On The Road

You'll Definitely Want to Book a Trip to Nigeria After Reading This

The country's capital, Lagos, is at the tippy-top of our wish list.

By: Jodi Taylor

Without fail, every year at this time we catch ourselves daydreaming of all the warm and beautiful places we wish we were traveling to—regardless of the fact that it’s essentially spring weather this week (wtf is going on!?), we’re spoiled and wishing for full-on summer temperatures. Until we get that (let’s be serious, it’s only early March—we’ve got a long way to go), the best we can do is live vicariously through our friends who are (lucky!) traveling anywhere and everywhere, or so it seems. Take our good friend Irene Agbontaen, founder of TTYA London. She recently traveled to her home away from home (as she calls it), Lagos, Nigeria, and was kind enough to share her photo diary with us. If you ask us, there is really no better way to get over your winter (or Wednesday) slump than by scrolling through Irene’s vacation pics.

“Lagos is a fascinating city. Beneath all the horn tooting, hustling, and traffic jams lies a place saturated in culture, traditions, and a love for the arts.”

“One of the fastest growing global economies, I’m proud to call Nigeria my home away from home. The entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians is magical, and with the growing middle class through Nigeria, Lagos has become rich with young creatives. I took a trip back to get a taste of what new-age Lagos had to offer.”

“I stayed [at the Eko Hotel] for my entire trip. Eko is in the heart of Victoria Island. It's the perfect spot from which to navigate the island. The pool area is so vibrant—the perfect place to meet and connect with people.”

“[Alara] luxury concept store stocks well-known brands such as Valentino [and] Dries Van Noten. It has a super chic restaurant attached called NOK that displays contemporary art from around the continent.”

“The latest home decor trend: extra large prayer mats.”

“The New Africa Shrine is the living legacy of the late Fela Kuti. It is made up of an open-air entertainment center managed by Fela Kuti’s son, Femi Kuti. The Shrine exhibits photos of Fela and has performances by Femi and Seun Kuti. The best street food (suya and palm wine) is served here!”

“Ilashe Beach holds a small commune of private beach houses—you can rent these out with your friends and family and make a day of it! You get a speed boat from Victoria Island that takes about 30 minutes to get to the private island. From there you are met with quad bikes to take you to the beach house. The houses have a private pool, BBQ, fully stocked bar with staff, and quad bikes for extra activities.”

“Keke napep—the quick and easy way to travel around Lagos. This motorcycle [can] hold up to 4 people.”

“Ankara originally came from the streets of Lagos. The bold and vibrant prints are sold in sections of six yards—you can then take this to a tailor to make your desired design.”

“Traditionally known as Aso-Ebi, there is usually a theme amongst your age mates. We attended a wedding where the color was peach. You are given six yards of fabric to design a style that you want—it’s big business in Nigeria.”

“I was lucky enough to be hosted by Nigerian recording artist WizKid on my trip. The nightlife scene in Lagos is so fun! The clubs don’t start popping until about 2 AM, and your night probably won’t end until about 8 in the morning. Club hopping is a big thing! You very rarely stay in one club all night. The main spots were DNA, Escape, Club 57, Vellvett Lounge, and an after-hours spot called Quilox (open till 7 AM)!”

“The Nike gallery is a five-storey art gallery owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye. Nike is so amazing! I had the privilege to meet her [Davies-Okundaye] and view her collection of over 8,000 diverse artworks from African artists all over the continent.”

“New Years Day I did the rounds with my mom to visit my aunties and uncles. My mom’s brother lives in Ikoyi. I loved all the art-style houses nearby. My nine-year-old cousin loves taking pictures and took this picture of me!”

RSVP Lagos [is a] new Lagos hot spot—definitely the place to see and be seen. It's very cosmopolitan in design, with an outside pool [and] lounge area. The cocktails are just divine—the plantain mash is a must-try!”

“Simply Green Juices Lagos—this is the first cold-press juice spot in Lagos! They do delivery to your hotel, too. Much-needed after those insane parties!”

“This is a lifestyle concept store [that] almost feels like a gallery—home to an amazing shoe lounge! It's super great for accessories.”

“Uber in Lagos has completely transformed the nightlife and how young people travel around. Quick, efficient, and regulated, it’s the best way to travel safely through Lagos. Also the best time for selfies in between trips!”

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