Flights to Addis Ababa (ADD)

From the moment your flight to Addis Ababa lands, this unique city delivers in every sense.

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Flights to Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian capital is frenetic, sprawling and alluring all at once. It’s a city with a unique identity and a different look and feel to other Sub-Saharan capitals. This may have something to do with the fact that Ethiopia, unlike many other African countries, has never been colonised.

Aside from the occasional Art Deco building – remnants of Italy’s five-year occupation during the Second World War – there’s none of the colonial architecture that can be found in other cities such as Pretoria, Livingstone or Nairobi.

Instead, Addis is a collage of tin shacks and shiny glass tower blocks – the latter symbolising Ethiopia’s impressive economic growth.

As well as being an important African business hub with international business people filling flights to Addis Ababa, the city is brimming with cultural and educational institutions. It boasts the well-respected Addis Ababa University, the renowned National Museum and Ethnographic Museum, and countless cafes and jazz clubs. It is also a city of considerable political significance, home to both the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the headquarters of the African Union.

Addis residents take great pride in their city – and, indeed, their distinct national heritage. This pride is tangible at street level, where coffeehouses serving authentic Ethiopian coffee are ubiquitous, and the national dish injera (sourdough flatbread) is served along with cooked meats and vegetables in every other restaurant.

What’s more, Addis has a friendly reputation and is considered a safe city. Visitors are actively encouraged to explore by foot and experience its lively energy first-hand.

Explore St George’s Cathedral

This iconic cathedral is perched on a hill overlooking Menelik II Square. Inside, there is a series of paintings portraying scenes from Ethiopian history. There’s also a museum featuring artefacts taken from the ancient church, as well as a collection of religious writings, Ethiopian crosses and traditional clothing.

The Piazza
Off Menelik II Square
Gebeheyu Street

Visit the National Museum of Ethiopia

The National Museum of Ethiopia is regarded as one of the most important of its kind in Africa. Exhibits include an impressive 4BC rock-hewn throne, and Lucy – a 3.2 million-year-old fossilised hominid skeleton, which serves as an example of what our ancestors looked like.

King George VI Street
+251 11 111 7150

Visit the Ethnographic Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies

This fantastic museum, located within the Addis Ababa University campus, is home to a number of artefacts and handicrafts. The building itself is steeped in history having housed numerous dignitaries and faced several occupation attempts, before being donated to the educational facility by the Emperor Haile Selassie.

Addis Ababa University
Sidist Kilo Campus
Yekatit 12 Square
+251 11 123 9739

Hang out in Bole

Bole is a gentrified area of Addis that’s home to high-end hotels, malls, cinemas (Edna Mall shows the latest Hollywood blockbusters), great restaurants and the impressive Medhane Alem Cathedral. Being close to the airport, the area is a popular place for tourists and short-stay visitors.

Edna Mall
Cameroon Street

Get lost in the Merkato

This huge, sprawling market – which claims to be the largest on the continent, despite its boundaries changing day-to-day – is a sight to behold. Quiet it is not, but Merkato, with its food, trinkets and clothing shacks, does offer a taste of real life in Addis Ababa.

Between Kenya Street and Uganda Street
Addis Ketema

Scale Entoto Hill

For some of the best views of Addis Ababa, get into a taxi and head for Entoto Hill. The vistas from the top – 3,000m above sea level – are incredible, as is the fascinating museum that was once the palace of Menelik II, and the impressive Entonto Maryam Church.

Entoto Maryam Church
Entoto Hill
North Shewa

YOD Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant (Ethiopian)

This is an accessible place for visitors to enjoy an authentic dining experience. Expect a diverse array of local delicacies (including injera, served with roasted meats and vegetables), dancing and traditional music. There are two branches in town, but the one in Bole is more popular.

Bole Medhaniyalem
Next to Brass Hospital

TO.MO.CA. (Cafe)

This family-run coffee shop, which opened way back in 1953, is something of an Addis institution. As well as serving steaming cups of fantastic coffee, TO.MO.CA. sells beans by the bag. A great place to sample coffee sourced from across Ethiopia.

Wawel Street
+251 11 111 1781

Ristorante Castelli (Italian)

Founded by Francesco Castelli after the Second World War, Ristorante Castelli has established itself as the best Italian restaurant in Ethiopia, and comes with plenty of celebrity endorsements. Those aside, it’s the food – still prepared by the Castelli family – that makes this restaurant such an institution.

Mahatma Gandhi Street
+251 1 571 757

Mama’s Kitchen

It’s a good job the food tastes good at Mama’s Kitchen, because you’ll need all the energy you can when this cool bistro turns into an entertainment venue where dancing isn’t so much encouraged as imposed. Meats are the order of the day.

Behind Medhane Alem Cathedral
Next to Bruno’s
+251 91 166 1365

Gusto Restaurante (Italian)

This sleek Italian restaurant shows what to expect from Addis Ababa’s rapidly developing culinary scene. The third-floor location gives you a great view of the surrounding area (book a table on the terrace if the weather’s good), while inside it’s airy and spacious.

Tracon Tower
Third Floor
Churchill Avenue (in front of Tikur Anbesa Preparatory School)
+251 111 262 126

La Mandoline (French)

Serving classic French cuisine in an attractive courtyard, La Mandoline flies the flag for France in a city dominated by great Italian restaurants. Staff are friendly and efficient, and you’re always guaranteed a good atmosphere and great value meal.

Behind 3 Days International Hotel
Off Mickey Leyland Street
+251 11 662 9482

Radisson Blu

This buzzing hotel is a popular choice with business travellers, owing to being near the United Nations Conference Centre and the business district. The 204-room hotel features two restaurants and a popular lounge, which attracts expats and locals come sundown.

Kazanchis Business District
Kirkos Subcity Kebele 17/18
+251 11 515 7600

Trinity Hotel

Situated in the gentrified Bole area of the city, this friendly, clean and comfortable hotel is a fantastic mid-range option. Staff will go out of their way to be helpful, and the manager is often on hand to personally deal with any requests guests may have.

Djibuti Street
Opposite Edna Mall
+251 92 772 7374

Tizeze Hotel

This hotel boasts an array of facilities, including a decent gym, a popular restaurant (also called Tizeze) and a buzzing lounge area. The spacious rooms are clean, tastefully decorated with traditional Ethiopian furnishings, and have floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ring Road
+251 116 392 000

Sheraton Addis

One of the most famous hotels in all of Africa, the Sheraton Addis is in the thick of Addis’ top attractions: the National Museum, United Nations Conference Centre, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa headquarters, and the Merkato market. The 294-room hotel is the epitome of grandeur and its gardens are beautiful.

Taitu Street
+251 11 517 1717

Hilton Addis Ababa

This 372-room hotel offers an escape from the city while being located right in the heart of it. This has much to do with the property’s 15-acre grounds, which boast lush vegetation, a geo-thermal swimming pool, squash courts and an 18-hole mini-golf course.

Menelik II Avenue
+251 11 517 0000

Baro Hotel

The Baro Hotel is the go-to place for backpackers and tourists on a budget in Addis. The hotel’s facilities are basic, but Baro’s real attraction is its outdoor garden, which is a great place to meet like-minded travellers and plan the next stage of your adventure.

Mundy Street
Off General Wingate Street

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