What makes London attractive to Nigerians | London City Tour
Yo! I took a long break from the blog unintentionally. My workload and responsibility at work doubled and I had to prioritize. Glad I could put this article together. Hope everyone is well?!.
So quick education before we dive in.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, UK for short, and ‘Jand’ as popularly known in Nigeria, comprises of four countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively.
I had to share the differences above so everyone reading this article will address their travel destinations appropriately. We don’t say you are travelling to Africa; similarly, we shouldn’t say we are travelling to The United Kingdom. :)
Now, back in formation speaking about why Nigerians dig London…
1’. Relatively reasonable travel time from Lagos or Abuja to London
Typically, it takes 6-7 hours to travel between both locations which is considered reasonable in comparison to other locations. I have traveled to London with almost all the airlines and it is always a fast trip except for the few times I had long layovers, thanks to KLM and Air France.
2. A bunch of Nigerians have family ties in London or the UK generally
If I considered visiting London for holidays, it would be because of my family members. My Mum’s sister, Aunty Beauty and her family stay in London while my sister stays in a close by city. Most Nigerians have London at the top of their target destinations largely because of family and friends else………..no one deserves the pains of processing UK visa and paying such ridiculous fees.
3. Ease of Communication
Most francophone countries are quite frustrating to non-french speaking Nigerians. Heard numerous times that the average Frenchman is proud to communicate in French. Even those who can speak English Language pretend not to understand English. Nigerians too should learn French but before then Nigerians are attracted to destinations where they don’t need to sweat it and London, is that accommodating place.
4. Unlimited street tourist attractions
What better way to be a sightseer than to experience a place /tourist sight without paying?! That’s what London offers. A few of the main tourist attractions can be seen from a distance.
The picture below is London Eye and the iconic Big Ben. Whilst you can have a ride on the London eye for £30, less adventurous people can still have a good view and beautiful backdrop picture of the trill for free :). Amazing!.
The Big Ben which is a bell inside the Elizabeth clock tower by The Houses of Parliament, is also a major tourist attraction but can visibly be seen from the bridge.
5. Education, professional work and business
An appreciable number of Nigerians shuttle between Lagos and London on official or business trips. More than 80% of the times I have been to London has either been for education or work. In the past, Nigerian trouped into London for tourism but of recent, almost every Nigerian in London is either studying or working.
6. Architectural kicks
With skyscrapers and wondrous architectural buildings everywhere, London is an haven for Nigerians. The place just wows you gan. From The Shard to jaw dropping cathedrals and corporate structures, there’s something to make you reevaluate your love for Nigeria. London wonder!
7. Street Art
As a Nigerian, I never get enough of the street artworks in London. There’s always something unique to stare at in London. It is quite refreshing from the neighborhood we are used to at home. Though Lagos has greatly stepped up in this regard.
8. This is the most important point for me, ART and HISTORY
There are so many museums in London that have done a good job in preserving the history of the town. It is unbelievable and highly commendable. I mean, you literally travel back in time. In fact some of the museums are larger than life and specific to each core of London e.g the transport museum, National Maritime Museum etc. Any Nigerian art and history buffer will love the city and guess what, there are quite a number of Nigerians that are passionate about art and history. Fortunately, I have been to a number of the museums and I highly recommend London for same.
9. Street Food and of course Subway
Most Nigerians who are not sightseeing tourist are usually food tourist. The average Nigerian loves good street food and in varieties, and for this reason, London does appeal because of its innumerable eat outs. There are so many food courts and malls in London that one is spoilt of choice of what to eat. The delicacies are assembled from all parts of the world and typically affordable. The closest I have been to street food in London is subway. Yeaaaa I know it can’t be categorized as street food but yea.
10. A tourist paradise and home for all
I have realised over the years that the vibrant nightlife lifestyle including the concerts and events, are huge attractions for a number of Nigerians. For others like myself, we can’t get enough of touring the city; entertainment spots and hang out places . For others it is all about shopping. For others, it is the welcoming environment. Oh! for many, it is the games (football) or real estate investment. In all, London has succeeded at creating a place that accommodates a diverse set of people and Nigerians are here for it.
11. Ease of mobility and transportation
London has one of the largest urban transport networks in the world, with integrated bus, river and road systems spanning the entire city. From the airport and around the town, you don’t need much assistance. You can get a map and be on your way; very user friendly which makes mobility easier.
The various transports available include
Docklands light railway
River bus service
Emirate air line cable car
Final thoughts on what makes London attractive to Nigerians as a travel destination
‘‘London remains the best place to enjoy vacations whether you are traveling alone, with friends, family or kids. London is a place for all kinds of people and people of all ages. London has that vibe of happiness and welcoming smiles from people making you feel like a part of their city. London still has its rich culture and heritage intact along with its tremendous growth as a powerful city. London has numerous tourist attractions and sight-seeing places to visit’’