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Transit in Ethiopia? Join us on a city tour in Addis Ababa

June 30, 2016 at

Bole_international_airport_3Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has become an important link in the African capital that serves not only to Ethiopia, but throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and America. With a daily traffic of 52,800 passengers, this airport welcomes travellers from all over the world whose connection flights are sometimes over 6 and up to 24 hours. That is why many of them choose to spend their layover taking a city tour in Addis Ababa.

Inside Ethiopia Tours offers one-day and half-day city tours in Addis Ababa adapted to the schedule of our customers. The service includes pick-up and drop off at the airport and it takes the visitor to the main attractions of the Ethiopian capital city. Even though the customers can adapt the visit to their interests, our experience guides will advice you on how to get the best out of your short stay in this vibrant city. Starting from $50 per person, the city tour in Addis Ababa is full of surprises.



entoto churchAddis Ababa means “New flower” in amharic. It was founded in the 1880’s by Emperor Menelik I and his wife Taitu, who named her new home, in the hills of Entoto. This mountain was full of wood supplies, something that was missing in the Emperor’s former court in Ankober. However, this area became damp and cold for these couple, who decided to move down to the hills, where they found natural hot springs to heal Taitu’s rheumatic problems. Today, Entoto hosts a museum with precious items from this royal couple as well as their first home in the capital city. Coming down from Entoto, you can find Shiro Meda market, known for the Ethiopian cotton-clothing, where you can find traditional outfits or bed and table linens with the particular Ethiopian designs.

etnographic museumThe next stop is the Ethnographic Museum, located inside the main campus of Addis Ababa University, in Sidist Kilo. The building that hosts this museum was once Emperor Haile Selassie’s palace. The exhibition is the perfect introduction to the national history, culture and lifestyles. It has a vast collection of different items from the Ethiopian different tribes and traditions such as toys, customs, handcrafts, old coins, religious paintings, music instruments, weapons, pottery and a large etc. This well-displayed museum will definitely give you a good perspective on Ethiopia’s diversity and cultural richness. Besides, you can see a curious historical scenario: Haile Selassie’s bedroom with the bullet-scarred mirror when there was a coup d’etat attempt by General Mengistu.

National museumThe visit continues with the National Museum, formed by four separate exhibition halls hosting archeological, paleontological and historical items. The basement has recently been renovated with a modern display of fossils and stone tools. A replica of Lucy, the famous three and a half million year old skeleton found in the Afar region, is also found in this room. In the ground floor, you can find archeological findings. In the second floor, there is a display with various collections of traditional and ceremonial costumes and in the last floor you will find contemporary pieces of art such as those from Afework Tekle, an Ethiopian honoured artist.

tomoca-coffee-addis-ababa-ethiopia-9-640x427After a lunch break in Taitu Hotel, the oldest hotel in Addis Ababa, situated in the former Italian neighbourhood of Piazza, we will have a delicious Ethiopian coffee at Tomoca, the oldest and first coffee roasting business in Ethiopia. The Holy Trinity Cathedral visit will unveil a 19th century baroque style church adorned by statues of angels and saints, very different from the Ethiopian traditional churches. This cathedral where Haile Selassie and his wife men are buried, also has an adjacent cemetery where the graves of many important Ethiopian figures can be viewed.

merkatoFinally, the city tour in Addis Ababa ends up in the largest open market in Africa: Merkato. Our guide will be really helpful in this labyrinthine area and he will make sure that you find anything you need if interested in shopping. If time allows, the visit can also includes a visit to the Red Terror Marty’s Museum in Meskel Square and other attractions like Medhanialem Church in Bole area, where you can also observe the growth of the Ethiopian capital city with its sumptuous malls, luxurious hotels and fancy restaurants. And if you have a 24 hours transit in Addis Ababa, we can also take you for dinner to a traditional restaurant, where you will enjoy an unforgettable soiree with dancers and singers performing songs from different ethnic groups.



If you are not a fan of airports and want to spend a productive day in Addis Ababa, contact Inside Ethiopia Tours and we will provide a full or half day city tour service. You just need to tells us how many people will be joining the tour and if you have any particular request and we will take care of everything. And if your transit has been arranged by Ethiopian Airlines, please note that this company offers a transit service that includes the issue of a transit/entry visa and accommodation if necessary. For more information please check this link or contact the airline.

Welcome to Addis Ababa! 🙂

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