Addis Ababa

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Addis Ababa advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Partial view of Addis Ababa skyline from Sheger park

  • Air quality: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
  • Public transportation: 5 / 5
  • Parks:5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$10 - $300
  • Budget per day: US$80 - $500

Responsible Travel

Addis Ababa, Africa's largest city, is Ethiopia's capital city that lies on the African continent's eastern side. You will find that it is the largest and most populated city in the continent and the country. It homes over 2 million Ethiopians in an area of 527 square kilometers. Addis Ababa is also home to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and many other international and continental organizations. Often considered the political capital of Arica, Addis Ababa is the hub of historical landmarks, diplomatic activities, and political significance. While visiting such a significant city in Africa, you must be cautious about your actions as the rules and policies are quite different. As a tourist, you should avoid involving in any activity that will negatively impact the local communities or the environment.

  • You will find that the pollution rates are very high in the city. It is because there are no electronic modes of transportation. While exploring and visiting the city's various areas, you must use eco-friendly public transport measures instead of private. The train and bus network in Addis Ababa is efficient and sufficient enough to help you reach different regions of the city without any issues. They are also friendlier to the environment as they serve a large number of people at once.
  • You must use eco-friendly products and services like recycled and reusable items. These items are a great way to save costs and support the local communities. You can also visit the various recycling agencies to get used items recycled instead of throwing away as waste. You must prefer such things instead of brand new articles as they cause less harm to the environment.
  • You can also opt for eco-friendly accommodation options instead of 5 star or luxurious options that often cause a lot of pollution by providing world-class services to their guests. Eco-friendly hotels, resorts, hostels, and guest houses will provide you with quality service while helping you keep your carbon footprint minimal.

Apart from these necessary measures, you must support the local communities and businesses instead of the international ones. You can do so by buying products from local shops, markets, and vendors. These local products are of better quality than the branded ones and will last for a longer time. By buying from such shops and markets, you will help the locals earn some money. Many of these shops cannot make enough money to afford even a single meal a day. Therefore, you must use local products and services the most while visiting Addis Ababa.

Air Quality and Pollution

The range of air pollutants in Addis Ababa entails that air quality is moderate to 'unhealthy for sensitive groups.' Since Ethiopia is urbanizing rapidly, the quality of air and pollutants is also increasing as it occurs at the expense of outdoor air quality in Addis Ababa.

  • Air Pollution Level – Good
  • Air Quality Index – 37 US AQI
  • Main Pollutant – PM2.5 – 9 g/m3

Addis Ababa has a limited air quality monitoring network because it is difficult to ascertain whether indoor air quality is changing or outdoor. Still, for households using biomass burning, air pollution exposure is very high.

Respect the Culture

The people in Addis Ababa are multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, where religion is a significant influence in Ethiopian life. It has nearly half the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Still, there is also a sizeable Muslim population seen in Addis Ababa, while others adhere to an ancient form of Judaism. So, if you're visiting this part of the city in Ethiopia, you must not offend their culture; instead, you should show respect to each culture they adhere and explore their culture and tradition to know more about Addis Ababa.

