Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 5 things to do in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia is an up and coming country and its capital Addis Ababa is a thriving tourist and commercial hub. With airlines such as Emirates now offering flights to Addis Ababa, exploring this African city couldn’t be easier. Here are our top five things to do in Addis Ababa.

1.    No trip to Addis Ababa is complete without a visit to the Addis Mercato. Just to the west of the city centre in the Addis Ketema District lies this bustling open air market, full of locally produced products including coffee, baskets and much more. It’s a lot to take in if you have never been before but as with most areas, keep travel savvy.

2.    Take a visit to the St George Cathedral in the heart of the city which was built in celebration of defeating the Italians at Adwa in 1896. The Cathedral has seen the crowning of Empress Zewditu, the building set on fire by Italian Fascists and it even hosts a museum which still displays weaponry used to defeat the Italians.

3.    Another one of Addis Ababa’s grand buildings is the Holy Trinity Cathedral near the Arat Kilo Square. Work began on the cathedral in 1928 and commemorates the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian occupation. It became the burial ground for those who fought against the Italians and now only high clergy are allowed to be buried here.

4.    Famous for its coffee, a coffee break should definitely be on your list of things to do and where better than Tomoca which serves some of the best coffee in Addis Ababa. The walls are filled with maps and charts about coffee, from where it is grown to how it should be prepared. Although small, this popular coffee shop is a definite must do in Addis Ababa.

5.    The National Museum should be another stop, learning about Ethiopian culture and history. In the basement of this library looking building lays Lucy, one of the oldest known pre-humans discovered on earth.

Addis Ababa (The capital city of Ethiopia )
Image courtesy of Tourism Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is definitely a city worth discovering if you are in this region of Africa. It is a relatively young capital compared to many other global cities, having only been established in 1886. The city has grown ever since, having experienced occupation by the Italians during the second world war, followed a few years later by construction of the Addis Ababa University and has now been nicknamed by some as the spa capital of Africa for its modern and luxury up-and-coming services.

A number of airlines offer flights to Addis Ababa including the country’s flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines, offering flights to 69 worldwide cities so make the most of what there is to do in Addis Ababa and enjoy another side of life.