Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

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About Addis Ababa

Ethiopia's capital is truly a gateway to another world. As Africa's fourth largest city and its diplomatic capital, Addis is sprawling and busy, no doubt about it. But it's also one of the best places to visit if you truly want to understand Ethiopia, as well as sample its incredible food and explore its fascinating museums. Start with the well-regarded Ethnological Museum, set within the grounds of Haile Selassie's former palace and surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains, which displays Ethiopia's entire cultural and social history. Also worth a visit is the sub-Saharan Africa display at the National Museum as well as the fascinating palaeontological exhibition in the basement, the home of world-famous Lucy.

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Ethiopian Airlines will operate a four-times-a-week service from Manchester to Addis Ababa, starting 11th December 2018. Ethiopian, which flies to more destinations in Africa than any other carrier, will provide significant onward connectivity options from the African hub.

Flights from Manchester to Addis Ababa will land at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), 4 miles southeast of Addis Ababa city centre. If you're continuing your journey from Addis Ababa and have a long layover, you can take advantage of Ethiopian's city tours, including a shopping experience, the chance to see a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and a visit to the Ethiopian National Museum, which celebrates this part of Africa being the birthplace of humankind.

The Ethiopian Airlines service from Manchester to Addis Ababa will start on December 11th, initially transiting via Brussels. The flight will leave Manchester at 19:00, arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 06:00, providing significant onward connectivity options from the African hub. On the return it departs Addis Ababa at 00:45 and arrives in Manchester at 06:55.

As you’d expect from any capital city, Addis Ababa offers plenty of accommodation for almost any budget. Those on the hunt for absolute luxury should make a booking at the Sheraton Addis, a gorgeous high-end hotel boasting every comfort and service you could imagine in the heart of the city. Alternatively, thrifty travellers can make their money go further with some research and planning, many 3- and 4-star hotels offer both great services and competitive prices.

Addis Ababa offers the best of both modern boutique shopping and traditional market rummaging. If you’re in search of high fashion there’s plenty to be found in Snap Plaza, a new mall in the centre of the city that hosts several smaller boutiques. However, the true treasures of the city are to be found in the Shiro Meda market, where many traditional shopkeepers sell their wares. If you’re looking for a souvenir then you’ll want to visit the arts and crafts market, Anbar, where you can buy lots of native crafts at a reasonable price.

The first thing you need to know about eating in Ethiopia is that you will often be eating using your hands as is traditional, more specifically your right hand. Many hotels will provide cutlery but restaurants rarely do, instead offering soap and warm water for dinners to wash their hands before the meal. There are plenty of dishes to sample, but the most popular is injera, a sour flatbread flavoured with different toppings that has become a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. If you’re over the age of 18 you should also keep an eye out for Talla, traditional wheat beer, and Tej, a fermented honey wine.

Save religion, Ethiopia has taken little cultural influence from the rest of the world – leading to a diverse set of festivals and events that are completely unique to the country. While Adis Ababa is certainly the best place to be for any of the country’s holidays there are a few celebrations that we particularly recommend:

Leddet

Celebrated in early January, Leddet is the Christmas holiday in Ethiopia marking the birth of Jesus. Before the festival, there is a period of 43 days fasting, like advent, which is then lifted with a colourful celebration and a large feast. This is one of the biggest celebrations in the Ethiopian calendar and a brilliant window into the country’s culture.  

Great Ethiopian Run

The biggest running event on the African continent, the Great Ethiopian run is one of the toughest tests of a runner’s endurance and stamina. With thousands of competitors taking to the starting line each year, this is a fantastic sports event that’s worth your time during a visit to Addis Ababa.  

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Key facts

Language:Amharic
Currency:Ethiopian Birr
Time zone:UTC + 3
Flight time:9 hours 15 minutes
Airport code:ADD
Holiday type:Discovery / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

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