In Ethiopia, there are a lot more things to do in Ethiopia than you might think. You couldn’t see them all in a month, but if you take a two-week tour of Ethiopia, you can see a lot of them. Ethiopia has a lot to offer, but most tourists haven’t heard of it yet. Ethiopia has a lot to offer, like mysterious archaeological sites, breathtaking views, unique wildlife, old cultural traditions, and flavors that will make your mouth water.
Even though Ethiopia’s tourism has been growing steadily over the past few years, it’s not easy to get around the country, and the infrastructure for tourists is still a bit lacking.
What the country lacks in modern conveniences, it makes up for in charm because it hasn’t been changed. We have created a list of top things to do in Ethiopia.
6 Top Things to Do in Ethiopia
1. Get Involved with the Great Ethiopian Run
If you are going to be in Ethiopia in November, make sure to sign up for the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa. No matter if you like to run or not, this will be the best thing you do while you are in the country. The GER is a fundraising run that has been going on for 19 years.
Funds are raised to help people who are at a disadvantage, such as women and girls who are treated badly. More than anything else, this is a huge carnival with more than 40,000 people running, walking, and having fun all over the streets of Addis Ababa. It is one of the best things to do in Ethiopia.
2. Find out how the Locals Dance
Ethiopians love to dance and will take any chance they get to show off their moves. They seem to like moving their shoulders and shaking their heads, though I think it’s a bit of a cop-out to just call it shaking. These are twirling movements that I’m not even sure are part of human nature.
Also, you should learn how to dance, or at least go to a dance show if you’re as bad at dancing as I am. Around the country’s most popular tourist spots, there are many “cultural restaurants” where you can eat a local meal and watch a traditional dance show.
3. Get all the Coffee you can
Coffee lovers, watch out! Coffee is “da thing” in Ethiopia, and getting a good caffeine fix is one of the things to do in Ethiopia. Take it from me, a coffee addict. I haven’t been anywhere else where the coffee is as good as in Ethiopia. At Addis Ababa’s most famous coffee shop, Tomoca, you can get traditional freshly roasted, and brewed coffee or espresso. You can also get a black coffee or a macchiato, and either way, you’re sure to get the most fragrant, rich, and intense cup of coffee. You’ll also often smell coffee beans being roasted as you walk around. Go where the smell takes you and have a cup!
4. Try the Food of the Area
I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of Ethiopian food, but I still think you should try the local specialties. Injera, a spongy, sour bread made from a fermented teff flour dough, is served with every meal and is used to scoop up dishes like Shiro tegamino (a very thick red paste made with chickpeas and spices). A typical meal will include a variety of curries and vegetable dishes.
Ethiopia is a great place for vegans because they are very welcome there. All you have to do is ask for “fasting food.” Ethiopians are Christian Copts, and on certain days they don’t eat anything with animal products. Restaurants are happy to meet this need.
5. Enjoy at Churches of Lalibela
One of the best places to visit in Ethiopia is Lalibela. The Rock-Hewn churches of Lalibela are truly one-of-a-kind, so if you only have a short amount of time to see Ethiopia, make sure to include this site on your itinerary. These 11 churches were built in the 13th century. They are named after King Lalibela, who had them carved into the rock in an attempt to recreate the Holy City of Jerusalem. Today, Ethiopian Copts come here to pray. The churches are beautiful works of art that are still in use. Some are better kept than others, and some have beautiful paintings and frescoes. The Church of St. George is the most impressive because you can see it from above (the others have protective structures above).
6. Visit Gondar
You probably haven’t heard of Gondar before. At most, you might know that it’s the best place to start hiking in the Simien Mountains. Still, you should go, and you should give yourself enough time to see everything it has to offer. It is one of the best things to do in Ethiopia.
Gondar is the coolest city in Ethiopia, and it has a lot to offer. Make sure you see Fasil Ghebbi Castle. It was built by Emperor Fasilides in the 17th century and has been kept in great shape. It is now a UNESCO Heritage Site in Ethiopia. The ticket costs 200 Birr, which is about USD 6 and gives you access to Fasilides’ Bath, which used to be a royal family villa with a pool and is now used for religious ceremonies once a year.
Ethiopia is like no other place to visit. You feel like one of the first people to arrive.
You feel like you’re going back in time. Everything is so different and unique that you might wonder, “Am I still on Earth?” Lol. Don’t think that you’ll be able to find bars, get drunk, and meet other travelers. Hitrendsetter’s website is a good place to find out more about things to do in Ethiopia.