Top 10 Places to Visit

  • Addis Mercato: It is an open-air market that covers several kilometers and employs an estimate of 30,000 Ethiopians. The primary merchandise you can find here are agricultural products, and the most notable are coffee beans. It is near Saint George church near the city halls stands in Addis Ababa. Built by the Italian occupational government's segregationist policies, you will find most are up treatments who had shops that are eventually reopen located ½ mile to the West. As per the time, local shopkeepers displace the Arab merchants; hence these markets after the 1960s had a mostly local flavor.
  • Mount Entoto: It is the highest peak on the and Entoto mountains that pass over the city of Addis Ababa is Ethiopia's capital. It stands tall at the height of 3200 meters above sea level. This mountain range is densely covered with eucalyptus imported from Australia during the region of Menelik II and planted during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. They are the lungs of Addis Ababa. It also serves as necessary for firewood for the Addis Ababa city and helps source or build material during earlier times. The Ethiopian Heritage Trust is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that works actively to change part of the mountain to its old state as a natural park. It has an annual rainfall and temperature of 1200 nanometer and 14 degrees Celsius. On the Cliff of the mountain, the Ethiopian space science society has an observational laboratory that is 3200 meters above the sea level.
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral: It is the highest-ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral in Addis Ababa, also known in Amharic as Kidist Selassie. It is the 2nd most place of worship in Ethiopia after the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, which sits at Axum. The church's compound is a burial place for those who fought the Italian occupation or accompanied the emperor during his exile from 1936 to 1941. There are three altars a high altar of the cathedral dedicated to the world's sovereigns, the Holy Trinity. The other two altars are both located on either side of the high altar. They are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and two Our Lady covenant of mercy. Look at the theater complex also includes the sun church's feast, also known as the church of the four heavenly creatures.
  • Menagesha Suba Forest: Menagesha Suba Forest is the best place to go for the camping area and hiking near Addis Ababa. It has giant trees, and big baboons are some of the many things you will find out here. This forest covers around 2500 hectares and has natural trees like jupe Juniper and addict arboreal. It is one of the tourist destinations for the day trip from Addis Ababa. It is also home to some endemic birds and mammal species. Zara Yacob, the Ethiopian emperor, originally protected this forest from 1399 to 1468. It is considered the oldest dense park in Africa, which is in the conservation cyst of the 15th century. And it also served as a Crown land in the old system. Besides hiking and trekking, you can bird watch and enjoy the mother's nature company with its natural flora and vivid fauna.
  • Gullible Botanical Garden: It is about 5 miles on the outskirts from the city center of Addis Ababa in the northwest area. It is the 1st well-established site of its kind in Ethiopia and has both forest and semi forest vegetation. There are approximately 2500 botanical gardens globally, out of which 4% are in Africa and can be traced back to Cornelia colonial times in the 18th century and 19th century. According to the published records, this Botanical Garden in Ethiopia dates back about four decades.
  • St. George’s Cathedral: It is also an Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa and is very distinct from other cathedrals as it is octagonal. Built-in the 15th century, the new church replaced the ruins of the older church. It gets its name after Saint George. It is a fine example of European interpretation of Ethiopian church design as per the Italian tourist publications. It faced a fire incident, but later, Amber Hailie Selassie built or restored it in 1941. The cathedral also consists of a museum in which an imperial throne is on display by Afewerk Tekle.
  • St. George Brewery: It is most famous amongst the oldest peer of Ethiopia and dates back to 1922. It gets its name from Saint George, the patron Saint of Ethiopia, as this country has a deep Christian history. In the beginning, the factory used to make beer using raw materials like barley and hops, all imported from Europe, and all the stuff consist of foreigners as well for the purpose. In 1952, the Ethiopian company took over in which the largest share was of Emperor Halie Selassie, the Rastafari Messiah and big-time leader of Ethiopia. The brewery has grown over time and became popular amongst the locals. The locals are proud of the beer as it is of Ethiopian origin. Now, this Brewing Company exports its beer to Europe and North America also.
  • Anwar Mosque: Grand Amber Mosque is the central religious center for all Muslims in the capital city of Ethiopia. It sits in the Addis Ketema district and is also one of Africa's largest markets known as AddisMercato. It has beautiful architecture with white and green colors; the language of service provided here is English. Here worshippers come and have their prayers, including formal Juma's.
  • Medhane Alem Cathedral: It means the savior of the world and is an Ethiopian Orthodox cathedral located in Bole Medhanealem, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is the largest cat fiddle in Ethiopia Anne is the second-largest cathedral in the whole of Africa. You will find beautiful paintings on the cathedral ceiling, and it is one of the cleanest places in Addis Ababa. It is considered a top priority you should visit when you are in Addis Ababa.
  • Unity Park: It was one standing tall as Grand Palace with a seat of the Ethiopian emperor and was built by Menelikcirca in 1886. It serves as a beautiful children's playground in Ethiopia. It hasn't a beautiful landscape with the historical monuments, displays, and an animal zoo attached to this area. It has approximately over 43 indigenous plants' original state pavilion to display their culture and historical assets as part of this unity park. Here in the zoo, you will find 46 types of different species and 312 individuals animals. All historic buildings that were once part of the Palace have been restored and accessed in tours by paying the VIP admission fee.
Addis Ababa from Mount Entoto


Addis Ababa is a unique and exciting city in East Africa and is Ethiopia's capital, with a population of 4.5 million in the greater metropolitan region. It is considered a central hub for people worldwide since many continental and international organizations, including the African Union, are headquartered in Addis Ababa. While exploring Addis Ababa, you'll see various vital landmarks and sightings, some of which are listed below:

City Parks

  • Hamle 19 Park: Hamle 19 Park is present on the way to Entoto behind the USA Embassy, covering a 20 hectare of land with green shade trees. People often come here to relax under the lush green vegetation, and also there are many types of plants like Eucalyptus and Juniper trees. The park also hosts wedding ceremonies and other cultural or professional events for visitors.
  • Bihere Tsige Park: Bihere Tsige Park is established in the 1960s and is known as the city's Semien Park because it includes the endemic Gelada Baboons, monkeys, apes, and different birds species. The park also houses various flowers, trees, and shrubs, which lures tourists or visitors to see the natural beauty this park beholds. It also hosts wedding ceremonies and other events for the convenience of the Ethiopian public.
  • Bole Park: Bole Park is present on the way to Bole International Airport behind the peacock restaurant in Addis Ababa. It is one of the well-known city parks in Addis Ababa as it hosts various cultural events, including wedding ceremonies. Different musicians worldwide come here to perform on traditional Ethiopian songs and entertain the guests; various concerts occur here.
  • Ethiopia-Cuba Friendship Memorial Park: Ethiopia-Cuba Friendship Memorial Park – also known as 'Tigilachin,' is famous for featuring communist art in Addis Ababa. To visit the memorial park, you have to pay an entrance fee of about 1 Birr and 5 to 10 Birr for locals and foreigners, respectively. The communist art here is a monument where photographs of Cuban Soldiers on plagues are on display at both ends.
  • Yeka: Yeka is a perfect spot for organizing picnics and fun activities in Addis Ababa. While wandering around, you'll see that the paths here are well-maintained with ample sitting benches and shaded trees that form the backdrop for wedding photos. The park follows some rules regarding cleanliness; hence the public is charged with an entrance fee of Birr 1 for every age group.
  • Peacock Park: Peacock Park lies in front of the Bole printing press in the city of Addis Ababa that hosts wedding ceremonies and usable for recreational purposes. Peacock Park is one of the most-visited parks in the city. It is the place for ceremonies or events. You can also see various indigenous plants here, such as Acacia, Millettia Ferruginea, Olea Africana, and Cordia Africana are the major ones.
  • Central Park: Central Park is among the most well-used parks in the city as it connects Bole Road to Tele Bole for pedestrians, where you come across some strange bench formations and mini-theatres made from brick and concrete. You can also spot some monkeys wandering all over the park. It houses a giant playground with swings, a slide, seesaws, and climbing equipment, making it fun for children.

