Full Day City Tour in Addis Ababa

Your Ultimate 8-Hour Private Addis Ababa City Tour: History, Culture, Museums, Markets & Local Life

What is more? Tour is flexible, customable, private, and led with professional guide.

Our Addis Ababa experience, already lauded by countless happy travelers, guarantees a customized tour tailored just for you.

TripAdvisor Review for 1-day tour in Addis AbabaBook your long layover 8-hour tour to Addis Ababa with free airport/hotel pickup and drop-offs

Here is your ideal entire day sightseeing city trip in Addis Ababa with Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours

"ቀስ በቀስ እንቁላል በእግሩ ይሄዳል"
"Slowly but surely, an egg learns to walk"
Amharic proverb which emphasizes the significance of persistence, patience, and
perseverance in achieving one's goals.
Plan your visits to Addis Ababa today. We'll walk with you every step of the way.

Lets work on what you have in mind

🤔 ONLY HAVE ONE DAY TO EXPLORE THE SIGHTS OF ADDIS ABABA?

🤔 YOU WANT TO MAKE THE BEST USE OF YOUR DAY IN ADDIS ABABA?

🤔 DO YOU WISH TO CREATE AND ENJOY YOUR TOUR YOUR WAY?

🤔 EM, YOU ARE NOT QUITE SURE ON HOW? 
TripAdvisor Top Rated Tours in Addis Ababa

Our expertise and experience in local tourism enable us to provide you an exceptional tour. We're here to help you create your personalized whole-day tour itinerary to Ethiopia’s capital. We specialize in customizing private excursions in and around Addis Ababa.

YES! It is what we do best and sets us atop the rest!

MƎET travel professionals, MEƎT your travel dreams – MEET the best & discover Addis with MERIT.

See why TripAdvisor highly ranks our Full–Day City Tour in Addis Ababa.

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Keep reading to find out how we do it. And  if you have any questions or for booking this full day tour.Reach us on WhatsApp to book your full-day Addis Ababa tour

IN BRIEF

Duration - 8 to 9 hours

What-to-do (see) - List of top sites you visit and local activities you'll experience with us

MORNING:

National Museum of Ethiopia - Step into Ethiopia’s fascinating history

St. George’s Cathedral – Discover the architectural masterpiece

The Ethnological Museum - Unveil the Ethiopian ethnic tapestry

LUNCH: Flexible lunch stop as per your choice

AFTERNOON:

Merkato Market – Indulge yourself in the buzzing mix of cultures

Holy Trinity Cathedral – Learn why it is a Symbol of Faith and Resilience (See below)

Scenic Driving around Addis Ababa City - Enjoy a picturesque joyride

Cultural Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony - A Unique Communal Experience

Price (per person) in US Dollars - 1 = 150$, 2 = 80$, 3 = 95$, 4 = 80$, 5 = 65$, 6 = 60$

Price INCLUDES - Vehicle with Fuel (gasoline), private driver, tour guide, All Entrance (Admission) fees, Hotel/Airport pick up and drop offs, Local family visits and lunch (home cooked Ethiopian food), Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony Experience, Local snacks and bottled water, Tea/Coffee, and all applicable taxes.

Price DON'T INCLUDE - Meals and other expenses not mentioned above

NOTE (Page last updated on Jan 28, 2024) - While the magnificent Holy Trinity Cathedral undergoes its restoration, it's currently closed to visitors. Don't worry, though! We'd be delighted to whisk you away to any other captivating attraction in Addis Ababa that sparks your interest. See where to go instead - Entoto St. Maryam Church or Entoto St. Raguel Church.

What makes your private tour of Addis Ababa extraordinary with Merit Ethiopian Experience? Keep Reading!

DESCRIPTION

“Addis Ababa, written as "አዲስ አበባ” in Ethiopia's Amharic language means “New Flower”. The 1880s mark the foundation of the city. Emperor Menelik II takes credit for it. This is the step-by-step schedule of touring Addis in a day.

This complete sightseeing tour covers the top places of interest in Addis Ababa. With our customizable trip, see Addis's best tourist attractions (see below).

Discover all that our city has to offer, just like our happy TripAdvisor reviewers! Secure your spot on our private full-day city visiting now! We're excited to plan your magnificent tour in Addis Ababa.

