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Book a flight to Addis Ababa with Qatar Airways and you’ll be stepping through the gateway to Ethiopia’s commercial and manufacturing centre. You’ll also discover that there’s much more to this magnificent city than business, as Addis Ababa is also Ethiopia’s cultural heartland. It cuts an impressive and evocative scene, bordered by sweet-smelling eucalyptus trees and made up of modern multi-story buildings, sitting side by side with traditional ones.
You can fly to Addis Ababa for a chance to explore a city where you will have plenty to see and do. Addis Ababa is a city where you can uncover a diversified culture, history and the land of adventures. Enjoy the country’s breath taking natural gifts and discover everything this fascinating country has to offer.
A trip to Addis Ababa wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Entoto Natural Park. The Park is natural and provides a sustainable source of firewood while offering spectacular views of the city. However, if you’d rather immerse yourself in the country’s history and culture, then be sure to visit the Ethnological Museum (National Museum), in the grounds of Addis Ababa University. Widely hailed as the best museum in Africa, it transports you through everything from birth to death and introduces you to the many customs of the various Ethiopian tribes.
It’s almost impossible to take a trip to Addis Ababa and not pay a visit to the Merkato, Africa’s biggest open market. Here, you’ll find everything from silver jewellery and pungent spices to precious incense and items made from recycled goods. From the Simien Mountain National Park to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the Awash Lower Valley and Axum prehistoric sites in central Tigray, Ethiopia really has earned its reputation as one of the most important locations for prehistoric civilisation.
Travel to Addis Ababa and you’re in the heart of a sporting nation. The Addis Ababa Golf Club provides first class challenges to those looking to test their skills on the greens. However, if you prefer something a little more active, then there are various rock climbing tours available, allowing you to truly explore the landscape. And if you fancy getting your running shoes on and going up against the world-famous Ethiopian runners, put your name down for the Great Ethiopian Run 10k race every year in November or December.
Bird watching tours are available for those who want to appreciate the local wildlife and will open your eyes to a world of colour and beautiful birdsong. Alternatively, if you decide to travel to Addis Ababa to relax, then pay a visit to the city’s famous hot springs.
Most people don’t travel to Addis Ababa with food in mind, but then they come away pleasantly surprised by its rich and unexpected culinary culture. With no factory farms, the vegetables are rarely, if ever, treated with pesticides making them as organic as you could wish for. Vegetables play a huge part in Ethiopian cuisine, so watch out for mouth-watering and highly spiced dishes involving chickpeas, chilli peppers and spinach.
Ethiopian cuisine is as nutritious as it is flavoursome and you might want to take a tour of some of the local restaurants and cafés. High end dining is also plentiful in the city centre, but if you’d rather eat as the locals do, pay a visit to the smaller restaurants off the beaten track, where vegetarian dishes are the stars of the menu. Expect to try food such as refried beans with tangy peppers, crisp salads and savoury flatbreads.
As with food, most people don’t travel to Addis Ababa with shopping in mind. However, you can find practically whatever you want in this bustling city. In addition to the markets, there are a number of supermarkets and shopping malls where you can buy designer goods.
Bargain hunters will be rewarded in most markets in Ethiopia, such as the Entoto (Shiromeda) Market, where haggling is part and parcel of the shopping experience. Handmade items, such as the toga-style shamma for men, and unique examples of craftsmanship are what you’ll find here and prices are negotiable. However, it’s worth remembering to always end your haggle on a friendly, positive note – even if you end up not buying.
Ethiopians pride themselves on their hospitality and welcoming culture. However, they are also quite a conservative and formal people, as seen in their coffee rituals! Generally speaking, handshakes are fine between strangers.
Avoid eating or touching food with your left hand, and women should avoid wearing overly-revealing clothing. Other than that, there are no major cultural considerations to worry about.
Flights to Addis Ababa with Qatar Airways will land at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport .The airport is in the city and you can get yellow taxis from the airport with fixed fare prices.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Addis Ababa please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Ethiopian Birr (ETB)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / E / F / L
Language: Amharic / English
International dialing code: +251