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SAA’s direct flight to Lagos, Nigeria brings this economic hub much closer. One thing not to miss while you’re there are the markets. Read our bargaining guide to Lagos markets.

By: Leanne Feris

You’ll be spoilt for choice between food and lifestyle markets and if you know where to go and how to bargain, you will make your money stretch much further with all that’s on offer. Be sure to go during the dry season, as the market walkways may get flooded during wet conditions.  

Most markets are organised in sections, so ask for directions to avoid getting lost and to get to where you need to be sooner rather than later. Take cash, dress low-key, and be prepared to bargain. 

Balogun Market: Lagos Island  

One of the busiest and largest markets in Lagos, it is known for its colourful Nigerian fabrics, shoes and more. You can also buy cooked food if you’re hungry and need a quick meal or snack.   

Arena Market: Oshodi, Lagos 

You will find different items sold in various sections of the shopping complex, from food, clothes and accessories to home appliances.  

Jankara Market: Lagos Island 

Watches, electronics, herbs, aso-oke fabric, crafts, beads, and even live chickens can be found in this market. 

Lekki Market: Lagos 

This art and craft market offers handmade leathergoods, paintings, bronze works and even semi-precious stones such as amethyst and quartz. You will also find artwork and carvings, clothing, placements, fans, leather clutches, jewellery and more. 

Mile 12 Market: Lagos 

Arguably the largest market for fresh foods and vegetables in West Africa, Mile 12 Market has roughly over 150 000 regular traders daily, including traders from neighbouring countries such as Togo, Benin, Ghana and Cameroon. A cornucopia fresh from the farm, from peppers and tomatoes to plantains and yams at affordable prices, makes this a popular market in Lagos. 

Bar Beach Market: Victoria Island 

The Bar Beach Market is where you will find fresh fish and a small selection of crafts such as wood carvings, masks, paintings, bangles and some food items. The market is near a variety of hotels, making it easily accessible.  

Street food 

Markets mean street food. Here are some you might come across.  

  • Ponmo, a local delicacy also known as cow skin, is sold in markets at very affordable prices. It is prepared along the roadside and sold in old newspapers and plastic bags. You dip it in a spicy stew sauce. However, the Nigerian government has warned of the use of animal hides meant for industrial use making its way into the food chain for human consumption.  
  • Fried turkey, gizzard, fried yam and spicy peppered stew are prepared and sold at different spots at markets.  
  • Jollof rice and fried fish. Some hawkers carry cooler boxes as they walk all over the market selling food to hungry customers.  
  • Licky-licky, or black velvet tamarind, is sold using measuring cups. Crack open the smooth velvet skin to eat the soft, orange sweet-and-sour fruit. 
  • Kokoro is a crunchy deep-fried snack made from corn flour and has a sweet, ginger taste. 
  • Dates and tigernuts are also commonly sold. The dates are usually sold dried and the tigernuts can be bought fresh or dried. 

Sources: artsandculture.google.com; foluoyefeso.com; privateproperty.com.ng; premiumtimesng.com 

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