Addis Ababa Travel Information
Addis Ababa is one of the safest cities in Africa. Although it is safe to travel in most places, you should be vigilant in busier places such as Merkato and Megenagna to protect yourself from petty theft. Make sure you hide money and valuables like phones, cameras and passports out of sight. Avoid travelling alone, specially at night and always pay attention to your surrounding.
Getting to Addis Ababa
Several airlines have daily flights Addis Ababa. Most popular options are Ethiopia Airlines, Luftansa, Emirates, Qatar, Qantas and British Airways. An economy return ticket from London to Addis roughly costs around $800.
Bole is the only airport in Addis and is located to the south of the city. It has basic facilities, restaurants and a free Wifi access. There are a number of way travel options to the city centres such as, metered and contract taxis and minibuses.
Passport and Visas
Passports should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry and must have two blank pages on arrival.
A visitor’s visa is required to enter Ethiopia. Tourists can get a 1 or 3 month visa at Addis Ababa airport. The cost is around $50 for 1 month and $75 for 3 months. All major currencies are accepted. Visitors must declare to customs officials on entry or exit any cash in excess of $3,000 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies).
You can also purchase a 30 or 60 day visitor visa from the official government website at https://www.evisa.gov.et/
Addis Ababa has a mix of tropical, subtropical and cool climate zones. Temperatures differ by up to 10°C between the lowest and hilly parts of the city. Average temperature in the summer season is 20°C (68°F) and 16°C (61°F) in the winter. The warmest month is May and August is the Wettest.
When to Go
September to January are the busiest months due to ideal temperatures and low rainfalls. The city’s main cultural events (Timket & Meskel) are also celebrated in these months making it the best time to visit.
There are several options to get around Addis Ababa from private cabs, meter taxis to minibuses and trams. Read our guide on getting around Addis Ababa for more.
Health and Safety
If your travel is limited to Addis Ababa, it is recommended to take hepatitis shots. Avoid eating raw foods and drinking tap water, bottled mineral water is available in most places. Visit the health information for travels guide to find out more.
There are a number of private hospitals and clinics in the city that offer a reasonable standard of care for minor health problems.
In Addis Ababa power sockets are of type C and F and operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz. Make sure you pack a universal plug adaptor.
Most hotels offer FREE WiFi access and there are internet cafes in most streets and shopping malls. You can also buy a sim card and data bundle from an Ethiotelecom branch. You will need 30 ETB for the sim card and your passport for verification. Data bundles are reasonably priced and can also be purchased from street vendors and kiosks and supermarkets.
Addis Ababa is on Eastern Africa Time zone