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Travelling to Addis Ababa / Ethiopia as Solo Traveller.

Exploring Addis Ababa: A Guide for Woman Solo Travelers

Welcome to Addis Ababa

Being Ethiopia’s dynamic capital city, Addis Ababa seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. This vibrant metropolis offers a unique experience for women traveling alone, where warmth, culture, and adventure converge. I’m excited to share my insider tips with you, helping you make the most of your solo journey to Addis Ababa.

Getting Around and Staying Safe

Navigating the City

Addis Ababa has a well-developed transportation system that’s both affordable and safe. The most convenient way to explore the city is by using metered taxis or ride-hailing apps like RIDE or ZayRide. Additionally, the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit provides another reliable mode of transport, with designated women-only compartments for added comfort.

Staying Safe

As a woman traveling alone, it’s essential to prioritize safety. While Addis Ababa is generally safe, it’s always wise to take precautions. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Keep your belongings secure and avoid displaying expensive gadgets or accessories. It’s also recommended to dress modestly, as Ethiopian culture leans towards more conservative attire.

Discovering Addis Ababa’s Rich Culture

The National Museum of Ethiopia

Embrace the cultural essence of Addis Ababa by starting your journey at the National Museum of Ethiopia. Explore the marvelous exhibits, including the famous Lucy, a nearly complete skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. Dive into Ethiopia’s ancient history and witness its diverse art and archaeological treasures.

Exploring Holy Trinity Cathedral

Architecture aficionados will appreciate a visit to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This ornate church showcases exquisite Ethiopian Orthodox Christian traditions. The peaceful gardens surrounding the cathedral provide a serene atmosphere to reflect and enjoy some solitude amidst the bustling city.

Shopping at Mercato

Indulge in a shopping spree at Mercato, one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant open-air markets. From colorful fabrics and traditional handicrafts to spices and Ethiopian coffee, this lively market has it all. Engage with friendly locals, practice your bargaining skills, and find unique souvenirs to bring back home.

Cuisine and Coffee Culture

Ethiopian Culinary Delights

Treat your taste buds to a delightful culinary adventure in Addis Ababa. Sample the local cuisine, dominated by injera (a sourdough flatbread) and a variety of delicious stews called wats. Don’t miss the chance to try kitfo, a traditional dish made from minced raw meat, or delicious vegetarian options like shiro. Ethiopian cuisine offers a true feast for solo travelers.

Embrace the Coffee Ceremony

As a woman traveling solo, take advantage of Addis Ababa’s vibrant coffee culture. Engage in the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, an elaborate process that celebrates Ethiopia’s reputation as the birthplace of coffee. Savor authentic Ethiopian coffee brewed from freshly roasted beans while embracing the warm hospitality of locals.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

Escape to Entoto Mountain

For breathtaking views of Addis Ababa, venture up to Entoto Mountain. Embrace nature at its finest and explore the Entoto Maryam Church, offering historical and religious significance. The crisp mountain air and lush landscapes provide a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Visit Addis Ababa’s Parks

Enjoy a peaceful stroll through one of Addis Ababa’s many parks, such as Sheger Park or Unity Park. These green havens allow you to unwind amidst unique local flora and provide excellent opportunities for people-watching and connecting with nature.

Connecting with Locals

Blend in at Cultural Restaurants

Experience the warmth of Ethiopian hospitality by dining at cultural restaurants like Yod Abyssinia. These establishments offer more than just delicious food; they provide a platform for traditional music, dance, and diverse cultural performances. Engage with locals and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.

Visit Local Art Galleries

Discover Addis Ababa’s thriving art scene by visiting local galleries such as the Asni Gallery or the Lela Art Gallery. Connect with talented artists, appreciate their work, and gain insight into Ethiopia’s contemporary art scene. Engaging in conversations with local artists can offer a profound understanding of their creative process.


Addis Ababa presents an incredible experience for women traveling alone. From its rich cultural heritage to the warm hospitality of its people, this city invites you to explore, learn, and connect. Embrace the friendly atmosphere, indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine, and let Addis Ababa captivate you with its vibrant soul. Safe travels on your solo journey to this remarkable destination!

Accommodation Options in Addis Ababa for Solo Female Travelers

1. Abyssinia Guest House

Located in the city center, this guest house offers comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere. It’s close to popular attractions and has helpful staff who can assist with travel arrangements.

2. Wudasie Retirment Home

A budget-friendly option, this retirement home offers simple rooms for solo travelers. It provides a safe and quiet environment, perfect for those seeking a peaceful stay.

3. Radisson Blu Hotel

A more upscale choice, this hotel provides luxurious rooms and a range of amenities. It’s located in a safe area and offers a high level of security for solo female travelers.

