What’s there to do in Lagos?

“There is nothing to do in Lagos!” is something you might have heard or said a number of times. I myself have ransacked the internet looking for interesting non clubbing things to do in Lagos. I have become that person who knows where all the fun spots are but never goes to them because of one thing or the other.

BOGOBIRI

 is a cool hippie Africany place. The building houses a boutique hotel, a restaurant and the Nimbus Museum. Bogobiri is perhaps best known for its Open Mic nights which hold every Thursday. People come to sing, rap, play instruments, recite poetry, anything. Open Mic night officially starts at 7, but sometimes things don’t pop off until 8pm. I like to go early though, so as to get seats. There are other events besides the open mic night (e.g Wednesday Quiz night, Alliance Francaise night on Fridays and Reggae nights on Saturdays.) I only really go to Bogobiri on Thursday nights, so I can’t speak about its other offerings. I went on a Friday night once and it was very chill, just a lot of instrumentals.  Dashikis, tie-dye outfits and similar things are sold there. The interior of the restaurant is great, with shattered glass adorning the walls and ceiling. Oh and their goat meat curry is heavenly! I always make sure to order a plate to go whenever I go there. Some might even say that is the main reason I go to Bogobiri. 

Bogobiri: 9, Maitama Sule street, off Awolowo road Ikoyi  http://www.bogobiri.com

BAY LOUNGE

Bay Lounge is cool, literally. It is an open space beside the water, so you can enjoy the cool breeze while you rock to the live band. I think it is owned by the same people who own Sailor’s lounge, which is just a stone’s throw away. I am not sure of its timetable but I know that  Friday nights are wonderful. We sat and ate chicken and isi-ewu, while shivering slightly and enjoying the awesome live band. We rocked in our chair for a while, until the live band started playing a Shina Peters song, then we couldn’t help ourselves any longer and we got up and danced. Good times.

Bay lounge: Plot 10, 12B, Admiralty Road, Lekki Phase 1

Instagram page: https://instagram.com/thebayloungelekki/

BUKKA HUT LOUNGE

A few of us wanted to hang out on a Thursday night and we were looking for a place with a good vibe. At first we went to Bay Lounge but it was not lively, either because it was a Thursday or because it was not late enough. A friend suggested to go to Bukka Hut and off we did. I was a bit sceptical at first because to the best of my knowledge, Bukka Hut is a fast food restaurant. It turned out to be a fantastic night. On this particular thursday, there was a comedy shindig going on. We ordered food, danced in our chairs, and laughed heartily at the host’s yabs and jabs (while trying not to fall victims). We had to leave at about midnight, and by then the night hadn’t even fully started. I wish we could have stayed for the whole thing.  It was a good night.

Plot 8 Admiralty Way
Near PHCN Office
Lekki Phase 1
Lagos

http://www.bukkahut.com/index.php/bh-lounge

 

Freedom Park (Afropolitan night)

Freedom park is one of those places that I have always wanted to go to, but somehow never have. It has an amphitheatre, museum, the Wole Soyinka Art gallery and other interesting things. The park itself was created from the ruins of an old colonial prison. Plays are acted on the open air stage and it is a nice peaceful place.

Freedom park has become synonymous with Afropolitan night. I first heard of Afropolitan nights in late 2013, I’m guessing before it became very popular. I so badly wanted to go then, but alas, I still haven’t. Afropolitan night holds every third Friday of the month, from about 7pm.  There are live performances and one can get palm wine. I have seen clips of people rocking out on stage with the band and it is like a good place to spend a Friday.

I wish I could have gone before it became so popular, I do better in small crowds and I am not sure how comfortable I would be with all that people there. It should still be fun though. Apart from Afropolitan nights, Freedom Park also stages plays and other fun events.

Old Prison Ground Broad Street, Lagos Island
Lagos, Nigeria

http://lagosfreedompark.com

TERRA KULTURE

When I first moved back home after university, I used to go to Terra Kulture every Sunday to watch a play. That was before it dawned on me that N3000 was a lot of money. My sister and I would eat fried yam/potatoes, with chicken/goat meat pepper sauce washed down with chapman/palmwine. After this we would go upstairs to the gallery to stare at the art before going back downstairs to the bookshop to get some books. Then we would take our seats in the theatre just as our play was about to start and enjoy the rest of the evening. We were living the life you know. If you are interested in a play, Terra Kulture is your place to go. Fun Fact: Terra Kulture is owned by Bolanle Austen-Peters, the same woman behind the SARO stage plays.

