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Monday, June 6, 2022

Top Tourist Attractions in Addis Ababa Ethiopia

 Addis Ababa is not only the capital city of Ethiopia, but also of one the top tourists’ destinations in Ethiopia and Africa at large. The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century when it was founded as one of the earliest capitals in Africa. Addis Ababa is in the central highlands. It has an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level. Today Addis Ababa has become one of the most visited cities in Africa, probably because of the culture and traditions of the people who live there, beautiful architecture, favourable weather, delicious food, and stunning sites. As a result of rapid urbanization and industrialization in recent years, tourism has been flourishing. If you are planning a holiday to Ethiopia, here are the top Tourist destination in Addis Ababa Ethiopia you should consider.

1. National Museum of Ethiopia

National Museum of Ethiopia
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If you like historical things, this place is perfect for you. The first idea of this museum came from Solomon Dynasty who donated ceremonial costumes for display in 1936. Then in 1958 NME was firstly established to facilitate and promote the mission of archaeological research. In 1976, the government of Ethiopia officially supported the idea of National Museum with the support from Ethiopian Cultural Heritage. That is why now there are so many historical displays in this museum because the operation itself had been protected by national act.

One of the exhibits you should see is Lucy, a 3.2-million-year-old fossilized human skeleton. Lucy's tiny skeleton and body structure can prove the existence of human evolution since millions of years ago. You will also find historical objects in Africa, such as weapons, musical instruments, jewelry, and paintings. There are some museum in Addis Ababa, but this museum is the best one because of its historical collections that are still preserved well till today. 

2. Holy Trinity Cathedral

Holy Trinity Cathedral Addis Ababa
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This cathedral is one of the main cathedrals in Addis Ababa. It was built by Emperor Haile Selassie  in 1942. The cathedral also houses the grave of this great, famous and influential emperor who rule Ethiopia from 1930 until he was assassinated in 1975.This is the main attraction for visitors who want to see the remains directly; It cannot be separated from the cathedral's beauty that deserves to be admired. This cathedral is one of the most important sites for Ethiopian to worship. We can say that it is the most sacred place in Ethiopia. The major attractions in this cathedral is its stone art in the wall. The cathedral also has a large collection of religious paintings and icons.

3. Piazza

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Piazza is a beautiful square located in the heart of the city of Addis Ababa. The square is surrounded by beautiful colonial-era architecture, including the Palace of the Prime Minister and the Imperial Palace. The square is also home to the National Museum of Ethiopia, the National Theater, and the National Library.

Sightseeing, dining, shopping, everything can be done in the Piazza. This area is famous among tourists for its easy access to restaurants, shops, markets, and hotels. With the old and traditional style of Ethiopian buildings, it is guaranteed that you will feel at home walking here. Piazza is also known as “Old Town”. The reason why the name is Piazza is because of Italian presence in Ethiopia. There are several popular places that have Italian influence in the building. You can also have good food to eat there especially Italian cuisine and some local foods.

4. Mercato

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Mercato is an Italian word for market. It is very crowded and yet interesting. Are you curious about traditional African markets? Mercato is the right destination. You can experience shopping at a traditional African market that sells various goods and foods such as spices, jewelry, clothes, and recycled goods. You can also learn how culture in Ethiopia through this market like their food, clothes and more. There is nothing better than enjoying local market when you are having holiday.

However, be careful with the things you bring because the market is busy, visitors must be vigilant not to lose their goods. It is a basic thing to do when you are travelling not only in Africa but in every country you visit. No one guarantees your safety but yourself. The crowd of market of course has made the theft risk rising higher than other places. Just bring a few amounts of money that you would need. 

 5. Meskel Square

Meskel Square

The square was named after the Ethiopian revolutionary Meskel Shelemye, who was executed in 1936. Meskel Square is surrounded by churches and government buildings. Do you want to feel the sensation of driving a car on a super-wide intersection without traffic lights, lights, or roundabouts? Meskel Square is the place to be. It is also called the craziest intersection globally; you will find cars passing by from all directions without rare accidents. It feels like a test of guts. Basically, this place is like the gathering center in Addis Ababa where people can have events or festivals. If you want to enjoy this place, you may need to check the schedule to see what festivals they are going to have. There is nothing much to do in Meskel Square without events of festivals. When you can get the events, it will be so memorable for you.