National Parks

Addis Ababa doesn’t boast any national parks right now, but Ethiopia gives you plenty of options if you want to see the natural creatures living openly in the wild. If you’re interested in seeing wild animals in this part of the country, there’s this one park that boasts a wide variety of faunas in Addis Ababa.

  • Lion Zoo: Lion Zoo is an amusement park that features lethargic caged lions and several other animals like baboons, a dik-dik, kudu, an Egyptian goose, and maribou stork, and many more. It is also an excellent place for children to wander around and play all around the park. To visit the park, you need to pay an entrance charge of Birr 2 for locals and foreigners.

Some of the national parks near Addis Ababa and in Ethiopia are listed below:

  • Simian Mountains National Park
  • Bale Mountains National Park
  • Awash National Park
Bale Mountains National Park


You may not think of Addis Ababa as an ideal spot for a beach vacation because it is well landlocked. Still, this beach in Ethiopia named 'Langano Beach' is a sandy lake with a spectacular and picturesque view. You will also be able to come face-to-face with some local wildlife, including surf-loving hippos and baboons. On this beach, many water sport activities occur in which you can participate to relax and experience the beauty of this beach.


  • Washa Mikael Church: The Washa Mikael Church dates back to the 12th century – is a few kilometers east of Addis Ababa's town center. It is a perfect spot for religious people to seek blessings from god. The church is quite challenging to locate to so ask locals en route. Washa Mikael Church is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm on all days throughout the year with an entrance charge of Birr 50.
  • Merkato: Just west of Addis' center, you'll wade into the market chaos known as Merkato, where you may find the most eloquent aroma wafting from precious incense. Ethiopians say it's the largest market in Africa that lures millions of tourists or visitors towards this spot of the city to take home precious and unique artifacts or everyday stuff. The market is open only from 6 am to 7 pm – Monday to Saturday. You can spend your Birr on silver jewelry or aromatic spices. Apart from this, there's also a 'recycling market' and coffee pots from old Italian olive tins, and other exciting paraphernalia are also present here.
  • Lion of Judah Monument: Lion of Judah Monument is ubiquitous throughout the country. It is the symbol of Ethiopian' monarchy – although images of the almighty animal abound in Addis Ababa, this splendid monument's history makes this statue significant. The Lion of Judah's sculpture is in gilded bronze, placed on a black granite pedestal decorated with relief portraits of renowned people of Addis Ababa. The monument is most-visited by tourists as it serves as it represents the proud history of past historians. It is around the National Bank of Ethiopia and the National Theatre, standing tall for everyone to notice from afar.
  • Bete Maryam Mausoleum: Bete Maryam Mausoleum is a church in Addis Ababa famous for its marble tombs of Emperor Menelik, Empress Taitu, Princess Tsehai Haile Selassie, and Empress Zewditu. It lies just south of Menelik's Palace and offers what could be an enchantingly eerie experience for travelers and tourists. It charges about Birr 50 for every age group and is open from 9 am to 6 pm every day. You will see that the whole complex is under the watch of an excessive number of unhelpful and very surly soldiers, which seems humorous to every visitor.
  • Derg Monument: The towering Derg Monument has a massive red star on top and emblazoned with a golden hammer and sickle making it one of the more poignant reminders of Ethiopia's painful communist rule. The cement obelisk-like structure here climbs skyward in front of Black Lion Hospital, which is eye-pleasing to watch. It is a memorial to the most ruthless totalitarian regime in African history, embracing communism as an ideology in 1975. People call this monument Tigilachin Monument in Addis Ababa. It is a must-visit tourist spot if you’re in this part of the city in Ethiopia.
  • Entoto Panoramic Viewpoint: To enjoy the incredible scenery of Addis Ababa, Mount Entoto is the place to visit, that homes two of the oldest Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Churches are present – St. Mary of Ontoto and St. Raguel (Elias). Here, visitors are allowed hiking in the eucalyptus tree forest with an elevation of 3,200 meters above sea level that makes Addis Ababa the highest capital city in Africa. Apart from these two historical churches in Entoto, there are about 140 years of hand-painted wall and ceiling with religious paintings that attract people to explore every bit of this panoramic viewpoint.
Washa Mikael Church


