Victoria Island makes for a great place to relax as well as an ideal neighbourhood to settle down with the family. You will find a wide variety of exclusive clubs, homes, nice beaches and the famous Eko Atlantic City; a planned city of Lagos State constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.
Map of Victoria Island
Victoria Island once belonged to the Oniru family in Lagos. In 1948, the Lagos Executive Development Board paid 250,000 pounds as compensation for the land acquired from the family and an additional 150,000 pounds as compensation for the inhabitants and shrines destroyed.
V.I, as it is fondly called by locals, was originally surrounded entirely by water. However, the colonial government began the process of filling in the eastern swamps to reduce mosquito breeding areas and this created a land bridge between Victoria Island and Lekki Peninsula, thus, ending its existence as an island.
Victoria Island is a healthy mix of a quiet residential neighbourhood, a growing business hub, lots of outdoor space and the most expensive restaurants in the Lagos metropolis. The convenience brought about by its extensive road and water transport network is one of the reasons why a lot of businesses have their headquarters based here. It is perfect for families looking to settle in Lagos or those who desire the peace and comfort that comes with living in a posh neighbourhood. If you fancy the warm beach weather, Victoria Island is where you want to be.
Who Lives in Victoria Island?
Victoria Island is home to individuals and families that have a taste for a lifestyle characterised by affluence, comfort and luxury. Celebrities, socialites and government officials own homes in the safety of this popular neighbourhood.
Victoria Island boasts of some of best amenities in Lagos given the calibre of individuals and families who own homes here.
This is the haven of some of the best schools in Lagos. The National Open University of Nigeria is the only tertiary institution that has branches in all states of the federation. The Victoria Island campus is in a very secure location given its proximity to the military barracks.
The Corona Schools have been around for a while. They were founded in 1967 and are open to children between 3 and 11 years. The British International School in Lagos is often praised as one of the most elite and exclusive schools in Nigeria. The school has continually raised the bar of excellence in education by taking credit for some of the best results across Nigeria.
Schools like the Vinefield School, A.D.R.A.O. International school, American International School of Lagos, King’s College Lagos (Annex Campus), Methodist Boys High School, Netherlands International School, Air Force Primary School and the Government Senior College Ikoyi are also in Victoria Island.
Libraries, Coworking Spaces & Study Rooms:
Terra Kulture in Victoria stands as the sole library the neighbourhood has to offer. The mini library, also known as the information centre, is stocked with books, contemporary journals, magazines, wireless internet facilities and flat screen computers for its members. It is largely popular amongst the expatriate community and it offers visitors and locals an opportunity to see Nigerian arts and crafts on display, for those wanting to learn about Nigerian cultures and languages. It also features a fine restaurant, which serves rich Nigerian cuisines. Terra Kulture is easily accessible from the neighbouring Lagos suburbs of Ikoyi and Lekki.
Health takes a very prominent position in Victoria Island. In addition to hospitals, you’ll find clinics and medical centres. Some of the health care providers on Victoria Island include Elite Health Systems, Lakeshore Cancer Centre, South Shore Women’s Clinic, Paelon Memorial Clinic, Ideal Eagle Hospital, Eye Foundation Hospital, Faithcity Hospitals, Ave Maria Hospital, Renaissance Medical, Saint Nicholas Hospital, Lagoon Hospitals, Reddington Hospital, Vantage Medical Centre and Premier Specialists Medical Centre.
Food and Drinks
Victoria Island prides itself in having a vibrant nightlife and restaurants with more options on their menu than you can eat in a week. At the Hard Rock Cafe, you can do more than just getting something nice to eat. The cafe features over 200 seats, a stage for live performances, and a swimming pool area for adults and kids. It also offers a wonderful experience with a great view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re looking to settle into this neighbourhood, some of the restaurants you want to make sure you check out include Bungalow’s, Spice Route, Lagoon Restaurant (Churrasco and Fusion), Yellow Chilli, Craft Gourmet By Lou Baker, Metisse Restaurant, B.L. Restaurant, RSVP Lagos, Pattaya Oriental Restaurant, Crust and Cream, Izanagi Japanese Cuisine, Prime Chinese Restaurant, Chinaville Chinese Restaurant, Casper and Gambini’s, Talindo Steak House Restaurant, NOK Restaurant, Michael Restaurant Nigeria Limited, Cactus Restaurant, Chicken Republic, Tastee Fried Chicken, Mr Bigg’s, Kilimanjaro, Debonaires, and Jevinik Restaurant.
In Victoria Island, hotels like Protea Hotel, Intercontinental Lagos, Eko Hotel and Suites and Oriental Hotel are considered some of the best the neighbourhood has to offer in terms of class, style and the quality of services they render. Radisson Blu hotel is popular for anyone visiting Victoria Island for the first time and looks forward to enjoying the fantastic views of boats plying the waterways. Nightclubs and bars also offer a steady supply of fun in Victoria Island. You’ll find bars and clubs like Quilox, Movida, Escape Nightlife, Nitro, The Soul Lounge, Metropolitan Club and Tribeca, Troy very appealing and offer a classy night out.
