Addis Ababa

The capital, Addis Ababa, is a vibrant multicultural city is a great place to start and finish any trip to Ethiopia. The Addis Ababa Museum is the current home of Lucy, our earliest ancestor, where a fascinating replica can be seen.

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Addis Ababa for a day

Addis Ababa is a perfectly pleasant city to start your visit to Ethiopia. If you have a night here, you have time to acclimatize to the high altitude (at 2,3550m) of most of northern Ethiopia. And this is not to be under-estimated! Here daytime temperatures remain a pleasant 23-27C throughout the year.

Addis Ababa (meaning New Flower) became the permanent capital in the 1880’s. It is considered to be the diplomatic capital of Africa. As it is the headquarters for the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. So you can choose from a wealth of hotels and restaurants. And even visit an Ethiopian jazz club.

Certainly there is plenty to see for a day or two. We recommend a guided tour to see some of the museums and churches. This will get your acquisition of Ethiopian history off to a good start. As the museums are not well curated, with little signage, a guide can explain some of the background of the exhibits.

Main highlights of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • National Museum of Ethiopia – where the bones of Lucy, our oldest pre-historic ancestor – are on display
  • Visit St Georges Cathedral with its stained glass windows
  • Addis Ababa Museum and Red Terrors Martyr’s Memorial Museum
  • Kiddist Selassie Church
  • Check out Mercato, the largest market in Africa, and a heaving mass of traders and hawkers.
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