Tourism

Things to Do In Old Town Lagos - 2024 Guide

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

· 11 min read

In 2024 the Portuguese cultural richness and timeless charm awaits you at the shores of Old Town Lagos. As you step into this place, you can see Portugal's history through its cobbled streets and colonial-era architecture, which creates an immersive experience for every traveler.

What are the Best Places to Visit in Old Town Lagos?

Best places to visit in old town Lagos are Lagos Castle, Ponta da Bandeira Fort, Lagos Cultural Center, Lagos Cultural Center, Santo Antônio Church, Slave Market Museum, Rua 25 de Abril and Praça Gil Eanes, Lagos Marina. More details about these places are listed below. 

Lagos Castle (Castelo de Lagos)

Lagos Castle in Old Town Lagos is a cool old fortress from the 1600s. It tells stories about ships and trade back in the day. You can check out old stuff in the museum inside, and sometimes there are events in the castle courtyard. As the sun sets, walk around Old Town and enjoy the history and charm.

The Ponta da Bandeira Fort

Forte da Ponta da Bandeira (Lagos) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go  (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Exploring the Ponta da Bandeira Fort is a must. This historic fortress stands as a sentinel of the town's maritime past, offering visitors a captivating journey through time.

Built in the 17th century, Ponta da Bandeira Fort showcases intricate architecture and strategic design that reflect the rich heritage of Old Town Lagos. As you wander through its well-preserved walls and passageways, you'll sense the echoes of bygone eras when this fortress played a vital role in defending the coastal town.

Inside the fort, you'll discover informative exhibits and displays that unravel the maritime history of the town. From navigational instruments to artifacts from seafaring expeditions, each item contributes to the narrative of the town's connection to the sea. And make sure to ascend to the top of the watchtower for a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape.

Lagos Cultural Center

In the heart of the Town lies the vibrant hub of cultural enrichment – the Lagos Cultural Center. This captivating venue serves as a testament to the rich heritage and history embedded in the fabric of Old Town Lagos.

Upon entering the center, you can witness traditional artifacts, showcasing the artistry of the local craftsmen and the evolution of the town's cultural identity. Wander through the meticulously curated exhibits that depict the chronological journey of this town, from its humble beginnings to its present-day charm.

Experience live performances, where traditional music and dance breathes life into the echoes of the past. The Cultural Center acts as a living archive, narrating stories through the rhythmic beats and graceful movements that have been passed down through generations.

Santo António Church

Santo António Church stands as a captivating testament to the rich historical tapestry of Old Town Lagos. Nestled within the heart of this venerable enclave, the church offers visitors an immersive journey through the centuries, echoing the cultural resonance.

Constructed during the colonial era, Santo António Church's architecture mirrors the colonial influences prevalent in this old town. The well-preserved facade and intricate detailing provide a glimpse into the past, seamlessly blending with the cobblestone streets that define this historic area.

The interior of Santo António Church bears witness to the passage of time, adorned with artifacts and religious symbols that reflect the diverse cultural amalgamation characteristic of the town's history.

As you explore the church grounds, take a moment to appreciate the panoramic views of Old Town Lagos. Santo António Church's vantage point offers a unique perspective, allowing visitors to soak in the charm of the narrow alleyways, vibrant markets, and the distinct architectural beauty that defines this enclave.

The Slave Market Museum (Mercado de Escravos)

Explore the historical depths by visiting the Slave Market Museum, also known as Mercado de Escravos.

The Mercado de Escravos stands as a solemn reminder of Old Town Lagos's complex history. Experience the exhibits that chronicle the city's role in the transatlantic slave trade, offering a sobering glimpse into a dark chapter of the past.

Witness the preserved artifacts and narratives that vividly depict the experiences of those who passed through this historic market. Gain a profound understanding of Lagos's pivotal role in shaping the course of history.

As you navigate through the museum, absorb the atmosphere and reflect on the resilience of the human spirit amidst adversity. This cultural site is an essential stop for those seeking a profound connection with Lagos, Portugal.

Rua 25 de Abril and Praça Gil Eanes

In Lagos, Portugal, a must-visit area is Rua 25 de Abril and Praça Gil Eanes. These historic streets and squares offer a delightful blend of culture and charm, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into the rich heritage of the town.

Wander along the cobblestone streets that lead you through architectural wonders. Admire the well-preserved buildings that narrate the town's story, with each facade echoing tales of times gone by. This picturesque street invites you to take a leisurely stroll, allowing the essence of Old Town Lagos to unfold before your eyes.

