Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia is referred as “The Dubai of Africa”. Addis Ababa when locally translated means a ‘new flower’ and the capital city of Ethiopia is in many ways blooming like a flower with eye catching architectural buildings, the skyscrapers going up each with unique architectural designs. Addis Ababa international airport (ADD), the only international airport in the country serves as a gateway to Ethiopia.
A day in the capital city would give you enough time to absorb what this mystical city has to offer.
Ethiopia Offers A Visa On Arrival to many nationals, though its strongly recommended to check with the nearest Ethiopian consulate.
0900 AM: Time is just right to avoid the morning rush hour, start your day with a visit to the famous Medhane Alem Cathedral an orthodox Cathedral. Medhane Alem Cathedral is the second largest cathedral in the whole of Africa and the largest in Ethiopia. Medhane Alem Cathedral when translated in English means “Saviour of the World”.
0945 AM: Hop onto a mini bus to Meyazia 27 Square locally known as “Arat Kilo”. Mini-Busses run frequently and a one way ride would cost around 3 ETB. Treat yourself with a warm cup of “Bunna” traditional Ethiopian coffee, bunna stalls could be found in almost every corner of the city. Walk towards the eponymous Meyazia 27 monument that is perched in the middle of the square, the monument commemorates Ethiopia’s liberation from Italy.
1030 AM: Get to the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral the highest ranking Orthodox cathedral in Addis Ababa and the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia. There is an entrance fess of 100 ETB to walk through this interesting historical cathedral.
11:30 AM: Head to the National Museum. The museum houses the nation’s artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious archaeological finds such as the fossilized remains of early hominids, the most famous of which is “Lucy,” the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. There is an entrance fees of 20 ETB.
There is a small restaurant with in the museum compound to savor some local cuisines for lunch.
01:00 PM: Get a mini bus to Meskel Square, a prominent landmark in Addis Ababa. Mesekel Square is a site for public gathering or for demonstrations and festivals, notably, the Meskel Festival from which it takes its name. Take a 30 minutes walk to Mexico Square and visit the famous St.George Brewery. Although visitors are not allowed inside the brewery, there is a big beer hall where it would be an experience to buy fresh meat from the carcass, and to have it cooked and served with injera and dips.
03:00 PM: Take a 30 minutes walk to Merkato, a large open-air marketplace. Merkato is considered as Africa’s biggest market, an open air sprawl of vendors that goes on for kilometers. It’s one of those markets that weaves in all directions and you never know what you’re going to stumble into or what you’re going to find.
05:00 PM: Take a mini bus and get to Mount Entoto, the highest peak overlooking Addis Ababa. The old palace where Emperor Menelik II resided now serves as a museum and there is a 10USD entrance fees to the museum, which is recommended only if you are interested in Ethiopian History. The guide in the museum provides some history on Ethiopia’s past under Emperor Menelik. The mountain is densely covered by eucalyptus trees, which were imported from Australia. Mount Entoto is referred as The Lung of Addis Ababa.
07:00 PM: Stop by the Yod Abyssinia Restaurant to savor some traditional meal for dinner. Live music and dance featuring Ethiopia’s diversity of ethnic groups are performed by highly talented men and women. Don’t miss out on “Tej” the local honey wine which would certainly be rewarding to wind up your day in Addis Ababa.