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Ethiopia’s mysterious ancient cities contrast with lively Addis Ababa whose name means ‘New Flower’. Founded in 1887 by Emperor Menelik II, it is today a political and business capital home to the headquarters of the African Union and to one of the largest number of diplomatic missions in the world. Addis Ababa is the fourth largest city in Africa – a melting pot of cultures and a bizarre combination of past and present – the coexistence of old imperial statues alongside hammer and sickle placards of the former Marxist regime and the juxtaposition of wattle and daub huts with austere Italian Fascist buildings and luxurious hotels. Lift the city’s skin and the same contrasts apply: Tej bets still serve traditional honey wine and Azmaris sing centuries-old songs, while a few blocks, neon signs light up modern bars and discotheques beat with the latest global hits.

The best way to get up close and personal, and experience the best that our city has to offer! On foot is the best way to get a feel for a place, its past and its people. Be absorbed by the sights, sounds and smells of this busy, eclectic and vibrant city!

This comprehensive walking tour aims to introduce you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites in Addis Ababa. Led by an expert English-speaking guide, discover the monumental architecture, great churches, mosques, dazzling market, museums  and  see Addis through the eyes of a local. Addis Ababa, while cosmopolitan, is still a place where authentic Ethiopian culture is on full display. Whether you are drawn by its history, its arts, or its cuisine, there’s plenty to be surprised by here.

The Major things you see

  • Take a walking tour and experience the unique atmosphere of Addis Ababa
  • Visit the Addis Ababa Museum, Red Terror Martyrs memorial Museum, and the old Ethio-Djibouti Railway building and its Museum, and National Museum
  • Stroll through Mercato-the colorful open air market
  • See the city’s major landmarks and monuments
  • Stop for coffee at Tomoca and lunch at a restaurant for a chance to try local specialties

Suggested Tour

Start your tour early in the morning where your guide will meet you up at your hotel and drive to up Meskel square. From Here you will start your visit from Red Terror Museum which is a memorial to those who died during the Red Terror under the communist Derg government and the nearby Addis Ababa Museum displaying a marvelous collection of photographs from the early days of Addis Ababa.

Rising uphill to the north east of Meskel Square , the shady Menelik II Avenue, is lined by a number of historic buildings-Africa Hall, Imperial palace, Minilik II Palace and  continue walking to the Selassie (Holy Trinity) Cathedral- Emperor Haile Selassie I built it in 1941 after the restoration of independence from the Fascist Italian occupation. Many beautiful paintings, morals and stained-glass windows decorated the interior. Then get on to the National Museum of Ethiopia where Lucy-a 3.5 million years old fossil hominid is found. You will have an hour lunch break at Lucy restaurant in the museum compound.

After lunch, proceed to the campus of Addis Ababa University to the ethnographical museum, with great display of a wide array of artifacts and daily objects relating to most ethnic groups in Ethiopia, not only the monotheistic highlanders, but also the fascinating animist cultural groups of South Omo and Afar people of the eastern desserts. Close to the Museum is St.George cathedral and the equestrian monument of the Emperor Minilik II who led the Ethiopian patriots and defeated the Italian colonizers at the battle of Adowa in 1896. You will stop by Addis Ababa restaurant to taste the unique Ethiopian Honey Wine (Tej) and then get off to piazza where you admire historical buildings dating from the brief Italian Occupation (1936-1941), and the bustling streets with a great atmosphere. Finally, you will have a complementary Ethiopian Coffee at Tomoca Coffee shop where you will sip authentic Ethiopian coffee and then drop you off at your hotel.