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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa - Facts and Information About Ehtiopia's Capital City

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city (taken from the Hilton)

© Robert Eilets

Basic Facts about Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia in East Africa. Around 3 million people live in Addis Ababa. Addis (as it's commonly referred to) was founded by Emperor Menelik 11 in 1887.

Addis is the third highest capital in the world at 2440m. It's a sprawling city that takes some getting used to. Mud huts, Italian facist architecture, glitzy hotels, cathedrals and marxist billboards provide the backdrop to Africa's fourth largest city. Nightclubs and restaurants serving international cuisine rub shoulders with bars serving traditional honey wine (Tej). Despite its mix of wealth and poverty, tradition and modernity, Addis is a safe city with little violent crime but lots of petty theft.

Travel to Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport is the entry point for most visitors to Ethiopia and a major regional transport hub. More...

What to see
You'll need at least 2 days to enjoy the major sights of Addis, city tours are available.

  • National Museum -- See the 3.5 million year old hominid fossil skeleton, Lucy.
  • Ethnological Museum -- Cultural museum located in Haile Selassie's former palace
  • St George's Cathedral -- Built to commemorate the defeat over Italy in 1896 and the site of Haile Selassie's coronation (as the King of Kings) in 1930.
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral -- Important place of worship and final resting place of Haile Selassie.
  • Merkato -- Shop 'til you drop in one of Africa's largest markets, but watch out for pickpockets and go with a local to guide you.

Addis Travel Resources

Hotels: Business travelers usually opt for the high-end Sheraton Addis or the Hilton Addis. Mid-range try Adot-Tina and Z Guesthouse. Budget hotels in the Piazza district include Taitu Hotel and the Baro Hotel. See more Addis hotels and reviews.

Restaurants/Bars: There are many excellent restaurants in Addis (see listing). For Ethiopian try Habesha and Teshomech Kitfo House.
For going out see travelers reports about the bar and nightclub scene in Addis. Money Note: Most ATM's in Addis do not accept foreign cards so bring cash or travelers checks.

Getting around Addis:
Churchill Avenue is the main thoroughfare in Addis and it's best to orient yourself around it since street names either don't exist or have changed. Minibuses and taxis are readily available, give the driver the name of a place rather than an address.

Sources and More Info

Ethiopia Travel Tips
Addis Ababa -- Selamta.net
Addis Ababa -- Lonely Planet
Addis -- Wikipedia
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