  • Addis Ababa Museum: Addis Ababa Museum is the city's scruffiest museum in Ethiopia, making it the most-visited by locals and tourists worldwide. It was founded in 1986 housing perusing candid portraits of the Empress Taitu, rakish Lij Iyasu, and the very beautiful Empress Zewditu. The museum also houses pictures of the capital in its infancy, where you can see that Addis Ababa was nothing more than tents on a hill just over a century ago. Opening timings to visit the museum varies from time to time, with about 10 Birr's entrance charge. Pictures of Menelik with Bede Bentley, Addis Ababa's first motor car, and the first telephone in Ethiopia are also present here.
  • Natural History Museum: Natural History Museum is the only natural history museum in Ethiopia where you can see about 1,100 African animals collected by Mr. S. Patrizi during the Italian occupation. The museum tells you about the indigenous wildlife in Africa and different Ethiopian faunas species while visiting the Natural History Museum. The museum is present in the Science Faculty Department of the University of Addis Ababa. Visitors are thrilled to see such varieties of species in this zoological museum with these living creatures' knowledge. The museum is open to all, with no entrance charges.
  • Ethnological Museum: The museum is surrounded by peaceful gardens and fountains of the university's main campus, making it a spectacular and picturesque place for tourists or locals. It is open to the Ethiopian crowd from 8 am to 5 pm – Monday to Friday and 9 am to 5 pm – Saturday & Sunday with an entrance fee of Birr 100/50 for adults/students.
  • National Museum: The rank of the collection of historical figures of Addis Ababa at the National Museum is among the most critical sub-Saharan Africa. It highlights the paleontological exhibition in the basement of the museum. It is home to the world-famous Lucy, whose discovery in the Afar region of northwestern Ethiopia in 1974 helped the archaeologists understand Ethiopian origins. The National Museum of Addis Ababa is open every day from 8:30 am with an entrance charge of Birr 10 for every age group.
  • Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum: 'Red Terror' Martyrs Memorial Museum officially opened in 2010, housing a couple of rooms that reveal the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie and the horrors of life under Mengistu's Derg regime along with some display cabinets that are full of human belongings dug out of the mass grave. Funded by donations, this museum's entire work depends on charity. You can come here any day between 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
  • Afewerk Tekle's Home & Studio: Afewark Tekle is among Africa's most remarkable artists whose masterpiece – the British Order of Merit is on display at Afewark Tekle's Home & Studio, along with Maskal Flower painting showcased at international exhibitions in Russia. Images with titles African Unity and Backbones of African Civilization reflecting the struggles for independence are also displayed here. He is known for his paintings on African and Christian themes and his stained glass, which attracts the public to look at these splendid artworks of Afewark Tekle.


Ethiopian eating is none less than any international cuisine, making Addis Ababa home to Ethiopia's most refined foods. Ethiopian foods like spice-heavy stews with spongey flatbread, rich home-brewed honey wine, and grass-fed hunks of raw meat are some famous food you must try while visiting Addis Ababa. The city of Addis Ababa is a place where you'll find several cultural restaurants specialized in the country's traditional cuisine along with traditional music and dance offers an insight into its unique culinary heritage. You may find many opportunities to experience conventional Ethiopian dishes in restaurants listed below:

Traditional Local Restaurants

  • Totot: Totot restaurant in Addis Ababa is famous for its ‘kifto,' made with fiery mitmita, a chill-based powder, and niter, which is a spiced butter. It is flushed mostly with Ethiopians as kifto is originally a traditional Ethiopian dish, hence not famous among tourists. The restaurant also provides you with traditional music and dance performances, entertaining people, and encouraging everyone to respect Ethiopian culture.
  • Yod Abyssinia: Yod Abyssinia is Addis Ababa's headline cultural restaurant making it a lively array of Ethiopia's food, music, and dance cultures. People are amazed by the restaurant's outstanding décor, which is full of vivid art and tapestries. You will find many traditional Ethiopian dishes ranging from tibs to kifto, Shiro, and Doro wat; every famous dish is served here in Yod Abyssinia. The restaurant is seen nearby to the Airport in Bole.
  • Addis Ababa Restaurant: It is an old restaurant in this part of the country, where you’ll find the best of Ethiopian food along with homemade 'tej' – honey wine. The restaurant is well-known for its exceptional Ethiopian cuisine, where both the non-fasting and fasting (no animal product) combos are ideal for introducing traditional Ethiopian food. It is famous among locals though its décor is somewhat shabby, the food here is something you cannot forget your entire journey in Addis Ababa.
  • Finfine: Finfine Restaurant lies just outside the National Palace, serving flavorful Ethiopian food in Empress Taytu, the founder of Addis Ababa. With its historical interior and walls adorned with colorful artworks and traditional pottery, Finfine restaurant is flushed with the Ethiopian public and tourists to enjoy its delicious delicacies. Must-try dishes include the bayenetu, a selection of stews, vegetables, dips, and salads served platter-style on a single injeria. Mesir wat is also among the highly recommended dish in Finfine restaurant.
  • Romina: Famous for tucking into pizzas and draught beer, Romina restaurant is a must-visit restaurant where you can experience the mixed cuisine of European and Ethiopian styles. Along with the fused cuisine, the customer prefers to focus on burgers and grilled meats in addition to the traditional favorite of all – Shiro (stew) and firfir (a typical conventional Ethiopian dish with spicy butter). Romina restaurant also offers exceptional coffee in full traditional style on the menu for customers.

