Sunday, December 3, 2023
Addis Ababa Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Addis Ababa

travel guide

Ethiopia’s capital city is Addis Ababa. It was founded in 1886 and is Ethiopia’s biggest city, with a population of 3,384,569 people according to the 2007 population census and a 3.8 percent annual growth rate.

The city is located at the foot of Mount Entoto and is part of the Awash River’s watershed. The city climbs from its lowest point in the southern perimeter, at Bole International Airport, at 2,326 meters (7,631 feet) above sea level, to almost 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) in the Entoto Mountains to the north.

Addis Ababa is both a city and a state since it is a chartered city (ras gez astedader). It is the headquarters of the African Union, as well as its predecessor, the OAU. It also houses the headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) as well as a number of other continental and international institutions. Due to its historical, diplomatic, and political importance for the continent, Addis Ababa is sometimes referred to as “Africa’s political capital.”

The city is inhabited by Ethiopians from various locations, with up to 80 ethnicities speaking 80 languages and adhering to a diverse range of religious groupings.

You’ll probably find the stroll from Meskel Square to Sidest Kilo to be pretty fun and informative. The Africa Hall, the palaces, and the Parliament building, the Hilton Hotel, the magnificent architectural adventure that houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sheraton Hotel, the first modern school (built by Emperor Menelik II in the 1880s), the Trinity Orthodox cathedral, the National Museum, and the Addis Ababa University are all worth seeing (which hosts a former palace and museum).

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Addis Ababa | Introduction

Addis Ababa – Info Card

POPULATION :  City: 3,384,569   /  Metro:  4,567,857
FOUNDED :   1886
LANGUAGE :  Amharic (72.6%), Oromiffa (10.0%), Gurage (6.54%), Tigrinya (5.41%), Silt’e 2.29%
RELIGION :  Ethiopian Orthodox74.7%, Muslim 16.2%, Protestant 7.77%, Catholic 0.48
AREA :  527 km2 (203 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  2,355 m (7,726 ft)
COORDINATES :  9°1′48″N 38°44′24″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 48%
 Female: 52%
ETHNIC :  Amhara (47.04%), Oromo (19.51%), Gurage (16.34%), Tigray (6.18%), Others 10.93%
DIALING CODE :  +251 11

Climate of Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa’s climate is subtropical highland.

Depending on height and prevailing wind patterns, the city features a complex mix of highland climatic zones, with temperature changes of up to 10 °C (18 °F).

From mid-November through the beginning of January, there is a chance of rain.

Dry winters are characteristic of highland climatic locations, and this is the dry season in Addis Ababa. Daily maximum temperatures are seldom higher than 23 °C (73 °F) throughout this season, while nighttime minimum temperatures might be below freezing.

From February through May, there is a brief rainy season. The gap between daytime maximum temperatures and nighttime minimum temperatures is not as considerable at this time of year as it is during other seasons of the year, with minimum temperatures in the 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) range.

The lengthy wet season lasts from June to mid-September, and it is the country’s main winter season. Due to the frequent rain and hail, as well as the quantity of cloud cover and fewer hours of sunlight, the temperatures are substantially lower than during other times of the year. The days and nights at this time of year are gloomy, cold, and rainy. The fall season that follows serves as a transition between the rainy and dry seasons.

Economy of Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa’s economic activity are diversified. According to federal government statistics, the city employs 119,197 people in trade and commerce, 113,977 in manufacturing and industry, 80,391 different types of homemakers, 71,186 in civil administration, 50,538 in transportation and communication, 42,514 in education, health and social services, 32,685 in hotel and catering services, and 16,602 in agriculture.

Pickpocketing, frauds, and light burglary are the most typical crimes in this reasonably clean and secure city.

The city has lately seen a development boom, with huge structures sprouting up all over the place. Various high-end services have also become accessible, and shopping mall building has lately surged. Spa specialists in the region have dubbed the place “the spa capital of Africa,” according to Tia Goldenberg of IOL.

Ethiopia’s love of football has brought in a new source of revenue. Arsenal F.C. and the nation’s Dashen Brewery have inked a three-year partnership, with the brewery becoming Arsenal’s beer sponsor in the country beginning in 2015. The English club recognizes their large fan following in the nation and sees the agreement with Dashen as an opportunity to reach out to them and implement some football development initiatives in the country. On September 25, 2015, the agreement was announced.