Arriving at Praça Gil Eanes, you'll discover a vibrant square pulsating with local life. Named after the renowned Portuguese explorer, this plaza serves as a hub for social interactions and cultural events. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as locals gather, creating a dynamic energy that encapsulates the spirit of Old Town Lagos.

Scenic Cliffs and Beaches

Enjoy the beautiful cliffs and beaches of Old Town Lagos. Walk along the Ponta da Piedade cliffs and explore hidden coves like Praia Dona Ana, Praia da luz. Relax on golden sands and take in the tranquility. For excitement, take a boat tour from Lagos Harbor to see the cliffs like Ponta da Piedade from a unique perspective. Marvel at nature's artistry in the grottoes and sea caves. As the sun sets, admire the panoramic views of Lagos, Portugal, a perfect blend of history and nature. The cliffs and beaches showcase the enduring beauty of this coastal haven.

What Things to Do in Old Town Lagos?

Things to do in Old Town Lagos are Visiting Lagos Old Town for its cool history and cultural vibes. Walking around the pretty streets with cool paintings and old buildings. Learning about old sea stories at the Lagos Maritime Museum.

Apart from this you can also Check out lively markets with handmade stuff and try local foods. At night, you can try tasty food at nice restaurants. Take a walk by the water, listen to music, and enjoy the fun nightlife with local drinks and dancing.

Beach Activities to Do in Lagos Old Town

Popular beach activities to do in Lagos Old Town are sunbathing, swimming, surfing, boat tour and more. With its rich history and vibrant atmosphere, it offers an array of beach activities that cater to both relaxation and adventure seekers.

Old Town Lagos beaches beckon with a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor.

Sunbathing and Swimming

The beach offers a unique charm where sunbathing and swimming become special. With golden shores touched by Atlantic breezes, it's a perfect place for beach lovers. As the sun rises, immerse yourself in the cultural allure of Old Town Lagos, lying on beautiful beaches and listening to the ocean waves blending with echoes of the past.

Under the warm sun, sunbathing connects you to history, the sand beneath you holding tales of bygone eras. Swimming in the Atlantic becomes more than just an activity; it's a dive into the town's maritime legacy, guided by seafaring tales. In Lagos, Portugal, every moment by the shore is a magical blend of nature's beauty and historical stories, making it a truly captivating coastal retreat.

Surfing

Surfing in Lagos, Portugal, is an exciting blend of culture and wave-riding fun. The Atlantic coastline there is perfect for surfers of all levels. You can catch the sunrise while paddling into the consistent waves, whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer. Whether you rent a board or bring your own, secluded beaches are a great playground. You can also get expert guidance if you're new to surfing.

After a thrilling surf, chill at beachfront cafes and enjoy the laid-back vibe of Lagos. The mix of traditional charm and modern cityscape makes surfing here a unique experience, enhanced by the vibrant local culture. It's a must-try activity for anyone exploring this picturesque coastal town.

Boat Tour

A captivating boat tour in the marina de lagos to soak in Lagos' picturesque views and maritime history is a must. Cruise along Lagos Bay, surrounded by the town's historic charm and centuries-old maritime tales. Then visit landmarks like the Ponta da Piedade cliffs, which stand against the sky, narrating seafaring adventures.

Engage with local boat guides who share intriguing anecdotes, providing a cultural touch to your journey. Sail beneath the historic Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, witnessing Old Town's resilience through time. Capture the magic of sunset, casting a warm glow over the waters, and create lasting memories of the timeless charm of Lagos.

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Lagos, Portugal, with a boat trip that unveils its maritime treasures and historical richness. Glide through Lagos Bay, where the town's maritime legacy echoes through the tranquil waters. Witness iconic landmarks like the Ponta da Piedade cliffs and Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, as local boat guides share fascinating stories about the seafaring heritage. Don't miss the breathtaking sunset views, painting the coastal haven in golden hues. This immersive experience not only connects you with Old Town's maritime soul but also leaves you with unforgettable memories of Lagos' timeless allure.

Beach Volleyball

Enjoy lively beach volleyball at beaches like praia da batata, where the game merges recreation and heritage along the historic shores. Engage in spirited matches against the backdrop of crashing waves, with the rhythmic echoes of the Atlantic Ocean enhancing the vibrant atmosphere of Lagos.

