesser than weekdays.
- Know all the bus route; well, except ya a rich babe or guy that will Uber throughout your stay in Lagos, you need to know the bus connections. Now, this took me a while to get used to when I was in Lagos which I am still trying to understand (I bus my way through in Lagos all the time).
Uber in Lagos, unlike Abuja, is extremely expensive as a result of the distance and traffic in Lagos so using Bus saves you money but you will properly will leave earlier than you planned to get to your destination on time (you know how buses are a bit slower than cars and stop at every bus stop to pick passengers).
Never be too scared to ask people for bus connections, especially if you are lost on the road, just ask but be on alert.
- Put your personal belongings at sight; when I am in Lagos, my bag is always across my shoulder to my front and my hand placed on it to avoid stories that touch the heart. Your phones, wallet, ATM, etc should be where you easily reach and at sight for you. For the guys and ladies like me that don’t like carrying bags sometimes, make sure everything is in your front pocket especially if you are “streeting” (using the bus) your way to your destination.
- Never Trust Lagos time and traffic; in Abuja, I can leave my house (which is far from town) by 1.30pm to an event that starts by 2 pm and still gets there by 1.50pm, you know why? Traffic no dey here. However, in Lagos if you plan a 2 pm outing (depending on your destination and location) leave at least 1 hour earlier if you are “streeting” or 30mins-45mins for you are driving or being driven in a car. Lagos is a state that can have up to 10km long worth of traffic with nothing in front causing it. So, if you stay on the island and it’s an island outing leave 1hr before time but if it’s a mainland outing at least 1hr 30mins before time (better to arrive early than late especially if it’s a business outing/meeting) and vice versa.
- My final point, be sure to visit some amazing places like the beach (especially for people like me that stay in states that have no beach), Lekki conservation centre, the malls, watch a movie in 3D at iMax (best movie experience), restaurants like sugarcane, Radisson blu, Casper and Gambini and most especially my most talked about Balogun Market AKA Lagos market AKA Eko market. People that know me well know that Balogun in the centre of all my shopping for clothes, bags, shoes and nice human hairs, so ladies most especially, Balogun market has all you need at a very affordable price and be sure to go with someone that knows the market well because trust me that market is very big maybe not as big as Onitsha market.
I am sure you should have read my experience of my stolen bag when going to the market for the first time but now, I am a pro in shopping at Balogun market.
Ps; the best market day is within the week as the crowd is lesser than Saturday.
So I hope with these few points of mine you are able to understand a little bit about visiting Lagos. Enjoy your stay, take plenty pictures, enjoy some Lagos nightlife with friends ( I love the karaoke bars) and be sure to book your flight back on a Sunday so you don’t get stuck in traffic and can return back (Lagos traffic cannot be trust so still leave early, especially those going from the island to the airport which is on the mainland)