Gonder Travel Guide

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Gonder Highlights

  • Pro
    Elisabcn profile photo

    Elisabcn says…

     The churches' paintings are wonderful 

  • Con
    flynboxes profile photo

    flynboxes says…

     Not a big place 

  • In a nutshell
    flynboxes profile photo

    flynboxes says…

     A nice place to spend a day or two to unwind. 

Gonder Things to Do

  • Debre Birhan Selassie Church - part 2

    You may think that you are looking at a fortress with towers and impossibly thick defensive walls when you first arrive at this church. You are. The church is surrounded by 12 rounded towers complete with holes to shoot weapons from. These towers represent the 12 Apostles but were built for military purposes. The entrance, or 13th tower, is shaped...

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  • visit simien mountains

    the highlight of any Ethiopian trip are Simien mountains with its spectacular landscapes view , flora and faunaIt is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf and the walia ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. The gelada baboon and the caracal, a cat, also occur within the Simien Mountains. More than 50...

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  • visit Royal castles of Gondar

    The town of Gonder is often described as ‘The Camelot of Ethiopia’, and when you approach the Royal Enclosure, situated in the middle of the town, it’s easy to understand why. The city itself was founded by the Emperor Fasiladas around 1635, and soon became dominated by a collection of almost European looking castles and buildings, still standing...

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Gonder Restaurants

  • Cheap and good

    Tana snack & cafe has quite good and cheap local food and pasta. A bit of a disadvantage if you want to eat is a flatscreen TV, whenever there is a european soccer game the place is packed. Ful with butter, a local breakfast, beans and bread, 15 Birr.

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  • Four Sisters

    5 November 2013. Inbetween two excursions, we had lunch in the form of a buffet at the Four Sisters restaurant in Gonder. As you may have guessed, it is indeed run by four sisters ... Great decoration and lively atmosphere inside. Also good terrace. We opted for a place outside since a large group of tourists had already taken temporary possession...

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  • Dinner with Effrem

    Stayed in town for just one night. During the day time, we visited the famous Royal Enclosure, the church and the bath (see intro). We dined at the outdoor restaurant adjacent to Lodge Fasil and had a chat with the host, Effrem. Apart from booking us into the Taye Hotel earlier that day, Effrem also arranged transport to Bahir Dar for us by...

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Gonder Nightlife

  • A beer garden

    If you like to have a draft beer in a beer garden, Dashen House is the place to go. A probable 0,4 litre glas of draft beer, tasting like Austrian "Zwickl Bier" (maybe a bit like english Stout beer) for 10 Birr, pleasent place to sit outside (under a roof). Closing 9 pm, only chips is you need food.

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  • enjoy traditional ethiopian music

    enjyo the traditional music and dances at a typcial nightspot like at atsebekafa casual..no problem..it is just joy and happiness

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  • SUNSET AT FOGERA HOTEL

    Apart from some local pubs of questionable reputation that I did not visit, there is not much nightlife in Gonder. But sunsets are always beautiful anywhere and Fogera Hotel has a nice terrace to enjoy them. After a whole day doing the tourist, a good book and beer was a relaxing way to spend the last minutes of daylight. From this terrace you can...

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Gonder Transportation

  • Minibus

    A minibus took us from Gonder to Bahir Dar in approx. four hours for 300 birr. Afterwards we paid another fifty to four youngsters who guided this minibus from the bus station in Bahir Dar to our B&B. Our host in Gonder made the arrangements for this trip and reserved one entire bench (3 seats) for the two of us. But as things go, the bench...

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  • ethiopian airlines

    Ethiopian Airlines seems to be one of the best or even best airline in Africafor domestic and international flights...for domestic flights always recommendalbe to cofnirm the exactly departure time..very new and well equipped planes , very friendly service of the staff of Ethiopian Airlines

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  • driver or guide for onland transport

    for longer inland transport i would suggest to hire a car with reliable driverin Gondar I got an absolut amazing guide and friendly and reliable drivercalled Dani

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Gonder Shopping

See all 4 Shopping in Gonder
  • GIFT SHOP IN THE ROYAL ENCLOSURE NO. 2

    There are 2 ‘gift shops’ inside the Royal Enclosure. Pictured is the entrance to the second gift shop. This place has more art type objects and ladies accessories & handbags. It’s the more up-scale of the 2. Prices are high by Ethiopian standards, but you can haggle. They also sell jewellery of all descriptions.

