Exploring Lagos Island

Exploring Lagos Island: Business Hub and Historical Landmarks

From a small strip of land which housed its natives to a bustling metropolis that attracts global attention. Lagos Island has experienced many events and changes. 

It is usually called the financial powerhouse of Nigeria but beyond the economic opportunities it offers, the island has a tale to share. 

From recorded historic lifestyles, witnessing the bangs of independence to treasuring historic relics, the island’s tales are endless. Let’s dive into Lagos Island and the places that will give you an unforgettable Lagos experience.

Exploring Lagos Island: Business Hub and Historical Landmarks

  1. The Business Hub

1.1 Central Business District (CBD)

1.2 Broad Street and Marina

1.3 Lagos Island Market (Eko Market)

  1.  Historical Landmarks

2.1 National Museum Lagos

2.2 Brazilian Quarters (Popo Aguda)

2.3 Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS)

2.4 The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina

Exploring Lagos Island

1.0 The Business Hub

Due to its role in the early days of Nigeria’s independence, the island quickly became a center of commerce and corporate buildings. Some of its notable sections are listed below.

1.1. Central Business District (CBD)

From 1914 to ’91, Lagos state was the capital city of Nigeria. It was the center of political, commercial and financial activities. The bulk of these activities were conducted on the island especially at the CBD. Corporations, Headquarters, and top companies made the island their home. Top professionals, social elites and these organizations made the island an economic pacesetter. 

Unlike the mainland, the island is dominated by highrise buildings like the NECOM building. A cursory look will also give you upscale office spaces and grand hospitality brands.  

1.2. Broad Street and Marina

Two major roads on this island are Marina and Broad street. They are usually described as the economic pillars of the island. Although their roles tend to overlap, broad street favors the financial houses while Marina Road prefers government establishments.

Broad street covers the financial houses, banks and a major part of the banking sector. It was initially the center of British administration. So, you will see a mix of European and contemporary architecture. Some of which are the Western House, the Cathedral Church of Christ and the general post office.

Marina Road, as the name implies, gives you a view of the lagoon, government houses, headquarters and commercial centers. It was the official dockyard during the colonial era. Now, it connects the mainland and the island. 

Icons of political freedom like The Independence House are on this Road, along with The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Stock Exchange buildings. 

1.3. Lagos Island Market (Eko Market)

Another iconic hub is the Eko market popularly called Balogun market. It is the largest commercial market in Nigeria, spanning over several streets. Vendors and buyers from the mainland and island frequent this market to trade their wares. 

A wide range of fabrics, clothing, accessories, home and office gadgets are available at the market.  Artisans and vendors also display their craft works, organic products and trinkets for sale. If you love haggling over market prices, then you should visit this market. 

Every item is waiting for a good bargain. Furthermore, the market layout celebrates the entrepreneurial nature of the island.

2.0 Historical Landmarks

Way before independence, Lagos Island had a story to tell. It was the center of British administration before it became the capital city of the nation and finally it’s economic powerhouse. 

While all these events occurred, history and its landmarks were made. Some of these landmarks are listed below: 

2.1.  National Museum Lagos

A visit to the national museum takes you on a ride through Nigeria’s evolution. You will enjoy the historic and cultural story of the Nation. Local artifacts, historic exhibits and relics tell a tale of simplicity and creativity. The museum gives you a crash course of Nigeria’s cultural diversity and its history. 

From Bronze images to terracotta sculptures, there is a practical display of the artistic excellence which several communities celebrated before western influence took over. 

The museum is located on Onikan street in the Ikoyi area of the island. As a center of historic appeal, the building was designed to facilitate easy navigation. It’s architectural design is a blend of the prevalent design of ’57 and contemporary architecture

2.2. Brazilian Quarters (Popo Aguda)

In an era when slave trade was celebrated, West Africans became objects of slavery. One of the tribes that was affected, were the Yorubas. Fortunately, some of these people returned back to their homeland in the 19th century and created communities. 

One of these communities is the Brazilian Quarters which locals called Popo Aguda loosely translated many returnees (of Brazil). Exploring these grounds will reveal a blend of African and Brazilian culture. Two-storey buildings that match the building style of historic Brazil. Wide verandahs and motifs that describe the blended cultures are also in view. 

2.3.  Exploring Lagos Island: Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS)

This square is a memorial of Nigeria’s independence. It was originally the center for racehorse events during British administration but was renovated after Nigeria gained independence. The square was named in honor of one of Nigeria’s independence fighters: Tafawa Balewa. He was also the first Prime Minister of the nation. 

The square represents the strong cultural and political heritage of the city. The entrance of the square welcomes you with the four white horses sculptures. Above the majestic beasts, sculptures of seven red eagles hang on the rafters. Other cultural monuments like the Eyo masquerades are also at the square.

It has a 50,000 seater capacity which makes it ideal for rallies, concerts, exhibitions and shows.

2.4. The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina

Churches are not a rare sight on the island but this edifice is not a common worship ground. Located on Marina Road, this towering church and its remarkable gothic architecture is hard to miss. Don’t be surprised when locals and tourists of the island stop to admire the view or give it a second look.


The unique blend of business, culture and history which Lagos Island displays is very impressive. Its historic monuments and the activities of its business district, share a tale of vibrancy, resilience and diversity.

The island provides the right entertainment and business opportunities for you. So, whether on business or vacation, schedule a time to explore this sprawling island. 

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