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     Addis Ababa                                 

Addis Ababa weather                                                                        Addis Ababa City Map     

St. George's Church

The Martyr's Statue

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa city Hall

Addis Ababa (the name means 'new flower') is of fairly recent origin - Menelik 11 founded the city in 1887. Situated in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and standing 2,400 metres above sea level it is the third highest capital in the world. The city has a population of about two million.
Before moving to the present site of Addis Ababa, Menelik had established temporary capitals at six different locations caused by exhausting the fuel wood at each of these sites. Addis itself was in danger of being abandoned until the introduction of fast-growing eucalyptus trees from Australia provided the city with a regular source of fuel.
Addis Ababa
is an important administrative centre not only for Ethiopia but also for the whole of Africa. The headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa was established here in 1958 and it is the site of the OAU's secretariat.

Getting There and Away
By Air :
Bole International Airport is 5 kilometres from the city centre and is undergoing major extensions, with a new International Passenger Terminal Building under construction:
Ethiopian Airlines run a free shuttle bus into the city. Taxis and 'contract taxis' run to and from the city, and leave the city from Piazza area
By Bus :
The 2 main bus stations in Addis are the Autobus Terra near Mercato, and the smaller terminal on
Ras Mekonin Ave near the railway station. All National buses, with the exception of buses to Nazret and Oebre Zeyi leave from the Autobus Terra. Buses to Nazret and Debre Zeyit depart from the terminal in Ras Mekonin Ave.

Getting Around
Very few streets have names in Addis Ababa , and if they do may not be known by the names on the map. The exception to this is Churchill Avenue which is the main thoroughfare and shopping street in Addis.
It is best to navigate by using landmarks like the Post Office (posto bet), Abiot (also known as Meskal), the station (la gare) and areas like Piazza and Mercato, which are shopping areas. Some roads have one name on the map and another in general use. For example Africa Avenue on the map is universally known as
Bole Road, and Has Biru Avenue as Debre Zeit Road.
There is a large and efficient network of blue and white minibuses which cover the town.


Addis Ababa Hilton

Addis Ababa Sheraton

Addis Train station

Selassie (Trinity Church)

Africa Hall:
Africa Hall is on Menelik 11 Ave - an imposing symbol of African independence and optimism. It houses the headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. The huge stained glass windows depict the suffering of the people of Africa.
The Filwoha springs are just to the west of the Africa Hall. These springs, which have obviously lost some of their former beauty, prompted Queen Taytu to persuade her husband to establish his new capital at Addis Ababa. The thermal waters are now diverted to an adjacent bathing complex.
Also next to the Africa Hall lies the huge Square a natural amphitheater where parades are held every September to mark the 1974 revolution. Portraits of Marx, Angels, Lenin and Comrade Mengistur used to adorn the square.

St George's Cathedral:
St George's Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral). lies at the north end of Churchill Rd. Built in 1896 in the traditional octagonal shape to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa, the Cathedral houses the work of Afewerk Tekle, the renowned Ethiopian artist responsible for the stained glass windows of the Africa Hall. Cathedral opens 0800-0900 and 1200-1400. There is a small museum in the compound.

The Menelik Mausoleum:
The Menelik Mausoleum, built in 1941 to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes, and the Trinity Cathedral, are located nearby St. George's. The Trinity Cathedral was built to commemorate
Ethiopia's liberation from five years of Italian occupation.

National Theatre

Meskel Square

The Lion of Judah Monument

Sidist Kilo

Haile Selassie's Grand palace:
Haile Selassie's Grand palace is located north east of Churchill Ave at the end of Colsen St. The Emperor has a second residence,
Jubilee Palace, on Menelik Ave, just north of the Ghion Hotel.

National Museum:
The small
National Museum is located at Han St / Kilo crossroads, just north of St Mary's Church. Guides are the only real source of information, since the exhibits are poorly labelled, but they vary in standard. The exhibits are varied, and include Lucy; the female fossil skeleton found in northeast Ethiopia in 1974, believed to be about three and a half million years old. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, some predating the Axumite civilization of Tigre. It also includes a selection of the more than 200 designs of crosses found in Ethiopia. It is open from 0830-1230 and 1330-1730.

Near the museum are the Lion Cages, probably the only place in Ethiopia to see the Abyssinian lion. The cages are probably best not visited by animal lovers.

