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.

Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceBar in Addis Ababa

Topia Tej Bet

Off Haile Gebreselassie Rd, tucked up an alley behind the Axum Hotel, this is Addis’ top tej bet (honey wine) and the only one to serve pure-honey tej. Signposted only in Amharic (as one local assured us, 'after...

Top ChoiceCoffee in Addis Ababa

Galani Cafe

This one's worth taking a taxi across Addis for. A refreshingly cool and contemporary space, Galani serves up Ethiopia's finest barista-poured coffees, from espresso to piccolo and from drip-filter coffee to cold...

Top ChoiceCafe in Addis Ababa



Ahh, if only all cafes were like this! Coffee is serious business at this great high-stooled Italian cafe (around since 1953) in Piazza. The beans are roasted on-site (you can literally smell them from a block...

Top ChoiceCoffee in Gonder

Senait Coffee Shop

Serving up Gonder's best coffee, Senait is brought to you by the same people who run Four Sisters and it shows. With a small but lovely, character-filled outdoor setting opposite the exit to the Royal Enclosure,...

Top ChoiceJuice Bar in Aksum

Kuda Juice

This cool little juice bar has free wi-fi, a modern feel and terrific juices. Ask for its special of the day – we loved the mango, avocado and guava – or try the shek (juice with milk). It was in the process of...

Top ChoiceBar in Aksum

Yeha Hotel

The hotel may be past its prime, but the Yeha remains the best place in town for a sundowner. The terrace faces the setting sun and overlooks the Northern Stelae Field, St Mary of Zion Church and surrounding hills.

Bar in Lalibela

Torpido Tej House

Also known as Askalech, Torpido serves tej along with traditional azmari song and dance after 8pm. It gets a lot of tourists, but locals usually outnumber them. And unlike the more earthy tej houses, you are...

Bar in Addis Ababa

Black Rose

Hiding in a modern building above the Boston Day Spa and downstairs from Kuriftu Diplomat Restaurant, this plush bar possesses a cool vibe and a refined clientele. Music ranges from Ethiopian to Western and...

Coffee in Addis Ababa


Another of Piazza's cool old coffee haunts, Mokarar (the sign in Amharic says Harar – it's opposite Hotel Soramba) has stand-up stools and serves nothing but great coffee, all roasted right here. It's as simple...

Cafe in Gonder

Ethiopia Café

This classic, though subtle, art-deco Italian cafe in the heart of the piazza is a throwback to the days of yesteryear – it's easily the most atmospheric of Gonder's traditional coffeehouses.

Cafe in Addis Ababa

Choche Fine Coffee Plc

In a quiet garden next to Addis' delightfully decaying old train station, Choche does great coffee and is for those who like to enjoy it outdoors. Service could be friendlier.

Cafe in Addis Ababa

La Parisienne

If you’re staying in the Bole Rd part of town (in fact, even if you’re not), then there’s only one place for breakfast and that’s this megapopular terrace cafe with superb coffee, fair impersonations of...

Cafe in Addis Ababa

Cup Cake Delights Cafe

Red Velvet. Caribbean Breeze. Vanilla Fever. Brunette. The bright-and-bubbly names and flavours of the cupcakes on sale here are highly appropriate for a cafe that is in itself a bright-and-bubbly place full of...

Club in Addis Ababa

Club H2O

A pulsating nightclub downstairs from Yoly Hotel, Club H2O kicks things off with a more sedate Happy Hour: 7pm to 10pm with live jazz to keep things down tempo. Things get going after that with live bands then...

Wine Bar in Bahir Dar

Pelican Wine House

A chemistry degree from Bahir Dar University led owner Yordanos into a life of wine and she now makes her own honey, date, mango, apple and grape varieties. The place is not quite what it was, but is still worth...

Club in Addis Ababa

Memo Club

About 200m west of Bole Rd (Africa Ave), this is another of Addis Ababa’s hot spots. Cosy seats, red lights and the odd full-length mirror surround the circular dance floor, which usually reverberates with...

Bar in Addis Ababa

Beer Garden

If your tipple is beer then at the German-flavoured Beer Garden you can sit on a long bench and get 3L of the golden liquid for Birr181 or a 1L for Birr63. They also do German bar snacks like bratwurst. Parents...

Club in Addis Ababa

Club Platinum & Lounge

Packed every weekend with teenagers and 20-somethings, this place plays the usual mix of hip-hop, reggae, African and other music. Beers are a hefty Birr100. It’s close to the Edna Mall (where the Matti Multiplex...

Club in Addis Ababa

Club Illusion

This is Addis Ababa’s most raucous club and you need to be pretty thick skinned to survive! It’s in the basement of the Ambassador Cinema. There’s occasional live music. Beer costs an outrageous Birr100.

Cafe in Harar

Negeyo Cafe

Overlooking Feres Megala, Negeyo's agreeable terrace is a good place to catch local vibes and enjoy plenty of local colour. It has an appetising selection of cakes and pastries and concocts superb fruit juices....