Addis Ababa: 10 best things to do in Ethiopia’s capital

Ethiopia might not be top of your vacation shortlist, but that’s because you haven’t been looking closely enough. Addis Ababa is the sprawling, diverse capital of the country, and it’s chock full of things for tourists to see and do. If you’ve never considered Addis Ababa as a capital city you want to visit, it’s probably time to rethink that mentality. Here are 10 of the best things to see and do in Ethiopia’s famous capital.


Ethiopia and coffee are inextricably linked, and the country is the epicenter of Arabica coffee. You simply have to indulge and try to enjoy as much of the coffee they have here as you can – java back home will never be the same again.

Art and history

There is loads of stunning local art and fashion here that you need to check out. Makush Art Gallery is one of the best places to go to enjoy some of the magical local art. You could also take a trip to Asni Gallery and Cafe too. Also, Ethiopian history might not be something you’re overly familiar with, but it’s high time you became more familiar. The nation has one of the world’s oldest Christian traditions and was one of the only African countries never colonized. Head to the National Museum of Ethiopia to find out more.


Checking out traditional Ethiopian dance is one of the best ways of familiarizing yourself with this rich culture. Ethiopians love a dance, and, on the weekends the cities come alive with the sound of music and dance, and foreigners are welcome to get involved!

Local food

When you’re trying to experience a foreign culture, it’s important to make sure you sample the food. Ethiopian cuisine is delicious, with injera being a staple favorite among the locals here. Addis Ababa has a load of great traditional restaurants that you should familiarize yourself with.

Alternative food

Injera is synonymous with Ethiopia, and you will be eating a lot of it during your time here. But, it’s also important to make sure you sample other food as well. Addis Ababa is a diplomatic and tourist hub, and, as such, there are also a lot of Western-style restaurants here as well.


Sports are great for entertaining people and bringing communities together. Cycling is a big thing is Addis Ababa, and, on the weekends there is always cycling happening. There’s also the soccer stadium at Meskal Square, where the soccer-mad Ethiopians congregate weekly.

Good accommodation

There are a lot of places you might choose to stay in Ethiopia, but you’re likely going to want some good accommodation. There are luxury hotels, such as Sheraton Hotel, and there’s the Hilton as well – these are likely your best bet when staying in the city.


We’re not talking about the obvious ones here, we’re talking about the attractions that are found off the beaten track. Yeka Hill, for instance, gives you excellent views of the city, while 700-year-old Washa Michael Church is one of the cultural treats of the city.

Amharic language

Amharic is the language of Ethiopia, and the locals love it when you try and speak a few words. Go out of your way to try to learn what you can of the language, and try to pick up a few choice words and phrases to pull out during your time here.

These are ten of the best things you can do to improve your time in Addis Ababa, and really make the most of your visit here. These are some of the best things to do in Ethiopia that will allow you to see this wonderful African nation in a different light.