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What to see in Ethiopia

Ethiopia Attractions

An ancient and beautiful country, there is plenty to see and do in Ethiopia. But getting to attractions isn't always easy and visitors may find sightseeing challenging. However, many of the attractions in Ethiopia are incredibly impressive and rewarding and worth negotiating the chaos.

Most tourists travel to the colourful capital of Addis Ababa to start their exploration. It's worth spending at least a day here to experience the vibe of this enormous African city. It has some lively markets and worthy attractions, including the Ethiopian National Museum which is home to Lucy, the famous early hominid fossil.

Northern Ethiopia holds the greatest attraction for visitors as one of the country's richest regions for culture, history, and natural splendour. The Historic Route has some breathtaking assets and constitutes a fairly well-beaten trail on which travellers can feel safe.

With more castles, palaces, and churches than any other city in Africa, the medieval city of Gondar is a wondrous place. Alternatively, the city of Axum is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant, while also being the ancient capital of the Queen of Sheba and the country's holiest city.

The ancient city of Harar, fourth holiest city in the world for Islam, boasts 82 mosques within its fortified walls. But Ethiopia's top attractions are undoubtedly the 13th-century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. They are among the most incredible manmade structures in the world, revered and renowned among Ethiopians and foreigners alike and the venue for some of the most famous religious festivals in Ethiopia. Having taken at least 24 years to complete, the astounding churches are believed to have been created with the help of angels.


Axum is a city in far northern Ethiopia. Its 16th-century Church of St Mary of Zion is said to house the Ark of the Covenant which visitors aren't permitted to see. Colossal stone obelisks…

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Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ethiopia. Known for its palm-lined avenues, it sits at the southern edge of Lake Tana which is the source of the Blue Nile. The…

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Gondar is a city like no other, scattered with ancient castles and churches, magnificent mountain scenery, and a pleasantly cool climate. Situated 460 miles (748km) north of Addis Ababa,…

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Harar is a fascinating, exotic town of considerable interest to visitors willing to make the 320 mile (520km) journey east from Addis Ababa. Harar is the fourth holiest city in Islam, forbidden…

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Lalibela is one of the world's most remarkable spiritual sites and Ethiopia's greatest tourist attraction. It is home to the country's astounding rock-hewn churches and an important pilgrimage…

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The Mercato is one of the largest outdoor markets in Africa and Addis Ababa's most colourful sight. Ideal for souvenirs, there are tailors, spice merchants, and purveyors of just about every…

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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 from the prehistoric to the contemporary. The museum is not world-class…

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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 army. A relic of St George was carried into battle by the Ethiopians…

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Our Travel Expert

Muluken Girma is a professional tour organiser and guide born and raised in Addis Ababa. He has studied Tour Operations Management at the Catering and Tourism Training Institute of Addis Ababa in March 2004. Since then, he has been successfully organising group and individual customised tours all over Ethiopia.

One of his recent achievements is being selected as one of the Top 100 Tour Guides in the World in 2016 and 2017, and best tour guide in Addis Ababa by

Find Muluken on Facebook, or on his pages here, and here.

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