Menelik IISquare:                                                                                                                    In Menelik II Square stands the imposing equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II, the victor of Adawa. The statue was erected by Emperor Haile Selassie and dedicated on the day before his coronation in 1930, in memory of his great predecessor. The square is located outside the main gates of St. George Cathedral (Genete Tsige Menagesha Kidus Giorgis), and is close to City Hall. The distance markers on all the highways in Ethiopia mark the distance to their location from the base of the statue of Emperor Menelik II in this Square. Every year, on the anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Adawa, the Emperor would lay a wreath at this statue after attending mass at St. George Cathedral (the victory had occurred on St. George's Day). Col. Mengistu continued laying a wreath here on the anniversary, but did not attend the church services as his regime was Marxist.

Haile Selassie's Grand palace

The Tiglachin Monument

The Freedom Tower

Menilik Hospital

Yekatit 12 Martyrs Square (Sidist Kilo):                                                                                 The Yekatit 12 Square (Sidist Kilo) monument stands in tribute to the thousands of innocent martyrs butchered by the Fascist Italian Occupiers on that date in in the Ethiopian Calender year of 1929 (1936 Gregorian Calendar). The massacre took place at the order of the Italian Vice-Roy Marshal Grazziani in response to an assassination attempt against him carried out by two pro-Ethiopia Eritreans. The monument is shown here during a religious procession of priests of the Orthodox Church, probably at Timkat (Epiphany). Wreaths were laid here by the Emperor to commemorate the massacre every year. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam continued this practice during his rule, but for a time after the fall of the Dergue regime, only the Mayor of Addis carried out this practice. Recently, the President of the Federal Republic has taken over this task. The monument is in the form of a white obelisk with black bas reliefs of scenes of the massacre as well as scenes of the Imperial funeral accorded to the remains of the victims in the presence of the Emperor following the liberation around it. A Lion of Judah also decorates the face of the obelisk. Even though the image of the Lion of Judah and the Emperor Haile Selassie were removed from all over the city during the reign of the Dergue, they suprisingly did not touch this monument. The monument stands in the Sidist Kilo square infront of the Yekatit 12 Hospital (formerly Emperor Haile Selassie Hospital and known before that as the Beite Saida Hospital). Also facing the square are the southern gates of the Guenete Leul Palace, which today is the main campus of the Addis Ababa University (formerly Haile Selassie I University). Another major attraction adjoining the square is the old Imperial Lion Zoo, where many of the old Imperial lions and their decendents live. The Churches of Menbere Leul Kidus Markos (Altar of Princes St. Marks Church) and the Meskia Hazunan Medhane Alem are both nearby, as are the former palaces of the Crown Prince (later the Political Cadre's College during the Dergue Era), the Duke of Harrar (later the Headquarters of the Womens wing of the Workers Party of Ethiopia), and Princess Tenagnework (later the headquarters of the Ethiopian Navy), as well as the American and Greek Embassies.

Meyazia 27 Square (Arat Kilo):                                                                                       Meyazia 27 Square is the official name of what is popularly known as Arat Kilo, a name that applies both to the square and the surrounding district of the city of Addis Ababa. The monument at the heart of the Square commemorates the victory over the fascist Italian invaders, and the struggle that preceded it (Meyazia 27 on the Ethiopian Calendar, May 5th on the Gregorian Calendar, is both the day that Addis Ababa was occupied by the Fascists, as well as the day that Emperor Haile Selassie returned to his capital in triumph exactly 5 years later). The original monument includes a relief of the Emperor Haile Selassie holding the national flag, which was altered during the reign of the Dergue regime into a representation of a guerrilla fighter holding the national flag. The EPRDF regime that deposed the Dergue restored the Emperor's face to the monument. The central obelisk, topped by a Lion of Judah, actually predates the fascist occupation, and the surrounding circle of relief figures and monumental panels was added after the war. The Arat Kilo monument stands at the heart of Addis Ababa's government district, and in front of the Ministry of Education building (not shown here). Holy Trinity Cathedral (whose dome can be seen in the background) and the Parliament building are nearby, as are the present office of the Prime Minister and the Imperial Palace. Also nearby are the Science College, the Holy Trinity Theological college, Emperor Menelik II High School and the Berhan Ena Selam Printing Press. Foreign Heads of State customarily lay a wreath at this monument during state visits. This square was the focus of Victory Day celebrations held on May 5th (Meyazia 27) every year when the Emperor would lay a wreath here following his attendance at Mass at Meskia Hazunan Medhane Alem Church (Church of the Savior of the World, Consoler of the Grieved). The Dergue regime changed the date of Victory Day to the day that General Cunningham and his British, South African and Nigerian Troops actually entered the city. The post Dergue government in Ethiopia has restored Victory Day to it's original date.

