Addis Ababa Travel Guide

  • Addis Ababa City
    Addis Ababa City
    by Santini738
  • Addis Ababa
    by DAO
  • Addis Ababa
    by kokoryko

Addis Ababa Highlights

  • Pro
    AddisLig profile photo

    AddisLig says…

     Climate, People & Clutlure, Excellent Coffee 

  • Con
    Sami29 profile photo

    Sami29 says…

     Such a lively city is overshadowed by all types of pollution. 

  • In a nutshell
    Durbanite profile photo

    Durbanite says…

     Lively and interesting with plenty to see in the countryside of Ethiopia. 

Addis Ababa Things to Do

  • Museum

    The National Museum of Ethiopia is a rather small, three story building that houses a wide variety of artifacts from some of the earliest pre-human bones right through to some very recent art pieces by important Ethiopian artists. At the time of writing, the most famous inhabitant "Lucy". a pre-human homind is not on display there, but casts of...

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  • Mercato

    The Mercato (from the Italian for "market"), is huge covering several square kilometers (and square miles) of space near downtown Addis Ababa. It is crowded and total mayhem and not nearly as picturesque as the Souks in North Africa. It is the largest outdoor market in Africa. There is a bit of organization here as vendors of similar goods tend to...

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  • Holy Trinity Church

    The centrally located Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa is the most important Orthodox church in the city and is located near the parliament buildings. For the photographers visiting, this is a great place for street photography / people shots. Emperor Hailie Selassie I's tomb is located inside the building.

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Addis Ababa Hotels

Addis Ababa Restaurants

  • Good local food and spectacular dance

    Enjoy good local food (injera, doro wat ...) and dance, I especially liked the dances of Northern Ethiopia. Visitors are invited to join the dancers, it's great fun! Injera, the traditional pancakes made from local foodgrain by the name of teff. It can sometimes be too sour for the Western taste and owing to shortages it is occasionally mixed with...

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  • Built for the Empress!

    Special atmosphere, prominent building with impressive staircase, it was built for the Empress Taitu, the wife of Menelek II, in 1907. We only had beer (St. George) and some other drinks at the restaurant, but the leaflet says they also serve a vegan buffet every day.

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  • Delicious home roasted coffee

    Located at the left of 'La gare', the old train station, you can find this coffee paradise. Beautifully decorated inside and with one of the few occasions to sit on a terrace outside.

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Addis Ababa Nightlife

  • Club Illusion - Total Washout!

    This place should be renamed "Club Delusion", or "delusione", it was a total disappointment. I picked out from "reviews" online that said the place was heaving on a weekend. We arrived quite early at 11pm on a Saturday night (first Saturday of the month, when people normally should have more cash), paid the 50birr entrance each, and found the place...

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  • musical cultural show with dinner buffet

    The 2000 habesha cultural restaurant is opened with aim of entertaining its beloved guests and promoting Ethiopian culture. The interior decoration is nothing, but Ethiopian historical background and life style, Situated in one of the new quarters of Addis Ababa, bole medhanialem, near Atlas hotel adjacent to Bilo’s pastry. 2000 habesha cultural...

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  • Beware of some nightclubs

    My friend and I have been going to different clubs in Addis for these past few weeks. Most of them are pretty good; some have good dancing floors, great sound systems, and spacious seating places. I would nonetheless like to talk about one club in particular.We went to Club Illusion because of our friend's recommendation. After dancing for a while,...

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Addis Ababa Transportation

  • Bole airport

    At least 3 flights departing about same time from domestic terminal,and we have to walk from terminal to aircraft for boarding.My aircraft was a small aircraft Dash 8 .It’s not free seating system, if we check in the first ,we may ask for our preference seat but I didn’t ask for anything cuz it’s such a small aircraft so it’s about the same for me...

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  • Bole International airport

    Here are some pictures of Addis Ababa Bole airport.The first pic is the interior of International terminal at 4 am.The hall looked so empty ,almost no flight departure,only my flight arriving from Cairo at 3.50 am. We had to apply for visa first then pass the immigration later.The visa couter is on left hand side if you facing the immigration...

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  • tour guide

    to visit diferent parts of the country would recommend a professional guide to take you aroundmy guide Tilahun was absoltu good, reliable and good friend

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Addis Ababa Shopping

  • A good place to buy some high grade...