Feel the soft golden sand beneath your feet as you play in this historical haven. The strategically placed volleyball courts offer both a sporting and scenic experience, welcoming players of all levels. As the sun sets over the Atlantic, the beach volleyball scene in Lagos, Portugal, becomes a unique blend of sport and cultural immersion, inviting you to continue the festivities or unwind with a post-game stroll along the historic shoreline.

Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing in Old Town Lagos is an exciting water activity that fits perfectly with the lively vibe of the area. The pristine beaches and blue waters create an ideal setting for jet skiing enthusiasts. Riding a jet ski along the scenic coastline lets you feel the thrill of the wind and waves, with the historic charm of the town adding a unique touch to your adventure.

Renting a jet ski in Old Town allows you to explore the coastal beauty at your own pace. Glide over clear waters, taking in panoramic views of the town's cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes. Whether you're a seasoned jet skier or a beginner, Lagos, Portugal offers the ideal conditions for an unforgettable day on the water. Take advantage of the well-maintained rental facilities and enjoy a jet skiing journey that combines excitement with the serenity of the coastal surroundings, adding a dynamic and adventurous element to your visit.

Sunset View

In Old Town Lagos, the sunset is a stunning sight that bathes the historic landscapes in a warm glow. As the sun sets, colonial-era buildings and palm trees create a picturesque scene along the shoreline. You can enjoy this timeless beauty by finding a spot on a vintage pier or sandy stretch, where the calm waters reflect the hues of the setting sun, adding to the tranquility of the surroundings.

For a deeper experience, consider joining a guided sunset tour in Lagos, Portugal at beautiful beaches like Praia Dona Ana, Praia da luz. Walk along streets as the fading sunlight turns the old buildings golden, revealing tales from the town's past. As night falls, the vibrant sunset transitions into twinkling lights, creating a lively atmosphere with laughter and music at waterfront cafes and bars. Whether you seek a serene moment or a lively cultural evening, Lagos' sunset offers an enchanting backdrop for an unforgettable experience, celebrating the rich history and natural beauty of this coastal gem.

How Does Old Town Lagos's Nightlife Look Like?

Lagos's nightlife pulsates with a unique energy, blending the city's rich cultural heritage with modern entertainment options. As the sun sets over the historic streets, a vibrant transformation takes place, offering residents and visitors a myriad of activities to explore.

Bars and Pubs

Old Town Lagos has lively bars and pubs that blend the city's rich history with modern vibes. Set in the heart of the historic area, these places offer a mix of tradition and contemporary flair. As the sun sets, the bars and pubs come to life, lighting up the skyline with neon signs and welcoming both locals and visitors to experience the diverse nightlife.

From cozy taverns to waterfront pubs, Lagos, Portugal, boasts a variety of drinking spots, each with its own character influenced by indigenous traditions and modern trends. Live music fills the cobblestone streets with Afrobeat rhythms and local melodies, creating an immersive experience beyond just drinks.

As the night progresses, the bars and pubs become lively hubs of laughter, music, and clinking glasses, offering a dynamic pub-hopping experience for everyone, whether you prefer historic charm or a vibrant contemporary setting. In Lagos, the nightlife isn't just social; it's a cultural celebration that weaves together the city's past and present for an unforgettable evening in this dynamic African metropolis.

Music Venues

Old Town Lagos is known for its lively music scene that captures the essence of Lagosian culture. From Afrobeat to highlife, the narrow streets echo with rhythmic beats, offering a unique nightlife experience. In the heart of Town, various music venues cater to diverse tastes, showcasing the rich musical traditions of Nigeria.

One popular spot is the AfroGroove Lounge, where live bands blend traditional rhythms with modern influences, creating a vibrant atmosphere that reflects the city's pulsating energy. For a more intimate setting, the Jazz Oasis provides a cozy space surrounded by historical charm, offering smooth jazz performances for both locals and visitors.

As night falls, open-air venues like the Sunset Plaza come alive with the sounds of drums and melodies, allowing people to dance under the starlit sky and immerse themselves in the lively spirit of Lagos. Whether you prefer traditional tunes or contemporary beats, the city's music venues ensure that its nightlife is always filled with unforgettable soul-stirring sounds.

Rooftop Bars

Rooftop Bars in Lagos offer a modern twist to the historic charm of the area's nightlife. Set atop colonial buildings, these bars provide a stunning view of the city walls with traditional lanterns lighting up the streets below. As night falls, Rooftop Bars become a key part of Old Town's allure, attracting both locals and visitors for a unique experience.

