ADDIS DAY TOUR
Addis Ababa is a city birth by King Minilik-II envisions reuniting the decentralized power all over Ethiopia by the 18th century localized medieval power that finally manifested the power of unity by the famous battle of Adwa victory over the colonial aggression of Italians. The name Addis Ababa is given to the city by the Queen Taitu of King Minilik’s wife with the inspiration of Adey Abeba flowers annually flourishing in Ethiopian new year of the hope for the evolution of the current diplomatic hub of Africa to represent Ethiopians to the world. Being home to the African Union, having important United Nations branches, and with nearly every foreign embassy from around the world represented, Addis Ababa is often referred to as the capital of Africa.
Located in the beautiful Ethiopian highlands, Addis Ababa is positioned at 2,665 meters in elevation, making the weather extremely pleasant longer dry and short wet season. From the marvelous array of local and international food, some of the best coffee you’ll ever have in your life, to inside & surrounding ancient monasteries, and fascinating museums, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied and satisfied in Addis Ababa.
1. Mercato -The African Biggest open Market
It’s crowded, it’s chaotic, but the Addis Mercato is so incredibly entertaining and full of life and character, that walking around is one of the best things to do in Addis Ababa.
The Mercato, coming from the Italian word for market, claims to be the largest open air market in Africa. There are so many different sections of the market and you can buy everything from souvenirs to clothes to food. That being said, it’s also a great place to buy nothing and just go to watch the crowds of people and observe the incredible loads being carried from place to place.
Do be careful, just like any busy place in the world, don’t carry an unnecessary amount of belongings, and take care of your pockets. I personally thought the security was pretty good, with plenty of guards and police patrolling, but especially be aware of pickpockets.
2. St. George’s Cathedral and Museum
One of the most well recognized places of worship and icons of Addis Ababa is St. George’s Cathedral. The compound is located on the top of a hill, overlooking the Menelik II square. To the side of the cathedral is a museum which is worth a quick stroll. It’s filled with memorabilia from the ancient church and a collection of religious writings, Ethiopian crosses, and clothing.Inside the church you can walk in a circle around the cathedral, observing an incredible set of paintings portraying both scenes from the Bible and from Ethiopian history.
3. Meskel Square and AA Museums
Meskel Square in Addis Ababa is sort of the central gathering place in the city, especially important during founding of true cross orthodox Christian festivals and political demonstrations. Meskel Square also is a good point of reference for local transportation anywhere regional capitals and for getting into the center of the city. Unless there’s an event taking place at Meskel Square, there’s not a whole lot to do there. However, there is the official Ethiopian Tourism office across the street and there are two museums including the Addis Ababa museum and Red terror memorial adjacent to the square, just off Bole Road.
4. National Museum of Ethiopia
This is one of the best museums in Addis Ababa. The facility is home to many of the most significant relics and pieces of artwork from around the country. I also enjoyed the variety of different art and displays. First of all, the National Museum of Ethiopia has a good collection of archaeology, like precious stelae and statues from Axum. You’ll also find skeletal remains from early hominids, and a model of the famous “Lucy.” Up a floor there’s a good collection of royal family memorabilia from the former emperors of Ethiopia. There’s also a good selection of some Ethiopia’s most famous works of art.
5. Ethnological Museum
Just a short distance from the National Museum of Ethiopia, located within the lush university campus, is the Ethnological Museum. If you’re into museums, both the National and Ethnological Museums shop be priorities on you list of things to do in Addis Ababa. The museum first introduces some of the major tribes of Ethiopia, goes through the history and importance of coffee in Ethiopian culture. There’s also an impressive collection of Ethiopian Orthodox paintings, triptychs, and Orthodox crosses.
6. Monuments, Lion of Judah, Derg Monument
Ethiopia, with its ancient history, religious beliefs, and struggles against colonization (Ethiopia was never officially colonized like many surrounding African nations), is full of monuments and sculptures in remembrance. There’s the Statue of the Lion of Judah, in front of the old Railway Station in Addis Ababa, representing the Ethiopian pride and the emperor. And also there’s another Statue of the Lion of Judah made from black stone that sits outside the National Theater (pictured).With its wealth of history and pride as a nation, Addis Ababa is filled with monuments at nearly every public square, place of importance, or within the large road roundabouts throughout the city. Many of the monuments are worth stopping if you happen to be driving by.
7. Entoto Hill, St. Mary’s, Shiro Meda Market
At 3,200 meters in elevation, Entoto Hill is sort of the roof of Addis Ababa. Driving up the steep road, you’ll pass homes and small villages, highland growth, and as you gain elevation you’ll start to get great views of Addis Ababa (on a clear day). Menelik II built his palace on the Entoto Hill and used it as his headquarters during the founding of Addis Ababa. Towards the top of Entoto Hill is Entoto Maryam Cathedral, or St. Mary’s Church. It’s not the most impressive cathedral, but it’s worth a stop if you take a drive up the mountain. Entrance costs 50 ETB and covers the cathedral museum as well.If you do take a taxi, on the way back from Entoto Hill, be sure to stop by the Shiro Meda market. It’s a friendly market where you can buy all sorts of Ethiopian clothes and local crafts.
8. Gullele Botanical Garden and the Intoto Natural Park
An emerging conservation project near the northern hill of Addis Ababa is mainly eucalyptus landscape restoration Program covering the Intoto hills.
The Gullele Botanic Garden has the objective of conserving and multiplies endangered plants and related wildlife species in-situ and ex-situ. It will also aim to educate the public by showing them the beauty of plants and animals in a sensible and educative way. Training will also be given for professions and jobs related to botany, sustainable horticulture, agriculture, forestry, floriculture and research will be conducted on the potentials of plants to find solutions for major environmental and economic problems of Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Horn of Africa region.
The Intoto Natural Park is the other aspect of ecological restoration initiative to fully replace the exotic dominant eucalyptus forest into the original indigenous species of afro-alpine vegetation such as Junipers proceraca, Acacia abyssinica,Hygenia abysinica ..And more, so far the Ethiopian Heritage Trust restored 500ha of land in to indigenous highland species. The intoto natural park and the Gullel botanical garden are important site for mountain trekking and bio-watching and also outdoor Yoga activities in Addis
EXPLORE OTHER TOURS
Discover a New Destination
ADDIS ABABA TOUR
1- 4 day tours
Explore the capital city and its surroundings with us as we take you through the bustling markets, local hangout spots, and eclectic neighbourhoods of Addis Ababa. We offer full day & half day trips in the city, and places around.
OMO VALLEY TOUR
Tours ranging from 3 - 15 days
A glimpse of the lives of the enthralling tribes of the Omo Valley! Hang out with the Mursis, drink with the Aris, shop with the Tsemays and Benas; eat, live, and celebrate with the Hamars and Konsos! Get in touch with us to begin planning your tour through the South of Ethiopia. We offer tours lasting from 4 days to 16 days.
NORTHERN ETHIOPIA TOUR
Tours ranging from 2-10 days
Witness some of the oldest structures, vertiginous churches, and neon landscapes. Brace yourself to visit one of the lowest places on the planet, vast landscapes of salt plains, active volcanoes, and sleeping under the stars! We have tours beginning from Addis Ababa, Lalibella, Axar, and Mekelle.
CUSTOMISE YOUR TOUR
A TRIP FOR YOU, BY YOU!
We understand that Ethiopia has A LOT to offer, but your days of visit are few. If none of our tours fit your dates, write to us with the number of days you have, the places/tribes you may have in mind to visit and we will customize a tour specially for YOU!