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Living in Lagos
A comprehensive guide about living well in Lagos
Lagos is a complicated city, and anyone traveling here from outside of Africa can expect to experience significant culture shock; many are also intimidated by its sheer size and the number of people. However, the unique vibe of the city and the beautiful beaches are a clear plus for life in Lagos.
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Life in Lagos
Culture and Leisure
Famed throughout Africa for the music scene, Lagos is the center for all show business in Nigeria, particularly the movie industry. Sports are also important to the inhabitants of Lagos and football is particularly popular. As the city becomes more of a tourist destination over time, it is also transforming into a global city with some beautiful sights, particularly along the coastline. The beaches are relatively sheltered due to islands not far off the coast, and are a great place to escape from the overwhelming vibrancy of the city center.
Transportation in Lagos
Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos hosts flights from all over Africa, Europe and also a few flights from the US. This is the most common way to get into Lagos and is just a 30 minute drive from the city center, which is easily reachable by taxi or by bus.
Once you are in Lagos, the city will seem very confusing and difficult to navigate to those who do not know their way around. The best advice is to speak to colleagues and your employer to advise you how to get places as the city can be confusing, and at first it may seem like many of the streets are very similar.
Buses are inexpensive and convenient, but tickets have to be purchased before getting on the bus, and vendors are often not around in the evenings so it is a good idea to buy tickets in bulk, as they do not have a specific time on them. Taxis, though more expensive than buses, are also relatively cheap, but be prepared to haggle with the driver before getting into the car.
Safety and Security
Lagos has long had a bad reputation regarding crime in the city. Despite this, it has become much safer, as the government has spent a great deal of money on improving security in the city with a more prominent police presence and security cameras.
Expats are not usually victims of violent crimes, but keeping your possessions hidden is wise, as is avoiding walking in areas of the city that you do not know well late at night. There are a lot of beggars on the street and people may approach you to ask for money, but it is usually best to keep walking and ignore anyone who approaches.
Generally, the inhabitants of Lagos are friendly and welcoming and will help you if you ask for directions. Stick to the main streets as much as possible and avoid going off the beaten track.
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