There are over 80 cities in Ethiopia. We pick the top 10 for you to visit.
ADDIS ABABA – Capital City of Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II after his wife, Empress Taytu Betul, was attracted to the city. The city is known as the cultural and political center of Ethiopia, where an estimated 5 million people of mixed ethnicity and culture live. Moreover, since it is home to numerous continental and international organizations, including the African Union, Addis Ababa is also considered to be the political hub of Africa. In addition, Addis Ababa is one of the two city administrative councils in Ethiopia.
Despite being over a century old, the city is constantly undergoing projects for growth and development, making it one of Africa’s most important economic centers. Situated at an elevation of about 7,726 feet (2,335 m) above sea level in the foothills of Mount Entoto, Addis Ababa has a moderate climate.
- ESTABLISHED: 1886 GC
- POPULATION: 5,005,524 (Source: https://cityaddisababa.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 527 km²
- ELEVATION: 2335 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Adanaech Abiebie
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: National Museum of Ethiopia, Mount Entoto, Mercato Market, Unity Park, Meskel Square, National Palace, Friendship Park
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Sheraton Addis, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Addis Ababa Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Best Western Plus Addis Ababa, Hilton Addis Ababa, Sapphire Addis Hotel, Jupiter International Hotel, Elilly International Hotel, Ghion Hotel, Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, Capital Hotel & Spa
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Sahilewerk Zewde, Liya Kebede, Girma Woldegiorgis, Tilahun Gessesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Ruth Nega, Marcus Samuelsson, LoLa Monroe, Tweodros Kassahun, Gelila Bekele, Zeritu Kebede
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: +251118127731
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BAHIRDAR – Capital City of the Amhara Regional State
Bahir Dar, established in 1912 GC, is the capital city of the Amhara regional state. Bahirdar, blessed with beautiful natural attractions, is home to the Blue Nile Falls and many other tourist attractions, including monasteries, endearing lodges, and charming lakes. Moreover, Bahir Dar is regarded as one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful cities. In particular, the city is well known for its beautiful palm tree-lined streets.
- ESTABLISHED: 1912 GC
- POPULATION: 356,757 (Source: https://bahirdar.gov.et/en)
- LAND AREA: 28 km²
- ELEVATION: 1800 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Dr. Dresse Sahilu Goshu
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Fasil Castle, Lake Tana, Bahir Dar Blue Nile Millennium Park, Blue Nile Bridge, Azwa Mariam Monastery, Monastery of Debre Mariam, Fish Market, Martyrs Memorial Monument
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Kuriftu Resort, Blue Nile Resort Hotel, Lakemark Hotel, Tana Hotel, Jacaranda Hotel, Wynn Hotel, Abay Minch Lodge, Delano Hotel
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: 0582262889
HAWASSA – Capital City of the Sidama Regional State
Hawassa, established in 1952E.C, is another city on our list of the best cities in Ethiopia. The city got its name from Lake Hawassa, which means “Wide” in the Sidama language. Hawassa is situated on the shores of Lake Hawassa, making the city one of the best places to visit in Ethiopia.
- ESTABLISHED: 1952 E.C
- POPULATION: 436,992 (Source: https://hawassa.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 157 km²
- ELEVATION: 1707m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Tsegaye Tuke Kia (Assistant Professor)
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Tabor Mountain, Lake Awassa, Fish Market at Awassa Lake, Fiche Chembelala (Sidama New Year)
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Central Hawassa Hotel, Haile Resort, Ker Awud International Hotel, Lewi Hotel and Resort, Lewi Piazza Hotel, Oasis Hotel, South Spring Hotel, Lewi Menaharia Hotel, Haroni Hotel, Hawassa Inn Hotel, Hawassa Lake View Hotel, Addis Zemen Hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: 0462207951/0462
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Adama, also called Nazret, is one of the top cities in Ethiopia. Located southeast of Addis Ababa, Adama is a city in Oromia Region, Ethiopia. The city is one of the main trading centers in Oromia and one of the fastest-growing cities in Ethiopia. More significantly, Adama had previously served as the capital of the Oromia region. Adama is considerably warmer than that Addis Ababa.
- ESTABLISHED: 1916 GC
- POPULATION: 324,000 (Source: https://cityadama.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 30 km²
- ELEVATION: 1712 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Hailu Jelde
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Flora Park, Sodere, Abageda Park
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Sodere Resort Hotel, Babogaya Lake Viewpoint Lodge, Kuriftu Resort & spa AdamaMelka Adama Hotel, Haile Resort | Adama, Kereyu Hill Resort, Safari Lodge, Eagle International Hotel.
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Robel Kiros, Sifan Hassen
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: 0939794498
Situated in the eastern part of Ethiopia, Diredawa is the second-largest and the fourth-most populous cities in Ethiopia. The city is home to many people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. The people of the city are regarded as friendly, forward-thinking, relaxed, and sociable. Moreover, Diredawa is one of the two city administrative councils in Ethiopia.