The Lion of Judah Monument:                                                                                              The Lion of Judah Monument stands in the square in front of Addis Ababa's train station. The golden colored statue of the Lion of Judah in it's complete glory stands on a black granite pedestal which is decorated with relief portraits of Emperors Menelik II and Haile Selassie I, and Empress Zewditu, as well as Ras Makonnen. It marks the foot of the city's widest and avenue, Churchill Road which has the impressive Addis Ababa City Hall at it's other end. The Lion of Judah statue has a very interesting history. Erected in 1930 just before Emperor Haile Selassie's coronation, it was looted by the Italian occupiers in 1935 and taken to Rome, where it was erected next to the Vittorio Emanuelle Monument. During the 4th anniversary celebrations of the proclomation of the Itlian Empire, Adolf Hitler chose to visit Rome, and attended the celebratory parades along side the Fascist Dictator Musollini and King Victor Emanuelle III. In the parade were numerous subjects of Italy's African Empire, including a young Eritrean named Zerai Deres. Zerai Deres was marching with other parade members carrying a ceremonial sword with which to salute the King, the Fuhrer, and el Duce, at the grandstand. As the parade marched past the Vittorio Emauelle monument, Zerai looked up and saw to his shock, the golden Lion of Judah, the symbol of the ancient monarchy to which his ancestors had long owed aliegence, erected as war booty in the heart of Rome. It was too much for him to bear, and he promptly drew his sword and with tears of anger running down his face he fell on the first Italian officer he could find. He killed and wounded numerous Italian military officers before he was killed. Zerai Deres is lionized to this day as a brave Ethiopian patriot. The monument remained in Rome for several decades, and was finally returned to Addis Ababa after long negotiations in the 1960's. When it was re-erected in it's square the day it arrived, the Emperor was present in military uniform to salute, and to pay tribute to Zerai Deres. Following the revolution in 1974, the Dergue regime decided to remove the statue once more as it was a monarchist symbol. However, the elderly war veterans association members appealed to the Dergue to consider the memory of Zerai Deres and his sacrifice that was inspired by this very symbol. This act saved the statue and it stood it all it's Imperial glory right through the Dergue era, and continues to stand today.

Entoto Mariam Church

National Theatre

Patriots Memorial (Arat kilo)

Taitu Hotel

Abune Petros Memorial:                                                                                                      Just West of Addis Ababa's impressive City Hall, down the hill on the main road to the Merkato district is Abune Petros Square with it's imposing statue. Abune Petros, the Ethiopian Orthodox Bishop of Wello who was executed by the Italians at the edge of this very square. Abune Petros was one of the four first native Ethiopians who were anointed as bishops by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria to serve under the Coptic born Archbishop Abune Kerllos of Ethiopia in 1932. Abune Petros was given the province of Wello as his diocese. In 1936, the Fascist armies of Benito Mussolini occupied much of Ethiopia, and Abune Petros traveled to the northern Shewan district of Menz to join the sons of Ras Kassa, Dejazmatches Wondwossen, Abera and Asfa Wossen Kassa and other resistance leaders to plan an attack on the Italians to drive them out of Addis Ababa. The attack failed in 1937, and the Bishop was captured. Defiantly refusing to submit to Italian rule, he was condemned to death. Shortly before his execution Abune Petros Bishop of Wello, dressed in his clerical robes, held up his hand cross and pronounced his anathema on the people and on the very earth of Ethiopia itself, if they were ever to submit to the invader. He was then shot to death in front of a horrified audience. Emperor Haile Selassie had the statue erected in the memory of this great Bishop upon his restoration to the throne. The spot of his execution on the western edge of this square is also marked by a memorial slab. Sadly, during the brutal rule of the Dergue regime, the bodies of many victims of the "Red Terror" were displayed in this square.

The Mercato is located in western Addis Ababa and is one of the largest markets in Africa offering an array of colors, aromas, costumes, produce and jewellery. Beware of pickpockets. In Mercato virtually every possible commodity is on sale, from livestock to computers.

Entity is the mountain range that rises to the north of Addis and is easily accessible from the city. This is where Menelik started his first capital, and the
Church of Entonto Mariam where he was crowned can still be visited At the top of the hill is the Church of Entonto Raguel which offers stunning views.

