Explore The Capital City

Addis Ababa Travel Guide

Welcome to Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa was founded by Emperor Menelik II, who relocated his capital from Ankober to the Entoto Hills in the early 1880s. Following the unusually cold and wet rainy season of 1886, the royal entourage set up temporary camp at the lower-lying Filwoha Hot Springs, largely at the urge of Queen Taitu, who loved its steamy natural baths and christened the site Addis Ababa (New Flower). By the mid-1890s, the new imperial palace at Addis Ababa comprised a 3km² compound enclosing 50 buildings and housing 8,000 people, while the Saturday market near present-day St George’s Cathedral drew up to 50,000 people. In 1900, lack of firewood in the immediate vicinity of Addis Ababa prompted Menelik II to consider relocating his capital to Addis Alem (New World), a plan that was scrapped when it was discovered that the Entoto Hills provided ideal conditions for the fast-growing eucalyptus tree, an import from Australia. The capital’s development was bolstered by the arrival of the Djibouti railway in 1917 and an associated influx of Armenian and French traders, as well as by the drive for modernization, following the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930. Addis Ababa was chosen as the base for the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1958, and five years later it was made headquarters of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union. 

Things to see and Do

Addis Ababa has a thriving cultural life embracing some excellent art galleries, traditional restaurants and live music venues. A feature of the city is its wonderful cultural restaurants, which are typically housed in traditional tukul-style buildings, and serve the full range of meat-based and vegan Ethiopian specialties, accompanied by colorful …
Addis Ababa is studded with worthwhile museums. The landmark National Museum of Ethiopia is of particular interest for its palaeontological hall, displaying a hominid skeleton stretching back 5.5 million years. Nearby, the IES Ethnographic Museum, set in a former residence of Emperor Haile Selassie (now Addis Ababa University), has a …
A medieval Christian presence in the Entoto Hills above Addis Ababa is confirmed by the existence of the ruined rock-hewn churches of Washa Mikael and Kidus Raguel. The hills also host the city’s oldest functioning church, Entoto Maryam, a traditionally painted octagon perched on the site where Emperor Menelik II …

Suggested Tours

Half Day (5hours) City Tour

This tour provides you a chance to catch up the some attraction sites of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia just in 4 hours. The tour will start before noon at 08:30 to 12:30 or after noon at 13:30 to 17:30 hours everyday. Pick up and drop off point can be airport or hotel. In this tour you will see National Museum, St. George Cathedral, the view of Addis Ababa from Mount Entoto and Merkato, the largest open air market in Africa.On this tour you have also a chance to buy local goods such as as traditional clothes and souvenirs. 

from

$40.00/Person

5/5

Full Day (8 hours) City Tour

Leave Addis Ababa’s crazy traffic to your personal chauffeur and learn about Ethiopian culture from your private guide on this door-to-door city tour. A typical itinerary includes two museums—the National Museum of Ethiopia and the Ethnological Museum—two markets, including the enormous Addis Mercato, and cultural sights including Entoto Hill, St. George’s Cathedral, and Tiglachin Memorial. But feel free to adjust to suit your interests.

from

$70.00/Person

5/5

Where to Stay

Ethiopian Skylight Hotel

Ethiopian skylight hotel is an elegant 5* hotel with 373 spacious guest rooms walking distance from bole international airport book and save up to 15% off.

Official Rating:
5/5

Starting From

$120 USD

Includes taxes and charges

Sodere Resort Hotels - Africa Union Branch

Sodere Resort Hotel – Africa Union Branch is a part of Sodere Resort located in Adama and is one of the four hotels associated expected to operate in Addis Ababa.  This unique location has easy access to public transportation, local shops, numerous cafes, entertainment and most importantly within walking distance from the newly built Africa Union Center.

Official Rating:
3/5

Starting From

$55 USD

Includes taxes and charges