Introducing Addis Ababa

Like the Ethiopian marathon runners, Addis Ababa (often shortened to plain ‘Addis’) is evolving at a fast pace. The fact that the country’s economic growth should reach almost 5% in 2013 helps create a feeling of confidence and stamina. Founded little more than a century ago, Addis Ababa, which in Amharic means ‘New Flower’, is not only the diplomatic capital of Africa and a thriving metropolis, but also a groovy city that takes pride in its multifaceted assets.

Perched on the Abyssinian plateau, some 2400m above sea level, Addis boasts a climate classed as ‘tropical highland’ – in other words, balmy and temperate, with cloudless blue skies for about eight months of the year – all the more reason to visit. It’s well endowed with museums, including the culturally stimulating Ethnological Museum, set within emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace, which gives a great insight into Ethiopia’s many rich cultures. Another highlight is the National Museum, the collection of which ranks among the finest in sub-Saharan Africa; its star attraction is Lucy, the oldest hominid ever be found by archaeologists.

Addis also gets rave reviews for its restaurant scene and nightlife. Bole Rd – the avenue that connects the airport to the centre – is the fashionable district, with plenty of fancy bars, eateries, galleries and clubs. Addis has lots of great surprises up its sleeve – it’s time to delve in!

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