Axum Travel Guide

  • Axum
    Axum
    by lotharscheer
  • Axum
    Axum
    by lotharscheer
  • Axum
    Axum
    by lotharscheer

Axum Things to Do

  • EXCHANGE MONEY

    There are 2 full service banks on the main street in Axum. They are:• Commercial Bank (first picture)Open 8am-11am & 1pm-3pm M-F, 8-11am Saturday Offers Western Union and Bureau de Change services• Wegagen Bank (2nd picture)Open 8am-4pm M-S Offers Bureau de Change services with a better exchange ratePlease note: both banks give a less favourable...

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  • THE CHURCH ON THE HILL

    The Monastery of Abba Pentalewon (varied spellings) is set high on a hill you see on the road from the airport to town. In fact, it dominates the landscape. It’s a bit more accessible at the back, but is set on an impossibly steep hill. Before Christianity (around the year 300AD) this hill was used by Pagans. It is widely believed that the...

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  • BUY THE KIDS A BALL

    Make a small difference. Many children play and stand around in the main street because they have nothing to do. If you want to help and give them weeks of entertainment, then stop into a shop and buy them a good soccer ball. They cost 25 Birr or about $4. Please find pictured my new youth sports team – Axum United (DAO). These boys were delighted...

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  • Guide to Aksum

    I recommend a great guide to Axum: it's the Guide to Aksum and Yeha just published in 2009 by Arada Books (they have the website aradabooks.com): a very nice balance between history and travelling. Congratulations to the author Gian Paolo Chiari!

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  • THE BIG ONE

    You are looking at the largest, tallest and last Stelae ever built by the Axumite Empire (4th century BC to the 8th century AD). The Kings of Axum built the stelae between 100 BC to 300 AD to mark the burial place of kings and for religious ceremonies. Some of the stelae have shallow holes and channels used to contain blood from human sacrifices....

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  • ST MARY OF ZION CHURCH

    The Church of St Mary of Zion was built around 1635 by Emperor Fasilidas and is today a very large complex containing everything from the Ark of the Covenant, golden crowns of the kings of Axum, goat skin bibles that were hand drawn hundreds of years ago and some really nice priests that will give you free beer. The main church, pictured here, is...

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Axum Restaurants

  • IT'S OK

    This place stays busy and is listed in a few guide books. It’s OK. Not bad, not great, just good. The service is good and the food is made fresh, so expect to wait. They serve cold beers and have a large menu. Prices are average by Ethiopian standards, which makes it cheap for visitors. I would call this a ‘lunch place’. Great for a mid-day meal,...

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  • GET HIGH !

    Located at the top of the Abinet Hotel. Basic furnishing but a fantastic menu, staff and food! They also have a TV that is on with music or local news. The menu has some Faranji (foreigner) items like spaghetti. The real treat is that they serve every major Ethiopian food item you can imagine. Its all fresh and served hot. Absolutely delicious....

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  • INJERA – A FOOD TIP

    Injera is the basic ingredient of any Ethiopian meal. It looks like a large spongy pancake and some of the sizes produced are huge. It is usually laid down in a large circular tray and sauces, meat and/or vegetables are poured right in the middle. Then you use you right hand (only) to tear pieces off the side and scoop of the wonderful food. It has...

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  • Regular Food

    This restaurant is attached to the Africa Hotel.The food is ok but nothing special.I had macaroni but they were not al dente.I think the quality was but the price was really cheap, smth like 15 birrs.

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  • Great Food

    This restaurant is attached to the Exodus hotel.The food is really great and the price is cheap between 20 and 30 Birrs.I had my last meals in this place as the food was so delicious. Pasta

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  • Habesha Restaurant

    This is one of the few "touristic" restaurants here and it is listed on the LP. As it was near my hotel (Africa) I went there for dinner the first night. It is settled in what seemed to be a pleasant garden (it was terribly dark at night) but the place seemed to me simple as all the rest, only more expensive (it happens to most of the restaurnts...