Government owned hotels
The Ghion,
Ethiopia, Wabe Shebelle, Africa, Harambee, Ras and National hotels may have restrictions on unmarried couples sharing rooms. Government hotels can be booked through the NTO or the head office of the hotel chain.
The Ghion Group manages the Ghion, the Taitu and the National hotels Tel. 513222, Fax 515381.
The Ras Group manages the Ras,
Nile and the Africa hotels, Tel. 517060, Fax 51533.
The Wabe Shebelle Group manages the Wabe Shebelle and the Maskal Flower hotels, T517187.
The Ethiopian group manages the Harambee,
Ethiopia and Tourist hotels Tel. 517400. Buffet de la Gare is the best value in town.

Top Range
Addis Ababa Hilton, very central on Menelik Ave, Tel. 518400, Fax 510064, Tx21104. Luxury accommodation with comprehensive business and recreations facilities
Sheraton Addis very central on Yohanis St, Tel. 517138, Fax 514029, reservations Tel. 517138
Africa, Dejazmach World Mikael St, Tel. 517060/447385
Carrera Lodge, Roosevelt St, PO Box 6273, Tel. 755144/754499.
Ethiopia, Yohannes Ave near Churchill Rd, Tel. 5117400/447400, Telex 221072. Located in business and commercial district
Ghion, very central on Menelik Ave, close to Revolution Square, Tel. 513222/443170, Telex 21112
Guenet, Beyene Merid St, Tel. 518125, older style
Harambee, Taitu St, Tel. 517400/154000/154327/154226/154457, Telex 21072
lbex, Bole Rd, Tel. 654400. New, comfortable hotel
National, Menelik Ave, Tel. 513222/155166, Telex 21112
Blue Nile, Ras Mekonin Ave, Tel. 517060.
Churchill Rd, Tel. 517060/447060, Telex 21485. Just north of railway station, very popular and one of the oldest hotels in Addis
Wabe Shebelle, Ras Abebe Aragay St, Tel. 515187/447187/90.

Medium Range
Axum, Asmara Rd, PO Box 40318, Tel. 188832.
Balu, near Piazza. Good value.
Buffet de la Gare, near station, PO Box 2381, Tel. 517888/517125, Fax 515959 Good location,.
Maskal Flower Hotel, adjacent to the Debre Zeit Road, Tel. 517187. Central, good value.
Tourist, near
Grand Palace and Trinity Cathederal. Popular.

Lower Range
Filwoha Hotel, Tel. 511404. Near the hot springs.
Fin-Fin Hotel, opposite the Filwoha
Debre Zeit Rd, south of the city centre.
Holidar Hotel,
Asmara Rd, near the Plaza Hotel. Good value.
Yordanos Hotel,
Asmara Rd, Tel. 515711, Fax 516655, PO Box 1647. Recommended.

Bel Air Hotel, off
Queen Elizabeth St, near Ras Ambas Hotel allows camping.
Debre Damo, Asmara Rd.Good value.

Where to Eat
Addis Tsegenet, Wabe Shebelle Hotel, Ras Abebe Aragay St, Tel. 447187/90. Roof-top location, on l1th floor, good views
Abiata Restaurant, Wabe Shebelle Hotel, Ras Abebe Aragay St, International cuisine. Addis Ababa Restaurant, Weatherall St. Traditional Ethiopian food
Casino Restaurant, Ghion Hotel, Menelik Ave, International cuisine and flambe nights on Friday and Saturday in gardens.
China Bar, off Ras Mekonin Ave. Chinese cuisine
Fin-Fin Hotel,
Atse Yohannes Ave, near the Hilton Hotel. Ethiopian cuisine
Ghion Restaurant, Ghion Hotel, Menelik Ave. International cuisine.
Harar Grill, Addis Ababa Hilton, Menelik Ave, French cuisine.
Jacaranda, Addis Ababa Hilton Menelik Ave. Italian and Mexican food.
Lambardo, on Ras Abebe Aregay Ave. Italian food
Cottage Restaurant & Pub, near the Harambee Hotel on Desta Demtew Ave Swiss food.
Lalibela, Ras Desta Ave. International cuisine.

Mainly American, Indian and Arabic films are shown.
Ambassador Theatre, near National Theatre and Harambee Hotel on Atse Ave.
Cinema Ethiopia, near Piazza.

National Theatre on
Churchill Rd near the Ethiopia Hotel has regular traditional dance and music 1600-1800 on Thursday.
City hall, at the north end of Churchill Rd

Concord Nightclub on Concord Ave. Very popular.
3M Club at Carrera Lodge Hotel, on Roosevelt St to the southwest of the centre. Live bands at weekends.
Ghion Nightclub, on
Menelik Ave, close to Revolution square.
The Tunnel, on Churchill north of Ras Hotel.

