What to see in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa Attractions

There is plenty to see and do in Addis Ababa, but the journey to the attractions is frequently more interesting than the sights themselves. This is particularly the case should you choose to walk the city and navigate your way to the main museums and buildings yourself. It is a good idea to hire a taxi driver for a daily fee and have him drive you around. Those who do choose to rely on maps and GPS should note that roads frequently change names in Addis Ababa.

You are likely to be offered seats at an alleged 'cultural show' which takes place at a backstreet restaurant or venue. Refuse these offers - they are the opening bid in a classic scam that ends with a thorough fleecing of their tourist victims. If you do wish to see traditional dancing and music simply dine at any decent and reputable restaurant where such attractions are provided free.

As for Addis Ababa's mainstream attractions, don't miss paying Lucy a visit at the National Museum, doing a bit of shopping at the Merkato - one of the largest markets in Africa - and seeing the wonderful cultural artefacts in the Ethnological Museum and relics of the city's past in the Addis Ababa Museum. It's also worth keeping your eyes open for the numerous concrete Soviet statues and buildings that dot the city. The most overrated attraction in town is the zoo, which should be avoided as it is poorly maintained and the conditions may be upsetting for animal lovers.

There is a good tourist information booth off Meskel Square if you need some impartial advice or want a reliable tour guide.


The Mercato is one of the largest outdoor markets in Africa and Addis Ababa's most colourful sight. There are tinkers,…

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National Museum of Ethiopia

This museum has a varied range of exhibits displayed across three floors and covering a wide scope of Ethiopian history…

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St George's Cathedral

St George's Cathedral was founded by the great Emperor Menelik to commemorate his 1896 victory over the invading Italian…

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