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Ethiopia
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Weather & best time to visit

22°
Tuesday, 06.12.2016
12:00 UTC

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City map Addis Ababa

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    Good to know

    Addis Ababa – a brief overview

    As the capital of a country with a rapidly developing economy, Addis Ababa (meaning ‘New Flower’) is also changing at a dizzying pace. A relatively new city founded only 100 years ago, it has a confident youthful swagger. Sitting on a plateau some 2,400m above sea level, it enjoys a benign tropical highlands climate with warm temperatures and blue skies for

    much of the year. The former home of Emperor Haile Selassie and the current home of ‘Lucy’ (the oldest human ancestor remains ever found), Addis is filled with museums and other sights, and often surprises first-time visitors with its thriving restaurant and nightlife scene.

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    Top 10 sights in Addis Ababa

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    Äthiopien, Addis Abeba, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide, Trinity Painting of god Cathedral

    Merkato

    Merkato, Addis Ketema
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0600-1900

    Covering more than one square kilometre, Merkato is said to be the largest market in Africa. A colourful spectacle when in full flow, it’s packed with thousands of stalls and shops selling everything from spices and coffee, through clothes, fabrics and jewellery, to small arms.

    Ethiopian National Museum

    King George VI Street, Arada
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 111 7150
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0830-1700

    One of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important museums, the Ethiopian National Museum’s collection covers all aspects of regional history, but the star attractions are the casts of 3.2 million-year-old Lucy, humankind’s oldest ancestor.

    Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1830

    This small but moving exhibition details the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie by Mengistu Haile Mariam, and pays tribute to the estimated 500,000 people who were murdered during the communist tyrant’s reign of terror.

    Holy Trinity Cathedral

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0700-1800
    Sat-Sun 0900-1800

    This impressive place of worship is mainly notable for containing the tombs of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife. The gardens surrounding the church are also filled with statues.

    Ethnographic Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-1700
    Sat-Sun 0900-1700

    This fascinating museum, among the best in Africa, is worth visiting for its setting alone. It’s inside Haile Selassie’s former palace, and surrounded by fountains and gardens.

    St George Cathedral

    Fitawrari Gebeyehu Street and Menelik II Square, Piazza
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-0900 and 1200-1400

    This neoclassical cathedral was commissioned by Emperor Menelik II to commemorate his victory over the Italians at Adwa in 1896. It was completed in 1911, and used for the coronation of later emperors, including Haile Selassie in 1930.

    Mausoleum of Menelik II

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    This grand stone tomb is the final resting place of the man considered the father of modern Ethiopia, revered for defending the country against colonialism at a time when the rest of Africa was divided up by European powers.

    Mt Entoto

    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Just north of the city and reaching 3,200m above sea level, this mountain is the highest point in the area. Near the top is a church, and a palace where Menelik II lived, but the biggest draw is the view back over the city.

    Lion of Judah Monument

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    The symbol of Ethiopia, this monument was erected for the coronation of Haile Selassie in 1930, but looted by Italian invaders in 1935. It was taken to Rome, and only returned to Addis Ababa in the 1960s.

    Addis Ababa Museum

    Meskel Square
    Addis Abeba
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Fri 0830-1230 and 1330-1730
    Sat 0830-1130

    This museum celebrates the development of Addis Ababa from a collection of tents into a thriving capital over a relatively short period of time.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Exotic and otherworldly, your first taste of Ethiopia will seem as if you’ve been dropped

    down Alice’s rabbit hole and entered Wonderland.

    Geography

    Ethiopia is situated in northeast Africa, in the area known as ‘The Horn of Africa’. It is bordered by Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, the self-proclaimed separatist territory of Somaliland, and Djibouti. Encompassing an area of 1,104,300 sq km (426,372 sq miles), it is roughly twice the size of France and is completely landlocked.

    The central area is a vast highland region of volcanic rock forming a watered, temperate zone surrounded by hot, arid, inhospitable desert. The Great Rift Valley (which starts in Palestine, runs down the Red Sea and diagonally southwest through Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi) slices through the central mountain ranges. The escarpments on either side of the country are steepest in the north where the terrain is very rugged.