6. Fendika Cultural Center
Fendika Cultural Center
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Fendika Cultural Center is the right destination for those who want to enjoy Ethiopian music and arts. Officially opened in 2016, Fendika Cultural Center is a venue that combines art exhibitions and performances of traditional Ethiopian music and dance. This place has a purpose to nurture Ethiopian art through rich Ethiopian culture and heritage too. It is hoped to boost youth spirit to preserve and nurture their own country. 

7. St. George Cathedral and Museum

St. George Cathedral and Museum Addis Ababa
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St George Cathedral, also known as the Addis Ababa Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The cathedral, which is the seat of the Archbishop of Addis Ababa, is one of the most important religious sites in Ethiopia. The cathedral, which was built in 1882 and completed in 1911 is also one of the oldest churches in Ethiopia. The cathedral was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 and has become one of the most visited tourist destinations in Ethiopia. The cathedral houses a museum which stores historical objects in Ethiopia. Tourists need to pay at least 60 ETB per person, and you no longer need to pay again to enjoy the museum.

8. Tomoca

Tomoca Addis Ababa
                              Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Are you a coffee lover? If so, you must stop by Tomoca, one of the oldest and most famous coffee shops in Addis Ababa. It is located in the Piazza, where you can feel the sensation of authentic Ethiopian coffee while enjoying the traditional and vintage Italian Tomoca design. They had existed in Piazza since 1953. There are few branches of Tomo Ca in Addis Ababa. You can choose which one is nearer to your place. This cafĂ© is known for its Ethiopian beans and modern roasting. 

9. Konso cultural landscape

Konso cultural landscape Addis Ababa
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This is an ancient settlement area, and it is amazing when view from air. It is designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2011, this settlement is a peasant village covering an area of ​​230 square kilometers. Konso farmers managed to turn the arid land around their village into productive agricultural land in the past. Uniquely, the houses of residents in Konso are lined up like layers in the hills.

You will find beautiful village surrounded by high stone wall. There are only few gates to enter the villages. Konso is not only unique for the local’s culture but also the natural beauty of this place. It may be far from Addis Ababa, but if you want to see nature in Ethiopia, you cannot miss Konso! You can drive from Addis Ababa or take a domestic flight to Arba Minch Airport from Addis Ababa airport. From there, you can learn the local’s culture including farming, crafting and more. 

10. Abuna Yemata Guh - Cliff church in Tigray

Abuna Yemata Guh - Cliff church in Tigray
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Locals say that the church had existed since sixth century for Abuna Yemata, one of the nine saints in Ethiopia. There are lot of historical paintings there. It might be sloppy but it’s worth visiting. If you want to visit and see town from the height, you can start your  hiking in the morning. The earlier is better because it will make you sweatier when you do it in the noon.

 This church is quite famous because it is located on a high cliff wall. In this area of ​​Mount Tigray, about 200 ancient churches are scattered. Residents have to go through very steep and dangerous terrain to get here. Often a mother has to carry her child up a cliff to baptize the child in front of the priest.

11. Unity Park Addis Ababa

Unity Park Addis Ababa

Unity Park was opened in the year 2019. The park was formerly the palace of emperors and prime ministers. The park has a museum, a zoo, a traditional garden, and a green area. In the Museum, you will see wax figures of Emperors ManelikII and Haile Selassie I and other royal artifacts. Unity Park is one of the most popular parks in Addis Ababa. The park is situated in the heart of the city and is a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the city. The park is also home to several different events and activities, so there is always something to do. If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then Unity Park is the perfect place for you. Entrance for Non-Ethiopian tourists is 20 USD, while Ethiopians pay lesser. 

Unity Park is known for its natural, historical, cultural, and heritage tourism. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Addis Ababa. The park can be said to be the most modern and multi-faceted tourists' attractions in Ethiopia. One of the most spectacular sights in the park is the traditional garden with indigenous plants.


These are not all the places you must visit when you are in Addis Ababa, but these places are worth visiting.  You may need three days to visit all these tourist attractions in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. We can humbly say that the price to have a holiday there is affordable. Just to make sure that you make your schedule right to know the right time to visit the sites. 

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