Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa is the main hub for Ethiopian Airlines where one can transfer to most capitals of Africa. Other international airlines serviced by Bole International Airport include Lufthansa, Sudan Airways, Kenya Airways, British Airways, KLM, Turkish Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Egypt Air, and Flydubai. The airport’s new international terminal which opened in 2003 is one of the largest airport passenger terminals in Africa. Many hotels will offer free pickup – one only needs to book in advance. Arriving in the country without a major currency such as euros or US dollars is not recommended. Travellers’ cheques and cash can be exchanged at the airport. There are several ATMs in the international airport terminal (Terminal 2) accepting VISA-branded cards (both debit and credit cards), however the reliability is upon chances. Visitors are also advised to have some cash in any major currency (USD, Euro, Pounds, Swiss Franc, and Japanese Yen).
What to see & do
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport serves the city of Addis Ababa which is situated at the foot of Mount Entoto, and rises to more than 3,000 metres. The city is known for its historical structures and high rise architecture that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Some of the biggest mosques and oldest theatres in Ethiopia can be found in Addis Ababa. These structures reflect the city's rich heritage against a backdrop of emerging modern city living. There is a long list of attractions waiting to be discovered in this dynamic city, so travellers do not run out of reasons to explore.
Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum - A museum built to honour the victims of the Red Terror under the Derg regime. It features pictorial history of the red terror and displays of instrument used during that regime. It is the perfect place where visitors can get a glimpse of the Derg's reign of power. This attraction is a must-visit for anyone exploring Addis Ababa.
Entoto Hill - The highest peak overlooking the city of Addis Ababa, Mount Entoto reaches 3,200 metres above sea level and is part of the Entoto mountain chain. Exploring this place will prove to be an educational experience for most as it is one of the historical places most widely-known in Ethiopia where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace, and eventually founded Addis Ababa. Mount Entoto is home to monasteries and churches including Saint Raguel and Saint Mary. The mountain is densely covered by eucalyptus trees that were imported from Australia during the reign of Menelik II, and mostly planted during Emperor Haile Selassie's reign.
Holy Trinity Cathedral - Known in Amharic as Kidist Selassie, it is the highest ranking Orthodox cathedral in Addis Ababa built to commemorate the country's liberation from the Italian occupation. It is also considered an important place of worship in Ethiopia after the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum. The Cathedral complex consists of the 'Bale Wold' (Feast of God the Son) Church, which dates back to the reign of Emperor Menelik II.
How to get around within Addis Ababa
Streets in Addis Ababa have names, but the names are not widely known or mapped; that's why it's highly recommended to use landmarks to navigate the city. Minibuses are usually painted in blue and white that travel quite efficiently around the town. Since the fare is relatively cheaper that any means of transportation, it is full of commuters most of the time.
How to get there
Visitors can fly into Addis Ababa through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, which serves international flights to and from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia as well as inter-African destinations. From the airport, passengers can go by car or ride a bus to the city proper. Autobus Terra and Meskel Square both run from the airport to different parts of the city. Passengers can also hop onto train services to Addis Ababa which runs between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. All visitors of Ethiopia from other countries (excluding Kenyan and Djiboutian nationals) must obtain an entry visa.