Read visitors' feedbacks on TripAdvisor

But first, we'd like you to enlighten us about your travel preferences, interests and budget. This will help us to design the best tour just for you!Lion of Judah Monument in Addis Ababa City

It is your independent city sightseeing visit. It allows flexible tour start and end times. Get a free pick-up from any hotel in Addis Ababa you are staying at. You are free to create your custom itinerary for visiting Addis.

Do you have a long layover at Bole Int’l Airport? No worries! We can customize this transit day trip as per your requirements.

Your individual Addis Ababa city tours let you have a glimpse of the huge Ethiopian nation.

Addis Ababa panoramic view from Sholla local marketThis tour is perfect for first-time sightseers to Addis Ababa. Its itinerary is planned to explore the best museums, churches, and local markets in one full day.

Driving on scenic routes of the city and trying unique Ethiopian cultural activities are part of the experience.

 You'll spend your day with one of our skilled local tour guides from Addis Ababa. It is by drive with a regularly sanitized private vehicle.

The all-day long tour is simply the extended version of our much-loved Addis Ababa Half-Day City Sightseeing. You’ll double the time to dive deeper, discover more, and explore hidden gems of the city.

Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours offers this flexible #sightseeing #tour of #Addis #Ababa. Shop for interesting local markets like Merkato (or Addis Mercato). Learn Ethiopian history by visiting top museums and famous monuments in Addis Ababa.

Cultural activities include the traditional coffee ceremony of Ethiopia and learning to cook local meals.

Learn more about Ethiopia with our full day Addis Ababa city tour

TOUR DETAILS

Duration – 8 to 9 hours

Means of Transport – For 1 or 2 travelers - Toyota Corolla and for 3 to 6 travelers – Toyota Minivan of 2016 Model

We operate with insured, clean, and comfortable vehicles for our Addis Ababa full-day trip. All of our vehicles have air conditioning and seat belts.

Below are places to visit and things to do in Addis Ababa:

National Museum of Ethiopia

Ethnological Museum

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Merkato (Addis Mercato) Market

St. George’s Cathedral

- A visit to Mount Entoto

Participation in the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

- A picturesque driving through Addis Ababa city

Road map showing places you'll visit

Roadmap showing places of visits in Addis Ababa

How unique and flexible is this tour?
 More attractions to explore and things to do in Addis Ababa to choose from

 Flexibility in choosing what to do or where to go in Addis Ababa

Visit your preferred sites at your own pace and travel style

 Set your day tour pick-up and drop off time and location

 Start day tour from any hotel OR at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa

The tour takes you to the renowned Ethnographic Museum, known as one of Africa's finest. Then, step back in time at the historic Saint George Cathedral, one of Addis Ababa's oldest and most revered churches.Addis Ababa City Skyscrapers

This 1-day trip also includes driving to Mount Entoto for the panoramic view of Addis. Enjoy our 8-hour city tour in Addis Ababa with the guidance of highly skilled French, German, or English-speaking tour guides. 

Our Addis Ababa guided city tour is ideal for transit or stopover passengers at Bole International Airport. If you are flying Ethiopian ET575 with a stopover at Addis, make the best use of your stay in city.

Craft your ideal Addis Ababa experience with our flexible city tour! Your expert guide isn't just a map, they're a cultural bridge, unlocking deeper insights into each stop and tailoring the day to your interests. Family visits, coffee ceremonies, scenic drives – it's your Addis, your way.

WHY BOOK AND VISIT ADDIS ABABA WITH US?

Free air-port pick up and drop off

 Flexible tour start and end time

Visit sites of your preference

Experience the diverse cultures and traditions of Ethiopians

Gain insight into Ethiopian History and way of life from knowledgeable tour guide

 See Lucy at the National Museum to learn why Ethiopia is the "Cradle of Mankind"

Get an unforgettable experience by visiting Merkato or Addis Mercato Market

Learn about Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity at the Holy Trinity Cathedral

Drive to Mount Entoto (3,200 meters above sea level) for the panoramic views of Addis Ababa

Take a scenic drive for a photo shoot of the city's historical monuments

See also major international buildings and the main squares of Addis Ababa city

All in all, our private citywide tour is your complete experience of Addis Ababa. We give you alternative places to explore such as visiting markets like Sholla local market instead of the most popular Merkato. You can always adjust this guided sightseeing event with us.

