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Money and costs

Ethopia Birr (ETB)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated May 20, 2019 5:40AM UTC
Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Basic double with private facilities: US$15–25
  • Travel between cities by bus: US$8–17
  • Local-style meals are tasty and cheap: from US$6–10
  • Double room in a comfortable hotel: US$25–75
  • Occasional internal flight: US$115–250
  • Dinner with alcohol at a midrange restaurant: around US$10
Top end (more than)
  • Accommodation in a full-board resort or an upmarket hotel room: from US$75
  • Private 4WD with driver: US$180
  • Fine dining at an upmarket restaurant: US$15 and up

ATMs in major towns. Credit cards accepted in some top-end hotels (especially in Addis), but in very few restaurants or even midrange hotels. Bring US dollars in cash.


Tips (gursha in Amharic) are considered a part of everyday life in Ethiopia, and help supplement often very low wages. The maxim ‘little but often’ is a good one, and even very small tips are greatly appreciated.

If a professional person helps you, it’s probably better to show your appreciation in other ways: shaking hands, exchanging names or an invitation to have a coffee and pastry are all local ways of expressing gratitude.

Furnishing yourself with a good wad of small notes – Birr1 and Birr5 – is a very good idea. You’ll need these for tips, taking photographs etc.