    Within the country there is a huge diversity in altitude. The highest point is at Ras Dashen in the Simien Mountains, which at 4543m (14905 ft) is Africa’s 10th tallest mountain. The lowest point is inside the Danakil Depression which reaches 125m (410ft) below sea level. To the south, the landscape is generally flatter and much of the east and southeast is taken over by semi-arid scrubland. Although mass- deforestation has been a problem since the Middle Ages, the lowlands are still noted for their verdant evergreen forests. Ethiopia is home to four major river systems, the most important being the Blue Nile which begins at Lake Tana.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 93877025

    Population Density (per sq km): 85

    Capital: Addis Ababa.

    Language

    Amharic is the official language, although about 80 other native tongues are spoken including Oromo, Somali and Tigrinya. English and Arabic are widely used and some Italian and French is spoken.

    Currency

    Ethiopian Birr (ETB; symbol Br) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of Br100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0830-1100 and 1330-1730. Government offices usually have shorter opening hours of Mon-Fri 0830-1100 and 1330-1530. Shops generally open Mon-Sat 0800-1300 and 1400-1730.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    Note

    Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last up to several days, depending on the region.

    2016

    Ethiopian Christmas Day: 07. January 2016
    Epiphany: 20. January 2016
    Victory of Adowa: 02. March 2016
    Ethiopian Good Friday: 29. April 2016
    Ethiopian Easter Sunday: 01. May 2016
    Labour Day: 01. May 2016
    Patriot’s Day: 05. May 2016
    Derg Downfall Day: 28. May 2016
    End of Ramadan: 07. July 2016
    Ethiopian New Year: 11. September 2016
    Feast of Sacrifice: 13. September 2016
    Finding of the True Cross (Meskel): 27. September 2016
    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad): 12. December 2016

    2017

    Ethiopian Christmas Day: 07. January 2017
    Epiphany: 19. January 2017
    Victory of Adowa: 02. March 2017
    Ethiopian Good Friday: 14. April 2017
    Ethiopian Easter Sunday: 16. May 2017
    Labour Day: 01. May 2017
    Patriot’s Day: 05. May 2017
    Derg Downfall Day: 28. May 2017
    End of Ramadan: 29. June 2017
    Feast of Sacrifice: 02. September 2017
    Ethiopian New Year: 11. September 2017
    Finding of the True Cross (Meskel): 27. September 2017
    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad): 01. December 2017

    All information subject to change.

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Addis Ababa

    ListMap

    Many traditional restaurants put on cultural music and dance events. The top nightclubs are good, but be aware that some

    lower-quality discos are pick-up spots for local prostitutes. Bole Road has plenty of excellent bars and clubs.

    Jazzamba Lounge

    Fitawrari Gebeyehu Street and Menelik II Square, Piazza
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Laid-back hotel bar where live jazz is the main theme.

    The Black Rose

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Dimly lit, atmospheric bar with a good range of cocktails.

    Tomoca

    Fitawrari Gebeyehu Street and Menelik II Square, Piazza
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Ethiopian coffee is the best in the world, and this place serves some of the best in Ethiopia.

    Beer Garden Inn

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    This Germanic-themed pub serves beer in large volumes – in a beer garden.

    YOD Abyssinia

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Besides serving great food, this restaurant also has nightly music and dance shows.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Addis Ababa

    ListMap

    Addis Ababa has a wide range of restaurants serving local and international cuisine.

    One problem with making reservations at many simpler places is they often have no official street addresses.

    Shaheen

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Elegant restaurant serving North Indian and Ethiopian dishes.

    YOD Abyssinia

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Traditional and tasty Ethiopian dishes served with a cultural show as backdrop.

    Enya's Mediterranean Kitchen

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Tasty Greek specialities served in a Mediterranean-themed restaurant.

    Kabanna

    10th Floor, Enat Tower, Guinea Conakry Street, Kazanchis
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Modern restaurant serving up Mediterranean and Caribbean food with fantastic views.

    Dashen Traditional Restaurant

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Ask around to find this popular and recommended traditional eatery as it has no official street address.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Addis International Film Festival

    7 – 11 June 2016
    Website

    Venue: Alliance Ethio-Française and Italian Cultural Institute

    Focusing on documentaries and short films, this festival showcases local and international talent and aims to promote Ethiopian culture. Along with a carefully planned programme of screenings, there are director Q&A sessions and cocktail receptions. Since its launch in 2007, the festival has shown over 700 films.

    Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash)

    11 September 2016

    Venue: Throughout Addis Ababa and Ethiopia.

