Addis Ababa City Tour

     Locations: Addis Ababa

Email us, or call us for any further inquiries regarding this tour. We would be delighted to assist you and have you on this trip.
Phone: +251 913 960 574    Email:

Tour Details

Email us, or call us for any further inquiries regarding a tailor-made tour
around the capital city of Addis Ababa.

The Capital Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, one of the world’s highest capitals at 2,355 metres above sea level, is a sprawling city covering approximately 527 square kilometres with a population (in 2023) of over 5 million.

Addis Ababa means ‘fountain of hot mineral water’ in Oromo and ‘new flower’ in Amharic.

Addis Ababa was, prior to becoming the capital in the late 19th century, a mountain resort town, based on its abundance of mineral springs. In 1887, Menelik II, Negus of Shewa, established his imperial palace in the town and in 1889 Addis Ababa became the empire's capital.

Addis Ababa is an important place, not only as the economic / commercial, administrative and cultural hub of the country, but also as the capital of the entire continent in keeping with Ethiopia’s honorary title ‘mother of all African countries,’ or ‘political capital of Africa’ due to its historical, political and diplomatic significance for the continent.

It is thus home to the headquarters of the Pan-African Organization the African Union, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Ethnological Museum

The Ethnological Museum is located on the campus of Addis Ababa University. It is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage. Established in 1955, it is housed in the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Its exhibited displays cover the culture, housing, textiles, objects and traditions of the many Ethiopian ethnic groups as well as an array of religious and secular manuscripts, ceremonial items, icons, robes, crosses and books, and an impressive exhibition of traditional musical instruments and religious art from 13th – 20th centuries.

Holy Trinity Cathedral (Haile Selassie Church)

The Holy Trinity Cathedral, also know as Kidist Selassie, is the highest ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo cathedral in Addis Ababa. It was built to commemorate the Ethiopian victory over the Italian occupation and is an important place of worship in the country.

Built in 1942, its compound was the burial place for those who fought against the Italian occupation, or those who accompanied the Emperor Haile Selassie into exile from 1936 to 1941.

The Emperor and his consort the Empress Menen Asfaw are buried in the north transept of the cathedral in great granite tombs side by side. Other members of the Imperial family are buried in the crypt below.

Visitors can appreciate the beautiful wall paintings and church treasures.

National Museum of Ethiopia

The National Museum of Ethiopia houses the country's cultural, historical, and archaeological treasures. It is also recognised for housing significant paleo-anthropological exhibits, in particular early hominid fossils ‘Lucy’, a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis discovered in 1974, and ‘Selam’, another archaic fossil dating back to around 3.3 million years ago.

The Museum offers visitors an in-depth exploration into Ethiopia's past, making it an important destination for anyone interested in understanding the country's rich heritage and cultural diversity.

The museum has four main sections:

  1. Archaeological and paleoanthropological exhibits, where visitors explore the evolution of humanity through the display of ancient hominid fossils.
  2. Artifacts from ancient and medieval periods, along with regalia and memorabilia from Ethiopia's past rulers, including Emperor Haile Selassie.
  3. African art history, showcasing pieces in chronological order from traditional to contemporary works, including secular arts and crafts, such as traditional weapons, jewellery, utensils, clothing, and musical instruments.
  4. Ethnographic displays, providing an overview of the cultural richness and diversity of Ethiopia's people.


The real commercial hub of Addis Ababa, Mercato is Mercato is the largest open-air market in Africa, covering several square kilometres. Mercato is a sprawling metropolis that never quite looks like a modern market. Almost anything can be found at the market, and it has sections specialising in particular items.

It is a crowded, bustling and at times overwhelming maze that can deliver sensory overload of sounds, sights, smells. The streets and narrow alleys are filled with vendors, shoppers, food stalls, vehicles being packed and unpacked, stray goats, sheep, cows and donkeys, porters carrying all manner and size of loads on their heads…

It is an important market not only for Addis but also as the biggest commodity supplier for the entire country. The primary merchandise passing through the Mercato is locally grown agricultural produce — most notably coffee.


From the slopes of Mount Entoto (3,200 m.a.s.l) in the Entoto Mountains to the north of the capital you can enjoy the panoramic view over Addis Ababa. The mountain is considered sacred and as such is home to many monasteries and a number of celebrated churches, including Entoto Maryam Church which is the oldest Church of Addis Ababa. Founded in 1877 by Emperor Menelik II, the church serves as the burial place for the Emperor and his wife Empress Taytu. Several royal artifacts of the emperor and empress also found in this church.

Mount Entoto is sometimes referred to as the ‘lung of Addis Ababa’ as it is densely covered by eucalypt trees that were imported from Australia during the reign of Menelik II, and mostly planted during the time of Emperor Haile Selassie. The forest on the mountain is an important source of firewood for the city, and was a source of building material in earlier times. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, is working to protect and rehabilitate part of the mountain to its natural state.