ITINERARY

Your tour will commence in the morning where a tour guide will meet you at your hotel. You wish to start the tour from the airport? Indeed, our guide will be excitedly waiting for you at Bole International Airport (ADD).

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHIOPIASee Lucy at National Museum of Ethiopia during Full Day City tour in Addis Ababa

With our guided tour, explore the four sections of the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Visiting this museum is a unique opportunity to learn, connect, and delve deeper into the heart of Ethiopia.

On the ground floor, the archaeological exhibits bring you face-to-face with the material remains of past civilizations. Highlighted by “Dinknesh (ድንቅነሽ)” - the famous Lucy fossil, a 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis, you'll appreciate Ethiopia's place in human evolutionary history.

These displays take you back to Ethiopia's rich past. Learn more about Ethiopian history through findings from the Axumite Kingdom and even the legendary times of the Queen of Sheba.

On the first floor, see Ethiopia through the eyes of local artists. Marvel at the artistic beauty of Ethiopia, from ancient paintings and sculptures to contemporary masterpieces.

The top floor deepens your appreciation for the unique cultural heritage and traditions of Ethiopia. Understand Ethiopian society through clothing, tools, and household items from various regions. Discover unique customs, practices, and ways of life that showcase Ethiopia's vibrant diversity.

The entrance fee to National Museum is 50 Ethiopian Birr (about 1 US Dollar) per adult foreign tourist per person.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHIOPIA IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS

HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL

Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis AbabaHoly Trinity Cathedral is the highest-ranking religious site in Addis Ababa.

Emperor Haile Selassie I is the founder of Holy Trinity Cathedral. Its architecture and beautiful stained glass windows make it unique and worth visiting.

Experience the privilege of paying homage to Emperor Haile Selassie I and his wife, Empress Menen. Their resting place is conveniently located within the cathedral's building.

Visit also the small museum of the cathedral – Trinity Museum. See ancient religious artifacts. Have a look at the real royal seats of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taitu. See the crowns of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen.

ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM

Full day private sightseeing tour in Addis AbabaBefore lunch, take a guided tour of the Ethnological (or Ethnographic) Museum. It was the former house of Emperor Haile Selassie I.

Ethnological Museum is in the compound of Addis Ababa University. This university is Ethiopia's first university opened on March 20, 1950. 'Haile Selassie I University' was the first name of Addis Ababa University as he founded it. This museum is a great place to learn about Ethiopias history, culture, religion, and people.

At Ethnological Museum, learn about the cultural backgrounds of the people of Ethiopia. You will also visit the bedroom of Emperor Haile Selassie I.

LUNCH BREAK

Ethiopian-Local-Meal-in-Addis-Ababa-at-Lunch-during-Full-Day-City-tour-in-Addis-Ababa.jpgFuel your exploration with the healthiest, most flavorful Ethiopian dishes for lunch! Immerse yourself in Ethiopian cuisine at Addis Ababa Restaurant, Finfine Adarash, or Taitu Hotel, renowned for their authentic and delicious traditional dishes.

MOUNT ENTOTO

After lunch, head north of Addis Ababa to the peak of Mount Entoto (3,200 Meters above sea level). Enjoy a birds-eye view of Addis Ababa. At Mount Entoto, visit a family where you learn how to bake Enjera (Injera) – the flat Ethiopian bread. See how locals brew Tella – an Ethiopian home-brewed beer.

This family visit is an ideal way to expereince Ethiopia's cultural and culinary traditions within short time.

Ethiopian woman during traditional coffee ceremonyVisit locals at Mt. Entoto and experience Cultural Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. The traditional Ethiopian coffee-making ceremony starts with washing and roasting the coffee beans.

After presenting the aroma of the roasting coffee to visitors, it is pounded by hand. Enjoy the best Ethiopian Coffee with a cultural ceremony. Contact us now to book Addis Ababa tours and experience the Ethiopian coffee culture.

SAINT GEORGES CATHEDRAL

Continue Addis discovery with visiting the Cathedral of Saint George. Emperor Menelik II founded St. George Cathedral to mark Ethiopia's victory over Italy.  This historic cathedral is among the oldest in Addis Ababa.

