Top Five Must-see Places in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa, the capital of the thirteen months of sunshine country Ethiopia, has ample destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. As a person born and raised in Addis Ababa, I get bombarded with questions from a lot of my friends that live abroad. Whenever any one of them visit I see how overwhelmed they are trying to figure out where to go and what to see in their short visit. I love helping out people who want to explore and get an authentic feel of the city. I have listed out five of my top not-to-be missed spots in Addis based on the feedback a lot of my friends have given me (in no particular order)
The largest open market in Africa where you can buy everything this country has to offer. From clothing, cookware to souvenirs you can find it all at a bargain. Located in the district of Addis Ketema, Merkato comprises of several kilometers of land that is dedicated to both wholesale and retail activity. It is claimed to have over 150 stores and four massive shopping centers. It is truly unique to experience the human interaction and shopping dynamics in the heart of the city’s commercial scenery. (Included in our Best of Addis Ababa Tour)
- National Museum
The National Museum houses the nation’s artistic treasures and the oldest pre-human fossil in the world (Lucy). It is located near Addis Ababa University graduate school. This Museum is ranked among the most important in Ethiopia and it also my personal favorite due to the wide variety of art crafts that reflect our history. There are also archeological finds that date back to the Pre-1st-century-AD. (Included in our Museum Marathon Day Tour)
Let’s say you are in the mood for a breath of fresh air! At one edge of the city is a place called sululta found at an altitude of 3300 m. You have an amazing view of the neighboring mountain Entoto. I am a big fan of their local honeywine; generally known as Tej. This sweet Ethiopian organic honeywine is a signature drink that you find on holidays and wedding ceremonies. Sululta offers you the chance to drink from a glass specifically designed for Tej while basking in nature’s beauty. You can also find the best raw meat dipped in Local spicy sauce-if you are feeling adventurous. (Included in our Ethiopian culinary Tour)
- Etegue Taitu Hotel
The iconic hotel was built by Empress Taitu Bitul and is almost as old as the city itself. It was the first hotel in Ethiopia. It was built in the then debonair part of town, Piazza. Taitu Betul established this hotel to provide guests a place to rest and dine. The Hotel is located in a hilly quiet area with cool breeze and panoramic views, thus amazingly tranquil and peaceful. I love the Hotel’s historical significance and the great local meals they serve.
- Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum
The Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum is a small and modern museum showing and explaining the period of “Red Terror” in Ethiopia when countless innocent people suffered. Over the space of a couple of rooms the museum reveals the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie and the horrors of life under Mengistu’s Derg regime. The museum is well laid out and incredibly moving. It is located at Meskel Square which in itself is a site where many religious ceremonies and political riots occur.