16 Ways to Experience Lagos Like a True Lagosian

by | Guides

Mar 10, 2023

Lagos is one of the most vibrant cities in Africa, full of life and energy. The city is known for its bustling streets, cultural diversity, and delicious food. Lagos has a unique culture, unlike any other city in the world. In this post, we provide you with insider tips on how to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Lagos and experience the city like a true Lagosian.

Lagosians are proud of their city, and they know how to enjoy it to the fullest. If you’re planning a trip to Lagos and want to experience the city like a true Lagosian, there are plenty of things to do beyond the usual tourist attractions. 

Here are 16 ways to experience Lagos like a true Lagosian.

1. Learn New Yoruba Words. 

Learn more than the basic vocabulary or phrases like “E kaaro ma?” (Good morning) or “Bawo ni o?” (How are you?). You can also learn words that will help you be more of a part of the conversation.

Here are some ideas:

Ìwọ ńkọ́’ – how about you

Sorry – Pẹlẹ

Rárá’ – not at all

Ẹ má bínú’ – sorry

Maybe – Bóyá

Nice – Dara

Ẹ Jọ̀ọ́ – Please

Well! – Daada!

Kilode – Why

Kilonshele – What is happening (slang)

Orúkọ mi ni – My name is

Kí l’orúkọ ẹ? – What is your name

Ẹ ṣé’ – thank you

Mo ní láti’ – I have to

2. Visit the Beaches 

Lagos is blessed with some of the best beaches in West Africa. From the popular Bar Beach to the less crowded Eleko Beach, Lagos has a beach for everyone. 

Beaches are an important part of Lagosian culture, and you’ll find locals enjoying the sun, sand, and sea all year round. Pack a picnic basket and head to the beach like a true Lagosian.

Read: What is it Like to Live in Lagos

3. Attend a Concert 

Lagos is known for its vibrant music scene, and attending a concert is a must-do for any visitor to the city. From Afrobeats to Highlife, Lagos has a music genre for everyone. 

There are several venues across the city where you can catch a live performance, including the Eko Convention Center, Freedom Park, and Terra Kulture. Dress up, grab your dancing shoes, and enjoy a night of music like a true Lagosian.

4. Go Shopping at the Markets 

Lagos has some of the most bustling markets in Africa, and shopping at these markets is an experience you won’t forget. From the famous Balogun Market to the more modern Ikeja City Mall, Lagos has a market for everyone. 

Markets are an important part of Lagosian culture, and you’ll find locals haggling over prices and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Soak up the culture, buy some souvenirs, and enjoy shopping like a true Lagosian.

5. Eat Local Food 

Lagos is a food lover’s paradise, and you can experience Lagos like a true Lagosian by trying the local food. This is a must-do for any visitor to the city. From the spicy jollof rice to the delicious suya, Lagos has food for everyone. 

There are several restaurants across the city where you can try local delicacies, including Terra Kulture, Yellow Chilli, and Nkoyo. Eat like a true Lagosian and try as many local dishes as you can.

Read: Where to Eat in Lagos?

6. Take a Ride on a Keke 

Keke is a popular means of transportation in Lagos, and taking a ride on one is a unique experience. Keke is a tricycle that can seat up to four passengers, and it’s a cheap and fun way to explore the city. 

You’ll find Keke drivers on almost every street corner in Lagos, and taking a ride on one is a must-do for any visitor to the city.

7. Visit Art Galleries 

Lagos has a thriving art scene, and visiting art galleries is a great way to experience the city’s culture. From the National Museum to the Nike Art Gallery, Lagos has several art galleries where you can see some of the best artwork in Africa. 

Art is an integral part of Lagosian culture, and visiting an art gallery is a must-do for any visitor to the city. {Read: Lagos Travel Guide: What to See, Do, and Eat in Lagos}

8. Visit a Local Market 

Lagos is famous for its markets, and there are plenty of them to choose from. Visiting a local market is a great way to experience the vibrant culture of Lagos. 

You can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts at these markets. Some of the most popular markets in Lagos include Balogun Market, Oshodi Market, and Yaba Market.

9. Attend a Lagos Street Party 

Lagos is known for its street parties, held regularly throughout the year. These parties are a great way to experience Lagos’s lively and energetic culture. 