Internet, Comunication in Addis Ababa

There are several internet cafés in Addis Ababa, particularly in Bole Subcity. Although some people still use dial-up, broadband is becoming increasingly mainstream. The majority of high-end hotels provide internet connections (ethernet or Wi-Fi) that are quite fast and often complimentary for hotel guests.

The insecure international high-speed connection is a common concern with the Internet in Ethiopia. Even broadband cafés can only provide dial-up speeds if your Internet connection is down. 128Kb is the local definition of high-speed broadband! Another issue is the lack of power, which forces daytime blackouts of whole neighborhoods 1–2 days a week, so it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time where you’ll get your internet fix.

Ethiopia’s international dialing code is 251.

Ethiopia utilizes the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation’s GSM network. Large cities including as Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, Dese, Gonder, Harar, Mekele, and Nekemete have good coverage. It is spreading to most small towns.

The cost of roaming is exorbitant. For a brief stay, renting a SIM card with a phone is the best choice for mobile connection. Only a few places rent SIM cards: you may hire a SIM card and phone at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, although it’s rather pricey. Renting a SIM card and a phone from a local business is another alternative.

How To Travel To Addis Ababa

Get In - By plane

Bole International Airport, the busiest in East Africa and the hub of Ethiopian Airlines, is served by several international airlines with daily flights to Europe, the United States, Asia, and many African cities such as Accra, Bamako, Brazzaville, Cairo, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Khartoum, Harare, Johannesburg, and Nairobi. There are two terminals available. T1 (the older, smaller terminal) is used for all domestic flights and the majority of international flights (but not Kenya). T2 (the newer 2003 building) is for any other foreign flights — arrangements are subject to change, so please double-check beforehand.

Access to the terminals is prohibited as of July 2012. Anyone waiting to meet you at the airport, as well as taxis, will be in the parking lot. A dozen of the most prestigious hotels still maintain a booth within the arrivals area. Similar laws apply at the country’s other airports, for both arrivals and departures. A cab to the city costs 100-150 birr as of July 2011. Many hotels will send a car to pick up pre-booked guests from the airport if you make a previous agreement. The Sheraton Addis, Dreamliner, Hilton Addis, and the majority of other hotels provide frequent shuttle service to its clients. This is also true of many well-known guesthouses.

Get In - By bus


  • Autobus Terra – Autobus Terra is located on the north-west side of Mercato, on the intersection of Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis St and Central African Republic St / Somalia St. This is the primary bus station, from which the majority of national buses arrive and leave.
  • Ras Mekonin Avenue – Ras Mekonin Avenue is located near the train station. There are or were buses to/from Adama (Nazret), Debre Zeyit, Dire Dawa, Nairobi, Lalibela, Shahemene, Awasa, and Bahir Dar. Ras Makonnen – or La Gare – closed in July 2011 and relocated to the Akaki Kality District on Sierra Leone St. (Debre Zeit Rd).
  • Buses go west from Asco on the ancient Ambo Road to Nekempte and beyond.

Get In - By car

The majority of important roadways are in decent shape.

How To Get Around In Addis Ababa

Few streets have names, and even when they do, they may not be labeled accurately on a map; instead, utilize landmarks to help you navigate the city.

Get Around - Blue and white minibuses

The blue and white minibuses/taxis are quite efficient in getting about town. Because they are frequently packed, it is also quite inexpensive; usually between 1-3 birr depending on how far you are travelling. To hail a minibus, stand on the side of the road. This can be done anyplace the bus may possibly stop. Inside, the conductor will announce the location, and if that’s where you want to go, hop on. When the conductor indicates that he wants money, you pay him (which might take a few minutes). To get money. Say “woraj alle” or just “woraj” to go out. If this is your first time utilizing these cabs, it is helpful having an Ethiopian guide with you since it can be fairly confusing to figure out which minibuses travel where and from where.

Get Around - Small blue Lada taxis

Blue, small Taxis from Lada are more costly. Negotiation is the standard, and as a foreigner, you may have to push very hard to obtain a good deal. They may be hired for a single journey, an hour, or a whole day; just bargain. Do not be shocked if the taxi fare jumps at night for the same journey.