Vegetarian and Vegan

  • Loving Hut: Loving Hut is part of the largest family of vegan-friendly restaurants worldwide that serves healthy and sustainable living via their all-vegan menu. Must-try dishes of Loving Hut restaurant include American burger, Arabic sandwich roll, Shiro, vegetable medley, fasting firfir, vegan tibs, New York cutlet, and many more. The best place for every vegan food lover is this restaurant. Loving Hut lies in the heart of Addis Ababa. It is open to the Ethiopian crowd Monday to Saturday from 9:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Sundays closed).
  • 5 Zulon: 5 Zulon restaurant lies across the street from the National Museum in an orange building. The restaurant has a large covered outdoor seating area and a vegetarian and vegan menu section of local fare. Customers are in awe of the delicious tofu tibs along with a fasting cappuccino served by this restaurant. If you’re in Addis Ababa, make sure to visit 5 Zulon restaurant to experience the best of vegan food found in the locality.
  • Aladdin Restaurant: Aladdin Restaurant is a local staple for almost 20 years, serving some of the most sufficient Armenian and Mediterranean food in Addis Ababa. Must-try dishes in Aladdin Restaurant includes focaccia with garlic, Margherita pizza, adjaragan khachapuri, pancetta pizza, calzone, Quatro stagione, and many more. Since it's an old restaurant, it is not much visited nowadays by the Ethiopian public, but it is commonplace for office workers. It is open Monday to Saturday every day from 9:30 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays).
  • Andiamo Pizza and Pasta: Andiamo Pizza and Pasta is a cozy family-owned restaurant lying on Comoros street in the British Embassy in Addis Ababa. It is famous for serving traditional Ethiopian cuisine and authentic Italian pizza and pasta dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients since 2015. If you're in this part of Ethiopia, then Andiamo restaurant is a perfect restaurant to enjoy excellent meals, whether you are dining alone or with friends. It is open Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 9 pm.
  • Azmera Shiro: A well-known Ethiopian restaurant in Addis Ababa, Azmera Shiro specializes in traditional food and the best of delicious Ethiopian delicacies. Must-try dishes here in Azmera Siro restaurant include Quanta FirFir, Dulet, tibs firfir, Firfir with butter, fasting firfir, misir wot, tomato slice, Shiro with tuna, and lots more. It is one of the best rated vegan-friendly restaurants in Addis Ababa and is open Monday to Saturday to every tourist and local from 9:30 am to 8 pm.

Street Food

While visiting any Ethiopian city, you must try the local street food. The local street food is the best way to learn about the traditions and culture of the city. These food items are often inspiration from traditional dishes or international cuisines. You will find mouthwatering food items at the local street food vendor's stalls that will make your trip complete.

  • Fatira
  • Kitcha fit-fit
  • Injera fit-fit
  • Kitfo


  • Coffee: Two types of coffees are present in Addis Ababa. Jebena Buna is a coffee brewed in traditional clay, and you can have it in most of the shops in Addis Ababa. It is a strong expresso or type of coffee sold in a small glass. And a different kind of coffee is known as Macchiato, which mostly consists of coffee with milk. If you seek strong coffee, you can ask for Tikur Macchiato. Alem Buna in Kazanchis is famous for its Tikur Macchiato.
  • Beers: There are over 12 beer varieties available in the market of Addis Ababa compared to any other African countries. People are not more into these beers, but Ethiopia has an 80% rural population that drinks home-brew beers. The favorite beers such as St. Georges Amber, which is 5.5% caramel flavors, along with toasted malt and meta premium consisting of 5.5% sweet but with the balance crisp and slight hint of hops added in it.
  • Ethiopian wines: Here you can enjoy an excellent quality of local wine at a low cost of around 10 dollar USD. The wines' ingredients are grown in the way about 150 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa's favorite destination for their famous wines: the Cuvee Prestige Chardonnay and the Cuvee Prestige Cabernet Sauvignon Menot blend.
  • Fresh juices: You can enjoy different varieties of fluids with a regular breakfast in the neighborhood cafes in Addis Ababa. They are thick juices in Ethiopia as the people prefer smoothies more than other beverages.
  • Tej: It is commonly known as honey wine, although it doesn't taste like wine. Made by fermenting honey, and geshow shrub, used in the same way as hops with sweet smokey flavor. It is probably something you haven't had before. Served in traditional glasses, which looks like science beakers, it is quite trendy amongst the locals and the tourists.