You can dance to the beats of local DJs, enjoy street food, and meet new people at these parties. Some of Lagos’s most popular street parties include Lagos Carnival, Eyo Festival, and Lagos Street Party.

10. Take a Lagosian Bus Ride 

Taking a bus ride in Lagos is an experience in itself. Lagosian buses are known for their unique and colorful designs. They are often packed with people. While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, taking a Lagosian bus ride is a great way to experience the city like a true Lagosian. 

Feel what it means to travel on Lagos Danfo buses and experience traveling to the islands on BRT buses while sitting back and relaxing. 

Read: How to Get Around Lagos (Lagos Transport System)

11. Go on a Lagosian Food Tour 

Lagos is famous for its cuisine, and going on a Lagosian food tour is a great way to experience the city’s food culture. Nigerian cuisine is diverse, spicy, and flavorful, blending indigenous ingredients and influences from other African, European, and Asian cuisines. 

You can try local delicacies like Jollof rice, pounded yam, suya, Bole, and Akara and street food like puff-puff, roasted plantain, roasted corn, and gala. 

Some of Lagos’s most popular food tours include the Eat Lagos Food Tour and the Lagos Foodie Tour.

12. Attend a Lagosian Wedding 

Weddings are a big deal in Lagos, and attending a Lagosian wedding is a great way to experience the city’s culture. Lagosian weddings are known for their extravagant celebrations, vibrant colors, and delicious food. 

They are also colorful, lively, and steeped in cultural traditions, with elaborate outfits, music, dancing, and feasting. Family and community involvement is central, making it a celebration of love and unity.

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to a Lagosian wedding, be prepared for a long and memorable celebration.

13. Explore Lagosian Nightlife 

Lagos has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and lounges. Whether you’re looking for live music, DJ sets, or just a place to grab a drink, there’s always a way you can experience Lagos like a true Lagosian. 

Lagos nightlife is vibrant, diverse, and energetic, with a mix of Afrobeat music, street parties, cultural shows, and upscale bars and clubs, making it one of the most exciting scenes in Africa.

Some of Lagos’s most popular nightlife spots include Terra Kulture, Quilox, and The Place.

Read: Where to Find a Nightclub in Lagos

14. Go on a Lagosian Bike Tour 

Biking is becoming increasingly popular in Lagos, and going on a Lagosian bike tour is a great way to explore the city’s sights and sounds. 

It also offers a convenient and hassle-free way to explore a new destination, with organized stops and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and see multiple sights quickly.

You can choose from guided tours or rent a bike and explore on your own. Some popular bike tour routes include Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki.

15. Visit a Lagosian Art Studio 

Lagos has a thriving art scene, and there are plenty of art studios and galleries to explore. Visiting a Lagosian art studio is a great way to experience the city’s creative culture. 

Nigerian artists are renowned for their creativity, originality, and versatility, blending traditional and contemporary styles. They have significantly contributed to African and global art scenes, particularly in music, film, and visual arts.

You can see local artists at work, learn about the inspiration behind their art, and even purchase unique pieces to take home.

Read: Where to See Art in Lagos?

16. Attend a Lagosian Cultural Festival 

Lagos is home to many cultural festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music to food to art. Attending a Lagosian cultural festival is a great way to experience the city’s diverse culture. 

Lagos festival is a unique cultural experience with a vibrant atmosphere, lively music, colorful costumes, and delicious food. It offers the opportunity to celebrate the Lagos community’s heritage, customs, and traditions as a Lagosian while having fun.

Some popular festivals include the Lagos International Jazz Festival, the Lagos Fashion Week, Lagos Food and Drink Festival, Lagos Theatre Festival, and Eyo Festival, a traditional cultural procession.

Bottom Line

Experiencing Lagos like a true Lagosian involves embracing the city’s vibrant and dynamic culture through various activities such as exploring its iconic landmarks, trying out its street food, attending cultural festivals, and enjoying its bustling nightlife. 

By following these insider tips, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the energy and spirit of Lagos, making their stay in the city a truly unforgettable experience.

By Allison

Allison is enthusiastic about finding information and sharing guides about Lagos. He also covers all exciting topics about Africa at Lonely Africa. He lives in Lagos with his wife Antje and cat Leo and loves fabric crafting, and watching TV in his spare time.

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