At these elevated spots, patrons enjoy locally crafted cocktails to the backdrop of Afrobeat and highlife music, creating an ambiance that captures the lively spirit of Lagos. The blend of contemporary mixology and indigenous flavors in these rooftop bars mirrors the diverse character of the neighborhood, making them a hub for social interaction where modern trends meet historical charm.

Cultural Events and Festivals

Old Town Lagos bursts with cultural events and festivals that showcase its rich heritage. The annual Lagos Heritage Festival is a highlight, turning the cobbled streets into a vibrant celebration of traditional music, dances, and decorations, emphasizing the town's commitment to preserving its cultural legacy.

Monthly cultural nights and the Town Cultural Exchange Fair further strengthen the sense of community and pride, connecting the past with the present through local art, music, and culinary experiences.

As the sun sets, the town transforms into a dazzling display of lights and sounds during cultural parades. These events, from the Heritage Festival to monthly gatherings, create a captivating narrative of tradition and celebration, offering a lively glimpse into the heart of Lagos's historical haven.

Where to Shop In Old Town?

To shop in Old town Lagos you can go to local artisan shops, fashion stores. Shopping is a vibrant experience that reflects the rich cultural side of this historic area. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with an array of shops and markets, offering a diverse selection of goods.

For traditional African crafts and textiles, exploring the local markets like the bustling Lekki Arts and Crafts Market is a must. Here, artisans showcase their talents through intricately designed fabrics, beadwork, and wooden carvings, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the local craftsmanship.

Local Artisan Shops

Explore Lagos and discover its charm through local artisan shops. These unique stores, tucked away on cobblestone streets with traditional architecture, showcase handcrafted treasures reflecting the town's cultural heritage. Each shop is a testament to generations of skilled craftsmanship, offering everything from intricate pottery to vibrant textiles.

As you stroll through the charming streets, you'll find boutiques displaying the work of talented local artists. Whether you're looking for unique jewelry, finely carved wooden artifacts, or bespoke clothing, Lagos's artisan shops provide a special selection of items perfect for meaningful souvenirs or thoughtful gifts.

The friendly shopkeepers, often artisans themselves, add a personal touch by sharing insights into their craft and the history behind each piece. Shopping here not only supports the town's cultural tapestry but also allows you to take home a piece of Old Town's unique spirit. Don't miss the chance for an authentic and enriching shopping experience in Lagos.

Fashion Stores

Discover unique fashion and cultural influences in the Fashion Stores of Lagos. These hidden gems blend tradition with modern style, creating a treasure trove for fashion enthusiasts. One such standout is "Heritage Couture," where traditional Nigerian fabrics transform into contemporary designs, reflecting Old Town's rich history.

For an eclectic vibe, check out "Afro Chic Boutique," seamlessly merging African prints with modern styles. If you seek bespoke fashion, "Loom Weavers" specializes in handwoven fabrics, offering tailor-made outfits that showcase Old Town's craftsmanship. Don't miss "Vintage Elegance" on the cobblestone streets for a curated selection of timeless fashion pieces echoing the town's historical charm.

Street Markets

Lagos has lively street markets that showcase local culture and goods. The Marina Market is at the heart of it, bustling with stalls offering traditional crafts, spices, and artisanal products. Aromire Street Market, with its vintage charm, is perfect for finding unique treasures, while Olugbede Farmers' Market is a haven for fresh produce and local flavors. At dusk, the Ikoyi Night Bazaar lights up, offering fashion, accessories, and diverse street food.

These markets in Lagos tell the city's story through its history and traditions. Each market, from Marina to Aromire and Olugbede, lets visitors dive into the vibrant life of Old Town, creating lasting memories amid the unique offerings.

Rua 25 de Abril and Rua Silva Lopes Shopping Street

One of the bustling shopping destinations in Old Town Lagos is the vibrant Rua 25 de Abril and Rua Silva Lopes Shopping Street. Nestled within the historic charm of Town, these streets offer a delightful shopping experience that resonates with the city's rich cultural heritage.

Strolling down Rua 25 de Abril, visitors encounter an array of quaint boutiques and local shops, each showcasing a unique blend of traditional and contemporary Portuguese craftsmanship. From handcrafted ceramics to locally sourced textiles, this street captures the essence of Old Town's artistic soul.

Meanwhile, Rua Silva Lopes adds to the allure with its eclectic mix of fashion boutiques, where you can find both trendy and timeless pieces. This street is a haven for fashion enthusiasts seeking a blend of international styles and local flair, creating a shopping haven that mirrors the cosmopolitan spirit of Town.