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  • GIFT SHOP IN THE ROYAL ENCLOSURE NO.1

    There are 2 ‘gift shops’ inside the Royal Enclosure. Pictured is the entrance to the first that is more like a mini indoor market. They seemed to have a lot of basic sculptures and crafts in mass quantities. This should aid you in haggling down the price. They are a little high in price by local standards, but you should be able to get a discount...

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  • Religious souvenirs

    At many street stalls and markets you will find a lot of religious articles depicting gods, virgins and similar.

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Gonder Local Customs

  • COFFEE CEREMONY

    WHAT YOU NEVER SHOUL D MISS IS A TYPCIAL COFFEE CEREMONY WITH VERY BEAUITIFUL COFFEE TASTING..IF YOU ARE LUCKY LIKE ME YOU GET INVITED BY FRIENDS TO THEIR HOMES..OTHERWISE YOU CAN SEE IT IN TOURIST RESTAURANT OR TOURIST SPOTSHERE SOME PICS FROM MY PERSONAL ATTENDED COFFEE CEREMONY

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  • 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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  • Wash your hands before lunch

    As eating with your fingers is the local custom in all Ethiopia, washing your hand before is a real must. All restaurants have a fountain/tap outside so you can wash your hands before/after lunch.

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Gonder Warnings and Dangers

  • Street Harrassment

    Gondar is full of unemployed adolescents and young men who want to be your guide, shine your shoes, or be your friend for the day. A walk through town thus brings an unending and extremely annoying series of "Hey Misters." Some of the would be guides are very persistent. Two followed me all the way from the city center to the ruins and then waited...

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  • Debark for the Simiens?

    I had a slight intention of visiting the Simien Mountains, but didn't want to do a whole 2-3 days trip with an organized tour. So I thought of taking a bus to the nearby Debark and find there an easier way to the mountains. Fortunately I didn't! When I passed by Debark the following day (on my way to Axum) I saw that Debark is just a group of huts...

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  • Don't lose the bus ticket

    When travelling by bus, you will get a paper ticket. Keep it, as you will need it at the end. The man in blue will ask you for it when the bus is about to arrive (this is a signal that there are 10-15 minutes left to arrive) and he will keep it. If you want it as a souvenir, he can make en exception. Some of the passengers ask him for a receipt (to...

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Gonder Tourist Traps

  • Check the Price

    We were approached by a 'friend' of our taxi driver.He said he had a Dutch couple ready to go on a half day tour to the Simien Mountains and they wanted us to go to split the cost. 200 Birr each.We said yes.We met up with the guy, and he had some bad news. The Dutch couple could not go so we had to pay 400 Birr each. We knew the couple had been...

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  • Habesha Kifto Restaurant

    This is the most famous restaurant here in Gonder, and in most guides you will find it. But I personally think it was a little tourist trap. You will find here all the groups of tourists you previously saw at the castles, as nearly all groups come here. It is decorated in "walls covered of souvenirs" style and the dishes cost more than double their...

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  • Woleka Village

    About 5 km north of Gondar on the road to Shire is the Woleka Village a former Felasha Village. Felashas are Jewish but during the last famine most of them left Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel. The village is basically the only remaining place where you can check out Felasha tradition. There is a temple and the inhabitants, most of them are not...

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Gonder What to Pack

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    PURCHASED IN ADDIS ABABA

    by DAO Updated May 28, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies:

    Gonder has VERY limited shopping opportunities outside of some cold drinks and souvenirs. 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 deodorant (pictured) cost my twice what it would in the USA. Please pack accordingly.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Study Abroad
    • Family Travel

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Gonder Off The Beaten Path

  • Wolleka, Falasha village

    From 1985 to 1991 many Falashas were airlifted to Israel. Nowadays only a few Falashas still live in Wolleka. The excellent pottery, that was made here by the skilled craftsmen in former days, you will not find anymore. What you see now in the several stalls in the village, are items, made for the tourists. Unless you are interested in King Solomon...

