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Addis Ababa- City of Humans

A sprawling metropolis and home to millions of Ethiopians, Addis Ababa houses many international organizations, embassies, and commissions, making it a diplomatic, political, and economic hub of the country. Numerous museum, churches, mosques, and notable historic buildings can be great additions to your Addis Ababa itinerary, while Mount Entoto, overlooking the cityscape, makes for a pleasant hiking experience. Colorful craft and souvenir markets, affordable restaurants, and charming coffee houses add to the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling city.

TheEntoto hills host the city’s oldest functioning church, Entoto Maryam, a traditionally painted octagon perched on the site where Emperor Menelik II was crowned in 1889. Another relict of Menelik II’s reign, St George’s Cathedral later served as the coronation site of Empress Zewditu and Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie (Trinity) Cathedral, with its Arabesque facade, is where Emperor Haile Selassie was buried in 2000 at a ceremony attended by Rita Marley. Nearby Beata Maryam, noted for its beautifully painted interior, hosts the subterranean mausoleum of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Zewditu. Other examples of religious architecture include the beautiful early 20th century Anwar Grand Mosque, and the gracious Armenian and Greek Orthodox Churches on the Piazza.

Addis Ababa is studded with worthwhile museums. The landmark National Museum of Ethiopia is of particular interest for its paleontological hall, displaying a hominid skeleton stretching back 5.5 million years. Nearby, the IES Ethnographic Museum, set in a former residence of Emperor Haile Selassie (now Addis Ababa University), has a wealth of fascinating displays exploring the cultures of South Omo, as well as the country’s largest collections of traditional musical instruments, costumes and medieval ecclesiastic artworks. Other more subject-specific installations include the Red Terror Martyrs’ Memorial Museum, Addis Ababa Museum, National Postal Museum, Zoological Natural History Museum and the museums associated with St George’s Cathedral, Selassie (Trinity) Cathedral and Entoto Maryam Church.

Addis Ababa has a thriving cultural life embracing some excellent art galleries, traditional restaurants and live music venues. A feature of the city is its wonderful cultural restaurants, which are typically housed in traditional tukul-style buildings, and serve the full range of meat-based and vegan Ethiopian specialties, accompanied by colorful traditional music and dance performances. Ethio Jazz and contemporary Ethiopian music can also be experienced at a variety of nightclubs.

Suggested Tour

You will be met with your guide and driver at your hotel around 9 am and received a briefing about Addis Ababa for about 10 minutes.

Then, you will head to the National Museum of Ethiopia to visit 3.2 million years old fossil remains of Lucy. Next you drive for about 30 minutes to the peak of Mount Entoto to have a panoramic view of Addis, and visit St. Raguel church which is the oldest in Addis (138 years old) and it is famous for its beautiful hand painted wall paintings which is as old as the church.

Then, you will get off the mountain and head to Merkato which is the largest open air market in Africa. At Merkato you spend about an hour visiting the spice, secondhand, and basket sections.

You will then have a lunch break at Taitu Hotel where you experience the authentic Ethiopian cuisine along with the local Honey wine.

Finally, visit Holy Trinity Cathedral and drive on the main streets of Addis to visit the historical monuments before heading back to the hotel.