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Axum Transportation

  • ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES TICKET OFFICE

    The Ethiopian Airlines office is located on the North side of the main road. It is open 7 days a week, but has short hours. They can sell any tickets you need, but you may want to book any tickets in Addis Ababa ahead of time. The planes that fly here are small and sometimes are full.

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  • AXUM AIRPORT

    Axum Airport is actually named Emperor Yohannes IV, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1872 to 1889. It has 2 flights a day to Addis Ababa and you can get flights to other cities like Lalibela and Gonder. The runaway is a staggering 2,400 meters (1.5 miles) long and can lang any plane in the world. Yet, you will only see small planes from Ethiopian...

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  • By bus from Gondar to Axum

    The road is really spectacular, unfortunately a big part of it at the moment under construction (my guess it might be finished in 2 years, but who knows).By your ticket (127 Birr, 10 hours, only 1 bus per day) to Shire (where you have to change) the day before at the bus terminal in Gondar. If you have the ticket you can go in the terminal (and...

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Axum Shopping

See all 4 Shopping in Axum
  • BUY A CHICKEN

    If you want to buy a chicken, it will cost you about 25-30 Birr ($5-6). This may seem expensive, but they leg eggs and eat anything. Just pick them up by their legs and carry them upside down. They don’t move around when you do that.The main market and animal market (seperate markets) are at their best on Saturdays.

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  • SOUVENIRS AT THE MUSEUM

    Just outside the Museum is a souvenir craft market. A bit more souvenir than traditional handicrafts, but they all look nice. You can buy brightly coloured woven mats and baskets for your injera. Prices start high because it’s exclusively for tourists. You need to haggle a bit if you want lower prices. They seem to be here everyday. You will pay...

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  • Bazar

    The bazaar is in the western part of town. It offers all that you can imagine- from traditional clothes /gabi, shamma/, coffee pots, spices, domestic animals /donkeys, goats, sheep, chicken.../ to punched FC Chelsea t-shirts and Osama bin Laden's watches.Really good experience, don't forget to bargain. Coffee pots - cheap and fragile souvenir for...

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Axum Local Customs

  • DO NOT PUT YOUR NAPKIN ON THE PLATE!

    After you have finished your meal you may, out of habit, place your napkin on your plate. Do not do it here! If there is any food left, the restaurant will give this to poor people after they close. If you put the napkin on it – they won’t. It is a really hard habit to break, but please remember to leave your napkin on the table when you finish.

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  • THE UN

    HELLO!You are looking 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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  • CAMELS

    HELLO!You are looking 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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Axum Warnings and Dangers

  • DAO's Profile Photo

    by DAO Updated May 9, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    You will loose up to 24% of the value of your money if you exchange currency at the hotels! There are 2 banks in Axum and they will give you the official rate of exchange. Just look at the picture. This hotels offers 13.4 Birr per British Pound. The rate on the day at the bank was 17.74 Birr per Pound! What a rip off! Both banks are an easy 300 meter walk from this rate board/hotel.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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Axum Tourist Traps

  • LEATHER BIBLE TRICK

    Inside the The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion (Amharic: ርዕሰ አድባራት ቅድስተ ቅዱሳን ድንግል ማሪያም ፅዮን), you will see a stand with a decorative cloth cover. 2 men will motion you over and ask if you...

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  • Bazan`s Tomb

    King Basen`s tomb was to me a bit disappointing and more looking like a simple hole in the ground than a grave.

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  • King Ezana`s Park

    King Ezana`s Park is an ancient site in the middle of town. Its fenced off and you need to show the entrance ticket to be allowed in. There is a tablet that is here since the 4th century.It’s a commons place to celebrate a wedding but its nothing special in my opinion.

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Axum What to Pack

  • WET WIPES

    Why should babies be the only ones to have these hygienic wipes? I don’t know why, but the adult version of this fantastic travel product always seem to be more expensive than the kids version, even though what’s inside is exactly the same. You need to use your right hand to eat food in Ethiopia. Good luck to you if you are left handed. Sometimes...