    In the Ethiopian calendar, New Year falls in September and crowds celebrate with singing, dancing and feasting, while kids create and exchange hand-made cards. The other New Year isn’t forgotten though, so arrive on 31 December, and you’re equally likely to see partying and concerts.

    Meskel

    27 September 2015

    Venue: Meskel Square and Orthodox Christian churches

    Ethiopian Orthodox Christians congregate around a towering bonfire in Meskel Square, clutching bouquets of bright yellow Meskel daisies, to celebrate the ‘Finding of the True Cross’. According to legend, Empress Helena lit incense and the smoke directed her to where the true cross of Jesus was buried.

    Great Ethiopian Run

    23 November 2016
    Website

    Venue: Starts and finishes at Jan Meda

    Organised by legendary long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and billed as the biggest road race in Africa, this 10km event attracts over 30,000 amateurs and 400 elite athletes. It’s a spectacular sight to see the hordes of participants pounding the pavements of Addis Ababa.

    Ethiopian Christmas (Genna)

    7 January 2017

    Venue: Churches throughout Addis Ababa and Ethiopia

    Christians move from one church to another in a long night of special Christmas services. On the afternoon of Christmas Day, men play a traditional game that’s also called genna and is a bit like hockey. It’s worth heading into the countryside, as rural celebrations are often the most spectacular.

    Timket Festival

    18 – 20 January 2017

    Venue: Various churches and streets of Addis Ababa

    Orthodox Christians celebrate Ethiopian Epiphany with three days of religious processions. Priests and participants are dressed in intricately embroidered gowns, holding aloft crosses and colourful parasols, and parading through the streets accompanied by drumming and chanting.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Addis Ababa

    ListMap

    There are plentiful hotels in Addis Ababa covering every price range from luxury to backpacker. Most of those in the upper

    price ranges are international chains offering all the comforts these entail, but those at the lower end may lack facilities.

    Intercontinental Addis Ababa Hotel

    10th Floor, Enat Tower, Guinea Conakry Street, Kazanchis
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Large international-standard luxury hotel in the city centre, with a rooftop bar.

    Hilton Addis Ababa

    Menelik II Avenue
    Addis Abeba
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    International chain option blending western elegance and African décor.

    Dimitri Hotel

    Yeka, Kebele 16-18, CMC Road, Gurd Shola
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Popular small central hotel with colonial styling and Ethiopian hospitality.

    Jupiter International Hotel

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Large modern and well-appointed hotel in a central location.

    Crown Hotel

    Meskel Square
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel: +251 11 850 6730


    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    In a southern suburb, this place offers comfortable rooms at knock-down prices.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Tuesday, 06.12.2016 12:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    22°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    8.75 mph

    7 days forecast

    Wednesday

    07.12.2016

    21°C / 6°C

    Thursday

    08.12.2016

    22°C / 6°C

    Friday

    09.12.2016

    22°C / 7°C

    Saturday

    10.12.2016

    23°C / 7°C

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    23°C / 7°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    22°C / 8°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    21°C / 5°C

    Climate & best time to visit Ethiopia

    The best time to visit Ethiopia is between January and March when clear, sunny days bring regular average daily temperatures of 25°C (77°F). This is Ethiopia’s busiest time to visit, with wildlife spotting at its peak and the festivals of Timkat and Leddet drawing huge crowds.

    The rainy season (April to September) brings soaring temperatures and humid conditions. Due to rain, from May to August some roads in the Lower Omo Valley become impassable. August is the hottest (and wettest) month with

    temperatures reaching 45°C (113°F) regularly in the lowlands. In the highlands temperatures are much more moderate but sightseeing is hampered by downpours of rain.

    October to December is an excellent time to visit Ethiopia as the countryside is lushly pretty after all the rain, there are plentiful sunny days and historical sites and monuments are not overrun with tourists. Night time temperatures in highland areas often drop to between 5°C (41°F) and 10°C (50°F) during November and December so be sure to pack a jumper.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    26 °C

