Addis Ababa

With a population of more than 5 million people, Addis Ababa is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve-center of Ethiopia. Founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887, this big, sprawling, hospitable city still bears the stamp of his exuberant personality. More than 527 Km2 in area, Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000-metre Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut with fast-flowing streams.

Wide, tree-lined streets, fine architecture, glorious weather and the incongruity of donkey trains along the boulevards make Addis Ababa a city of surprises and a delightful place to explore. The clear mountain air gives the city the bracing atmosphere of a summer highland resort. It enjoys a mild climate, with an average temperature of 16.8 °C.


National Museum - It exhibits a replica of Lucy, and much more. With Ethiopian civilization being the oldest of Africa South of the Sahara and in fact among the oldest worldwide, the museum’s artifacts span several millenniums, featuring a wide variety of artifacts varying, from clothing to artwork, including modern Ethiopian art.

Ethnologic Museum - A really nice museum, located inside Addis Ababa University main campus, showcasing the different ethnic cultures of Ethiopia displays of ethnic outfits, instruments, tools, dwellings, huts and other artifacts making it one of the most interesting museums in the city.

The Red Terror Museum - Is a testimony to the gruesome horrors committed to humanity by the Derg regime and the infamous famine that resulted from it. Many of its employees are survivors of the regime and will tell their stories as well.

St George’s Cathedral - Was built in 1896 to commemorate Ethiopia’s victory over the Italians. The circular building may not look impressive on approach, but as you circle the building, you will notice people praying besides the walls making it a living testimony to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The interior is colorfully decorated with huge paintings and mosaics and its little museum exhibits ceremonial clothes and ancient manuscripts.

Holy Trinity Cathedral - Once the largest church of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was built to commemorate the country’s liberation from the Italians, and many victims killed by the Italians during occupation are buried here, as well as Emperor Haile Selassie’s body, which was moved here in 2000.

Mount Entoto -is Historical area of 1,300ha at 2,600 and 3,100masl, where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace, when he came from Ankober and founded Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. It is also the location of a number of celebrated churches, including Saint Raguel and Saint Mary. The mountain is densely covered by eucalyptus trees that were imported from Australia during the reign of Menelik II, and mostly planted during Emperor Haile Selassie’s reign. The forest on the mountain is an important source of firewood for the city. Visitors are recommended to go there for the view of almost all parts of Addis Ababa and to walk inside the forest.