Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Addis Ababa has very limited green areas and places for nature-based activities. However, Entoto park above the city offers biking and hiking trails. Also, within Addis, there is Friendship Park. There are some parks and hikes outside the city, but due to security restrictions, travel outside the city is currently forbidden. There was camp ground at the Langano campground a few hours by road from Addis, but I hear that may have closed. - Aug 2023

Entoto park, friendship park, unity park, the Hilton, the Sheraton, ambassador mall. - Aug 2023

The new park in the north of the city isn't so bad. - Aug 2022

Lots of fun things hidden in nooks and crannies! Best way to experience is to ask locals. - Jul 2022

It's hard to see the beauty in Addis as it is a big, grey, concrete city. I strongly recommend looking down the little cobbled alleyways and at the people dressed in their finery on their way to weddings and church. The beauty is in the small vignettes rather than big grand monuments or scenery in the city. Outside the city the countryside is diverse and has some truly breathtaking scenery. There are not many tourist things to do that don't involve visiting a church. I dont think I've ever been to a country with so little diversity in the types of places to visit. - Aug 2020

Ethiopia is not nearly as charming as it’s east Africa neighbors unfortunately. Enjoy the opportunities to travel to Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles etc. - Mar 2020

Fear of muggings, assaults keeps many at home. You can visit museums and learn about the history, just take a taxi so you don't have to leave your car on the street. Western hotels have decent spas. People walk in groups in the local gardens, but it's still dangerous. Entoto mountain is a beautiful place for day hikes, but risk of mugging is high. Not recommended unless it is a planned hike with proper security. - Feb 2020

Horseback riding on the mountain - Feb 2019

The Danakil depression is quite an experience. It's the hottest region on Earth, and contains sulfur lakes, a salt flat, the Erta Ale volcano that you can climb and spend a night at, next to the lava-filled crater. Not cheap, but worth it. Sweaty affair though. - Oct 2018

Traveling inside Ethiopia is relatively easy too. Hidden gems? No, anytime there is a gem the entire expat community shares it! HA! - Aug 2018

Entoto Mountain was one of the good place to go running, for walk, and camping, however, recently I have heard that many foreigners have been attacked more aggressively than before. Maybe behind British Embassy area to rock hewn church ruin can be enjoyed. There are one day trips that you can make from Addis if there is no restrictions due to civil unrest. - Jul 2018

Going to the Portuguese bridge. - Jan 2018

The annual Meskel celebration is a lot of fun, with bonfire block parties on every street. If you're into coffee some local coffee shops do tasting events. - Sep 2017

The Born Free animal preserve. - Aug 2016

We are "get out and explore" types and that's hard to do here. Between security restrictions, lack of language, poor infrastructure, and a generally very closed society, it's difficult. Can be extremely expensive to travel both in and out of the country. - Aug 2016

The history and culture of Ethiopia is truly unique within Africa--there are some incredible historical sites in the country (Lalibela's rock-hewn churches, a bunch of castles built by the emperors in the 14th century, etc.). It's also got some incredible natural offerings--hiking in the different mountain ranges, volcanic craters/lakes/plains, etc. The embassy actually owns a camp-site that up to five families can share at a time, which people love to book for weekends to get out of the city. Also, travel to East Africa and Southern Africa is relatively easy, as is going to Dubai or Istanbul for a weekend. - Feb 2016

Some fun overnight trips: Wenchi Crater, Awash Falls Lodge (make sure you drive to the oasis hot springs), Lake Langano. Addis itself is not too exciting but there are some fun hikes and bike rides around there. - May 2014

Exploring the Entoto mountains. Trying new restaurants (expats tend to focus on only a fraction of those available). Weekend trips to resorts/sights. I'm unable to divulge hidden gems or they won't be hidden any longer! - Jan 2014

If "in the area" includes day trips out of town, then yes: the Old Portuguese Bridge near Debre Libanos is a nice place. If we're just talking about inside the city, then no. - Nov 2013

Get out of town. Lots of trips are around. Both short weekenders and long trips are rather cheap. - Jun 2012

There are so many things to do! Restaurants by the hundreds. I don't know them very well, but I hear the clubs are good. There are numerous Jazz clubs in town. There are numerous trips out of town that can be done in a weekend. One I just tried: Awash National Park -- outstanding! - Aug 2010

Many people try to leave town on the weekends, and there are quite a few day and overnight weekend trips. The closer locations are good for hiking, bird-watching, etc. Good domestic air service makes some of the further afield tourist sites accessible on the weekends as well. There are sports clubs, spas, restaurants, shops/markets, and nightlife. One movie theater plays first-run English movies. There really is a great deal of variety in all of the above. - Jun 2010

Travel in county is interesting. Addis Ababa is unlike the rest of the country, so to experience the exotic, you need only head out of town. Flying about on Ethiopian Airlines is pretty cheap if you're a resident of Ethiopia. - Mar 2008

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