January 15, 2016
For those with a nose for thrift, or a penchant for organised chaos fuelled by the sounds of slick or persistent haggling, head out to the many well-established Lagos markets and bazaars. From Lekki Market to the vast Balogun Market and the sprawling Computer Village in Ikeja, you can acquire everything and anything from food to fashion and fabrics to footwear. Take a look at our guide to the best market shopping in Lagos.
Known as Lekki, Elegushi or Lekki (Beach) Market, this sprawling open air shopping area will keep you occupied for hours. There are three sections; the vegetable area for fresh veg and fruit sold in baskets from hundreds of stalls, the packed and branded products that can be snapped up far more cheaply than they would be in supermarkets, and then the tourist-filled handicraft area. Here, you can be bold with your bargaining, and go down to a third of the price as a reasonable starting point. This makes particular sense of you’re going for a large wooden statue or other impressive statement pieces.
Address: Oba Elugeshi International Market, off Lekki-Epe Expressway, between 4th & 5th Roundabout, Lagos.
You’ll need a good dose of stamina for this expansive series of markets. Spread over numerous streets across the island, Balogun’s best known for its fabrics. From lace to vibrantly printed wax Ankara, you’ll find thousands of rolls stacked high in the various indoor and outdoor outlets in “˜Ankara Alley’. The farmers’ market-style Okin Arin is where you can pick up groceries, and for specialist tailors (who’ll work wonders with your newly acquired textiles), you should head over to Iponri Market, which is interspersed with food stalls. A huge draw are the crafts and artworks at Jakande Market, found along the highway on the Lekki Peninsular, which is separated from Lagos Island by the lagoon called Five Cowrie Creek.
Address: Bankole Street, Lagos Island, Lagos.
Having been through various facelifts, closures and refurbishments since the 1920s, Oyingbo Market was officially reopened in early 2015. Now a modern indoor market complex, it consists of a four-storey building, car parking area and over 600 shops selling food, clothes, crafts and hair products, as well as providing office space for new businesses.
Address: Herbert Macaulay Way, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
What with the mid-noughties rise of internet technology in corporate Nigeria, it’s no surprise that many traders cashed in on the fact that Lagos would be awash with folk buying, selling and upgrading their IT products. That’s when Ikeja’s Otigba community went from being mainly residential to developing itself as a haven for computers and accessories. To the rising sounds of music throughout the area, the village is by far the best spot to pick up branded laptops, cameras, mobile phones and accessories, as well as pinning down some of the best technicians in the city.
Address: Ikeja, Lagos
Virgin Atlantic operates daily direct flights to Lagos from London Heathrow, bringing these authentic markets within easy reach.
Have you visited any of these Lagos markets? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Nana Ocran