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.