Whether visitors are business travellers or a sightseeing adventurers, the Lagos restaurant scene has something for everyone. Foodies will delight in the range of restaurants available. With choices ranging from local Nigerian fare to traditional Thai cuisine, diners will have a difficult time choosing between the many restaurants available in Lagos.
Nigerian food is genenrally rich and colourful, flavoured with spices and hot chilli peppers, and travellers looking for a taste of the local cuisine should try dishes such as jollof (rice cooked with tomato, onion, and pepper), akara (deep-fried bean cakes), banga (a palm fruit-based soup), or moin moin (a steamed bean pudding).
Eating out in Lagos offers not only variety in ethnic and foreign cuisine, but price and quality too, with a range of upmarket, casual, fast-food and street vendor options. Most trendy and reputable restaurants are located on Victoria and Lagos Islands and the Lekki Peninsula.
Shopping in Lagos is a colourful affair. Whether it's a market, mall, or boutique store, the city has something for all shoppers. When planning a trip to Lagos, it is best to put aside at least a day for exploring the various shopping opportunities on offer.
The larger shopping malls are located on Lagos Island and the Lekki Peninsula. Shoppers wishing to find clothes, jewellery, electronics and high-end souvenirs should head to Victoria Island's Palms Mall, Megaplaza, and Park 'n Shop. Lagos has a great selection of mementos and gifts for friends and family back home. Visitors should keep in mind that virtually no shops will accept foreign credit cards, and deal only in cash.
Visitors wishing to buy masks, crafts, paintings, statues, and local jewellery will be in their element at Oyubo Market, which is located eight miles (14km) from the city centre. The market is divided into a food section and a handicraft area. The food section is particularly worth visiting for local cuisine. Many of the city's hotels, particularly the Meridien Eko Hotel, have great gift shops and traders stationed outside the hotels.
Counterfeit goods are widely available in the informal markets, and can be had for extremely low prices. Bargaining is essential; a general rule of thumb is to offer a third of the asking price. Most seasoned hagglers will agree that starting at a third of the asking price and settling at half is the best way to get the item they're after.
With pumping night clubs, late night bars and live music venues, Lagos has firmly established itself as the nightlife capital of Nigeria. The nightlife scene tends to start late in the evening and keep going until the sun rises, with most clubs only beginning to fill up at about 11pm.
The main nightlife destinations in Lagos include Victoria Island and Ikoyi. Mainland Lagos has a couple of great bars, but these are only for the more adventurous as safety is not guranteed. A few upmarket hotels host pool parties, which are a great way to beat the heat and soak up the Lagos nightlife. Awolowo Road attracts a number of diners and late night drinkers, while Nigeria's resident expat population tend to migrate toward Pat's Place.
Finally, no Lagos nightlife experience is complete without a visit to the New Afrika Shrine: a Lagos institution. The original Afrika Shrine was the spiritual home of Afrobeat, owned by Lagos legend Fela Kuti. After it burned down, the musician's son Femi Kuti built the New Afrika Shrine to carry on the tradition, and still plays there when he is in town.