Addis Ababa, the capital and the largest city of Ethiopia

addis ababa capital ethiopia

There is an incredible amount of things do do in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s exciting capital city is not just one of the most vibrant and eclectic cities in the country, it is often referred to as the capital of Africa.

Its name translates to “new flower” in the Amharic language which reflects its youthful, lively charm and personality. Set in the breathtaking Ethiopian highlands, Addis Ababa is 2,665 meters above sea level, which makes the weather a little cool but very pleasant. Visitors can enjoy the city at any time of the year.

Planning a trip to Ethiopia’s capital can be overwhelming as there is so much to see. To help you plan your trip, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting things to see in Addis Ababa.

Interesting things to see in Addis Ababa

There is an exciting range of fascinating things to do in Addis Ababa including churches, markets, and fascinating museums. You can also find some of the world’s best coffee and  mouthwatering range of local and international restaurants and food stalls.

Mercato – Addis Central Market

Mercato is the biggest outdoor market in Africa. It’s vast and you can find anything there, including some stunning artisan, handmade crafts, a sensational range of spices, and some absolute bargains. 90 tribes of Ethiopia are represented at the market which makes the experience even more fascinating.

Mount Entoto

Mount Entoto offers jaw dropping, panoramic views of Addis Ababa’s magnificent scenery. It’s 3,200 meters above sea level the eucalyptus tree forest makes it perfect for hiking. There are also two of the country’s oldest churches there: St. Raguel (Elias) and St. Mary of Entoto.

Medhane Alem

medhane alem

Medhane Alem is the biggest church in Addis Ababa (and the second largest cathedral in Africa!). Its name means “Saviour of the World” and the building itself is fairly modern. The white and yellow structure has some beautiful domes and the colorful interior features frescoes of saints and stained glass windows.

St George’s Cathedral and Museum

St. George’s Cathedral is the most iconic place of worship in Addis Ababa. It’s set on the top of a hill and is famous for its stunning stained glass windows and its grand imperial throne. There is also a museum just a short stroll away which is filled with paintings of scenes from the Bible and from Ethiopian history.

National Museum of Ethiopia

national museum ethiopia

Many visitors say the National Museum of Ethiopia is one of the best museums in the country and one of the best things to do in Addis Ababa. The museum contains thousands of items and there is a fantastic range of displays. Some of the highlights include the statues of Axum, the model of “Lucy”, and remains of the very early humans.

Meskel Square

Meskel Square is the capital’s main meeting point. There are regular events which are popular with both visitors and locals and there are a few museums there which are worth a visit. One of them is the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum which documents the violent period of suffering in the 1970s.