View Map

Overview

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa forms an agreeable starting point to broader travels in this most underrated of African travel destinations. The world’s second highest capital city, Addis Ababa has a moist breezy climate belying Ethiopia’s unfair reputation as a wasteland, and offers some excellent sightseeing in its own right. The National Museum houses a replica skull of Lucy, one of the oldest hominid fossils ever uncovered, and it also has some fascinating displays and artifacts relating to the 2,000 year-old Axumite Empire. Also worthwhile are the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Museum, housed in the former palace of Emperor Haile ...

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa forms an agreeable starting point to broader travels in this most underrated of African travel destinations. The world’s second highest capital city, Addis Ababa has a moist breezy climate belying Ethiopia’s unfair reputation as a wasteland, and offers some excellent sightseeing in its own right. The National Museum houses a replica skull of Lucy, one of the oldest hominid fossils ever uncovered, and it also has some fascinating displays and artifacts relating to the 2,000 year-old Axumite Empire. Also worthwhile are the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Museum, housed in the former palace of Emperor Haile Salassie, the Hold Trinity Cathedral where the iconic emperor was buried in 2000, and the Mausoleum of Emperor Menelik II, the city’s founder. It’s a safe and fascinating city to explore at random, whether you are trawling the alleys of the sprawling Mercato (Africa’s largest market) or sipping draft beer or espresso coffee at the many pastry shops and live music venues around the Piassa. Out of town, the Intoto Hills support a varied selection of Ethiopian birds and small mammals, and are also the site of the derelict rock-hewn church of Washa Mikael. Within day tripping distance of the city are the pretty crater lakes of Bishoftu (Debre Zeyit), the attractive Menegasha State Forest, the intact rock-hewn church of Adadi Maryam, and a field of engraved medieval stelae at nearby Tiya (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

view full overview

Philip Briggs for Triporati

Must See, Do

Save It for Next Time

info

If time is short, save these attractions for a second visit.

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia, located in central Ethiopia.
  • Language: Amharic, Oromo
  • Currency: Ethiopian Birr
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year, though the rainy season (July-Sept) can be a bit damp.