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Explore Addis Ababa with Jazeera

Explore Addis Ababa with Jazeera

Modern Addis Ababa may only have a history stretching back to the 19th century, but this incredible destination has roots that go far deeper back in time. Incredibly busy and vibrant, packed with some wonderful museums and luxury hotels, it’s one of those enticing destinations that will have you coming back again and again. 

Expect to see plenty of VIPs driving around, as Addis Ababa is the hub of African diplomacy and is home to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. It’s appropriate that such internationally important world organisations call this city home, as Ethiopia is believed to be the ‘cradle of humanity’ and home to mankind’s earliest ancestors. 

Shopping in Addis Ababa is a combination of modern malls and busy markets, while food lovers will adore the spicy offerings from local street carts or sophisticated fusion cuisine in its many restaurants.

From food tours where you can experience the true taste of Ethiopia, to hiking in the nearby Entoto Mountains, Addis Ababa is complex, dynamic, and constantly evolving. Spend your days touring museums filled with ancient relics of mankind’s past and a plethora of ornate religious buildings, or go off the beaten track a little and into the older parts of the city to dig deeper into its history. 

Essential Facts

Time
17:28
Date
10/26/2021
Time Zone
+03:00
Weather
°C
Language
Amharic
Currency
Ethiopian Birr
Electricity
220V/50Hz plug types C, E, F & L
Best Time To Visit
February to May – Average temperature 26°C, low rainfall

Things To Do

Ethnological Museum

Ethnological Museum

To really understand about the history of Ethiopia, a trip to the Ethnological Museum is a must. It’s packed full of magnificent artefacts and the crafts of the country. Then head outside and spend some time exploring Haile Selassie’s former palace and gardens. 

The Entoto Mountains

The Entoto Mountains

Ethiopia’s capital sits right next to the towering Entoto Mountains, which offer tourists and adventure travellers the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Addis Ababa city and go hiking along some of the best trails in the region.

The National Palace

The National Palace

Built to commemorate Emperor Haile Selassie’s silver jubilee in 1955, it’s now the residence of the President of Ethiopia and a magnificent building right in the heart of the city. It’s definitely worth taking a tour to see the best of this huge building.
Shopping

Shopping

Addis Ababa is a shopper’s paradise. The city is home to the largest outdoor market in the world, the truly huge Mercato. It can take days to wander around all the stalls, which sell everything from trinkets and t-shirts to spices and traditional crafts.
For a less frantic shopping experience, Churchill Avenue, also known as Souvenir Street, earns its name and is full of reasonably priced boutiques and shops selling some great trinkets. Alternatively, Shiromdea Market is a scaled-down and more relaxed version of Mercato where the bargains are plentiful and you can still haggle for a better deal. 

Food and Drink

Food And Drink

The national dish is Injera, which is a fermented flatbread made of teff flour. This slightly spongy bread is served with most dishes, often with ‘wat’, a thick stew. Food is generally very spicy and rich, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on offer. The most common meats on offer are lamb and beef, usually spiced up by berbere, a combination of chilli and other spices that gives Ethiopian food a real kick!
You’ll usually find that food is eaten with your right hand, and consists of tearing off pieces of Injera and using it to scoop the main dish (often a stew or other dishes like Ayibe cheese) up. 
If you’re looking for something a little more familiar then there are plenty of restaurants in Addis Ababa serving a wide variety of cuisine including Ethiopian and French fusion.

Things To Know

Visa Requirements

  • You will need to apply for a visa to visit Addis Ababa before travelling. This can be easily done online using the Ethiopia eVisa and the Visa On Arrival services. 

  • On arrival, visas can be obtained at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. You will need your passport, two passport-size pictures, and any additional documents depending on your reasons for travel.

  • You can apply for Tourist Visas and Business Visas, depending on your requirements. These can be obtained at any Ethiopian embassy, online, or on arrival.

  Other Facilities

  • Health facilities in the city are good, with plenty of 24-hour pharmacies and hospitals including Bethzatha Hospital and the Black Lion public Hospital. If you travel beyond the city you may find health facilities are harder to access.

  • ATMs are plentiful but do bear in mind that your card provider may charge you to take out money at ATMs (when using the machines, select the ‘Credit Card’ option to ensure the ATM issues your funds). Most Dashen Banks will accept Visa and MasterCard.

  Getting Around

  • The city’s Light Rail tram system is incredibly modern and efficient, and the first of its kind in this part of Africa. There are two lines, the Green Line runs from east to west and the Blue line runs from north to south. 

  • The blue and white minibuses and taxis are the easiest way to get around the city and are also very cheap. They can be hailed from the side of the road. The more expensive yellow and green taxis are most commonly seen around hotels and the airport and are a little more reliable.

  • It is possible to hire a car in Addis Ababa, and parking is plentiful and very cheap, as is the cost of fuel, making car hire an economic way to get around, especially if you want to explore a little further afield.