St George Cathedral
Commissioned by Emperor Menelik commemorating his stunning 1896 defeat of the Italians in Adwa, the Piazza St George Cathedral was...
Red Jackal Tour Operator
Good-value tours of all the main tourist sites. Used to dealing with backpackers and might be able to help you get a group of other...
Alliance Éthio-Française d’Addis-Abeba
As is almost always the case with French cultural centres, this one hosts an exciting and diverse range of art-house films, experimental...
Very much an Addis institution, this famous Italian restaurant has fed Swedish royalty, Bob Geldof, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and ex-US...
Lonely Planet review
Wading into the market chaos known as Merkato, just west of the centre, can be as rewarding as it is exasperating. You may find the most eloquent aroma wafting from precious incense. You may also find that your wallet has been stolen and that you’ve got stinky excrement on your shoe.
Some people say it’s the largest market in Africa, but as its exact boundaries are as shady as some of its characters, this is a little hard to verify. What should be noted, however, is that this isn’t one of those nicely photogenic markets with goods laid out on the ground or in little stalls. Most vendors now have permanent tin shacks in which to house their wares, so in many eyes this changes the market from a scene of exotica to just a slum.
The mass of stalls, produce and people may seem impenetrable, but on closer inspection the market reveals a careful organisation with different sections for different products. You can spend your birr on pungent spices, silver jewellery or anything else that takes your fancy. There’s even a ‘recycling market’, where sandals (made out of old tyres), coffee pots (old Italian olive tins) and other interesting paraphernalia can be found.