Best Museums in Lagos

Being the largest city in Nigeria, it is not at all surprising that Lagos is home to countless tourist attractions and fun-filled activities suitable for the whole family.

While places such as the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lekki Conservation Centre, and Jhalobia Recreation Park & Gardens remain firm favorites among locals and tourists alike, the Lagos museum scene is also worth exploring. While the city may not sport museums of the same magnitude as those found in other large cities on the continent, the eclectic mix is a charming representation of the rich history of the region. Apart from a number of general-history museums, Lagos is also home to an intriguing music museum as well as very modern children’s museum. Here’s a closer look at 4 of the most prominent museums in and around Lagos:

The National Museum

The Nigerian National Museum was constructed in 1957 with the purpose of preserving Nigerian art. Today, it sports a notable collection of art pieces ranging from statues and carvings to archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. One of the most popular artefacts is a terra-cotta human head of Nok origin known as the Jemaa Head. The museum is also home to a number of the Benin Bronzes as well as the bullet-ridden car of the late General Murtala Muhammed. Other attractions include a collection of exquisite calabashes and the royal crowns that are representative of the kingdoms that made up Nigeria prior to it being colonized. The museum is situated in one of the safest areas in the city and although it is perceived by some to be rather messy, it remains a popular attraction among archaeologists, historians, art enthusiasts, and general tourists to the country,

Kalakuta Museum

The Kalakuta Museum, used to be the home to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti – the renowned composer, polygamist, Pan-Africanist, and multi-instrumentalist who was the genius behind the creation of the Afrobeat musical genre. Kuti shared the house with both his family and band members in the 1970s until his death in 1997. The name Kalakuta is derived from the prison cell known as Calcutta that Fela occupied during his incarceration. The museum consists of a guest house with 5 rooms, a café, and a souvenir shop. Some of the most popular items on display in the museum include old album covers, various newspaper clippings, a shoe rack with a pair of shoes placed on it, and even some of the artist’s clothes and underpants. When the weather is good, visitors can hang out on the roof to watch a band performance or rehearsal while reminiscing about the music of years gone-by.

Jaekel House

Jaekal House is a two-storey mini-museum in Lagos that is filled with a variety of interesting artefacts. The mansion dates back to 1898 and was named after a former superintendent of the Nigerian Railway Corporation – Francis Jaekel. The house was formally residence to the Government Manager before it was later on converted in a rest house for senior staff. In 2010, the building was restored and renovated by Professor John Godwin in collaboration with the Railway Corporation. Some of the items on display in the museum include photographic archives dated between 1940 and 1970 of people, places, and events of both pre- and post-independent Nigeria as well as various tools, attire, and equipment belonging to the corporation. Apart from being a museum, Jaekel House also serves as a popular wedding venue to couples from both Lagos and the rest of Nigeria.

Mindscapes Children’s Museum

The Mindscapes Children’s Museum is one of Nigeria’s foremost museums and is home to a range of carefully-curated exhibits, programs, and dynamic spaces that are aimed to stimulate informal learning in areas such as science, the arts, and history. Some of the most popular areas in the museum includes the energy lab which provides a space and suitable resources for children to learn about how electricity is generated and distributed, the mini bank which encourages children to actively explore financial management, and Food Rite, which encourages healthy food choices. As a whole, the museum offer visitors the perfect blend of fun and learning and strives to continue nurturing creativity in a safe and well-equipped environment.

Tayvay /

Justine Bishop
Justine Bishop
I am Justine Bishop, a passionate and creative freelance writer, coffee addict, and cat lover from Cape Town, South Africa. When I am not delivering copy for my clients, I can be found digging for crabs on the beach, watching Grey's Anatomy reruns, or exploring the phenomenal city I call home.
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