Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

I wouldn't say it's a good place for anyone, but because there is little to do, it's probably a better place for families than others, cause you get to focus on your kids. - Dec 2023

There is a single community within the Mission, and your social life will be what you make of the opportunities available. There is a large, single expat community, including NGO and humanitarian workers. Plenty of local restaurants and cultural activities. However, I would caution against going out alone on the street after dark, unless you have a ride or a confirmed taxi to pick you up. Knowing some of the local language is helpful but not necessary. Also a good post for couples and families. Lots to offer, once you find what you are looking for. - Aug 2023

The embassy Community Liaison Office (CLO) is incredible. There is always something to look forward to. Many events for both families and singles. - Aug 2023

Singles, couples and families could all survive. It's how you make use of the situation you are in. - Aug 2022

I am a single and it can be challenging to live here as a single because of harassment as well as general loneliness. I have had to be very aware of security- not going out at night, not walking by myself in certain areas, etc, but my company has helped in a lot of ways. In every stage of life, there is challenges in Addis. It is a hard place to live but worth it. - Jul 2022

I do not think it's good for anyone. The economic system alone is a closed one. - May 2022

In my opinion, this place isn't good for anyone. - Jun 2021

I don't think so. - Feb 2021

We like it; we have made good friends, our child is happy and we have excellent colleagues. Not sure about singles. - Aug 2020

There is a good mix of singles and families at post. - Mar 2020

Yes, because there is a large expat community. No because Addis is emotionally and physically tough and crime is high. If you are an introvert, it will be tough. - Feb 2020

I hate to answer because I'm not single and don't really know. I imagine you have more freedom so could get out more to see the country when it's safe. I think for anyone who lives here, there's just nothing to do. Going out to restaurants is okay. There are no parks or places to walk around. You have to be really careful if you go to the mountains. When you're out, people ask for money. It seem to be a good city in which to test your relationship. - Feb 2019

Not great for singles I'd say. Good for couples (lots of day trips and short holidays to be done around Addis and in the rest of the country). Good for families I'd say, because you'll have a nice house with a garden, and nannies are cheap. Not many things to do for families though, except play dates. - Oct 2018

It's better for singles and couples as the stresses seem to be easier to manage than for families. That said, plenty of families have a wonderful tour here. - Aug 2018

Single people - I heard from some singles that it was hard to meet other singles, but I saw opportunities for get together.
Couples - maybe best out of there groups. No need to worry about children' sickness or education.
Families - there may be quite a lot of challenges. There aren't many public places such as parks for small children to go out and play outside. The air quality is not good, and you may worry about what if situations like sickness, big injuries, and others. We wished that there was good medical facilities.
On the other hand, Addis Ababa is the hub to many international destinations in the world. You will enjoy time out of the country with easy access and quite affordable. - Jul 2018

I think the single crowd here are doing OK. There are a few bars and clubs. For families the school is great but Addis does not have a lot to offer. No playground or green space. There is only one movie theater, and not much else to do. - Jan 2018

Addis is a good city for anyone who's willing to make a bit of an effort to find a social circle and make their own fun. However, my colleagues with children have complained that there are few activities for kids outside of what is offered at school. - Sep 2017

I think as far as being a FSO, there are a lot of people and definitely, single people even though this is a big family post. There are lots of embassies here, the AU is here, tons of NGOs so...lots of single people circulating through (good for dating, not so good for longer term I guess due to the transient nature of posting every couple of years). Good for families I think, mostly b/c there are so many here. I'm not tapped into that part of the FS as again, we don't have kids here. - Aug 2016

I suppose this is a better post for families than singles and couples. There is a sparse cultural scene here. Jazz, if you know where to look and traditional dance/music the same. Theater is non existent. Film, similar. Art, there is some, but geared to tourists. Reading materials in Amharic largely.

I guess this is the place to note that AFN is widely used here, a measure of how poor communications are and how sparse the recreational offerings. There is cable out of South Africa, for $100+ a month. - Aug 2016

Better for families and couples, I would think. - Feb 2016

Good for families; singles and couples tend to struggle with a lack of activities. Ethiopia is a big country so it is actually kind of hard to get out of town to the big attractions and flights to other countries can be expensive. However, it is what you make of it and we knew a lot of happy singles and couples who were enjoying their tours. - May 2014

It's an average city. Unless you are creative and have a hobby, you can get very bored here. Families, couples, and singles tend to entertain at home or go to restaurants. Some folks brave the night clubs, which are said to be not bad, but are prone to shenanigans and fights (usually because the expat is acting absurd). Don't come here if you expect it to be like your favorite city back home. Folks who are flexible, understanding, patient, and creative have a wonderful time. Rigid types suffer. - Jan 2014

There seems to be little to do in this city for any foreigner but I imagine that singles or couples without children (or those with older children) would have a better time than families with young children. - Nov 2013

Sure. - Jun 2012

Very good for families. Fine for couples. I can't really say about couples. Single men seem to be happier than single woman. I'm too old to do the club thing, but I hear it is lively. - Aug 2010

Yes to all of the above. Addis is good city for families, with school functions, sports and music lessons available, and weekend travel. Many families have a membership at a hotel pool or health club, although the rain can limit time spent outdoors. Addis has plenty of restaurants and nightspots to entertain singles and couples, and there is a vibrant nightlife drawing in both Ethiopians and expats. - Jun 2010

Yes, yes, and yes. - Mar 2008

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