Ethiopian Birr (ETB)

Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Somali, Sidama, Afar, Gurage, Welaita, Hadiya

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to some remote desert regions of the southeast, as well as to the area immediately west of Gambela on the South Sudan border. Areas near borders that are away from main roads are to be avoided. All-but-essential travel to remote parts of Amhara northwest of Gonder is also warned against. Before booking travel, click here for more information.


Top ChoiceLive Music in Addis Ababa

Fendika Azmari Bet

This azmari bet rivals any in Addis. It’s littered with Ethiopian cultural items and always offers a good time (whether you understand what's going on or not). They also do live jazz as well as DJ-spun Ethiopian...

Top ChoiceCinema in Addis Ababa

Alliance Éthio-Française d’Addis-Abeba

As is almost always the case with French cultural centres, this centre hosts an exciting and diverse range of art-house films, experimental theatre, gallery exhibitions, opera and world music. There’s also a...

Dance in Addis Ababa

Destino Dance Company

This innovative social project trains young local dancers from underprivileged backgrounds (including some with disabilities) in traditional Ethiopian dance. They put on occasional performances (check the website...

Live Music in Addis Ababa


Thanks to some of the city’s best azmaris (local minstrels who improvise amusing poetry and songs) performing here, Yewedale is resoundingly popular and you may have trouble finding a seat. The sign is in Amharic...

Dance in Bahir Dar

Amsal Mitike

Unlike other more touristy places around town, this fine venue should do the trick. The focus here is more on live music and dance by well-known local performers and the crowd's almost entirely local.

Jazz in Addis Ababa

La Gazelle Piano Bar

This dark and moody bar has live jazz every night and it's far more mellow than most other Addis nightspots, even after the band finishes and a DJ takes over.

Comedy in Bahir Dar

Balageru Cultural Club

If you’d like an entertaining cultural experience and a good laugh, visit this place. Various azmari (local minstrels who perform a mix of music and humour) do their thing nightly (from around 7.30pm to 2am) to...

Comedy in Gonder

Shewe Beye

Gonder produces Ethiopia’s best azmaris (local minstrels who perform a mix of music and humour). While many end up starring in Addis Ababa, there are still some good azmari bets (bars) here. This is one among...

Club in Harar

National Hotel

This vast dance hall is the only place in Harar that has a resident DJ. The music is a mixture of Ethiopian pop and reggae, with some traditional tunes thrown in. There’s no cover charge, but a bottle of beer...

Club in Harar

Tourist Hotel

On weekend nights you can barely breathe for the crowds. Expect Ethiopian pop and international hits. This real earthy hang-out can become rough-and-ready, but that’s part of the fun.

Club in Harar

Samson Hotel

This old-town place gets going early. Music kicks off around 8pm and dancing soon follows. It's popular with young Hararis. During the day it serves as a bar.

Cinema in Addis Ababa

Ambassador Cinema

An institution, this central cinema puts on the usual diet of action-packed and slightly passé Hollywood movies. Films are shown daily in three sessions.

Theatre in Addis Ababa

National Theatre

This impressive building, with its massive marble and bronze entrance hall (and the odd pigeon), hosts theatre most weekends at 5pm.

Live Music in Gonder


There’s traditional Amharic music and dance on stage here nightly from 7pm to midnight.

Cinema in Addis Ababa

Matti Multiplex

The multiplex cinema inside the Edna Mall shows all the big-ticket Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and local films, including those in 3D.