Get Around - Yellow taxis

Yellow and green cabs are often seen around hotels such as the Sheraton. They are more costly, but they are dependable. Use these automobiles if you’re prepared to pay for peace of mind, somewhat better drivers, and a car that wasn’t featured in the Flintstones.

Get Around - Light Rail Transit (LRT)

In Addis Abeba, there are two light rail lines that intersect at Meskel Square:

  • West-East green line 1 is from Tor Hailoch station to Ayat.
  • North-South blue line 2 is from Kality station toMenelik II Square station (aka Piazza).

A journey to 8 stations costs 2 birr, while going everywhere costs up to 6 birr. Both have been open since November of 2015.

Get Around - Airport shuttle

If you require a cab from the airport to your hotel or another location, there are several taxis parked outside the airport. They will most likely transport you anywhere you want to go, but you must negotiate the amount before you board. If you want to be sure, you may book a shuttle service called before you come.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Addis Ababa

The city is split into ten boroughs, which are known as subcities:

1 Addis Ketema
2 Akaky Kaliti
3 Arada
4 Bole
5 Gullele
6 Kirkos
7 Kolfe Keranio
8 Lideta
9 Nifas Silk-Lafto
10 Yeka

Prices In Addis Ababa

Tourist (Backpacker) – 41 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) – 131 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.


Milk 1 liter $ 1.50
Tomatoes 1 kg $ 0.80
Cheese 0.5 kg $ 7.00
Apples 1 kg $ 4.15
Oranges 1 kg $ 1.20
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 0.90
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $ 10.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $ 1.80
Bread 1 piece $ 0.40
Water 1.5 l $ 1.15


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $ 12.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $ 20.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $ 36.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $ 4.80
Water 0.33 l $ 0.65
Cappuccino 1 cup $ 0.95
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $ 2.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.00
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $ 0.80
Coctail drink 1 drink $ 4.70


Cinema 2 tickets $ 6.00
Gym 1 month $ 50.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $ 3.40
Theatar 2 tickets $ 8.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $ 0.04
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $ 1.70


Antibiotics 1 pack $ 5.80
Tampons 32 pieces $ 3.90
Deodorant 50 ml. $ 2.85
Shampoo 400 ml. $ 3.65
Toilet paper 4 rolls $ 1.45
Toothpaste 1 tube $ 1.30


Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $ 43.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $ 40.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $ 120.00
Leather shoes 1 $ 74.00


Gasoline 1 liter $ 0.95
Taxi Start $ 1.00
Taxi 1 km $ 0.80
Local Transport 1 ticket $ 0.25

Sights & Landmarks In Addis Ababa

If you stroll from Meskel Square to Sidest Kilo, you will most likely find it fun and engaging. You’ll see the Africa Hall, the palaces and the Parliament building, the Hilton Hotel, the marvelous architectural adventure of a building housing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sheraton Hotel, the first modern school (built in the 1880s by Emperor Menelik II), the Trinity Orthodox cathedral, the National Museum, and the Addis Ababa University (which hosts a former palace and museum).

Arat Kilo Avenue is marked with a memorial honoring Ethiopia’s day of triumph during World War II, whereas Sidest Kilo Avenue is marked by a statue remembering the 39,000 Addis Abeba people slaughtered by Italian fascist soldiers. Part of a historic settlement known as Serategna Sefer may be found around Arat Kilo (literally, the residential area of labourers).

The route grows steeper beyond Sidest Kilo, and many of the sights are on the right side of the road. This side of the street is home to Entoto College (formerly Teferi Mekonnen School) and the US Embassy. Following the Embassy is Shiro Meda, an open market where traditional craftspeople sell their handmade textiles, pottery, and other craftwork. The market is located at the base of the Entoto Mountains, which climb 3,300 meters (10,827 feet) above sea level.

Unless you want to do it yourself, you may take a cab or a bus to the mountain. On the summit, you’ll discover Addis Ababa’s earliest churches, Saint Mary and Saint Raguel, as well as Menelik II’s smaller palace. Walking the mountain, particularly between the churches, is relaxing and provides views of rural life, the city, the forest, and an incredible panorama divided by farmlands and farmer routes. Menelik II and Queen Taitu thought of the founding of Addis Abeba from here. Viewing the city from here will give you an idea of the city layout.

