An ancient city, Addis Ababa is one of the highlights of any visit to Ethiopia. Famous for its historic edifices and its bustling markets and bazaars alike, this city has something to entertain all kinds of visitors. Visit the Ethnological Museum to find out about the culture and the rich past of this city. The Museum is housed within Haile Selassie’s one time palace, and includes some very elegant gardens. The St George’s Museum, dedicated to the country’s patron saint, is another fantastic place to spend an afternoon, as is the National Museum. If you want to experience the vibrancy and the hustle and bustle of a traditional Ethiopian market, then the Merkato is one of the best places to go as it is always very busy. Art lovers should make a point of visiting the Asni Gallery. This spacious building is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary Ethiopian art. It houses around 6 or 7 different exhibitions every year, so there is always something new to see, even if you have visited Addis Ababa before.
For many tourists, the dates on which they choose to travel to Ethiopia depend on the weather. The rainy season in Addis Ababa tends to last from March to September, and the wet conditions can make transport a little slower. The dry season, which falls outside these dates, enables you to make the most of being outside in the city, though travel to Ethiopia can be a little more expensive in the drier months. Visit during a national holiday in Ethiopia and you will be able to mingle with the locals who are in a festive mood, as well as fellow tourists. Gena, the Ethiopian Christmas, falls on January the 7th each year, and is traditionally a period of great festivity.
The main mode of transport in the city is the ‘blue donkey’, i.e. a blue and white-colored Toyota HiAce which acts much like a communal taxi. There are hundreds of these dotted throughout the city: just hail one, pay a small fare, and sit amid other commuters in the van as you get to your destination. When it comes to exploring the markets and similar sites though, the best way to go is on foot. That way you can weave through the jammed traffic and other pedestrians with ease.