4. Itegue Taitu Hotel

One of the oldest hotels in Addis Ababa, Itegue Taitu Hotel offers a unique historical experience. It has comfortable rooms with traditional decor and is centrally located.

5. Monarch Hotel

Known for its friendly staff and clean rooms, Monarch Hotel provides a cozy atmosphere for solo travelers. It’s conveniently situated near popular attractions and transportation options.

Camping/Caravan Options:

Unfortunately, camping and caravan options within the city of Addis Ababa are limited. It is recommended to explore camping opportunities in the surrounding areas or national parks.

Must-See Places in Addis Ababa

1. National Museum of Ethiopia

Visit the museum to see ancient artifacts, including the famous Lucy skeleton and other archaeological treasures.

2. Holy Trinity Cathedral

Explore this impressive cathedral known for its beautiful stained glass windows and important religious and historical significance.

3. Addis Mercato

Discover the largest open-air market in Africa, where you can find a wide array of goods, from spices and textiles to traditional crafts.

4. Ethiopian National Museum

Learn about Ethiopian culture, history, and art through various exhibits and displays in this renowned museum.

5. Entoto Hill

Climb to the top of Entoto Hill for panoramic views of Addis Ababa and a chance to visit historical sites, including the Entoto Maryam Church.

6. Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum

Pay homage to the victims of Ethiopia’s Red Terror regime by visiting this moving museum that commemorates their lives and educates about the country’s history.

7. Ethnological Museum

Located within the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, this museum showcases Ethiopia’s diverse cultures, traditions, and history.

8. Unity Park

Explore this newly developed park that offers lush gardens, historical landmarks, and recreational activities, providing a serene escape within the city.

9. National Palace

Admire the grandeur of the National Palace, the official residence of the Ethiopian president, situated within beautiful gardens.

10. St. George’s Cathedral

Visit this stunning cathedral dedicated to St. George, Ethiopia’s patron saint, known for its unique octagonal shape and beautiful artwork.

Favorite Foods to Eat in Addis Ababa


Tibs is a popular Ethiopian dish that consists of grilled or sautéed meat, usually served with injera (a sourdough flatbread) and a variety of vegetables. The meat, which is typically beef, lamb, or goat, is marinated in a flavorful blend of spices and then cooked to perfection. The dish is known for its rich and spicy flavors, making it a must-try when visiting Addis Ababa.


Injera is a staple food in Ethiopia and a significant part of the Ethiopian cuisine. It is a sourdough flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Injera is typically served as a base for various dishes and is used to scoop up stews, tibs, and other flavorful dishes. The tangy taste of injera adds a delicious contrast to the savory and spicy flavors of Ethiopian cuisine.

Doro Wat

Doro Wat is a flavorful and spicy Ethiopian chicken stew that is often considered the national dish of Ethiopia. The dish is made with chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, and a mix of traditional Ethiopian spices, such as berbere (a spice blend made from chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and various spices). Doro Wat is typically served with injera and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that consists of minced or ground raw beef, marinated in spices and served with injera. The beef is seasoned with spices like mitmita (a hot chili powder) and niter kibbeh (a seasoned clarified butter). Kitfo is often served with a side of cottage cheese and cooked greens. It is a dish for those who appreciate a unique and adventurous culinary experience.


Shiro is a popular Ethiopian stew made from ground chickpeas or lentils. It is often cooked with onions, garlic, spices, and served with injera. Shiro can be made in different variations, including mild or spicy versions. It is a comforting and flavorsome dish that is enjoyed as a vegetarian or vegan option in Ethiopian cuisine.

Daily Costs in Addis Ababa for Solo Travelers


– Street Food: $3-5 per meal
– Mid-range Restaurant: $10-15 per meal
– Local Market: $7-10 for groceries (per day)


– Budget Hotel or Hostel: $15-30 per night
– Mid-range Hotel: $40-80 per night
– Airbnb: $25-60 per night


– Public Bus: $0.50 per ride
– Share Taxis: $1-2 within the city
– Renting a Car: $50-80 per day

Safety for Woman Solo Travelers in Addis Ababa

General Safety Tips

– Avoid walking alone at night, especially in poorly lit areas.
– Dress modestly and respect the local culture.
– Keep valuable belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets.
– Use reputable transportation services and avoid hitchhiking.
– Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

Safe Areas

– Bole neighborhood: Known for its hotels, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
– Piassa: A busy central area with shopping and historical sites.
– Kazanchis: A commercial district with many offices and hotels.

Unsafe Areas

– Mercato area: A crowded market where pickpocketing can occur.
– Arat Kilo: A busy area with heavy traffic and a higher risk of theft.
– Piazza Square: A popular area, but be cautious of crowded streets.

Remember, it’s always important to conduct your own research and stay updated on the current safety situation in Addis Ababa before traveling.