Churches and mosques

  • Anwar Mosque, The Mercato district. It’s very remarkable.
  • Gola Saint Michael Church, city centre (next to the Federal immigration office). A really intriguing location and one of Addis Abeba’s numerous antique churches. There are several ancient paintings by Ethiopian famous painters on display. It has a museum that displays church items donated by many important persons in the nation, including Emperor Haile Selassie and his Empress.
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral, off Niger St. 08:00-13:00, 14:00-18:00; museum: 08:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00. It was created to commemorate the liberation of the nation from the Italians, and many victims slaughtered by the Italians during the occupation are buried here. The church is known as the Haile Selassie Church by the locals since Emperor Haile Selassie’s corpse was brought here in 2000. It used to be the biggest Ethiopian Orthodox cathedral in the world. There is also a tiny museum. Shoes must be removed and left outside.
  • Medhane Alem (near Bole International Airport). This cathedral, whose name means “Saviour of the World,” is Africa’s second biggest church.
  • Roman Catholic Cathedral of Nativity, Wawel St, Mercato district.
  • St George’s Cathedral, north end of Churchill Rd (north-west side of Menelik Sq).Museum: 09:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00. It was constructed in 1896 to celebrate Ethiopia’s triumph against the Italians. The cathedral is an octagonal structure. You will observe people praying alongside the walls as you go around it, but it is doubtful that you will locate an entry. The Cathedral has a modest museum, and you will most certainly run across one of the Cathedral’s archdeacons. If he offers to be a guide, accept his offer and accompany him to the Cathedral. The inside is stunningly ornamented with massive murals and mosaics, making the journey worthwhile. It is also worthwhile to visit the museum with a guide to view ceremonial clothing and antique manuscripts.


  • Africa Hall (located across Menelik II Avenue from the Palace).This is the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, as well as the majority of UN offices in Ethiopia. It is also the birthplace of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union. Security is rigorous, and unless you have an appointment, you will not be allowed.
  • Tiglachin (“Our Struggle”) monument. It is often erroneously referred to as the Derg Monument, which Ethiopians find disrespectful since it is not a memorial to the Derg government. The enormous statuary monument was constructed in the 1980s. Both sides feature a memorial honoring Ethiopian and Cuban troops who died in the fight against Somalia in 1977-1978. If you want to snap photos, there is a person who will charge you a modest amount.
  • Ethiopian National Library.
  • Lion of Judah of Menelik (near the former railway station).Commemorates Emperor Menelik. It was built in 1930 and plundered a few years later by the Italians. It was kept in Rome for 30 years before being repatriated to the United States in the 1960s.
  • Lion of Judah of Haile Selassie, Gambia St (outside the National Theatre). A carved monument honoring Emperor Haile Selassie’s silver jubilee in 1955.
  • Menelik’s old Imperial Palace. It still serves as the formal seat of government.
  • National Palace. Formerly known as the Jubilee Palace, it was erected to commemorate Emperor Haile Selassie’s Silver Jubilee in 1955 and serves as the home of Ethiopia’s President. Taking photos is forbidden, and simply peering over the wall will draw the attention of security.
  • Netsa Art Village. Authentic and intriguing art in a lovely park across the street from the French Embassy. Entrance fee of 3 birr. Cameras cost 20 birr.
  • Parliament Building (Near Holy Trinity Cathedral). It was built during the era of Emperor Haile Selassie and still serves as the seat of Parliament today, complete with a clock tower. Photography is not permitted.
  • Shengo Hall. The Derg dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam built it as its new parliament chamber. The Shengo Hall was the world’s biggest pre-fabricated edifice, built in Finland and installed in Addis Abeba. It is often utilized for huge gatherings and conferences.