You cannot drink water in this city because drinking water pollution is high, with an approximate value of 61% polluted. The primary source of water for this city is the Gafsara Dam, built during the Italian occupation in 2009. Other than this, there are wells and other dams to support the water supplement. The water supply is not well organized and is often interrupted because of some issues. Almost half of the city's water demand remains unfulfilled; therefore, the government must arrange several water trucks to supply water in low-pressure areas. This inefficient management of water supply has led to a shortage of drinking water in the city. Other than the water supplier management issue, drinking water is another issue: the water quality is degrading day by day due to a cholera outbreak in 2017. You can purchase bottled water available for 0.74 dollars for 1.5 liters. If you have rented an apartment, try to contact the local water dealer to get a perfect deal from them; make sure the water dealer is well-known and reputed among the people in that area.

Organic Cafés

Many people here have their farm, which helps them provide organic food free of chemicals and untouched by pesticides. However, organic food costs a little more because they have to maintain their farms, while other cafes who do not own farms support local farms by dealing with them.

  • Moyos Cafe
  • Garden of Coffee
  • London Cafe
  • Bunni Burger
  • Garden of Coffee


This place has many microbreweries established for local businesses without establishing it to the global level. However, some international brewing companies felt an opportunity for profit; therefore, they have their brewing plants here. There are many varieties of beers available at different costs. Some bars have a large pot of beer attached with a tap and offer self-service.

  • Heineken Breweries S.C.
  • St. George Brewery
  • Dashen Brewery
  • Lehui
  • Bole Microbrewery


Irrespective of choice, this city is fit for every type of activity, starting with water, sports, land, jungle, and many more. The activities here are never-ending; therefore, you must plan accordingly.

  • Visit Parks: There are various parks of different categories present in Addis Ababa. You can visit them according to your choice. If you love water and are tired of beaches and the sun's scorching heat, you can very well visit water theme parks to get rid of the harsh sun and enjoy the water. Similarly, nature gardens or botanical gardens for nature lovers want to learn about plants and botany. They're also animal parks where you can see and observe different animals with their other activities.
  • Kayaking: Kayaking is a water sport in which one has to paddle a watercraft called Kayak. In this, the peddler has to sit on the boat with his legs straight and body facing forward and has to float the vessel using a double blade paddle. In Addis Ababa, kayaking depends on the sea conditions; April to October are the months considered acceptable to perform this water sport. The best place to indulge in this sport is on the Southern coastline of the city. It takes around 5 hours with a fun-filled experience, including 2 hours of paddling. It has a route that includes various sea caves, which can only be seen by boat. Any child above eight years can enjoy this sport; however, children under 18 require an adult all time. If you are a single traveler, you will be accompanied by another kayaker because the boat there is a two-seater kayak.
  • Jungle Safari: Jeep Safari is an adventurous tour for nature lovers to various locations like landscapes, natural forests, etc. In this, you get a driver and an open jeep to move around. In Addis Ababa, you get two different Safari types; one where you visit landscape and the other you see nature and wildlife. If you love nature, you must try this jungle safari tour. The fresh oxygen from the trees and the calm wind blowing from the forest will give you uniqueness. There are more than thousands of species of plants are present in the city. The best time to go on a tour in the morning time immediately after sunrise, whereas the Safari tour for the landscape is good to visit during sunset so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of sunset. In this tour, you will get a professional driver a guide pick up and drop facility at the cost of 59 Euros. If you want it different and a long Safari tour, you can opt for an 80 Euros tour.

Yoga and Retreats

Yoga is a practice that is running for a long time globally. It strengthens our mind and helps in achieving inner peace. It also helps increase the flexibility of muscles and reduces stress, which lowers anxiety and depression. There are many yoga studios across the city that focuses on a healthy lifestyle.

  • Tulsi Massage & Yoga
  • Khul Holistic Development Center
  • Yoga Yatra
  • Tilla Spa & Fitness
  • Bole Rock


There are many stay options available in this city. You can choose any one of them. Suppose you are a nature lover and want to be a responsible tourist. In that case, you can select green hotels as they are comfortable, and they adopt eco-friendly measures, including efficient garbage disposal management. If you are a solo traveler and don't want that hotel luxury, you can stay in a hostel or guesthouse. If you plan to stay for a good number of days and are independent with no extra luxurious facilities needed, you can rent an apartment.

Green Hotels

Green hotels are hotels that use sustainable measures like recycling and solar power. These hotels are essential in the modern era as they help minimize the pollution rates and help you keep your carbon footprint minimal.

  • Green Valley Hotel
  • Ethiopian Skylight Hotel
  • Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa
  • Sheraton Addis, Addis Ababa
  • Ramada Addis Ababa

Hostels and Guest Houses

Hostels are great options for tourists traveling alone, and guest houses are ideal for tourists traveling with a group and seeking peace. You can find many affordable and even luxury hostels and guest houses in Addis Ababa.

  • Mad Vervet Hostel
  • Atelefugne
  • Hey Addis Hostel
  • COT Addis Hostel
  • Tiru
  • Konjo Guest House
  • Abyssinia Guest House
  • Victoria Guest House
  • Emmad Guest House
  • Yeka Guest House


If you are traveling to Addis Ababa with your family or with a group of friends, rental apartments are a great way to save costs. While searching for apartments, prefer ones closest to the city center so that you will be within a few minutes' walk to the various shops, tourist places, restaurants, cafes, and stations.

  • Henock Furnished Apartment
  • Noah Real Estate, Noah Garden Apartments
  • YINM Furnished Apartment
  • JFK Apartments
  • G.T. Guest House & Apartments


No one tries Couchsurfing in Addis Ababa because the different stay is so cheap that you can easily afford one. However, it is possible to couch surf in this city because the people here are amicable and humble towards tourists. In exchange for couch surfing, you must help them develop a proper and friendly relation with each other in their daily work.


Camping is an excellent option for staying if you love exploring or spending some quality time in nature. There are various campsites in Addis Ababa that offer amazing camping trips that will make your Ethiopian trip memorable.

  • Gutema Adebay
  • Suba Menagesha park
  • Road Cons. Campsite
  • Jiisaa Dammaa Camp
  • Jiisaa Dammaa

How to Get There

There is one direct way to reach here, and that is by flight, you can get here by flight. Other than this all are indirect means of transport and to use them you have to be present in this country.


There is an international airport in Addis Ababa known as Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. It is in the Bullet district, which is 6 kilometers southeast of the city center. This Airport is a significant hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline serving Ethiopia and across the African continent and other continents like; Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. The elevation of this Airport is 2,334 meters. In 1960 Ethiopian airlines felt the need to build a new airport as the old Airport's runway was too short. This Airport has two terminals with 11 gates and around 30 aircraft parking stations. The 11 gates are under two terminals from which Terminal 1 has four entrances, and terminal 2 has 7. All the international flights are handled by terminal 2. This Airport serves approx every major country not only in the African continent but also on other continents; therefore, there are possible chances to get a direct flight.

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport


Sky Bus Transportation System is a bus system that provides modern buses to travel to the neighboring and nearest cities. It is a public limited company having 3400 shareholders with a capital amount of 60 million Birr. This system has a separate board of directors, with staff members having many years of experience. The buses that they provide connects ten major cities in entire Ethiopia. They aim to cover the whole country through their bus transportation system. They use imported body parts of the buses from China and Germany. These buses focus on the passengers' comfort and safety; therefore, instead of having a regular bus with 62 seats, they have modified it into 47 seats. The passengers have more space with an air-conditioned cooling system. The destinations connected to Addis Ababa are Bahirdar, Diredawa, Harar, Gondor, Jimma, Hawassa, Jigjiga, Dessie, Mekelle, and Asossa.

A bus in Addis Ababa


The Addis Ababa Railway is a new International Railway helping as the Ethiopian national Railway network's spine. The prime minister inaugurated it in 2018. It is a heavy rail which is for passengers as well as to export trade items. It has a route from Addis Ababa to Djibouti. In 2019 this Railway gained revenue of 1.2 million U.S. dollars by transporting 84,073 passengers, which considerably increased in 2019, and the increased amount was 40 million U.S. dollars, including passengers and cargo revenue. This train has 21 stations, of which 15 are for passengers. The total length of the tracks is 760 kilometers.


Hitchhiking is very much possible in this city. However, due to people's financial conditions, you will not see much of the cars here. You can, however, hitchhike on a bike. This country's license plate system is very much different, which is very important for knowing which vehicle you are traveling in. The number plate's color shows the ownership; if it is a blue number plate, it is a privately owned vehicle. Black is for government, orange is for businesses or NGOs, and red is for taxis. The people are amicable and helpful towards foreigners, and the city is safe.


You can even bring your car if possible or hire a car from the neighboring cities to get here. That might cost you more than other transport options. As this city is already dealing with a lot of air pollution, you must not contribute to its rising. In case of emergency, you can use this means of transport, but avoid using them regularly.

Moving Around

There are shallow traces of any violent crime ever happened; therefore, walking is safe only to exercise because this is a massive city. Other means of transport are also available at a cheaper cost. It would be best if you kept in mind that you don't create pollution of any type.


Walking in this city is considered safe at day. Walking can be fascinating while exploring monuments on the city streets and finding some best sites in the city with local guides' help. Walking is very healthy for the mind and the body; a morning walk can help you keep your body active throughout the day. Walking in the gardens will satisfy you as the calm winds from nature will give you freshness to carry on throughout the day. There are many different walking tours available in this city that can either be free or paid for a private walking tour accompanied by a local guide that would be excellent in speaking English.


There are bike rentals available for cheap rates at many places in this city. It is a very vast city for tourist spots to explore by cycling. Cycling is the best form of exercise option for you. There are steep slopes that will be very challenging for you for cycling. The streets here are very confusing; therefore, you must carry a mobile tracker with you and the hotel's address that you are staying in so that if you get lost, you can reach your hotel without much trouble. Also, if you are visiting this in summer, you must carry a water bottle with you.

