island in Lagos, Nigeria
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Africa > West Africa > Nigeria > South West Nigeria > Lagos State > Lagos City > Lagos City/Victoria Island

Victoria Island is an affluent area that encompasses a former island of the same name, neighbouring Lagos Island, Ikoyi and the end of the Lekki Peninsula by the Lagos Lagoon. It is the main business and financial centre of Lagos in Lagos State. Victoria Island is one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to reside in Lagos.

Understand

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Victoria Island, 2014

Prior to British colonisation, Victoria Island was surrounded entirely by water. It was bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the south, the mouth of the Lagos Lagoon on the west, the Five Cowrie Creek to the north, and swamps on the east. The British then began filling in the eastern swamps to reduce mosquito breeding areas, creating a land bridge between Victoria Island and Lekki Peninsula, putting and end to its existence as a true island.

After independence, successive state governments expanded this development, culminating in the construction of a highway connecting Victoria Island to Epe. This activity, along with the rapid commercialisation of Victoria Island, served to stimulate residential development along the Lekki-Epe corridor, starting with Lekki Phase 1. The area of the land bridge, composed of the former swampland, became a large slum called Maroko Town which housed many of the new migrants to Lagos State. Residents of the island complained about this problem, leading the military Governor of the State, Raji Rasaki, to forcibly remove the residents on 14 July 1990, resulting in numerous injuries. Governor Rasaki and his armed security forces caused the eviction of as many as 300,000 residents, some of whom had legal title to their property.

This new area established after the evictions was called Victoria Island Annex. It was cleared and sold to residential buyers. Subsequent reclamation expanded the area to the extent that Victoria Island Annex is now connected to the Lekki Peninsula. This new, enlarged area is referred to as "Oniru Estate" after the ruling family of the area.

It was designated as an upscale residential area, but failing infrastructure and overcrowding in the old business district on Lagos Island, and lax zoning enforcement in Victoria Island led to a mass migration of businesses. Today, Victoria Island is one of Nigeria's busiest centres of banking and commerce, with most major Nigerian and international corporations headquartered on the island.

 
Bar Beach

The island has continued to rapidly develop, and, along with Ikoyi, is a favourite spot for both Nigerians and foreigners to live and play. However the influx of banks and other commercial ventures has changed the formerly serene atmosphere of the island.

A new project being developed by the Chagoury Group includes the Eko Atlantic City, next to Victoria Island. The project is being built on reclaimed land that has been lost to coastal erosion.

