Addis has a handful of excellent museums that mean you can take a journey through the country's history without even leaving the city.
Ethnological Museum One of Africa's best museums with extensive exhibits on Ethiopia's peoples.
National Museum Visit your ancient relative Lucy in the fabulous basement archaeological exhibition.
St George Cathedral & Museum Sacred religious objects and all manner of church relics make this worth a look.
'Red Terror' Martyrs Memorial Museum Relive Ethiopia's disturbing recent past at this city-centre museum.
Addis Ababa Museum Learn everything there is to know about the city's story.
Ethiopia is often cited as the birthplace of coffee, and the good people of Addis still love a good brew.
- Tomoca An Addis classic with stand-up benches and the story of coffee adorning the walls.
- Mokarar The essence of Addis Ababa's coffee culture, with no-frills coffee served to a knowledgeable crowd.
- Choche Fine Coffee Plc Great coffee and a pleasing garden setting next to the old train station.
- Galani Cafe A contemporary take on the Addis coffee house – fantastic coffee but in a thoroughly modern setting.
- Yod Abyssinia One of the best places in Addis for the traditional coffee ceremony.
One of the best reasons for being in Addis is the food, and a number of restaurants take traditional cooking (and sometimes entertainment) to a whole new level.
Yod Abyssinia The pick of Addis' traditional restaurants, with live music and dance and great food.
Kategna Terrific local food, but in a refreshingly sophisticated setting with traces of traditional design.
Habesha 2000 Another excellent choice for local food with live performances thrown in for free.
Itegue Taitu Hotel In a gracious old mansion, their lunchtime vegan (fasting) buffet is an institution.
17 17 Basic but wildly popular, this is where locals come for a no-nonsense meal.
It's not always easy to find your access point into Ethiopian culture, traditional and otherwise, but there are some key touchstones to learn what makes Ethiopia tick.
Yod Abyssinia Traditional food and traditional performances – it's all here in one neat package.
Topia Tej Bet Local passion for honey wine is an enduring feature of a night out for many – there's nowhere better than here.
Yewedale Get caught up in live, improv song-and-comedy routines that Ethiopians adore.
Destino Dance Learn the moves of Ethio-contemporary dance at these Saturday-lunchtime classes.
Shiro Meda Market Come to shop where the locals go for that special-occasion outfit.
Go Addis Tours Take a guided tour that fast-tracks you into local life.
Holy Trinity Cathedral Immerse yourself in the world of Ethiopian Christianity.
Ethnological Museum Learn everything there is to know about the country's fascinating cultural mosaic.