Plot 1376, Tiamiyu Savage, Off Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos http://www.terrakulture.com

Nike Art Gallery

Nike Art Gallery is made up of three(or is it four?) floors, all filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures, carvings, metal work and other things. There is a shop on the ground floor where visitors can buy ankara and some nice artefacts. The gallery also does tours, if you are interested.  I have had the pleasure of meeting the owner Mrs Nike Okundaye-Davies on two occasions and she was perfectly lovely both times. She even gifted me a keychain once. Be sure to stop over at the gallery and pick up some art. And if your pockets are shallow like mine, then just go there to soak it all in.

Nike Art Gallery,
No. 2, Elegushi Road,
3rd Roundabout, Epe Expressway,
Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Phase 1 Peninsula,
Lekki Lagos, NIGERIA.

http://www.nikeart.com/contact.htm

LEKKI CONSERVATION CENTER

I wanted to go to a zoo, and the conservation centre seemed like the next best thing. The place is quite chill, lots of trees, more flora than fauna. There is a long trail boardwalk, and as one can see birds and certain primates on the way. I was a bit frightened by the primates (I’m not sure what exactly they were), so I turned back. There may be a lot I missed out on, some people reported seeing crocodiles/alligators(what is the difference?). The one part I’m sorry I missed is the Treehouse. I had seen people posing for pictures in it and I was eager to climb it but I was discouraged after walking for a while without it in sight, and the primates scared me. I wager LCC would be a nice place for a date. It was quiet and I was able to walk for a while without being disturbed.

Lekki Conservation Centre
Km 19 Lagos – Epe Express way, Lekki
Lagos. http://www.ncfnigeria.org/projects/lekki-conservation-centre

La Campagne Tropicana

I remember going to La Campagne Tropicana when I was a child and when it was still in Ikeja. My last memory of the place is going there with my sister and friends and getting gated because we weren’t members. Oh that was a sad painful day. We didn’t know we needed membership, we thought a gate fee was all that was needed to get it. Enough of my childhood woes. La Campagne Tropicana is now in Ibeju Lekki, and it has changed quite a bit. It is a relaxing haven with chalets that guests can stay in. From the pictures, it looks quite serene. The water, the beach, the African architecture and decor, the activities, it just sounds blissful. Again, I have been meaning to go, but this is definitely not a spur of the moment trip.

Ikegun, Ibeju-Lekki Local Govt, Area off Lekki / Epe Expressway, Lagos, http://lacampagneng.com

JAZZHOLE

I heard of this place and dragged my brother there one early evening. From the outside, it looked really tiny and we drove past it before google maps brought us back. To be honest, I was a bit taken aback as I already had an idea of how it would look. I also expected it to be bustling with music and activity. It wasn’t. I would later find out that I was there at the wrong time. Jazz hole is a bookstore with an interesting collection of books and music. One can find old music, Jazz albums, Vinyls and even a Vinyl player there. There are also some framed photographs for sale, including some of Fela. I didn’t get to experience its other offerings, but I hear that there is a live music event, and that one can sip on coffee and nibble on cake while reading a book. I will definitely go back when I can, as I have heard nothing but good things about it.

168 Awolowo Road | IkoyiLagos 

GRILL AT THE PENT AKA GATP

I have never been and at this point I doubt I will ever go  😦 It has become so big and pictures from the event are plastered over the blogs. I would be much too shy and uncomfortable, or not. GATP is an event that holds every Sunday at the penthouse of Mega plaza. Yes, Lagosians who have work the next day, go and party on Sunday. When I first heard of GATP, I was led to believe it was a daytime clubbing scenario, starting from 2pm. Maybe that is the official time and the real madness starts later on. Anyway GATP looks fun from the pictures I’ve seen, and it supposedly goes on from 2pm-11pm. If you are into partying on a Sunday, check it out on my behalf. Just be sure to iron your work clothes beforehand.

Cova, The penthouse, Mega Plaza, Victoria Island.

Instagram page:https://instagram.com/thegrillatdpent/

There are a lot of other places you can visit in Lagos, from beaches (elegushi, takwa bay, Inagbe resort) to art galleries. Just go out and explore! (and carry your wallet with you). What fun places do you visit in Lagos? What fun things do you do? Let me know!

 

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