How to Spend 24 Hours in Addis Ababa

St. George Cathedral | © Harald Wörndl Aichriedler / Flickr
St. George Cathedral | © Harald Wörndl Aichriedler / Flickr
Though often used as a stopover city, Ethiopia’s vibrant capital is a travel destination in its own right. Boasting some of the region’s best coffee, tastiest Injera, unique shopping, and colorful culture, Addis has a lot to offer the city-loving traveler. Check out our guide on how to spend 24 hours in Addis.


Start your morning right with some of Ethiopia’s famous coffee, checking out Alem Buna for creamy macchiatos or Tamoca for an excellent espresso and vibe. After coffee, wander through the Piazza neighborhood, one of the city’s most bustling areas, while checking out the city scene, overflowing storefronts, and interesting architecture.

Ethiopian Coffee © Jens Rueckert / Flickr


Ethiopia’s food scene is pretty unparalleled. Though countless restaurants dot the city, there’s one main question to consider while picking a spot: vegetarian or meat. Addis’ famous butchers and meat connoisseurs cook up mouthwatering beef, with some of the best tibs (beef served still sizzling in a clay pot) found at Brundo Butchery. Vegetarians and vegans will be delighted by the options at Yod Abyssinia.

After chowing down, spend a few hours at one of Addis’ notable museums. The Red Terror Museum and the National Museum of Ethiopia both provide a lot of really informative insight into Ethiopian history, and are a great way to ground your day. As a museum alternative, spend some time walking through the Shola market or paying a visit to the stately St. George Cathedral.

Shola Market in Addis © Jenn / Flickr


For a truly spectacular Addis sunset, head to Top View Restaurant for a cold beer and a great view. Afterwards, grab some dinner at Kategna, a local Ethiopian hotspot with a diverse menu. Make sure to try their doro wat (chicken stew) as well as the fasting (vegetarian) platter. In addition to offering some of Addis’ best food, people watching at Kategna always guarantees a good time.

Ethiopian cuisine © Rod Waddington / Flickr


After dinner, make sure to check out Ethiopia’s vibrant jazz scene. Throw back some tej (fermented honey wine), and check out Mama’s Kitchen and Ghion Hotel, two spaces that often host some of the city’s most impressive musicians. Ethio-Jazz is experiencing a serious revival, and the opportunity to catch a live show shouldn’t be missed.

Jazz at the Ghion Hotel © Insights Unspoken / Flickr

Getting around

Though the close proximity of the city’s international airport is perfect for quick excursions and exploration, don’t underestimate the traffic in Addis. Additionally, minibus taxis are great for zipping around town, although a personalized taxi (with a negotiable rate, of course) are the best for a jam-packed day trip.