St. George’s Cathedral is notable for its octagonal architecture. The copy of the ark from this cathedral accompanied the Ethiopian army. St. George, hence, helped Ethiopians in defeating invader Italians in 1896.

Inside Saint George Cathedral

📙admire mosaics depicting biblical scenes. They include the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon

📙see hand paintings showing significant historical/political scenes. Some show events related with Emperor Haile Sillassie and Ethio-Italo II War

📙appreciate the intricate masterpieces by the famous Ethiopian artist Afework Tekle

Visiting Saint George Cathedral Museum

📙 have intriguing glimpses into Ethiopia's past

📙 see the coronation seats of Empress Zewditu and Emperor Haile Selassie

📙 look at the treasure trove of religious and historical artifacts

Walk around the cathedral and take photos of the statue of Emperor Menelik II - the founder of Addis Ababa.

MERKATO (ADDIS MERCATO) MARKETMerkato Market - Man carrying empty jerrycans

After visiting St. George Cathedral, head to Merkato Market. It is Africa's largest open-air market. Visit the spice market to buy Ethiopian spices.

Enjoy exotic sights walking in Merkato and shop for handwoven baskets. Continue to the Chat (Mild Stimulant Chewed by Locals) Market, as well as the secondhand stuff market.

Take half an hour's walk to Merkato market. Learn what life is like for the people who live/trade/work at Merkato Market. For local market enthusiasts, shopping at Merkato is an additional experience of the full-day Addis tour.

SCENIC DRIVE IN ADDIS ABABA

The City Visit ends with driving on the famous streets of the city. With the scenic drive, see historical monuments including the Lion of Judah Statue, and major landmarks. Drive by the HQ of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Continue to the HQ of the African Union and Meskel Square (Addis Ababa's major events hub and Downtown Square).

Finally, stop at a supermarket to buy the best Coffee from Ethiopia and local spices. For Coffee lovers, check out the best coffee shop in Addis Ababa - Tomoca Coffee.

OTHER POPULAR ATTRACTIONS

Discover beyond the main sights in Addis incorporating exploration of these sites

  • Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum
  • Addis Ababa Museum
  • Mausoleum of Emperor Menelik II
  • Shiro Meda Market
  • Unity Park
  • Zoma Museum
  • Medhane Alem Cathedral
  • Entoto Maryam Church
  • Beata Mariam Church

 Have an extra day or two? Consider our 1-day tours from Addis Ababa and 2-days/1-night private trips.

Our tours and activities can be reserved in advance for 6 months. Travelers have a choice of free cancellation of our tours 12 hours before tour start times.

OUR FULL-DAY TOUR COSTS

Per-person tour price in US Dollars

Visitors in Group Price per person
1 person 150 US Dollars
2 people 80 US Dollars
3 people 95 US Dollars
4 people 80 US Dollars
5 people 65 US Dollars
6 people 60 US Dollars

What's included in your Addis Ababa Full-Day Adventure:

  • ✔ Insured private vehicle with AC – Toyota Minivan (3 to 6 visitors) or Toyota Corolla (1 or 2 travelers)
  • ✔ Fuel (gasoline), private driver, and insurance
  • ✔ English-speaking local tour guide
  • ✔ All Entrance (Admission) fees
  • ✔ Local family visits
  • ✔ Lunch (home cooked Ethiopian food)
  • ✔ Hotel/Airport pick up and drop offs
  • ✔ Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony Experience
  • ✔ Local snacks and bottled water
  • ✔ Tea/Coffee
  • ✔ And, all applicable taxes

Price DOES NOT INCLUDE: -

  1. Entrance fees to visit other places of visits
  2. Meals
  3. And, any other expenses not mentioned in the Included list above

NOTE - Contact us for the updated Addis Ababa full-day tour price conforming to your private visits with us. The specific price of the tour depends on the places you visit, tour duration, and services included and excluded.

IMPORTANT UPDATE
1 – ENTRY VISA TO ETHIOPIA 
From 2023 onwards, Ethiopian Airlines is offering visas upon arrival at Addis Ababa for selected passengers on their long-haul flights.
Please verify your eligibility for an on-arrival visa in Addis Ababa. Alternatively, consider applying for an Ethiopian e-Visa online prior to your arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Click to apply for your Ethiopian E-Visa
2 – WHAT NOT TO BRING
Due to security regulations, items like drones, satellite phones, and binoculars are not permitted to be brought into the country. We highly recommend:

Checking these items into your luggage for your next destination from Addis Ababa.
Arranging for safe storage at the custom’s office at the airport.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

WHAT TIME DOES THE FULL DAY TOUR STARTS AND ENDS?

