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. (ADD) Addis Ababa international airport, the only international airport in the country serves as a gateway to the country.
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 it is strongly recommended checking 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 into English, means “Saviour of the World”.
0945 AM: Hop on a minibus 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 to 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 fee of 100 ETB to walk through this interesting historical cathedral.
11:30 AM: Head to the National Museum. The museum houses Ethiopia’s exquisite treasures as well as many of the most invaluable archaeological finds like “Lucy”, the most famous partial skeleton of an example of Australopithecus afarensis and the fossilized remains of early hominids.
There is a small restaurant within the museum compound to savour some local cuisines for lunch.
01:00 PM: Get a minibus 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 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 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 kilometres. 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 minibus 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 fee 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 savour 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.
I am reading first blog based on Adis Ababa !!Thank you so much for sharing this post with us
Never knew Ethiopia was so vibrant and had so much for a explorer to see there!! Perfect guide to Addis Ababa, Thank you for sharing Sreeram!!
HA! That shot from Merkato reminds me of a market in Rajasthan. It’s funny how markets can often resemble each other but are still so unique, each in its own way, isn’t it? I don’t think Ethiopia gets enough exposure or attention amongst the travel community, so pretty great that you managed to get here and get the word out 🙂
Indeed Sanket, Indian “bazaar” was the first thing that came to my mind while I was there. Ethiopia has started getting attention among backpackers. Thanks, hope people would start traveling around this incredible country.
Its great how I learn about new places by reading blogs. I never actually knew anything Addis Ababa and everything about it seems interesting to me now, even its name 😛
Thanks Vedante, Ethiopia in all is gradually gaining a reputation among travelers. Its worth a visit to this charming country to experience the unique blend of a traditional and modern African lifestyle. Thanks again.
Coffee, beer halls, and markets – sounds up Craig’s street! I would like to try the honey wine. Nice itinerary round up of Addis Ababa!
Thanks Gemma, Honey Wine would certainly be worth a try, it was one of a kind experience in the city.
Thank you for the great tips and the schedule!! 🙂 Very helpful! Would love to go there someday.
Thanks Lauren, nice to hear that. I am sure you would have an awesome time in Ethiopia.
Thanks for the tips! Never heard anything about ethiopia. Thanks u for introducing this place to me. 🙂
You’re welcome Cai. You must plan a trip to Ethiopia and other East African countries, i am sure you would love it.
I have seen a few things about Ethiopia lately. Hopefully it is a sign tourism is growing for the country.
Its true Elizabeth, tourism is rapidly growing in Ethiopia, yet there are many undiscovered places there.
Totally a fine worthy day. Good for people rushing and just have a day to enyoy the place.
True Jessica, as a matter of fact the city itself is pretty small that a day or maximum two should suffice.
Thanks for the detailed 1 day itinerary. I’m sure this could help someone visiting Addis Ababa.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Tracie, glad to hear that. Cheers!!!
The most unique destination I’ve encountered this week! I am really into African travel right now and this is a big help! Thanks for sharing and I would definitely dig more into your stuff. Xx
Glad to hear that Trisha, Africa is a mystical land and has a lot more to offer in every part of the continent. Good luck with your journey. Cheers!!
love your travel tips. Keep travelling my friend God bless you
Thanks, nice to hear that. Stay blessed.