    -2 °C

    27 °C

    -2 °C

    28 °C

    -4 °C

    29 °C

    0 °C

    29 °C

    1 °C

    28 °C

    3 °C

    27 °C

    6 °C

    25 °C

    7 °C

    25 °C

    4 °C

    25 °C

    1 °C

    25 °C

    0 °C

    25 °C

    -1 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    18 mm

    47 mm

    72 mm

    92 mm

    86 mm

    123 mm

    257 mm

    271 mm

    170 mm

    38 mm

    9 mm

    10 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    8 h

    7 h

    7 h

    7 h

    7 h

    5 h

    3 h

    4 h

    5 h

    8 h

    8 h

    9 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    52 %

    51 %

    53 %

    59 %

    55 %

    68 %

    78 %

    80 %

    75 %

    57 %

    53 %

    53 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan26 °C-2 °C23 °C6 °C52 %18 mm28.6 h
    Feb27 °C-2 °C23 °C7 °C51 %47 mm57.3 h
    Mar28 °C-4 °C24 °C9 °C53 %72 mm87.8 h
    Apr29 °C0 °C24 °C10 °C59 %92 mm107.0 h
    May29 °C1 °C24 °C9 °C55 %86 mm97.7 h
    Jun28 °C3 °C23 °C10 °C68 %123 mm165.8 h
    Jul27 °C6 °C20 °C10 °C78 %257 mm263.6 h
    Aug25 °C7 °C20 °C10 °C80 %271 mm254.3 h
    Sep25 °C4 °C21 °C9 °C75 %170 mm175.4 h
    Oct25 °C1 °C22 °C7 °C57 %38 mm38.0 h
    Nov25 °C0 °C22 °C5 °C53 %9 mm18.9 h
    Dec25 °C-1 °C22 °C5 °C53 %10 mm19.3 h
    year29 °C-4 °C22 °C8 °C62 %1193 mm1237.0 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +251

    Telephone

    There are plentiful public payphones in larger towns and every town has at least one ‘telecentre’ (phone centre shop where you can make local and international calls). Ethiopia’s telecommunication service tends to be of bad quality with poor connections. Due to weak internet bandwidth there are similar problems when using internet communication networks such as Skype.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. Local pay-as-you-go SIM cards are able to be purchased by foreign visitors with an unlocked phone from any Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) shop or any private phone shop as long as you provide appropriate identification. Most of these shops also rent phones along with the SIM card if your mobile is not unlocked. Mobile coverage is patchy, particularly in more rural locations.

    Internet

    There are many internet cafes in Addis Ababa and all towns which see foreign visitors have at least one internet cafe. It is also common for hotels to now have Wi-Fi services. Unfortunately internet connections and speed still remain frustratingly slow at most places especially once outside of the capital.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Addis Ababa

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Churchill Avenue has many shops selling local handicrafts at very reasonable fixed prices. The area around Meskel Square is popular for leather goods.

    Markets

    Said by some to be the largest open market in the world, Merkato covers a huge area. Open daily, it’s the place to find everything from tourist souvenirs and T-shirts, through handicrafts, to foods, spices, and of course coffee. Although haggling is expected, foreign visitors should expect to pay higher prices than local buyers. Shiromeda Market, between Sidist Kilo and Mt Entoto, is smaller, quieter, and often cheaper.

    Shopping Centres

    If you don’t fancy haggling over prices in the markets, Addis also has several conventional shopping malls. They are mainly clustered along and around Bole Road near the airport. Dembel Mall, on Africa Avenue, is one of the largest, and has more than 120 outlets with fixed prices.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Religion permeates nearly every facet of Ethiopian life and society, on the whole, is conservative with traditional values very much in place. Only the right hand is used for eating or passing things (the left hand is used when going to the toilet so considered dirty). Some monasteries and churches are only open to male visitors. Women travellers should always check before entering if they’re unsure.

    Photography: In smaller towns (and particularly in the Lower Omo Valley) the locals will expect a small payment in return for being photographed. Video photography in famous tourist attractions normally carries a small charge. Photography may be prohibited in airports and near military installations.

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

    Other Risks

    Diarrhoeal diseases, including giardiasis, and typhoid fevers are common. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Hepatitis E is widespread; hepatitis B is hyperendemic. Meningococcal meningitis risk is present, particularly in dry areas and during the dry season. Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

    The high altitude and low oxygen level of much of Ethiopia need time to be acclimatised to. Anyone who suffers from heart ailments or high blood pressure should consult a doctor before travelling.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Abdulhamid, Tofik Idris
    Panorama Medical Center
    Kirkos Subcity
    kebele 08
    House 573
    Addis Ababa
    Ethiopia
    Tel. +251-11-4651666 / 4654668

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre