How To Survive In Lagos

Table of Contents

How to Survive in Lagos: Tips and Tricks for Navigating Nigeria's Bustling Metropolis

Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is a city that never sleeps. From the bustling markets to the crowded streets, Lagos is a city that can be overwhelming for newcomers. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can survive and even thrive in this vibrant city. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned expat, here are some tips to help you navigate Lagos with ease.

1. Preparing for Lagos

Before you arrive in Lagos, it is essential to do some preparation. First, you need to obtain a visa. Nigeria requires that all visitors have a valid visa before entering the country. You can apply for a visa at the Nigerian embassy in your home country or online via the Nigeria Immigration Service website.

Secondly, you need to research the city. Lagos is massive, and getting around can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the city. Before you arrive, research the neighborhoods, transportation options, and attractions to get an idea of what to expect.

2. Transportation in Lagos

Getting around Lagos can be challenging, but there are several options available. Taxis are the most popular mode of transportation, but they can be expensive. It is recommended to negotiate the price before getting into a taxi to avoid overcharging.

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Another option is public transportation, such as buses and minivans. These are cheaper but can be crowded and uncomfortable. Be prepared to stand for long periods as seats may not be available.

If you prefer a more comfortable and private option, you can rent a car or hire a driver. However, driving in Lagos can be chaotic, so it is recommended to hire a driver who is familiar with the city.

3. Safety in Lagos

Like any big city, Lagos has its fair share of safety concerns. Petty theft and pickpocketing are common in crowded areas such as markets and public transportation. It is advisable to keep your belongings close to you and avoid carrying large sums of cash.

Also, be cautious when walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas. It is recommended to take a taxi instead of walking, and always let someone know your whereabouts.

4. Accommodation in Lagos

Lagos offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. When choosing accommodation, consider the location and transportation options. It is recommended to stay in a central location for easy access to attractions and transportation.

Also, check online reviews before booking to ensure that the accommodation meets your needs and standards. It is advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons when prices can be higher.

5. Food in Lagos

One of the highlights of Lagos is its diverse and delicious cuisine. From street food to upscale restaurants, Lagos offers a range of food options to suit all tastes and budgets.

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When dining out, it is recommended to try local dishes such as jollof rice, pounded yam, and egusi soup. Be cautious when eating street food, as hygiene standards may not be up to par. It is advisable to only eat food that is freshly cooked and served hot.

6. Culture and Etiquette in Lagos

Nigerians are known for their hospitality, and it is essential to respect their culture and etiquette. When meeting someone, it is customary to shake hands and exchange pleasantries.

It is also important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Women are advised to cover their heads and wear long skirts or pants.

7. Entertainment in Lagos

Lagos is packed with entertainment options, from music concerts to art exhibitions. It is recommended to check local listings for events and shows.

One of the most popular forms of entertainment in Lagos is nightlife. The city comes alive at night, with numerous bars and clubs offering live music, dancing, and drinks.

8. Weather in Lagos

Lagos has a tropical climate, with hot and humid conditions year-round. The rainy season is from April to October, with heavy rainfall and occasional flooding. It is recommended to carry an umbrella or raincoat during this season.

During the dry season (November to March), temperatures can soar, so it is advisable to wear light, breathable clothing.

9. Healthcare in Lagos

Lagos has several public and private hospitals, but the quality of healthcare can vary. It is recommended to have health insurance and to research hospitals and clinics before arriving.

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It is also advisable to carry basic medications such as painkillers and anti-diarrheal medication, as these can be difficult to obtain in Lagos.

10. Language in Lagos

Nigeria has over 500 languages, but English is the official language and widely spoken in Lagos. However, locals may also speak Pidgin English, a creole language that combines English with local languages.

It is recommended to learn basic phrases in Pidgin English, such as "How you dey?" (How are you?) and "Wetin dey happen?" (What's happening?).


Surviving in Lagos can be challenging, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it is possible to navigate the city with ease. From transportation to safety, culture, and entertainment, these tips will help you enjoy all that Lagos has to offer.


  1. Is Lagos safe for tourists?

Lagos can be safe for tourists if you take the necessary precautions. Avoid going out alone at night, be cautious in crowded areas, and keep your belongings close to you.

  1. What is the best time to visit Lagos?

The best time to visit Lagos is during the dry season (November to March). However, this is also peak tourist season, so prices may be higher.

  1. What is the currency in Lagos?

The currency in Lagos is the Nigerian Naira (NGN).

  1. What is the cost of living in Lagos?

The cost of living in Lagos can vary depending on your lifestyle and accommodation choices. However, it is generally less expensive than other major cities in Africa.

  1. What is the most popular attraction in Lagos?

One of the most popular attractions in Lagos is the National Museum, which showcases Nigeria's rich history and culture.