    While you can buy coffee in many places in the city / country, the To.Mo.Ca. Coffee Pvt. Co. Ltd on Wavel St in Addis Ababa blends and roasts only high grade Harar coffee, the best that the country produces.Their coffee bar / shop is almost across the street from the Canadian Embassy, In Addis Ababa. Coffee Around $8 / lb

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  • THE AFRICANS BOOKSHOP

    The Africans Bookshop looks a bit rundown but is an old favourite with backpackers. They sell second hand books and their selection depends a lot on what people have brought in. They are open Monday-Saturday 9am-1pm & 2:30-7pm.Located just north of the Piazza and across the street from the British Council

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  • Shopping clothes in Addis Ababa

    I you like to buy some clothes, go to a market in Shero Meda, near the US embassy. It is a cheap and good shopping area.Traditional Ethiopian clothes for women can be easily be used for an American or European woman. The dresses are really nice.

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Addis Ababa Local Customs

  • WASHING OF HANDS

    Ethiopians are very observant of hygiene, especially when eating. The national dish is Injera with different dishes being placed up on it. All Injera is eaten with the right hand and food is traditionally shared. So it makes a lot of sense that you will always be offered for your hands to be washed by your hosts before you eat. Whether it is in a...

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  • THE SHOE SHINE GUYS

    In a country with so many poor people and not enough jobs, you will come across men and often young boys who offer to shine your shoes. The young man in the first picture actually came and knocked on the door of my apartment. He was going door to door offering his services. He did a first class job on an old pair of shoes. I gave him 10 Birr (about...

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  • THE SUGAR CANE SELLERS

    These guys are fascinating to watch. They start the day – early – by collecting 5-10 very tall stalks of sugar cane. These can reach up to 6 metres in length! Needless to say they are heavy and awkward for these poor guys to carry around. They will sell you a length of sugar cane about as long as your hand for 1 or 2 Birr (11-22 US Cents). After...

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Addis Ababa Warnings and Dangers

  • LRT Construction

    The whole downtown of Addis Ababa is a real mess right now because of the LRT (Light Rail Transport) construction. A combination of tunneling and other infrastructure construction means that roads are closed and no real viable alternatives exist, resulting in gridlock.This information is accurate at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.

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  • PEEING IN PUBLIC

    Unfortunately men (and boys) have a very cavalier attitude towards public urination. The first couple of times I watched this somewhat alarming behaviour I thought it was only truly homeless men in Addis Ababa who did this. It’s not. A lot of men do it and they definitely do this in the countryside. They just turn their back on even the busiest...

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  • Mercato Warnings

    Yes, Addis is generally a pretty safe place. But, in the market, a guy grabbed one harm(quite hard) and tugged it toward him, all the while saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." While distracted, another guy on the opposite side reached into my shirt pocket and got my 40 bihr.It's a harmless well-known attack but my arm was pretty sore after that. I was...

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Addis Ababa Tourist Traps

  • Addis Ababa zoo

    The zoo is not nice. It is sad to see the lions are kept inside cages and being disturbed by people all the time. The security is also very bad. You can touch the lion with your hand between the iron pipes on the fence. And if you lean into the fence the lions grab you.Please note that you have to pay for taking your own camera into the zoo. I...

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  • NO DIET COKE!

    Despite having a burgeoning Tourist Market and having a capital city with 3+ million people and a huge international airport, you will be unable to find Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet 7-Up or any diet soda drinks. Why? I have no idea. I have been to Ethiopia twice now and have NEVER found diet drinks in any bar, restaurant, supermarket or corner...

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  • Tourist traps overcharging

    You will probably get overcharged sooner or later. You are a foreigner, and many people will use it to their advantage. Ask if the price you get is a "faranji- or habesha price" (foreigner- og Ethiopian price). Always bargain the price.

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Addis Ababa What to Pack

  • a good book (not the Good Book)

    I bought Bradt's Travel Guide to Ethiopia, and it was a great buy. £16.99 in the UK for the 5th edition.Lots of good ideas and tips in advance of travel, and useful on arrival too. It's chunky at 614 pages, so it eats up a bit of your baggage allowance, but you could always put it in hand luggage or stuff it down the front of your trousers.