How to Get Around in Victoria Island
The roads and street layout are just as good as the buildings and the weather on Victoria Island. It has its fair share of traffic during peak periods but can offer you an array of alternatives. Most locals own cars but those who don’t have cars can choose from commercial buses, taxis, commercial motorcycles and even the waterways. The driving distance between Victoria Island and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport is 29.2 kilometres if you link through Lagos Island and Ikorodu Road. Without any heavy traffic, this is a two-hour ride.
By Commercial Bus: Buses are painted white and are extremely affordable. They are safe and easily link Victoria Island to neighbouring districts like Lekki, Ikoyi and Lagos Island.The best time to use them if you want to avoid getting held up in traffic is early in the morning and late in the evening. They have conductors who repeatedly call out the bus’ destination in quick succession.
By Motorcycles: Okada as they are mostly called, are commercial motorcycles that help you get to your destination pretty fast.
Important to Note: Motorcycles are officially banned from the highways across the state by the state government but they are not illegal. Within Victoria Island, they serve the purpose of quick transportation but operate with restrictions. For instance, they are not allowed to ply major highways. Instead, you can settle for a commercial bus ride or a taxi.
By Car: The gradual transformation of Victoria Island from the mostly residential neighbourhood that it once was, into a commercial hub has seen car owners experience more traffic than they used to, in the past. However, apart from peak periods when traffic builds up, driving through Victoria Island is a pleasurable experience. From this district, you can easily connect to Lekki, Ikoyi, Lagos Island and Apapa.
By Uber/Cabs/Taxis: They are popular within the Victoria Island district and require a level of negotiation with the driver for the fare. If you are planning to link Lekki through Victoria Island, you should ensure you reach an agreement with the driver on who would pay the charge at the toll gate. This helps you avoid unnecessary arguments.
By Tricycles: Commercial Tricycles are also essential in this neighbourhood. Visitors and locals consider them quick means of transportation. The yellow colour makes them stand out as a safe and approved means of transportation within the neighbourhood.
By Boat: The waterway in Victoria is one smooth way to make your exit or entry into this exciting neighbourhood. From Victoria Island, you can enjoy boat rides to destinations like Ikorodu, Ikoyi, Lekki and Apapa. They cost about the same fare it takes to use taxis and is very fast since the possibility of getting stuck in traffic is completely eliminated.
Victoria Island is littered with endless fun outdoor activities. Get Arena is one such spot, giving you the chance to get immersed in arcade games and its famous Go Karting, which offers regular races, Knight Races and Corporate Races. Victoria Island is also big on fitness. Gyms and health clubs are quite popular within and around the neighbourhood. Fitness centres like Lotus Fitness and Health, Proflex Gym and Eko Gym and Spa offer deep tissue massage, facial treatments and skin glow therapeutics.
If you ever feel like going to the beach without totally leaving Victoria Island, Atlas beach and Takwa Bay are two places you should consider. Takwa Bay cannot be accessed directly by road, so you get to relax in a 15-minute boat ride that connects you to the beach. The Aquamarine Boat Club in Civic Centre is another big attraction on Victoria Island. With its exclusive private membership, it offers an impressive array of services. Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel also features as a favourite outdoor option for its outdoor pool, spa and wellness centre. The Muri Okunola Park is quite popular for the ambience and calmness it offers visitors, especially in the evening. It is also often used for events.
Shopping in Victoria Island
If you ever need to go shopping in VI, be prepared to be thrilled by the wonderful assortment of malls and supermarkets that this neighbourhood has in store for you. The malls are easy to find and there are enough of them to choose from regardless of what you’re shopping for. Shoprite is known for its heavily discounted products, selling at wholesale prices and the wide range of products it offers. If you’re shopping for fashion wears and accessories in Victoria Island, stores like The Great Room, Joe Fashionistas Collection, Hugo Boss, Inglot, Da Viva and Celio have you covered. Mega Plaza (Century 21) has a food court with several restaurants and fast-fast outlets serving Chinese, continental and Nigerian dishes. The Lagos City Mall is a modern shopping centre with 50 shops, including designer and high street boutiques, 3 restaurants, a children’s play area and parking space for about 300 cars. The likes of Silverbird Galleria, Nars Supermarket, The Palms shopping mall, Murphis Plaza, Game and Mac also offer you fun and interesting shopping opportunities.
Victoria Island Fun Fact
Victoria Island is where the Great Wall of Lagos is erected. This is the wall that protects Victoria Island and the Eko Atlantic City from the natural forces of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can’t miss the luxurious lifestyle and opulence that comes with living in Victoria Island. The best thing about Victoria Island isn’t just the comfort and security it offers. It is about the promise of excitement that it holds with the development of the Eko Atlantic City; a planned city within Victoria Island.