Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia is newly emerging and growing city with big economy of the country, 4th in Africa according to IMF 2015. Established on 1896 by Emperor Menilik II (1889 -1913) shifting from Mount Entoto with selection, advice and help of his wife Emperess Taitu.

After more than 129 Years Addis Ababa becomes a big Metropolitan with more than 4.5 million people, a seat of African Union (previously Organization for Africa Unity, OAU since 1963), UN Economic commission for Africa,1958 and a home for more than 110 Embassies & consulate.

For first time visitor to Addis Ababa the top 5 activities that must be done are.

National Museum:
This Museum was founded in 1952. The Museum preserves and displays the country’s historical, cultural and archeological heritage. The museum is structured as follows.

Lucy Dinkenshe Ethiopia at FANOS Ethiopia tours

Lucy Dinkenshe Ethiopia

Paleontology and pre-history section: This section displays various fossils including the remains of world famous Lucy (or Dinknesh in Ethiopia) language believed to be the first human ancestor. It also has litic (stone) tools. Historical archeology section: This section includes various archeological findings from all over the country, although most originate from the Axumite period. Also here, one can find portraits of Ethiopian leaders beginning from the 18th century till 2012. Ethnology: Ethiopia is labbled a cultural mosaic. Hence, this section displays the traditional and ceremonial cloths, jewels and living styles of different ethnic groups in the country. Modern art: this is one quarter of the Museum where you can visit splendid art works of Ethiopian artists and sculptures.

The compound has collections of different Ethiopian art works, first car in Ethiopia, portraits of Emperor Haile Selassie I. And adjacently a Lucy Restaurant for tea/coffee or lunch is rewarding.

Mount Entoto
A drive to Entoto usually takes via American Embassy (Please, do not take picture and/or Video) and Shiro Meda, a small market place that is well known for Ethiopian fabric thought to be cheaper in price. Slowly ascending to the mountains covered by Eucalyptus tree. It is a tree that saves Addis Ababa to be permanent capital of Ethiopia at the time of shortage of fire wood & constructions during early 1900s.

St. Mary of Zion Church at Entoto Mountains

St. Mary of Zion Church Entoto

At the top of the mountain the Palace compound that comprises Saint Mary Church, St. Mary’s Museum and the palace.

Saint Mary’s Church was built in 1880s by the request of Queen Taitu. It is an Octagonal form with the three distinct concentric chambers. Abune Mathewos, the bishop, crowned Emperor Menelik II here. Beware the church only open for mass ceremonial, not allowed for tourists.

Entot St. Mary’s Museum houses tremendous treasure of religious and historical values. Many of the museum objects are related to the reign of Menelik II, the Battle of Adowa and the Ethiopian Orthodox church. A donations from aboard and prominent personalities of Ethiopia including the great runners.

Menelik II Palace was built in 1880s when Entoto was used as a capital for King Menelik II of Shewa. The ‘Elfign’ (Menelik’s II residence and the ‘Adarash’ (the principal reception Hall) are the major existing building that were served as an office and banquet.

Merkato – The biggest open air market in Africa

Merkato is probably one of the rarest place in Addis Ababa where cars and people share the same road literally pushing each other for space. It has become a central hub of business not just for the city, Addis Ababa but the entire country. It is also a central place where distributions of goods take place. Merkato the business hub of the nation at the center of the capital Addis Ababa draws people in thousands from every corner of the nations.

Merkato the largest Open air market in Ethiopia

Merkato the largest Open air market

Traditionally people describe Merkato as:-

  • Merkato pace maker for Business people.
  • In Ethiopia economy, if Merkato sneezes, all market places of Ethiopia catch cold.
  • Merkato the principal financial center of the country, and some dub as the “Wall Street” of Ethiopia.
  • Merkato has been traditional “Wall Street” with regard to setting the price for many of the manufactured and consumable goods distributed locally.
  • Merkato is much more than a market place.

Visiting Addis Ababa for the first time tend to believe that their visit to the city cannot be complete without catching the firsthand impression about this particular place.

Tomoca Coffee Shop
Tomoca Coffee is one of the first and the oldest coffee shop in the city. The first shop in Pissa district of the city, where visitors will have chance to smells the roasted coffee. Now the Tomoca has a lot branches in the city and the best & nice with good atmosphere one is the piassa.

Tomoca coffee Shop

Tomoca coffee Shop

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffee arabica grew wild. Coffee is “Buna” in Ethiopia. Coffee Arabica is found in Kaffa, Sidama, Yirega cheffe, Harar, Limmu and different parts of Ethiopia. Addis based tour operator FANOS Ethiopia Tours offers a coffee tour; 6 Days Coffee Tour Ethiopia to Sidama and Yirga Cheffe Coffee.

YOD Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant
Usually a visit to Ethiopia or Addis Ababa ends with a farewell dinner on the parts of tour operators itineraries. Dinning at YOD Abyssinia Cultural traditional restaurant where you will taste Ethiopian food & drinks and a live music & dance.

YOD Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant

YOD Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant

The restaurant built and decorated from locally available materials, & decorated with Ethiopian artifacts. A visit to the restaurant is rewarding and value for money.

Written by: Keb Mathews
Kebrabe Matewos,
B.A Tourism Management, (University of Gonder) Tourism Lecturer, Tour Operator & Tour leader

Mobile: + 251 913170579 26696 Code 1000
Skype: kebmathews

  1. the museum is very interesting. I’m sorry I didnt get to the restaurant


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