It is the headquarters of the African Union, the capital of Ethiopia and a city of more than 3 million people. Located in the centre of the country, on a plateau, between 2,300 and 2,600 m above sea level, it enjoys a pleasant climate. Its name means natural source in Oromo, and new flower in Amharic. You are here on the site of the cradle of humanity and in the fiefdom of the Négus Haïlé Selassié (1892-1974), dear to the rastas. Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed following a revolutionary coup d'état in 1974, but remains very popular for followers of the Rastafarian movement and religion. Addis Ababa is not lacking in attractions. We must see the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the Cathedral of St. George, the Great Mosque of the Mercato, the Menelik Palace and its equestrian statue, the National Museum of Ethiopia which houses the fossilized remains of our ancestor Lucy. The Addis Ababa market, the Mercato, is one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. You can really find everything there. Negotiate but be careful with pickpockets. It is around the Piazza that you will find the most numerous hotels and restaurants. You will feast on injera, large cakes of filled teff flour. This tiny grain cereal is endemic to the region, delicious and gluten-free. It is the basis of food in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, a base camp for visiting the rest of the country, despite its rapid urbanization and large population, remains a city that seduces with its gentle lifestyle.

The must-see places in Addis Ababa

When to go to Addis Ababa?

There is no real high or low season for tourism in Ethiopia. However, it is during the dry season from October to March that the country is most visited. In July and August, it rains in the North, but it is nevertheless pleasant to visit southern Ethiopia where the rains are much less abundant at this time of year. During religious holidays, especially between Christmas and Timkat, around mid-January, there is a lot of people. Book hotels and domestic flights well in advance. Outside this period, during which prices are subject to a certain inflation, it is possible to negotiate discounts with luxury hotels. Also avoid Addis Ababa at the end of January at African Union summits, hotels are full and prices are soaring.

How to go to Addis Ababa? Our advice & tips

  • Organised trips
  • Going alone
  • Moving around

More and more organized tours are being offered to visit Ethiopia around different themes (nature, culture, history, meeting the people). They generally last two and three weeks. Tailor-made trips are also possible, and will take you to Ethiopia's main points of interest: Addis Ababa, the Danakil desert, the Erta Ale volcano, the Rift Valley lake region and the Omo Valley.

Discover our selection of travel agencies for this destination

Several airlines offer flights to Ethiopia and the price depends on the one used. To obtain attractive rates, it is strongly recommended to do so well in advance (six months before departure). Bole International Airport, located in Addis Ababa, is the country's main airport.

The most comfortable and quickest way is to travel by plane and 4x4. This is the most expensive option. Less expensive: long-distance superior buses, taxis or tuk-tuks per day or half-day over short distances. The less fortunate will take the minibuses. You can adopt a much slower pace and travel in a trekking mode, on foot or on horseback. Addis Ababa has an efficient bus network and a railway line connects Ethiopia's capital to Djibouti.

Prepare for your trip Addis Ababa

Transportation
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Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Holiday rental
  • Airbnb rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Airbnb experiences
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

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Discover Addis Ababa

Practical information
When to travel?

There is no real high or low season for tourism in Ethiopia. However, it is during the dry season from October to Mar...
Read more about it

Weather forecast

Addis Ababa has a dry tropical climate, but not the heat wave of other major cities in the area thanks to its altitud...
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Budget

The Ethiopian currency is birr (pronounced "beur"). The 1 and 10 birr denominations are particularly useful for payin...
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Formalities

In addition to your valid passport, a tourist visa is required for any new arrival in Ethiopia and to stay in Addis A...
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Health

To stay in Addis Ababa, yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from countries where the disease is endem...
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How to travel by yourself?

Several airlines offer flights to Ethiopia and the price depends on the one used. To obtain attractive rates, it is s...
Read more about it

How to get organized?

More and more organized tours are being offered to visit Ethiopia around different themes (nature, culture, history,...
Read more about it

Getting around

The most comfortable and quickest way is to travel by plane and 4x4. This is the most expensive option. Less expensiv...
Read more about it

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