Museums & Galleries In Addis Ababa

  • Addis Ababa Museum, Bole Rd / Airport Rd / Africa Ave (near Meskel Square). Tu-F 08:30-12:30, 13:30-17:30; Sa 08:30-11:30.Contains artifacts and displays from Addis Ababa. Ras Biru Habte-Gabriel, a former Minister of War, used to live at the palace.
  • Ethiopian Railway Museum.
  • Ethnological Museum, Algeria St. M-F 08:00-17:00; Sa-Su 09:00-17:00. This intriguing museum, also known as the Museum and Library of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, has exhibits on Ethiopia’s history and culture. There are several exhibits depicting Ethiopia’s diverse ethnic groups, each providing information about their own lives. Each ethnic display is accompanied with ethnic attire, instruments, tools, and other artifacts, making it one of the most intriguing museums in the city.
  • National Museum of Ethiopia, King George VI St (between Arat Kilo Ave and the University of Addis Ababa Graduate School).08:30-17:00. A museum of international renown. The most well-known display is a life-size recreation of Lucy, an early hominid. Because Ethiopian civilisation is one of the world’s oldest, the artifacts in the museum date back thousands of years, including some from its early days. There is a vast range of antiquities on display, from sculptures to clothes to artwork. There is both traditional and contemporary art on display.
  • National Postal Museum (next to the main post office). Ethiopian stamps in a modest yet decent collection.
  • Natural History Museum, Queen Elizabeth II St. Tu-Su 09:00-11:45, 13:30-16:30.
  • “Red Terror” Martyrs Memorial Museum, Bole Rd(adjacent to Meskel Square). Daily 08:00-18:30. Concerning people who perished under the Derg’s reign. Opened in 2010 with a fantastic, contemporary presentation design. Donation.

Shopping In Addis Ababa

  • Mercato. The mercato (Italian meaning market, since the main covered market still in use originates from the colonial government of the late 1930s) is the world’s biggest outdoor market, and it sells everything from tourist items (t-shirts, wood crafts, etc.) to cloth to metal goods. Haggling and negotiating are commonplace, and outsiders (particularly those of European heritage) may expect to pay higher costs. Maintain a sense of humour, don’t be afraid to bargain vigorously, and above all, don’t be intimidated by the numerous “brokers” who visit the market and will attempt to guide you towards specific businesses in return for a kick-back from the merchant. If you can avoid brokers, and particularly if you have a local friend or guide to purchase products on your behalf, you will be able to negotiate cheaper costs. Sunday is a holiday.
  • Shiromeda Market. Between Mt. Sidist Kilo and Mt. Entoto. If the craziness of Mercato isn’t for you, Chiromeda is a nice alternative. Haggling and haggling are still the norm, but you may walk away with a traditional outfit for as little as 100 ETB.
  • Friendship Supermarket. The Bole Road (airport end). They take Visa and have a well-stocked western-style grocery.
  • Edna Mall on Telebole. There is a huge bookstore on the premises, as well as Ethiopia’s first 3D multiplex theater (three screens), which shows both Amharic and English-language films. Western films are normally broadcast within a week to a month of their initial U.S. release, however they may sometimes follow European release timetables (for instance, Skyfall began showing at Edna Mall over a week before its U.S. premiere). The mall’s center has an arcade zone and an indoor amusement park with a carousel, climbing tubes, and bumper cars; it’s a nice area for little children, although it becomes quite busy on weekends and holidays. Several dancing clubs are also nearby.
  • Dembel City Centre
  • Getu Commercial centre
  • Addis Sheraton Shopping
  • Loyal Shopping centre
  • Arat Kilo Shopping centre
  • Piassa Shopping centre
  • Bambis department store, a pricey euro-style supermarket in Kazanches, close to the Radisson, Hilton, and Sheraton hotels. Features a large assortment of Greek items as well as high-quality fresh/frozen meats.
  • New York Supermarket, near Bole Olympia
  • Shoa Supermarket on Bole Rd.
  • Novis Supermarket is located on Bole Road, near Friendship. This market offers a wide range of high-quality goods, the most of which are imported from Italy or Dubai.
  • Fantu Supermarket is located on Bole Road, near Friendship. This store, which is situated on Bole Road and opposite the Canadian Embassy in Old Airport, sells significantly cheaper items of the same quality.
  • Lafto Mall, South Africa Street (located adjacent to St.Bisrate Gebriel Church),   +251 11 372 8777. This is a multi-purpose mall including a grocery shop, various clothing and toy stores, a liquor store, and a cell phone store. This shopping center includes numerous floors, each with a number of tiny rooms offering merchandise. A huge outdoor swimming pool is also available in Lafto. none.