- ESTABLISHED: 1894 G.C
- POPULATION: 521,000 (Source: https://diredawa.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 1213 km²
- ELEVATION: 1276 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Kedir Juhar
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Dire Dawa Millennium Park, Dire Dawa Ethio-Djibouti Railway, Kefera ( Dire Dawa Open Market), Goda Ajewa Cave, Laga Oda Cave, Ancient Harla Town, Dire Dawa Museum, Old Palace
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: African Village, Ras Hotel, Mekonnen Hotel, Samrat Hotel, Selam Blue Bird Hotel, Dil Hotel, Delight Hotel, Grand Triangle Hotel, Blossom hotel, Circle hotel, Daylight hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Mickael Bethe-Selassie, Yodit Getahun, Lencho Skibba
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: +251-25-1116061
BISHOFTU/ DEBRE ZEYIT
Bishoftu, formerly known as Debrezeyit, is one of the top cities in Ethiopia. Situated in the East Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region, Bishoftu sits in the middle of five crater lakes. Taking advantage of the beautiful nature, there are many luxurious resorts built around the lakes. As a result, the city is one of the top destinations for tourists and leisure travelers. Besides, the annual Ireecha/ Thanksgiving Day of the Oromo people of Ethiopia is celebrated on one of the lakes of Bishoftu, Lake Hora.
- ESTABLISHED: 1947 E.C
- POPULATION: 23,492 (Source: https://bishoftu.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 1213 km²
- CURRENT MAYOR: Alemayehu Assefa
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Yerer Mountain, Kuriftu Water Park, Bishoftu Lake, Hora Lake, Lake Cheleklaka, Kuriftu and Babogaya
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Airforce Hotel, Babogaya Resort, Bishoftu Afar Hotel, Dream Land Hotel, Kebe Hotel, Kuriftu Resort, Lisak hotel, Pyramid Paradise Hotel, Seven E Hotel, Tommy International Hotel, Tourist Hotel, Zequala Hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Berhanu Nega
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: +2510114334831
Gondar, located in the northern part of Ethiopia, is also another major tourist destination in the country. The city has served as the seat of Ethiopian emperors. Additionally, the historical town of Gondar is famous for its historical attractions, including Fasiledes castles, fortifications, and ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries.
- ESTABLISHED: 1635 GC
- POPULATION: 454,445 (Source: https://www.gondar.gov.et/en)
- LAND AREA: 192 km²
- ELEVATION: 2,133 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Zewdu Malede Belay
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Fasil Ghebbi, Fasilides Castle, Fasilides Bath, Gorgora, Fellasha village
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Gondar Hills Resort, AG Hotel Gondar, Zobel Resort Hotel, Capra Walia Inn Hotel, Fasil Lodge, Gondar Central Hotel, Gondar Landmark Hotel, Jantekel Hotel, L-Shape Hotel, Lodge du Chateau Hotel, Quara Hotel, Taye Belay Hotel, Atse Bekafa Hotel, Lammergeyer Hotel, Circle Hotel, Goha Hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Haile Gerima, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, Tahounia Rubel
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: 0581110101
DEBRE BERHAN – One of Fastest Growing Cities in Ethiopia
Debre Berhan is one of the top Ethiopian cities located in the North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region State. Due to political reason, Debre Berhan become one of the fastest growing cities in Ethiopia. The city has a cold climate as a result of its elevation of 2,840 meters above sea level.
- ESTABLISHED: 1456 GC
- POPULATION: 65,000 (Source: https://addisinsight.net/)
- LAND AREA: 14.71 km2
- ELEVATION: 2,840 m
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Debre Birhan Selassie Church
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Badmas Hotel, Getva Hotel, Hirut Hotel, Saroel Hotel, Ethio Bernos Hotel, Bati Hotel, Menbere Pension, Hiwot Hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Gete Wami
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: +2516813085
Dessie, founded in 1882 E.C., is the capital of the South Wollo Zone in the Amhara National Regional State. It has located 400 km to the north of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
- ESTABLISHED: 1882 E.C
- POPULATION: 480,737 (Source: https://dessie.gov.et/)
- LAND AREA: 16,800 ha
- ELEVATION: 2,470 m
- CURRENT MAYOR: Samuel Mollalene
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Haiq Estifanos, Gishen Mariam, Dessie Combolcha Airport
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Hotel Time & Spa, Sofi Pension, Tossa Pension, Melbourne Hotel, Golden Gate Hotel, Fasika Pension, Hira Pension, Awash Greenland Hotel, Segenet Guest House, Comfort Pension, Elias Pension, Selam Pension, Dawdo Hotel, Wine Pension, Joamla Hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Yemaneberhan Crippa
- PHONE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTION: Not Available
Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Regional State, is regarded as one of Ethiopia’s political hubs. However, over the past two years, the city has been a victim of the ongoing armed conflict between the Ethiopian government and its ally, the TPLF. As a result, the regional capital Mekelle has experienced colossal damage and destruction in its numerous economic infrastructures and public facilities. For the same reason, it is not safe to visit Mekelle currently.
- ELEVATION: 2,254 m
- MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS IN THE CITY: Debre Genet Medhane Alem, Derg memorial, The Yohannes IV Palace
- BEST HOTELS & RESORTS: Planet Hotel, Mekelle Hotel, Moringa Hotel, Axum Hotel, Abraha Castel Hotel, Africa hotel, Alula Aba Nega hotel, Alula hotel, Atse Yohannes hotel, Axum hotel, Geralta hotel, Hatseye pension, Hawelti hotel, Haykel pension, Hill Top Hotel, Hiwotamax Hotel, Merkeb hotel
- FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM THE CITY: Berhane Gebre-Christos