To travel is to buy experiences that makes your soul richer! So travel, meet new people, trust strangers, experience the culture, eat their food and forget the familiar and comfortable life you are used to because it is in leaving all that is familiar behind that you fully embrace the experiences that ought to enrich your soul-~ Doris Agbevivi (My quote 🙂
Addis Ababa is usually referred to as the capital of Africa. They only had Italians in the country briefly for about five years and were driven out through a bloody war. The people of Ethiopia are very proud of their culture and they celebrate their difference so the best way to actually enjoy Addis is by experiencing the culture.
Top on the list is to take a ride up the hill to Entoto
Please try and have this experience because the sight you will encounter along the way and at the top of the hill will leave you with so much to remember! Entoto was the first capital of Ethiopia before Addis Ababa. At Entoto, try and see the Maryam Cathedral and also visit the Shiro Mera market on your way back!
Next, visit the Yod Abyssinia Cultural centre
Yod offers you a great deal of cultural experience. You will quickly learn that the Ethiopian dance is all about the shoulder. How they do that still amazes me but try it!. Dance with the locals in the bar, have the local drink! It is a must! It tastes amazing! and don’t forget to order a whole tray of Ijera, the Ethiopian staple made from turf served with a variety of meat sauce to wet your appetite!!!
If you are up for it, please join them on stage if you are invited, sing, jump around and shake your shoulder. Live in the moment!!!
Get local coffee brewed the local way in a pot
I’m sure by now you are aware coffee is Ethiopia’s gift to the world! Coffee originated from here so trust me when I say you will have the best coffee experience ever!!!Sit by the roadside with them and enjoy your cup! Just say Salem (hello in ahmaraic) , smile and order yourself a cup. forget about the price! (less than a dollar).
Visit as many cathedrals as possible…
I am not going to list any cathedral here. Don’t limit yourself with a list, just enter any cathedral you find along the way, experience the orthodox worship and prayer with them if possible. The city is filled with Cathedrals on every side! You may want to see the 2nd largest cathedral in Africa though. It’s right opposite the Edna Mall
Visit the Edna Mall
Visit the Edna Mall and walk through the Bole Medhanealem area after seeing this cathedral. Take time to eat and window shop in the Edna Mall. Grab pizza at pizza inn if possible.
Walk along the Cameroun street, Ghana Avenue and Namibia street
These streets are full of life and activities bursting out on every side. Soo many eateries on these streets and soo many sights to behold. If you are up for some fun getting lost and finding your way these streets may give you just that but more importantly they will sum up Addis Ababa for you. You will locate the Edna mall and so many other interesting places along these streets.
Buy something and bargain at the Addis Mercato and the Shiro Mera market. It’s the experience that matters. They will definitely cheat you especially if it is around a festive time as the New year but give it a try because it will still be cheap given the exchange rate. Addis Ababa is not an expensive city at all!!!
Visit Merkel Square
I was fortunate enough to visit the Merkel Square during preparations for the new year. The excitement in the air, happy families shopping and taking pictures while making decorations. At the square you are able to get a nice view of the city. Its arranged like the steps at the Acropolis.
Visit the National Museum and the Ethnological Museum
The best experience for me was seeing Lucy and walking through the bedroom of the great emperor HaileSelassie! (Ras Tafari). You will find LUCY at the national Museum for 10Birr (far less than $1) I changed my name to Doris Dinknesh (Meaning “you are wonderful” in ahmaraic) after seeing Lucy was called Dinknesh in Ethiopia.
The ENTHOLOGICAL Museum is located with in the Addis Ababa University. This is where you will find Haile Selassie’s bedroom and bath. It costs just 100Birr (about $3).This Museum was my favourite because I got to know more about the various groups in Ethiopia than in any other museum; The Gao, Aro etc groups, their beliefs and life in general. Visit these two museums for the experience. You should probably read a little on Lucy and Haile Selassie to appreciate the experience a bit more!
Till I come to you again, It’s me the the girl who travels to tell stories!!! reporting to you from Addis Ababa!
Amasegnalehu (Thank you in ahmaraic)
Comments and suggestions are always welcome
Visit my Instagram page for videos!!! Don't leave Addis without having these experiences and more!!!