Money in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia has a cash-based economy. Domestic credit cards do not exist, while foreign credit cards are accepted at just a few places (mostly those catering to expatriates).

ATMs/cash machines may be located all across Addis Abeba. Dashen Bank is a VISA and MasterCard International primary member, and it operates ATMs. ATMs accept both VISA and MasterCard at D.H. Geda Tower (next to Friendship City Center), Dembel City Centre (very hidden, use the main door, then to the left, at the window), Edna Mall, and in various hotels (Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Wabi Shebelle Hotel, Ethiopia Hotel, Semein Hotel, Harmony Hotel). Also close to the National Museum (Lucy Gazebo Restaurant), the ground level of Getu Commercial Centre immediately inside the entrance, and various Dashen Bank branches.

It is important to note that not all cards are accepted everywhere; for example, Dashen Bank ATMs accept VISA/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus, whilst Zemen Bank ATMs do not take MasterCard (which seems to be hit or miss in Ethiopia). Most ATMs have a daily limit of 4000-6000 birr, although most do not levy a local ATM fee (international or third-party ATM fees from your financial institution may apply, however).

Some ATM machines are being targeted for “skimmer” schemes, which enable hackers to obtain your ATM card information. To be safe, utilize ATMs in the Hilton (Dashen, Zemen, CBE), Radisson Blu (Dashen, Zemen, Wegagen), or Sheraton (Dashen) hotels.

You may obtain a little better deal if you haggle on the illicit black market. Check your money carefully before leaving, and don’t let it leave your palm until you’ve completed your final count. The majority of souvenir businesses on Churchill Rd and Zambia St do it.

Food & Restaurants In Addis Ababa

Food is relatively inexpensive. Make sure you try the national dish injera at least once, since there is nothing else like it. It’s a yeast-risen flatbread with a distinctive, somewhat spongy feel. Teff flour is usually used to make it. Injera is made by combining teff flour with water and let it to ferment for several days, similar to sourdough starter. Injera has a moderately sour flavor as a consequence of this technique. It’s the villagers’ breakfast, lunch, and supper. Most Ethiopian restaurants provide it, and a dish for two people with free refills may cost as little as 15 birr.


There are hundreds of cake and coffee shops in Addis. They serve a variety of coffees, teas (mostly black unless you ask for “machiatto”), and sometimes fruit juices. Juice beits are also available. The cafés on Bole Road and in the Piassa neighborhood are of great quality and reasonably priced. The majority of them are fairly similar to one another.

Most cafés sell a popular drink known as’sprice juice’ (fruit pulp served in layers in a glass). There are normally three layers of avocado, mango, papaya, banana, guava, and other fruits. A spoon is used to consume the juice. It’s brightly colored and tasty. Single fruit juices, such as orange, papaya, mango, and pineapple, are very delicious. In Hilton, prices range from 7 birr to 25 birr.

  • Yemi Burger– Haya Hulet. Burger, fries & Mirinda/Coca Cola for 23 birr. Wonderful personnel, well-known among foreigners, and the “greatest chips in Addis.”
  • Cafe Chocolata, Victory Rd (near Shoppers Mart supermarket). It is really beautiful and serves beverages and food. All of the employees are former street girls and prostitutes attempting to build a better life for themselves.
  • City Cafe on Bole serves delectable cakes and pastries, as well as high-quality Ethiopian espresso coffee. You may relax on the veranda and see the action on one of Addis’ major thoroughfares.
  • National Cafe, located near the end of Churchill Avenue (in the National Theatre building). Good meal at reasonable rates. From injera to club sandwich, there’s something for everyone.

Restaurants without an English menu are less expensive. Connection between Bole Road and Tele-Bole, at the Bole roundabout, at NOC-Fuelstation, next to German Kantine, for example. Lunch (local food, spaghetti) can be had for less than 20 birr. Ordering is a lot of fun if you don’t have a translator.


