"Addis Ababa, Ethiopia" Top 5 Page for this destination Addis Ababa by georeiser

Addis Ababa Travel Guide: 408 reviews and 3,013 photos

Addis Abeba

My expectation was fulfiled after a visit to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Addis is so exciting and full of contrast. It's cheap to stay there, the city is full of culture and I felt safe. The people are very friendly and gentle. I recommend to make a stop here if you are in Africa. Addis has 4 million people. This photo was taken in a market close to the US embassy.
Addis Ababa means New (addis) Flower (ababa), it was named by Emperor Menilik when he founded the city in 1886.

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The mosques and churches

This photo is taken from a building in Mercato, Addis Ababa. The huge area around Mercato is a pitoresque part of the city.
The calls from the minarets happens five times a day to call the faithful Muslims to prayer. The mosques and churches are close to each other. It is strange to see how well the Christians and Muslims get along.

Bole Intl. airport

- Arriving at Bole Intl. airport is convenient. It's easy to find what you are looking for. Shortly after you enter the building you find the "visa on arrival" counter. If you have a nationality from a socalled tourist-generating country, just line up in queue. 4-5 officers will issue the tourist visas quickly. Make sure to have your passport and 20 USD ready. For a single entry visa you don't need photos and you don't need to write anything. The visa is valid for 3 months.
- 20 meters away from here you find 2 different exchange bureau (Dashen and Ethiopian Bank). The exchange rate here is the same as it is in the city. Change only USD/Euro to Ethiopian Birr. Other currencies gives a terrible bad rate. Make sure to keep the receipt because you need it when you shall change back the Birr when leaving Ethiopia.
- Shortly after that you line up in the queue for the immigration police. Have your passport and the immigration card ready. If the police ask for the visa receipt, just show him that. They have a webcam for photo.
- Then turn right and walk 30 meters to pick up your checked baggage at the baggage belt.
- The custom officers are in the same hall as the baggage belts. There are no green and red entrance, so the custom officers will ask what you have in the bags. In most case they just smile and let you trough.
- You are now entering the last door and will come into a hall full of people. But it's safe and well organized. Many dealers will ask you for transport to the city. Just look after dealers with registration ID card walking around. Take your time and bargain the price. Normal price is 80-100 Birr. Then follow that person out of the terminal and walk 200 meters to the parking area. The taxis and minibuses are waiting here. There are no taxis waiting right outside the terminal as there is in other airports.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly people and an exciting city
  • Cons:Polluted and dirty
  • Last visit to Addis Ababa: May 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (54)

Comments (4)

  • Oct 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    u meant Meskel sq.? not Moscow...

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Hi GEO, I see you have been adding tips. I like your description of the Sheraton. I only went there to use the ATM's. All the best.

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2009 at 5:10 AM

    This is such a good comment on police authorities in Ethiopia. Police officers, most of the time, are very corrupt...

  • Wafro's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    This must be a great experience, hope to go there one day. GRTz good tips ferenjy


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