Addis Ababa is massive and incoherent. To navigate the city, it’s best to break it down into distinct districts.
The city centre is at the end of Churchill Ave, the southern section of which is named Gambia St. Here you’ll find many government and commercial buildings.
To the north is Piazza, a district whose legacy and architecture are owed to the Italian occupation. It is found atop the hill at Churchill Ave’s north end and houses budget hotels, as well as many cafes and bars.
To the east of Piazza is Addis Ababa University, several museums and the landmark roundabouts of Arat Kilo and Siddist Kilo. South from there is Menelik II Ave, which boasts the National Palace, Africa Hall, a series of new urban parks and, at its southern end, the huge Meskal Sq.
Thanks to the ring road, the southeast of the city – on and around Bole Rd between Meskal Sq and the airport – is thriving with exciting development, such as high-quality restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping centres. It contrasts sharply with the rest of the city.