This tour takes 8 to 9 hours according to the itinerary above. You wish to book this tour and start from your hotel in Addis Ababa? We recommend you to start at 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, or 9:00 AM. This way the tour ends between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM at your preferred destination in Addis Ababa.

If you have only a few hours, book our half-day city tour in Addis Ababa.

DO YOU PICK ME UP FROM MY HOTEL? AND DROP ME OFF AT BOLE AIRPORT AT THE END OF THE TOUR?

YES, it is possible to start the full day trip from any hotel in Addis Ababa or Bole Airport. And, finish the tour at Bole International Airport or any place in Addis Ababa you want. This tour allows flexible tour start and end times.

IS IT SAFE TO WALK IN MERKATO MARKET IN ADDIS ABABA?Visit Merkato Market in full day city tour in Addis Ababa

Merkato is a busy local market in Addis Ababa repeatedly mentioned for its smart pickpockets. Generally, aggressive crimes or robberies are very rare (or not) in Addis Ababa including the market. We always advise you to leave items you dont want for immediate use in the vehicle. The tour bus driver is by the vehicle at all times and keeps visitors properties safe.

For safe walking and a pleasant visit to Merkato (Addis Merkato),

✺ Hang your cameras in the neck.

✺ Ensure to safely store your phone in your pocket or purse when not in usage for capturing photographs. It should only be retrieved when you intend to use it. Merkato is also popular for snatch-and-run thieves.

✺ Ask permission in advance if you are taking portraits of people.

✺ Ask your tour guide how to bargain for a price if you want to shop at Merkato. Bargaining for buying price is the rule of the game at Merkato.

✺ Practicing a few common Amharic words with locals at Merkato makes your visit more interesting.

✺ Dont spend too long at one spot as you draw peoples attention and attract the crowd around you. Move around.

✺ If you are not sure about doing anything in Merkato, ask your local tour guide.

HOW FLEXIBLE IS THE TOUR?

The tour allows flexibility in terms of substituting sightseeing locations. You can also modify tour start/end time, and pick-up and drop-off places in Addis Ababa. You can even custom this trip with a short excursion out of Addis Ababa.

WHICH ATTRACTIONS IN ADDIS ABABA ARE LESS CROWDED TO VISIT?

After the outbreak of Corona Virus, many tourist attractions in Addis Ababa were closed for public visits. Now, all places of visit are open to visit but not crowded at all.

Regarding local markets, Shola (Sholla) market is less crowded to visit than the gigantic and busy Merkato Market.

IS ENTOTO PARK INCLUDED?

This scheduled tour to Addis Ababa does NOT include a complete visit to Entoto Park. But, the tour has a stop at Entoto Park to enjoy/take snapshots of Addis Ababa City. If interested in visiting Entoto Park, let us know so that we customize the tour for you.

HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED TO VISIT ADDIS ABABA?

You can visit the top attractions of Addis Ababa city for half a day (4 to 5 hours) to two days. In just 5 hours, visitors can explore the key attractions of Addis Ababa. This includes the National Museum of Ethiopia, the Holy Trinity, and the Merkato Market. For a comprehensive citywide tour of the famous tourist attractions in Addis Ababa, you need at least two days.

Missed out on exploring Addis during daylight hours? No worries! We're offering an enticing night layover tour in Addis Ababa where you can enjoy the city's sparkling vibe after sunset. Don't miss this great opportunity!

HOW DO I BOOK THIS TOUR?

For reservations, contact Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours by email or WhatsApp.

You can also book online this Full-day Private City Tour of Addis Ababa via Viator.

If you wish to partake in the above-mentioned cultural nightlife activities, kindly reach out to us on WhatsApp. We customize this evening excursion to suit your time in Addis and your interests.

With our day trips near Addis Ababa, indulge yourself in unique culture, learn history, experience Ethiopian culture, and enjoy great scenery.

Email us for more information and to book your full-day city tour in Addis Ababa.

Did you explore Addis with Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours? Take a moment to share your unique adventures with us on TripAdvisor!

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