Guide to Lagos, Nigeria 2021

Mid- September, I hopped onto a plane and went back to the Motherland for a week for my friend’s traditional wedding. I haven’t been to Nigeria since 2018 so I was so happy to be back, even for a short trip. This trip was different as I went for a wedding and there was a big group of us. I flew in on a Wednesday night to meet some of the group who were already there. I stayed on the mainland the night I arrived and then made my way to Victoria Island and checked into the Lagos Continental Hotel. I have been to Lagos (2017) before to do some research for my Masters thesis. I spent three weeks there and was able to explore a lot of the tourist sites. This trip was different as I was able to explore the islands more. Here is everything that you need to know about the trip including the Covid measures.

COVID MEASURES IN LAGOS

Before flying to Lagos, it is mandatory to take a PCR test and pay for a day 6 test or a returning test. Even if your returning country does not require a PCR test to enter the country, you cannot leave Lagos without doing a test. A mask is required to enter all indoor and outdoor establishments. If you are entering an indoor restaurant, you will need to wear your masks until you are seated at your table. There is a good distance between the tables so I felt comfortable to enjoy my meals. To enter all hotels, you need to be wearing your mask. At some hotels, they ask you to scan your right hand so that they can take your temperature before entering. I was surprised by this one as I haven’t seen it done anywhere else but I liked the idea of it. I felt safer there in terms of the measures than I did in Switzerland at the time. People were following the rules and at the time of my visit, clubs, hookah bars etc. were open.

BEST TIME TO GO TO LAGOS

If you are looking for cheaper tickets and less crowds, February is the best month to go but November to January is a more popular time to go as it is coming up to the festive season and that is when more people tend to head back there. In terms of crowds, Lagos has a huge population so it is relative to each person what huge crowds look like to them. Midweek is the best time to fly out to Lagos as flight tickets are much cheaper than days closer to the weekend. Due to the covid restrictions, I was quite lucky that the airport was less crowded than pre-covid. It was hot during my stay, temperatures averaged from 27 degrees to 31 degrees Celsius. I stayed in two hotels during my stay and their safety measures were impeccable. To get to the islands from airport and the mainland, it can take 30 to 40 minutes without traffic.

GETTING TO LAGOS

By plane, it took me 13 hours including a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam from Geneva. I took an early flight from Geneva to Amsterdam which was surprisingly full and the flight to Lagos was also full. I have never been on a flight to Lagos that is not full so don’t expect to have an empty flight. I flew in on a Wednesday evening and flew out on a Tuesday night. I would recommend flying in and leaving mid-week, preferably a Tuesday.

WHERE TO STAY

Lagos Continental Hotel

I’d recommend staying on one of the islands if you would like to be closer to all the restaurants, clubs and everything else to enjoy your time in Lagos. If you are travelling with a friend or a group of friends, I’d recommend staying at a hotel such as Lagos Continental Hotel, Lagos Oriental Hotel, Radisson Blue Anchorage Hotel, Eko Hotel and Suites. I stayed at the Lagos Continental Hotel for two nights and the Lagos Oriental Hotel for one night. I preferred the former as I loved the layout of the room, the interior of the hotel and it was easier to navigate. I found the latter too big of a hotel, I got lost looking for breakfast and I don’t like sacrificing my hunger for anything. However, the layout is aesthetically- pleasing but it’s not on the same level as the Lagos Continental Hotel in my opinion.

WHERE TO EAT

What was surprising about this trip was I didn’t really eat a lot and I wish I had eaten my way across the island. I was there for a wedding so for that day the food was catered by Tash Bistro Catering Company, a catering company based in Lagos. I ordered Jollof rice & fried rice but I wish I had ordered ethnic Ofada stew as I have always wanted to try it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to try it whilst I was there but hopefully soon, I will. Here are some places that I’d recommend:

Nok by Alara for a classic meets modern Pan-African meal. The aesthetics of the restaurant was very artistic displaying art from across the continent and the bamboo garden was lush. It was the only restaurant that I went to and I would go back.

Cafeteria Lagos is a cute brunch spot with bubble tea and serve brunch all day. Champagne me please!

Flowershop Cafe Lagos is another a cute brunch and cafe spot to visit. They also offer lunch and dinner. I like that it is a combination between three ideas into one.

Shiro Lagos is a Pan-Asian restaurant with a scenic view. It’s been on the top of my list for the last couple of years. From what I have seen online, the decor is out of this world.

WHAT TO DO & SEE IN LAGOS

My favourite thing to do when I visit a new destination is to go on a city tour. As I was on an island, I was able to visit Lekki and Snake Island.

Take a private boat to Ilashe beach, a luxurious beach resort in Lagos. It is located on Snake Island off the Lagos coast along the Badagry Creek. It’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Lagos lagoon on the other side. We went here on the first day, it was so much fun!

Visit the Lekki Conservation Centre and combine that with the Nike Art Gallery.

Visit the Lekki Arts and Crafts Market (also known as Oba Elegushi International Market), a hidden gem just like Nigeria itself.

Go kayaking in Lagos Lagoon


That’s it! It was a very short and fast trip as Lagos never sleeps. If you have been before and have done any other activities that I have not mentioned, share them down below in the comments. I’d love for this post to be a resource for you and others that want to visit Lagos. Check out my Instagram highlight on Lagos to see more of what I got up to and check out this Lagos Instagram reel.

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