Electronic Vehicles

Electric vehicles are present in small numbers because this city is financially unstable. The people here cannot afford to buy electric cars. However, electric vehicles are a need of this city because of the exceeding population rates and pollution.

Public Bus

You can travel around the city by blue and white-colored minibusses, an efficient bus network covering the whole city. The prices are meager because it usually fills up very fast. The price may vary from 1 to 3 Birr depending upon the distance you are traveling. You can catch a minibus anywhere by standing on the road and hanging your hand outside. The conductor will ask you to pay the money, and then only you can pay in cash. The destinations might confuse; therefore, you must have a guide with you.

Tram, Train and Subway

There is a light rail transit system in this city, the first light rail and traveled transit in eastern Africa. It runs about 17 kilometers from the city center towards the south's industrial areas. The prime minister inaugurated this in 2015. The total length of both the railway stations is 31.6 kilometers, with 39 stations. The line that runs from east to West is spread over 17.4 kilometers passing through different villages from the two lines. The train line running from North to South is having a total length of 16.9 kilometers. The total cost of this Railway was 475 million U.S. dollars taking three years to build.

Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping means that the items which you buy support your health, environment, and social impact. Shopping for food products that are low on chemicals and pesticides protects the environment. These healthy food items also have a good effect on health; they also have less pollution. There are many other useful effects of sustainable shopping.

Food Markets

In Ethiopia, food markets sell authentic and organic food items such as spices, vegetables, fruits, seafood, meats, baked items, etc. You can visit these markets to learn more about the local culture, traditions, and livelihood.

  • China market
  • Gara Market
  • Novis Market
  • Hari Indian mini market
  • Shoa Supermarket

Flea Markets

Markets that sell second-hand goods are known as the Flea markets. Addis Ababa has many flea markets that sell products that are a little lower than the standard goods. These markets usually operate on specific days of the week or month but provide the locals and the tourists with an opportunity to invest their money in cheap and friendly products for the environment.

  • Merkato ( Addis Mercato)
  • Chiromeda Market
  • Sholla Market

Second Hand Stores

These stores sell second-hand products and provide a wide variety with a warranty. There are many second-hand stores in Addis Ababa that are very famous amongst low-budget tourists and locals.

  • iTECH Computer System Plc
  • The street second-hand book market
  • SABEGN Crafted in Ethiopia


Eco-fashion means fashionable items like dresses, footwear, bags, and more made using eco-friendly measures, including recycled materials or organic and machine-free production. Some of the famous fashion brands have their store present in this city.

  • Meron Addis Ababa
  • Kemisd- Ethiopian Clothing
  • Mukash Fashion
  • Zaaf Leather
  • LULU clothing


With high pollution rates, recycling in Addis Ababa is trendy amongst the locals and the tourists. You will find that various public and private agencies provide recycling services to their customers. You can visit these agencies and get your waste recycled at a small or no charge. Some of these agencies offer customers vouchers or coupons that they can use to buy items from other local shops. Recycling is a must in a city where the pollution levels are so high. As a tourist, you should prefer using recycled and reusable items instead of buying brand new ones.


Addis Ababa faces many pollution-related problems, mainly because of the improper disposal of household and industrial waste. With the local municipality's help, you will find that the government has set up various garbage disposal places such as dustbins, dumpsters, trucks, etc. As a tourist, you must follow the proper wastage disposal measures to avoid creating any adverse effect on the local environment.

Work and Study Abroad

Addis Ababa has better options for education and career advancements than any other Ethiopian city. You will find that all major companies, local and international, are present in Addis Ababa. You can also find various educational institutes that offer education to international students as well. You can apply for a job or admission at these places and get the chance to learn about the Ethiopian culture, traditions, history, and livelihood in depth.

Exchange Student

The Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa is part of the global student exchange program in Ethiopia. The university offers students educational opportunities from other continents to study in it and learn more about Ethiopia. The program is a great initiative to help the present generation learn about the different religions, countries, and social groups globally.

Au Pair

Au pairing is quite popular in Ethiopia amongst the Ethiopian families in Addis Ababa. It is an excellent way of helping out a family by assisting them in taking care of their children and household. In return for the services, the family is bound to provide the au pair some financial benefit that they can use for personal use. You can also become an au pair by registering yourself on the website by meeting the various educational and professional requirements.


When the government cannot solve the societal problems, volunteering groups or organizations come into the picture. These organizations help locals learn and become aware of various societal, economic, environmental, and global issues. You will find multiple volunteering organizations in Addis Ababa that focus on solving such problems.

  • NGO Menschen für Menschen
  • Muday Charity Association
  • Jhpiego Ethiopia
  • World Together

You can participate in the volunteering activities of these organizations and provide your valuable assistance as a tourist. By taking part in such activities, you will get a sense of satisfaction that will make your Ethiopian trip memorable.

See Also