Swimming: at Ghion Hotel, and at Hilton Hotel.
Tennis: at Ghion Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Guenet Hotel, Taitu Hotel.
Horse racing: at Jan Meda, Tel.112540. Northeast of the city centre off Muluetsa St Soccer: at Addis Ababa Stadium on Ras Desta Damtew Ave. There are games on most Thursday evenings and on Saturday and Sunday.


Addis Ababa airport runway

Addis Ababa airport Terminal

For bus journeys to the regions it is necessary to buy a ticket the day before departure. Bus station ticket office opens at 0800, and to be certain of booking you should arrival by 0700
Red and yellow Ambasa buses operate within the city, stopping at every red and yellow marking. There is a flat fare per person for a one way trip.

Cream coloured National Tour Operator taxis operate at Bale International Airport. There is also a minibus service from the airport.
Private taxi service operates in the smaller blue and white cars along set routes, often on vehicle sharing basis.

Ethiopian Airways connects with many European destinations and with 23 African cities In addition there are direct flights by Abyssinian Airlines, Alitalia, Aeroflot, British Airlines, Egypt Air, Lufthansa, Interflug, KLM
Royal Dutch Airlines, Sudan Airways, Yemenian and Kenyan Airways. Internal flights with Ethiopian Airlines and Abyssinian Airlines are efficient and cheap.

A 782 kilometre railway connects Addis with Djibouti on the Red Sea. The trains from Addis Ababa leave daily at around 0700 and 1930, arriving in Djibouti approximately 24 hours later. The main stop is at Dire Dawa, a bit over half way. Booking is at the railway station at the southern end of Churchill Rd. It necessary to make a reservation as the train is often full. Road
Buses to and from the regions are frequent. However the road s are in poor condition, so allow for extra journey time. The main bus terminal is at Merkato while a second bus station is near the railway station on Ras Mekonin Ave with frequent services to nearby destinations such as Debre Zeit, Mojo and Nazret.

Djibouti, Tel. 157322. Air France Tel. 19044. Air Tanzania Corporation, Tel. 15753. Alitalia, P. O. Box 3240, Tel. 154640. Ethiopian Airlines has 3 offices in City centre near National Theatre on Churchill Ave ( this office for internal flights, which have to be paid for in US$ cash Tel. 447000). The head office is at the airport Tel. 512222/612222. Kenya Airways, P.O. Box 3381 T 443018. Lufthansa, P.O.Box 2484, new Insurance building, Churchill Rd.

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia at airport.
Commercial bank of Ethiopia Churchill Rd.
National Bank of
Ethiopia Churchill Rd.

Postal and Communication Services
Post Office on Churchill Ave near Adua square, open 0800-1600.
Telephone Calls can made through the telecommunications Head Office opposite Holy Saviour church. Telex, telegram and fax service are also available from here, and from the main Post Office on Churchill Rd. Collect calls can be made. Most of the larger hotels have telex and telegram facilities.

Hospitals and Medical Services
Black Lion Hospital on Churchill Rd behind Tiglachin monument.
Ethio-Swedish Clinic, Tel.449933.

City Council runs a number of inexpensive public pharmacies. There is one next to the National Tour Operation head office, near Ghion Hotel off Menelik Ave, on Ras Dista Deneten St. It stocks some imported medicines. There is also a pharmacy in Hilton Hotel.

Tour and Travel companies
In addition to the state-owned National Tour Operation, there are several private tour and travel agencies.
Alfa Travels,
PO Box 4263,Tel. 511177,
Al-tad Travels,
PO Box 1223, Tel. 513755, Fax 515244,
Distance Travel Agency,
PO Box 70186, Tel. 151715, Fax 515963.
Eastern Travel and Tourist Agency, PO Box 1136,Tel. 511574, Fax 511468.
more Tour Operators.  or  more Travel agencies.

Tourists Informations
Ethiopian Tourist Commission, on the corner of Desta Damtew St/Abiot Square, PO Box 5709, Tel. 5514838/5512923. There is also a branch in Addis Ababa Hilton, Tel. 158400, Telex 21104, Menelik Ave open daily.
The Department of Natural Resources, just off Africa Ave (the road towards Bole).
Sells a range of information sheets and maps for many of the national parks, for just a nominal charge.


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This site was last updated 05/26/18