  • Addis Cuisine. Wollo Sefer. (Bole end of Ethio Chinese Friendship Rd, on the north side of 6 lane road). Excellent Western and Ethiopian cuisine.
  • Antica, off Cape Verde St / EU Rd, Bole (in the residential area just behind the Sudanese restaurant, near Desalegn hotel).Good pizza, and one of the few delivery services in Addis that doesn’t need big orders. Pizza often arrives cold.
  • Brick-oven Pizza – Across the street from the Wanza hotel is a brick-oven pizza restaurant. It has a fantastic green chili sauce.
  • Bruno’s, Meskel Flower Rd, across from the Dreamliner hotel (look for the Italian themed gate). A gorgeous complex, this quiet, tucked-away Italian restaurant serves some of the greatest pizza in town. Parking is quite restricted both on the street and inside the restaurant; if you want to dine there, use a cab.
  • Buffet de la Gare,  +251 11 517888, fax: +251 11 515959.
  • Canaan (from the airport roundabout, down Bole Rd, turn left (before Bole Mini). Very tasty pizza. Less than mid-range, somewhat higher than budget
  • Giordana’s/Capri restaurant (in a small side street off of Djibouti St. Pass Lion International Bank on your right and take first left). Giordana, the affable TV chef, is widely recognized. This restaurant is worth checking out because of its outstanding pasta and other Italian fare.
  • 2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant (Habesha 2000), TeleBole Rd (between Atlas Hotel and Edna Mall). It is one of Addis Abeba’s most well-known cultural eateries, with traditional singing and dance at night. Try the gored gored if you’re feeling adventurous (cubes of heavily salted and spiced raw beef). Waiters are kind and courteous, and the most of them are excellent dancers. A vast buffet with a variety of wat/wot (Ethiopian stew), injera, shiro, veggies, and other delicacies is available. Their “fasting” menu (meatless or vegan meals given to religiously devout guests) is superb and will please the majority of vegetarians and vegans. In 2012, the historic restaurant at the southern end of EU Rd, near Bole Rd, was destroyed for road development.
  • Kaldi Coffee, Bole Rd, with a sign similar to Starbucks. Has excellent porridge.
  • Lime Tree, Boston Partners Building, Bole Rd (above the Boston Day Spa). While Ethiopian cuisine is great, there may come a moment when you want to try something else. Menu selections range from Arabic to Ethiopian. They do have a consistency that is difficult to find here. Own brand of coffee, which is a more bitter variant of the typical Ethiopian coffee, but if this appeals to you, you won’t be able to get it anyplace else. Limetree owns numerous other eateries in town; ask them for advice if you want to try something new.
  • Liquid Lounge, Nigist Towers Bldg, Kazanches (next to the (fake) Intercontinental hotel). A two-story restaurant specializing on Asian cuisine, including stir-fry and sushi in the nights (salmon and tuna only, and it is not as fresh as the Sheraton). A few burgers, sandwiches, and other lunch dishes are available on the a la carte menu. It transforms into a thriving club in the nights, with superb dance music and a somewhat sophisticated middle-class young population. It’s really stylish, and there are VIP spaces upstairs. It becomes crowded on weekends.
  • Meda Bar and Grill (on the way from Addis Ababa Stadium to Gotera around Lancha). Clean pub and restaurant providing a wide variety of food, beverages, and a wine bar.
  • Sana’a Restaurant, Gabon St. A prominent restaurant serving delicious Yemeni cuisine.
  • Sishu, Churchill Ave (by National Bank. Pass through Ministry of Urban Development and Construction and the Ethiopian Teachers’ Association). Fantastic burgers (generally said to be the finest in Addis), as well as tasty salads and juices. The space is designed to seem like a living room, complete with a small bookshop. They solely offer coffee from the United States.
  • Team Mini, Bole Rd. Restaurant providing traditional Ethiopian cuisine that is friendly and of great quality. Test out the mesir besiga (ground meat with lentils). Nighttime performances by traditional singers and dancers. The entertainment isn’t as fantastic as it is at Habesha, but the cuisine is.
  • Yod Abyssinia. A typical cultural eatery popular with foreigners and the diplomatic community. Serves Hakim Stout, a rare dark Harari beer brewed by Heineken that is superb (even by international standards). There are several places, but the most popular are in Bole and the Mekanisa/Sar Bet region (Old Airport, on Seychelles St. about 600m due west of Adams Pavilion).
  • Island Breeze, Cunningham Street, Piassa (A blue building on the corner, across from the post office). A restaurant with a tropical island motif offering Mexican and Pizza. Pizzas are created with high-quality cheese, which is sometimes absent in other establishments. The fajitas are great!
  • Cupcake Delight Bakery, Djibouti St, Bole (Across from the Beer Garden Inn). A lively, colorful, and energetic café providing cupcakes, cakes, juices, and coffees. The carrot cake is outstanding.