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  • RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

    Single use batteries are expensive anywhere and here they have a 100% import tax. I have never seen rechargeable batteries on sale here. Bring your own, your charger and an adapter for European 2 pins style plugs if you will be using a digital camera. Also, always keep some spares fully charged as there are power outages here.

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  • FLASHLIGHT (ELECTRIC TORCH)

    Whatever you call them, you need one. Addis is growing at a fantastic pace and sometimes the lights go out. It might be that a workman has cut something or, as the locals say, 'the Government sometimes takes it’. I would highly recommend one of the wind-up flashlight that needs no batteries. Quality batteries can be hard to find and you don’t...

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Addis Ababa Off The Beaten Path

  • A big bird

    A big bird was sitting in top of a lamp post outside my hotel window. Is it a vulture? I don't know, but it looks like it.

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  • Horse riding

    If you want to take the kids horseback riding or just spend a sunday out of the city, then Menagesha stables is a place to go. They have beautiful horses with really excellent equipment. You can even book the weekend. If you just want to stay a few hours there is a place where you can purchase drinks but bring snacks for the kids.

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  • CHATS

    CHATS, leaves that you put in your mouth and chew, you can chew with peanut and have a coke or beer, it is so popular in Ethiopia. It is said that it makes you awake or high. I went into a small house (it was like a room or a store), chewing and gossiping with the locals for over 4 hours. It costed 75 Bir.

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Addis Ababa Sports & Outdoors

  • THE NATIONAL STADIUM

    HELLO!You are looking at a tip I have not added content to yet. If you need information about this now, please email me and I will update it immediately. Thank you for your patience.DAO

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  • THE RUNNING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD !

    Hello. This is a tip in the process of being built with information. If you would like this information now, please email me!

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  • Addis Ababa Hotels

    29 Hotels in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa Favorites

  • Unravel the extraordinary beauty of...

    One is frequently faced with the daunting question of where to begin exploring the majestic continent of Africa. yes, we have all heard about the exquisite and overwhelmingly beautiful culture that each country of this beautiful continent has in store along with opportunities of indulging in the perfect African adventure with the exotic safaris,...

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  • THE GREATEST MARATHON RUNNER IN THE...

    I met Haile Gebrselassie! He is one of the greatest long distance runners in history, This amazing man has set 27 World Records! At the age of 35 he managed to record the fastest Marathon in the Berlin Marathon - beating his own World Record of course. He has also won 2 Olympic Gold Medals (different games) and 4 World Championships. He is also a...

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  • THE PRIEST’S UMBRELLA

    I came across this colourful and interesting scene in the Entoto Mountains above Addis Ababa. Emperor Menelik II founded a large church up here before going on to create the capital of Addis Ababa. It’s a very important church for Orthodox Christians and the priests hold large ceremonial processions here and in Addis itself. The priest (draped in...

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Explore Deeper into Addis Ababa
The Lion of Judah
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The Piazza Area
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Bole Road
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St George's Cathedral
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Meskel Square
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A Refreshing Start with Ethiopia
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National Museum of Ethiopia
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Holy Trinity Cathedral
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Crowded madness
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Short visit to the work place
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A FOOD TIP: BREAKFAST
Local Customs
Addis Guide recommendation
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Ethnological museum
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HIRE THE BEST GUIDE
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Healthy vegan food in Addis' oldest hotel!
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Go on adventure in Addis
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visit national museum
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delicious cafe in addis abeba center
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OVERPRICED AND RUDE
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THE DERG MONUMENT - PART 1
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THE LION OF JUDAH MONUMENT
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THE MUSSOLINI STEPS
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Take a tour
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hotel shuttle
Transportation
BMI
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Entoto Hills
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Emperor Menelik II’s palace
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Entoto Maryam
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National Museum of Ethiopia
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Kiddist Selassie
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Bole Airport
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GOOD TRADITIONAL
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ECLECTIC
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GEORGIAN FOOD
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BEST BUDGET RESTAURANT IN ADDIS ABABA
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TOP CLASS
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NO HATS OR GUNS
Favorites
GOOD SHOW AND GOOD FOOD
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THE 2ND WORST RESTAURANT IN ETHIOPIA
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THE BEST VIEWS OF ADDIS!
Nightlife
Map of Addis Ababa

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