Get in

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Get around

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Map of Lagos City/Victoria Island
  • 1 Alexis Galleries Limited, 282 Akin Olugbade St, Eti-Osa, +234 1 461 0880. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, closed Su. Active art studio and exhibits for painting, sculpture, textiles, etc.
  • 2 DIDI Museum, 175 Akin Adesola St, +234 709 850 5052. M-F 9AM-6PM. A contemporary art museum.
  • 3 Eko Atlantic City View Point. Daily 9AM-5PM. A seafront promenade along Lagos' newest urban development, Eko Atlantic City. Witness Nigeria's shipping commerce with all the ships in the open water.
  • 4 Red Door Gallery, 51 Bishop Oluwole St, +234 908 733 3667. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM. Private collection consisting of mostly contemporary African art.
  • 1 Landmark Beach.
  • 2 Oniru Private Beach, 1 Ligali Ayorinde St, +234 816 679 0714. About the closest beach to downtown and relatively clean. Plus get direct views of Eko Atlantic City. ₦1000.
  • 3 IMAX Filmhouse Cinema, The rock drive, off Bisola Durosimi Etti Drive, Lekki Phase 1 Lagos, +234 902 499 7900. 10AM-10PM. IMAX Filmhouse Cinema located in Lekki Lagos State. The facilities in the Cinema are state of the art, the ambience is very divine and the customer service is top-notch. ₦800-2000.
  • 1 Mega Plaza, 14, Idowu Martins St. 10AM-10PM daily.
  • 2 The Palms Shopping Centre, 1 Bisway St. 10AM-9PM daily. Travellers could easily shop at the mall. Here, there is also a Shoprite branch located within the premises. Basic Necessities and wants could are readily available and could be acquired at affordable prices.
  • 3 Silverbird Galleria, 133, Ahmadu Bello Way, +23412706361. Silverbird Galleria with five hi-tech cinema halls showing popular movies. There's also the Media Store which sells music and movies, magazines and books, as well as computer and gaming consoles. The Galleria also houses restaurants, bars and gift shops. Lastly, there is Wi-Fi connectivity and a bowling alley within the premises.
  • 1 Pearl Garden, 137 Tiamiyu Savage St, +234 1 293 4473. The best Chinese food in VI and a favorite among expats. Dinner and drinks for two approx ₦15,000. Try the Shredded Chicken with Chili and Peanuts.
  • Spice Bar, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island (Opp Park N Shop). the best place to enjoy Indian food. Nice ambiance with great service. Dinner (with drinks) for two approx ₦8,000-10,000.
  • Victoria Palace, Danmole Street, Victoria Island.
  • Viceroy's, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island. The newest entrant in the Indian restaurant scene, Viceroy's boasts of the best ambiance among the Indian restaurants in town. The food, though, fails to match the standards set by the likes of Stanley and Spice Bar. Try the Chef's special Nilgiri's Chicken. Also has a decent continental menu. Dinner (with drinks) for two ₦8,000-10,000.
  • Cafe Bombay, Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island. In the Food Court of Mega Plaza mall.
  • 2 Terra Kulture (within an art gallery). Nigerian cuisine.
  • Debonair's Pizza (opposite Park n Shop) (pizza)
  • Goodies Restaurant (next to Goodies supermarket, near Falomo Bridge)
  • Natives.
  • 3 Bottles. Tex-Mex. Very good and reasonably authentic. Fajitas are very popular. Frozen Margaritas are a must-have.
  • 4 Cactus. Pizza and sandwiches.
  • Double Four (pizza)
  • Yellow Chili(specialties include Fried Snail with Fries) - Nigerian cuisine
  • Prime Chinese - Open 24 hours
  • 5 Bungalow Restaurant, 1296 Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, +234 8033049104. 10:30AM-11:30PM. Dine-in, take away, delivery.

Splurge

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  • Chocolate Royal. American food and bakery.
  • Churrasco's, Ozumba Mbadiwe Rd. Brazilian steakhouse inside the same complex as the Lagoon Restaurant.
  • Cowrie Restaurant (in B-Jays's Hotel). Offers include the traditional goat meat pepper soup. Nigerian.
  • Fusion. As the name suggests, it is a fusion restaurant! Japanese/Mediterranean Cuisine. Better for sushi only.
  • Il Sorriso. Italian dining.

Drink

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  • Pat's Bar: Ajose Adeogun Street. A sports bar with a rugby theme, Very popular with expatriates of all nationalities and the prostitutes that love them.

Sleep

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  • 1 Federal Palace Hotel, 6-8 Ahmadu Bello Way, +234 1 277 9000. As close to a grand old hotel as it gets in Lagos. This seaside luxury hotel was the setting for the signing of Nigeria's Declaration of Independence in 1960.    
  • 2 Four Points by Sheraton, Plot 9/10 Block 2 Oniru Chieftaincy Estate Prince Alaba Oniru Rd, +234 1 448 9444, fax: +234 1 448 9434, . Located in Lekki close to the offices of Mobil and Chevron.
  • 3 Manuela Residence, 13 Taslim Elias Cl (western end of Victoria Island), +234 706 104 7017. Has an inviting pool because of all the landscaping and deep blue hue. Wifi can be a bit buggy. Some rooms have no windows. Can be some cigarette smell in the hall at times. Has Italian restaurant and bar and massage service but no free breakfast, sadly. ₦29446.
  • 4 Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, 1A Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, +234 708 061 0000. Styled by Swedish hospitality designer, Christian Lundwall, the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel is located along the waterfront area of Victoria Island, the business hub of the city.
  • Peerage Retreat & Resort Ltd
  • Hotel Palais Royal, 48, Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island.

Cope

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Victoria Island hosts most of the diplomatic presence in Lagos, many of which were the embassies to Nigeria prior to the move of the capital to Abuja. The now consulates, embassy branch offices, or Deputy High Commissions on Victoria Island include Benin, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Connect

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