  • Aladdin Restaurant. Bole Rwanda St. Serves Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s pricey, but it’s genuine and wonderful.
  • Castellis in Piazza. Churchill St/Piazza area. Since 1942, this has been the best Italian restaurant in town. There’s a reason Castelli’s attracts such a large audience, including renowned visitors such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. This is where the Italian diplomatic employees dine. Amazing cuisine, incredible desserts; make a reservation or risk disappointment, even at lunchtime, since this is a popular spot to be seen.
  • Fisherman Restaurant. Mickey Leland St, (near Atlas Hotel). A half-Chinese, half-Tibetan restaurant that specializes in seafood and serves a wide variety of Asian cuisine.
  • Green View Italian Restaurant / Pizzeria, Bole Mickey Leland St, (near Atlas Hotel). Outstanding pizza. Another place is close to CMC.
  • Sangam Restaurant, Bole Rd. The Indian delegation often visits this excellent establishment for Indian cuisine and desserts. There’s a lot of diversity with rice, chapati, and naan. The ambiance is pleasant, and the pricing is really reasonable.
  • Top View Restaurant. Above the traffic circle, near the Israeli embassy, in the Megenagna neighborhood. Very good cuisine, however supper might be pricey.
  • La Mandoline, Chechenia, next to Caravan Hotel. Delectable French food. Excellent outdoor sitting area. Breakfast is served on weekends.

Nightlife In Addis Ababa

  • Affoy. The upstairs, which houses the bar and hookah, is a bit run-down, but the pizzas are delicious.
  • Black Rose, Boston Bldg, Bole Rd (above the Boston Day Spa). The lively ambiance is dark yet cozy and trendy, and the bar provides a wide range of beverages. Every Thursday night, there is a live jazz jam session.
  • Club Deep. There is a little admission fee, however the beverages are reasonably priced. Avoid using the restrooms since they are dirty beyond imagination.
  • Divine. Bole Rd (on the top floor of Sheger House). On weekends, the soundtrack is more Western-oriented, with plenty of room for lounging and a pulsating dancing floor.
  • Dome Club. Concorde. Debre Zeyit Rd. Sticky and dark, more of a dive bar/club atmosphere.
  • Gaslight. The Sheraton has a posh nightclub. It has the sense of an affluent Western disco on the inside. They have a rather rigorous dress code, so no jeans or trainers/sneakers. Although there is no admission price, expect to spend a lot for beverages.
  • Illusion, cnr Ras Desta Damtew St & Itegue Taitu St (under the Ambassador Theatre). Dance till 05:00 a.m. On weekends, it is quite busy, but this adds to its allure.
  • Kaldi’s Coffee,  +251 11 371 4258. This is a coffee establishment that is comparable to Starbucks in many ways. Kaldis has 22 sites across the city and offers a wide range of items such as coffee, tea, burgers, sandwiches, juice, and pancakes.
  • Meda Sports Bar and Grill. Large, open bar that is ideal for socializing or watching a game. The downstairs area is more private and ideal for quiet chats. The loft upstairs features a calm, informal eating ambiance.
  • Memo. This club is well-known for its late-night vibe. It is one of the few clubs that costs entrance, and be aware that beverages are expensive. However, the music is loud and terrific, the cuisine is open late, and it all adds up to a fantastic night.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is safer than other African cities. Gang violence and other dangerous actions are uncommon. Pick-pockets and con-artists may be encountered at and near Bole Airport, Mercato, Piazza, and other localities. Keep your things near by and be aware of your surroundings.

In contrast to other African towns, police officers in Addis Ababa never approach foreigners and ask them to provide a passport, ID, or “legal” documents. Once you display your passport at the airport, you are free to go almost anyplace. The only time you’ll need your passport or ID is for hotel registration (booking) and a few other comparable and rare occasions.



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