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  • TOILETRIES & COSMETICS

    Axum does not have a health & beauty shop. On top of that there is a 100% import tax on all goods from outside Ethiopia. Lalibela gets most of its goods overland from Addis Ababa, increasing the price. Finding women’s hygiene products and things like deodorants is not guaranteed and will cost you 2-4 times what you would buy it for at home. My...

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  • Axum Hotels

    0 Hotels in Axum

Axum Off The Beaten Path

  • Visit Debra Damo monastry

    About 3 hours drive from Axum is this isolated mountain-top monastery and church. The only way up is by climbing a rope 26 meter up a cliff. There is help pulling you when you get up or down but still at 2800m high you need to have some basic fitness (and nerve) to do this. Women are not allowed up. On top there is a small village for the monks and...

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  • Aba Pantaleon & Aba Ubanos

    Aba Pantaleon is one of the oldest churches of the country. It was founded by Abba Pantaleon, who spent his last 45 years standing in a cell healing the sick. Women are only allowed in the compound but not inside the church. Next to it is the church of Aba Ubanos.

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  • Dongar Palace

    Dongar Palace or better known as the Queen Of Sheba`s Palace lies outside of Aksum on the road leading to Shire. The palace was only discovered in 1950. Probably it was the most impressive building at its time! It contained more than 50 rooms and had an impressive drainage system.There is a site keeper who will check your entrance tickets and show...

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Axum Favorites

See all 9 Favorites in Axum
  • THE COMMANDER

    Across town you will see several depictions of the military commander of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (1975-1991). During the rule of the Communist DERG the Tigray people were brutally repressed, imprisoned and murdered in great numbers. They also had famine inflicted upon them for daring to defend themselves. In 1991 the TPL and their...

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  • Shop Signs

    I found this shop with original signs painted on the facade. It was closed but upon the signs painted one could see clearly that it was a shoe shop.

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  • Tickets, Postcards etc

    Tickets - To explore all archaeological sites in and around Aksum you need to buy a ticket for 50 Birr (50 % student discount) in the Tourist Office next to the post office. These tickets are valid for your entire stay, except the Tsion Maryam Church Complex. At the office official tour guides can be arranged. Basically they are included in the...

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Explore Deeper into Axum
INTERNET ACCESS
Things to Do
THE CAMEL - PART 2
Things to Do
THE CAMEL - PART 1
Things to Do
Lioness of Gobedra
Things to Do
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
Transportation
HIRE A GREAT GUIDE !
Things to Do
THE 2 BELL TOWERS
Things to Do
THE LEATHER BIBLE
Things to Do
RETURNED FROM ITALY
Things to Do
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
Things to Do
FROM THE AIRPORT
Transportation
ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM
Things to Do
THE CROWNS OF AXUM
Things to Do
QUEEN SHEBA'S BATH
Things to Do
BICYCLES
Transportation
GET A SHOE SHINE
Local Customs
NO MOSQUE IN AXUM
Local Customs
EATING GOAT
Local Customs
Yeha
Things to Do
St. Mary of Zion Church
Things to Do
The Stellae Fields
Things to Do
Teatime stop
Transportation
By bus
Transportation
St. Mary of Zion Church
Things to Do
Queen of Sheba's bath...
Things to Do
Northern Stelae Field
Things to Do
Ethiopian Airways
Transportation
Lioness Of Gobedra & Stelae Quarry
Off The Beaten Path
Beautiful View
Off The Beaten Path
Maryam Tsion Church Complex
Things to Do
Gudit Stelae Field
Off The Beaten Path
Lionhead
Off The Beaten Path
Trilingual Tablet
Things to Do
Stellae Field
Things to Do
Queen Of Sheba`s Pool
Things to Do
Best Food In Town
Restaurants
Early morning view at the Adwa mountains
Favorites
Camels at the market
Favorites
Streetstalls and small shops
Favorites
Walk down from Debre Damo
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Axum

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