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  • Road to Wolleka

    Six KM north of Gonder on our way to the Simien Mountains, we passed the little village Wolleka, once the home of the Falashas or Ethiopian Jews. Before arriving of Christianity, Judaism was the dominant religion of this part of Ethiopia. After Christianity became the state religion, the Falashas were urged to conversion. If they refused, their...

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  • Simien Mountains

    From Gonder you can reach Debark and the Simien Mountains in about 3 hours. There is a daily bus from Gonder to Debark or you can hire a taxi or even book organised treks in Gonder.The landscape of the Simien Mountains is dramatic by the several plateaus, separated by wide valleys. Some peaks rise above the 4.000 M. The steep escarpments and the...

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Gonder Sports & Outdoors

  • CRAZY ABOUT FOOTBALL

    Whoever invinted football (soccer) was a genius. It only has a few rules and all you need is a ball. No goal, no grass, just about anywhere will do. These boys were playing on a small patch of ground just outside the entrance to the Royal Enclosure. They actually where quite good as well. A round ball

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  • The Simien Mountains

    If you like trekking and good landscapes, the Simien Mountains is a must while in Ethiopia. Gonder is usually the BaseCamp, the place from where to organize the trip. 2-3 days is enough to see it all. You will find guys offering you trips by the streets. If you want a more organized thing, try at a the travel agency in the Quara Hotel, in the...

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  • Gonder Hotels

    0 Hotels in Gonder

Gonder Favorites

  • Along the way from Bahir dar to Gonder

    These are the scenery along the road from Bahir dar to Gondor.After driving on the good road for about 1 hour we’ll pass Werota ,and for another 40 Km. we’ll pass Addid Zamen town that if you have your own vehicle ,you may stop by for some meal and cold drink .After this town I start to see mountain scenery in front of us, and start ascending into...

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  • DASHEN BREWERY

    Dashen beer is made just on the edge of town and people are, deservedly so, proud of it. I never tried a Dashen until I got here. Every restaurant I ate had had some refreshingly cold Dashen for me. It’s a good beer and you can’t beat the price. Expect to pay 20-40 US cents for a bottle in a bar or restaurant. Enjoy!Contact details:Tel:...

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  • The big Banyan Tree

    In the square behind the Royal Enclosure you can find this enormous tree where local people sit for shade or chat. It's a good place for meeting point. Here is where I used to have appointment with my guide to begin the day.

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Explore Deeper into Gonder
visit DEBRE BERHAN SELASSIE CHURCH
Things to Do
VISIT FASILADAS BATH
Things to Do
most beautiful restaurant in gondar
Restaurants
How many breads do we buy ?
Restaurants
Fresh bread, early in the morning
Restaurants
OUTDOOR WOW!
Restaurants
QOUSQUAM CASTLE
Things to Do
FASILADAS' BATHS
Things to Do
THE LAST STOP BEFORE SIMIEN MOUNTAINS
Things to Do
DEBRE BIRHAN SELASSIE CHURCH
Things to Do
RELIGIOUS PAINTINGS
Things to Do
ETHIOPIAN CHURCHES
Things to Do
FASILADAS' PALACE
Things to Do
FASIL GHEBI
Things to Do
FIRST IMPRESSION
Things to Do
THE "G POINT"
Things to Do
THE POST
Things to Do
Airport
Transportation
From the airport
Transportation
Simien Mountains
Things to Do
Castles
Things to Do
INJERA - SERVED IN ALL RESTAURANTS
Restaurants
ROYAL ENCLOSURE - PART 2
Things to Do
Debre Birhan Selassie Church - part 1
Things to Do
ROYAL ENCLOSURE - PART 1
Things to Do
See the Castles
Things to Do
Flying
Transportation
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES
Transportation
TAXI TO THE AIRPORT
Transportation
GONDER AIRPORT
Transportation
HABESHA KITFO
Restaurants
QUARA HOTEL
Restaurants
LION CAGES
Things to Do
BIG TREE
Things to Do
Post Office
Shopping
Fogera Hotel
Restaurants
Debre Berhan Selassie Church
Things to Do
Ras Restaurant
Restaurants
Fasiladas' Bath
Things to Do
The Chancellery
Things to Do
Map of Gonder

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