Both streets are not just shopping destinations; they are a cultural journey through Old Town's history and modernity. As you explore the narrow cobblestone streets, you'll discover hidden gems and unique souvenirs that encapsulate the spirit of this charming district. In Lagos, Rua 25 de Abril and Rua Silva Lopes Shopping Street beckon as must-visit hubs for those eager to immerse themselves in the city's vibrant shopping scene.

How To Reach the Old Town of Lagos?

To reach the Old Town of Lagos, Portugal, you can fly into Faro Airport and then travel to Lagos by car, taxi, bus, or train. If you're arriving by air, Murtala Muhammed International Airport serves as the primary gateway. From the airport, taxis or rideshare services can swiftly transport you to the historical charm of Old Town Lagos.

For those traveling by road, the city boasts a well-connected network of highways. Navigate through the bustling streets, following signs directing you towards the Old Town. Adequate parking facilities are available for those opting to drive.

Additionally, public transportation options such as buses and minibusses offer a cost-effective means of reaching Old Town Lagos. Check local schedules and routes to find the most convenient way to immerse yourself in the cultural richness of this vibrant district.

Navigating the waterways is also a possibility, given Lagos' coastal location. Ferries and boats provide a scenic route to Old Town, allowing you to appreciate the city's skyline before disembarking at your destination.

Frequently Asked Questions On Things to Do In Old Town Lagos

Q: What are the best times to explore the historical sites in Old Town Lagos?

A: The best times to explore Old Town Lagos's historical sites are during the morning and late afternoon when the soft sunlight beautifully illuminates the colonial architecture, creating a picturesque setting for your visit.

Q: Are there guided tours available for Old Town Lagos?

A: Yes, guided tours are readily available for Old Town Lagos, offering insightful narratives about the history, culture, and significance of various landmarks. Engaging with a knowledgeable guide enhances your overall experience and provides a deeper understanding of the town's rich heritage.

Q: What local dishes should one try while in Old Town Lagos?

A: Indulge in the culinary delights of Old Town Lagos by savoring local dishes such as Jollof rice, grilled fish, and suya from street vendors or traditional restaurants. Don't miss the opportunity to taste the authentic flavors that define the region's gastronomic identity.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals celebrated in Old Town Lagos?

A: Old Town Lagos hosts vibrant annual events and festivals, celebrating its cultural diversity. The Lagos Heritage Festival and the Old Town Arts Fair are notable occasions, providing a platform to experience the lively spirit and creativity of the local community.

Q: How can one get to Old Town Lagos from the city center?

A: Convenient transportation options from the city center to Old Town Lagos include taxis, ride-sharing services, and public buses.

Q: Is Old Town Lagos suitable for family visits?

A: Old Town Lagos is indeed suitable for family visits, offering a blend of educational and recreational activities.

Conclusion

In 2024, Old Town Lagos beckons with its Portuguese cultural richness and timeless charm. The cobbled streets and colonial-era architecture create an immersive experience, showcasing Portugal's history. The Best Places to Visit include the Slave Trade Museum, Freedom Square, Jankara Beach, São Sebastião Museum, Tavares Bastos Market, Ponte de Lagos, Lagos Castle, Ponta da Bandeira Fort, Lagos Cultural Center, Santo António Church (igreja de santo antónio), Slave Market Museum, Rua 25 de Abril and Praça Gil Eanes, Scenic Cliffs and beautiful Beaches.

This town offers diverse beach activities, from sunbathing and swimming to surfing and jet skiing. Boat tours provide captivating views, while beach volleyball offers a blend of recreation and heritage. The sunset in Old Town is a stunning spectacle, setting the historic landscapes aglow.

The nightlife pulsates with bars, music venues, rooftop bars, and cultural events, reflecting a unique blend of history and modernity. Shopping in Old Town is a vibrant experience, with local markets, artisan shops, fashion stores, and street markets offering a diverse selection of goods. Getting to Old Town Lagos is straightforward, with air, road, and water transportation options. Whether exploring historical sites, enjoying beach activities, shopping, or experiencing the vibrant nightlife, Old Town Lagos offers a rich and multifaceted cultural journey.

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

A digital nomad who runs multiple online businesses. My work lets me live anywhere—coffee shops, beaches, or bustling cities. Sharing my experiences is my passion. Through photos, stories, and tips, I wish to help other discover the world too.