Information for Travelers
Addis Ababa, the sprawling capital of the Ethiopian highlands, borders the Great Rift Valley.
Ethiopia's bustling capital is the commercial and cultural hub of this diverse and charming country.
For starters, it is geographically in the middle of this great nation and at 2,355 m above sea level.
The city occupies an elevated position, overseeing large areas of the rest of the country.
And Addis Ababa is also the business center of this very rural country.
As such, it is home to the movers and shakers of this rapidly developing nation, the young and educated, as well as a small but growing middle class.
The city has the largest open-air market in Africa, it's so vast it looks more like a makeshift village than a place of commerce.
With its thriving mass of people streaming in, vehicles honking and countless herds of cattle, entering Merkato can be an overwhelming assault on a newcomer's senses.
For merchants and buyers, it's a regular business, and while it seems free for everyone, the stalls are roughly organized by product.
Rising from the city's northern edge like a mighty crown, the Entoto Hills offer a taste of the spectacular Ethiopian Highlands.
At Mount Entoto, the highest peak in the range, sweeping views reveal Addis in all its vast glory.
Legend has it that Emperor Menelik II and his wife Taytu Betul were here before they decided to create Addis Ababa in the green valleys below.
A small cluster of huts marks the Emperor's last palace before founding the permanent capital in 1886.
The mountain is considered sacred in the Ethiopian Orthodox faith, with several churches scattered around the peak.
Addis Ababa is also Ethiopia's cultural hub, with several important museums stationed in the city.
The city has major universities and many Ethiopian Orthodox sites and treasures.
The National Museum displays Ethiopian art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid "Lucy".
The 20th-century tomb of Emperor Haile Selassie, the copper-domed Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is a Neo-Baroque architectural landmark.
Part historic monument, part unofficial sports centre, Meskel Square is Addis Ababa's most famous landmark.
On any given day, runners can be found pounding the 600-meter-long steps, training in relative peace amid the chaos of downtown.
Ethiopia's cultural landscape is incredibly diverse, but the one thing that unites its people is a deep love of food, music and dance.
In addition to entertainment, Yod Abyssinia offers the best Ethiopian food in the capital, serving dishes from across the country.
Read about Addis Ababa in Wikipedia