Top ChoiceChurch in Gonder

Debre Berhan Selassie

Debre Berhan Selassie

Welcome to one of Ethiopia's most beautiful churches. Appealing as it is on the outside with its stone walls, arched doors and two-tiered thatch roof, it's the inner sanctuary of Debre Berhan Selassie, with its...

Top ChoiceEuropean in Gonder

Four Sisters

Now here's something special. One of the best places in northern Ethiopia for both food and atmosphere, Four Sisters has brilliant traditional food (order 'national food' for an overview of what it's capable of),...

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,...

Castle in Gonder

Royal Enclosure

Royal Enclosure

The Gonder of yesteryear was a city of extreme brutality and immense wealth. Today the wealth and brutality are gone, but the memories linger in this amazing World Heritage site. The entire 70,000-sq-metre...

Religious in Gonder


This three-day celebration of the Epiphany (Christ's baptism), is marked with special fervour in Gonder. White-robed faithful throng the streets and churches in solemn processions, with a less solemn event at...

Religious in Gonder


Gonder is a fine place to be for this important national festival that marks the 'finding of the True Cross' by the Empress Helena in the 4th century. Expect bonfires, priests in full regalia and much pageantry.

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.

Palace in Gonder

Empress Mentewab’s Kuskuam Complex

It mightn't be as well-preserved as the Royal Enclosure, or as sacred as Debre Berhan Selassie, but what this royal compound, known as Kuskuam, lacks in order and holiness it more than makes up for in melancholy....

Historic Site in Gonder

Fasiladas' Bath

Fasiladas' Bath

Around 2km northwest of the piazza lies Fasiladas’ Bath, which has been attributed to both Fasiladas and Iyasu I. The large rectangular pool is overlooked by a charming building, thought by some to be a vacation...

Museum in Gonder

Ras Gimb

Though its early history is murky (it was likely built in the 17th century, though some say the 18th), this attractive palace once served as a retreat for Haile Selassie, a residence for Italian generals and a...

Market in Gonder

Saturday Market

Originally the city’s weekly market, Kidame Gebya is now packed throughout the week, although Saturday remains the biggest day and Sunday is rather quiet. Traditional clothes vendors are right at the top, while...

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...

Ethiopian in Gonder

Lodge Fasil

With an agreeable garden setting (there's a more formal dining area inside), Lodge Fasil in the hotel of the same name does a good mix of Ethiopian dishes with European comfort food such as steak sandwiches and...

Ethiopian in Gonder

Tele Café

Although it serves food all day, we rather like this spot for breakfast and for people watching. When it comes to the former, it serves good ful (an Egyptian staple of broad bean and butter puree), including a...

European in Gonder

Quara Hotel

While the menu doesn’t break the mould, it does offer a few meals not often available in Ethiopia, such as curry-spiced noodles, as well as the usual Ethiopian and European staples. The balcony is good for...

Ethiopian in Gonder


Several locals recommended this newish place for traditional Ethiopian food and while we couldn't quite see what all the fuss was about, it does serve up good honest local food, albeit in a rather anodyne dining...

Arts & Crafts in Gonder

Kindu Trust

This child-sponsorship charity has a small store selling baskets, banana art and beads made from recycled magazines. Some items are also sold at Lodge du Chateau.

Bar in Gonder

Goha Hotel

There’s nowhere better in town for a sunset drink than this hotel’s lofty garden terrace. Besides the overpriced beers, there’s a variety of local and imported wines and the views are superlative.

Ethiopian in Gonder


This bamboo-walled restaurant, a short walk from the Royal Enclosure exit, is a good place for lunch, with grilled fish a speciality, but it also does lamb tibs and pasta.