We use cookies to deliver our services. Learn more here. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.
COVID-19 cancellations: Please click here for latest updates.

Addis Ababa is a fascinating mix of tradition and modernity

By Carlton Leisure - 29/07/2014


One of most important cities in Africa; Addis Ababa is not only the seat of government of Ethiopia but also the economic and social heart of country. This city of more than two million people was founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887. Beautiful snuggled in the foothills of Entoto Mountains the city gives a beautiful impression despite not being that affluent. The city portrays a varied architecture that includes government buildings, great skyscrapers, theatres and other places of tourist interest. The city is home to natural and manmade attractions. The city has enough in terms of tourist attractions to fulfil the needs of tourists with varying interest. Here we list some of the major tourist attraction in the city.

Ethnological Museum

Museums give an understanding of city and its popular culture and Ethiopian capital is no exception. Situated amidst Haile Selassie’s former palace and flanked by the beautiful gardens and fountains of Addis Ababa University’s main campus is a great Ethnological Museum. So what if you are not a museum fan, this place still worth a visit. The museum has several exhibits that you may find interesting. A small Lion of Judah is an attraction worth watching. Most of the vacationers have this museum in mind when they board Addis Ababa flights.

National Museum

With its vast collection National Museum in Addis Ababa is considered one of the most important museums in this region. But exhibits are not properly labelled and displayed. The museum attracts a large number of visitors despite poor management. Two remarkable casts of Lucy, a fossilised hominid discovered in 1974, are the most popular exhibits here.

Red Terror' Martyrs Memorial Museum

If you want to dig deep in to the history of Ethiopia than visiting ‘Red Terror' Martyrs Memorial Museum could be an ideal choice. Spread over a couple of rooms the museum gives a beautiful insight into the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie and the miseries of common people under Mengistu’s Derg regime. The museum is well laid out and incredibly moving. The museum showcases some of the moving artefacts and photographs. Most of the photographs include people who were killed during the Derg rule.

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Once you’re through with the moving images of the Red Terror Martyrs museum than it is time to prayers. This massive and well adorned building is one of the most important places of worship in the city. Besides being a cathedral the place is also the final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife Empress Menen Asfaw. Most of the people who visit this museum also visit Aksumite-style granite tombs situated inside.


The museums and cathedrals may have their own charm but no trip of the Ethiopian capital is considered complete unless you visit Merkato and negotiate with the huge traffic and crowd. But rest assured that trip is very rewarding as it gives you an insight into the craft, culture and cuisines of the country.