Addis Ababa – Ethiopian Capital On The Rise

 People are travelling more and more every year and one of the countries that have gained a lot from such a trend is Ethiopia. Located on the east of the continent, which is usually called The Horn of Africa, this beautiful country is a place you must see during your lifetime. It is a home to one of the oldest civilisations, plus it is probably the safest place on the entire continent. The capital city, Addis Ababa, is definitively the best starting destination for your Ethiopian adventure.

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Basic Info About Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a unique place in Africa for many various reasons. For example, it is perfect for travellers from Europe or North America since the climate is quite cooler than in other parts of the continent. Hence, people who are not used to hot African temperatures will simply enjoy their stay in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa is located in the foothills of a mountain called Entoto, which provides a healthy and pleasant climate to the city. Since the climate is quite the same throughout the year, you can visit Addis Ababa whenever you find the time.

Reaching the city is easy since there is a huge airport with good connections to all parts of the world. Once you arrive here, you can easily roam the city with modern trams or if you want to reach a specific destination you can hire a taxi or a minibus. They are quite cheap and in a good shape, so your trip will be more than pleasant.

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The Unique History Of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is considered to be a cradle of the human race and a home to one of the earliest civilisations. The Old Testament has recorded a story of the ancient Ethiopian Queen called Sheba and her trip to Jerusalem. She met the legendary King Solomon and some legends even claim that she transported the Ark of the Covenant back to her country. Even today there is a monastery where many people believe the Ark is still being kept and guarded by the local monks.

Throughout the millenniums, Ethiopia was ruled by the various native monarchs and dynasties and it managed to remain the only African country that was never colonised. Ethiopia was briefly occupied by the Italians during the World War II, but it soon regained its independence under the rule of a famous Emperor Haile Selassie. Today, Ethiopia is a stable democracy and a home to the African Union. Addis Ababa is its thriving capital with numerous attractions that attract millions of tourists from all over the world each year.

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What To See In Addis Ababa?

Addis Ababa is still a hidden diamond which needs to be calmly explored. And the best way to do it is by visiting its National Museum. It is actually one of the world-class museums with millions of artefacts, some of which have global relevance. Probably the most famous of them is the replica of the famous Lucy – the oldest fossil of our human ancestors.

Ethiopian architecture is something that makes this country quite unique. Just take a walk from Meskel Square to Sidest Kilo and you will see some of the finest buildings in the city such as the Africa Hall (The HQ of African Union), then the Parliament building, Menelik’s Imperial Palace, The Haile Selassie’s Jubilee Palace and indeed many other significant buildings.

Ethiopia is a home to all Abrahamic religions and their temples are some of the major attractions in the city. Among many, you should definitively not miss a chance to see the truly unique Gola St. Michael Church with its famous old paintings. St. George’s Cathedral will also leave you breathless and the Anwar Mosque will do the same, or even more. While you are there, you should visit the nearby Mercato which is actually the biggest market in entire Africa.

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Hotels, Villas, Guest Houses And Campsites Readily Await For You

Even though Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, is not among the top tourist destinations in the world, the city still has an extraordinary offer when it comes to lodging. The good thing about Addis Ababa is that you will surely not see mobs of tourists on every corner, which in turn means you won’t have issues while booking a suite or a room in one of the hotels you find suitable for your stay. In Addis Ababa, one can find all kinds of accommodation, from low budget options, such as youth hostels, guest houses, campsites, and two-star hotels, to the most luxurious hotels and private villas. Moreover, you can find a suitable hotel in every district of the city, depending on your wishes or needs.

If you are one of those tourists who travel to worldwide destinations and stay in five-star hotels, Addis Ababa will make sure you choose the best option while staying here. For instance, some of the most famous hotel chains, like Sheraton and Hilton are situated in Addis. Thus, the Sheraton Addis is located near the National Palace, and it exceeds all the expectations when it comes to luxury. The hotel contains spacious, elegant and well-furnished rooms and suites, with balconies and excellent view on the entire city, as well as polite personnel, ready to assist you in anything you need. On the other side, the Hilton Addis Ababa is situated in the heart of the city, with an almost unimaginable offer. It provides you with superior accommodation, crystal clean water in its swimming pool and numerous restaurants to fulfil your sweet tooth in every occasion.

Luxurious villas are also a great option, especially if you find one in the richest district in Addis, Bole district. They are not only perfectly built and furnished, but they also fulfil their role, to make your journey and stay in the Ethiopian capital unforgettable, luxurious and dream-like.

Among other, perhaps less famous but most certainly very important hotels for tourists, are Jupiter International Hotel, Taitu Hotel and Ras Hotel. These are a great solution for the mid-range budget tourists who yearn for a hotel service but still don’t have enough money to afford the most luxurious lodgings in the city. All of the hotels have an excellent location and very good service.

But in case you feel comfortable while staying in guest houses or two-star hotels, then be sure you will not get disappointed. Choosing any of the guest houses will surely provide you clean and spacious rooms. So, you will save some money to cover other expenses while in Ethiopia.

The nature enthusiasts and camping lovers will find Ethiopian capital as well as the rest of the country a beautiful place to stay since there are many areas where you can put up a tent and enjoy the memorable nature landscapes. However, the price for paying a guest house or a campsite is equal. So, choose wisely between the two. Only those who truly enjoy camping will pay for a campsite in Addis Ababa.

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Cuisine In Addis Ababa – Perfect For Spicy Food Lovers

Perhaps you have never tried Ethiopian cuisine, but those who were lucky enough to eat a traditional Ethiopian meal will witness how excellent and tasty their food is. Every Ethiopian table is complete only if there is a large plate of ‘injera’ in the middle. ‘Injera’ is spongy flatbread made by using ‘teff’ grain. It is topped with vegetable sauce or some spicy meat. Generally, Ethiopian cuisine is characterised by various, delicious stews, so don’t leave the country without trying at least one of them.

For example, we recommend a traditional stew ‘wat’, made with chicken, lamb, beef or goat meat. What makes it so perfect is the red pepper ‘beriberi’ which comes in large quantities with this dish. Hence, if you love spicy food, ‘wat’ should be your first choice while in Addis Ababa. But, if you are one of the tourists that are not used to spicy meals, then you are welcome to try another, non-spicy version the ‘wat’ stew, called ‘alecha’. It does not contain ‘beriberi’ pepper, and this option makes many visitors full and satisfied.

Many restaurants in Addis Ababa also offer other traditional meals such as ‘iab’ and ‘kifto’. The first one is extraordinary curd cheese with herbs, suitable for vegetarians, and the second one is perfect for meat lovers since it is made of raw ground beef and it is served mostly cooked.

In case you wonder about drinks, make sure you try ‘tej’, which is a kind of a traditional drink in Ethiopia. It is made of honey and hops, and we are sure you will like it.

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Things To Do In Addis Ababa

Having in mind that Ethiopia has a large number of markets, one of the things you can do here is shopping and bargaining. However, shopping in Ethiopian markets would be particularly interesting since the country has a long tradition of handicrafts and high-quality embroidered materials. Addis Ababa’s most famous market is Merkato. It is extremely large and divided into separate districts where visitors can buy distinctive goods. Therefore, clothing, food, souvenirs, or incense are all in different market districts, and one would need several days to find what he needs. But that is the beauty of Ethiopian markets.

But the most astonishing fact for all the new tourists to Ethiopia is that the country organises plenty of the festivals and fairs throughout the entire year. They are divided into cultural, sporting and religious events.

One such event is Ethiopian Film Festival, which is organised every year in May and visited by numerous famous people.

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