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10 Cultural Places You Can’t Miss In Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is a hidden treasure that many travelers miss. The country has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other African nation including Egypt.

Its high ranking on the Wild Frontiers travel list is due in large part to its incredible cultural diversity, impressive archaeological past, and breathtaking natural beauty.

The top tourist attractions in Ethiopia are listed below. Travelers can reserve an Ethiopian Airlines ticket and take advantage of the country’s warm hospitality. 

Ethiopia’s capital is the third-highest city in the world and the geographic centre of the country.

This contemporary city, whose name translates to “New Flower,” was established in 1887 by Emperor Menelik II.

In less than a century, the country has grown into a metropolitan city with several million residents.

Due to its elevation, it experiences sporadic downpours throughout the year and a pleasant climate.


10 Cultural Places You Can’t Miss In Ethiopia

The magnificent rock-hewn churches in the outlying town of Lalibela located in the Lasta Mountains, are well-known all over the world.

It’s a beautiful place, hidden away among untamed mountains at 2,630 metres above sea level.

Lalibela, the most distinguished King of the Zagwe Dynasty, who reigned from the 10th to the middle of the 13th century, oversaw the carving of the churches.

The best artisans he could find were gathered together, and it was estimated that up to 40,000 people were required to construct the churches.

Addis Ababa

At 2,665 metres above sea level, Addis Ababa is the third-highest capital city in the world. Since the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II founded the city in 1892, it has had a reputation for showing everyone its true feelings.

Addis Ababa has plenty of historical significance and tourist attractions to make it worthwhile for longer stays. With rickety wooden scaffolding slowly rising to the sky, the cityscape changes almost every day.


The Axumite Empire, one of the most significant and technologically advanced civilizations of its time, and a major force in international trade between the first and seventh centuries AD had its headquarters in this fascinating town.

The town’s long history has been given another twist by rumours that it once held the court of the Queen of Sheba and housed the Ark of the Covenant’s final resting place.

Nevertheless, Axum is unquestionably the sanctified city for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and it is home to an astounding quantity of ancient artefacts that are both visible and undiscovered.


10 Cultural Places You Can’t Miss In Ethiopia

Ethiopia had what locals referred to as a “mobile capital” up until the start of the 17th century.

However, after assuming the throne in 1632, Fasilidas named Gonder his capital, where it persisted for the following 200 years.

In addition to bringing in a period of relative calm in Abyssinia’s history, Menelik II also modernised his country’s infrastructure and economy and created a turbulent history.

Fasilidas built a wonderful fort at this strategic location, the majority of which still stands today.

It is clear from the magnificent turreted citadels, sizable banqueting halls, and bathhouses of the fort how important this Christian kingdom was 400 years ago.


On the way from Axum to Mekele, Adigrat, a city in the pristine Tigray region, is a fantastic pit stop.

Although the town itself is unremarkable, a new lodge that serves as a cosy base while touring the renowned rock churches of the Tigray region recently opened on the outskirts of the town.

Arba Minch

The town of Arba Minch is located in a pretty magnificent area, with breathtaking views in all directions.

The mountains rise to almost 4,000 metres to the west of it, which is located at an elevation of 1,300 metres in the foothills of the Rift Valley.

Despite its population of approximately 75,000 people, the town retains a small-town feel because Sikela and Shecha, two separate settlements, are 4 kilometres apart and connected by a sealed road.


10 Cultural Places You Can’t Miss In Ethiopia

One of Ethiopia’s most impressive historical sites, Harar reflects the lengthy and colourful history of the nation.

It was founded in the later first millennium BC and is located in eastern Ethiopia. It developed into a stronghold for Islam.

Since its founding, Harar has been ruled by 72 successive Imams, giving rise to numerous distinctive traditions.

It is one of the most important Muslim pilgrimages and is home to many interesting landmarks, such as the old walled town, which was founded in the 1540s and has 90 mosques.

One of the town’s long-standing customs has evolved into one of its main draws; each day, a chosen resident leaves the city to call the hyenas that live nearby and feed them by hand.

Bahir Dar

With its wide palm-lined boulevards and picturesque lakeside setting, Bahir Dar is one of Ethiopia’s most picturesque towns.

It is a great place to get started when exploring Lake Tana and the area, which also includes the Blue Nile Falls. It is located on the lake’s southern shore.

10 Cultural Places You Can’t Miss In Ethiopia

It was once just a fishing village, but it has recently grown in size, and palm-lined streets and lakeside views make it a desirable place to stay.

There are excellent visitor amenities, and the town has grown into a significant industrial hub, thanks in part to the nearby Tis Abay hydroelectric dam.

Bale Mountains National Park

Approximately 2,200 km in size, the Bale Mountains National Park is an officially designated area that is 400 km southeast of Addis Ababa.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of vistas that are exclusive to the Ethiopian highlands thanks to its tall mountains, sweeping valleys, spectacular escarpment, and vast expanses of forests.

Endemic bird species, rare amphibian species, and stunning flora make it clear why Conservation International has named the park a biodiversity hotspot.


With its vast western landscape of flat, towering rock outcrops known as the Gheralta, this undeveloped region of North Eastern Tigray has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the nation.

This region contains 35 old rock-hewn churches, which is the highest number in all of Ethiopia.

These locations are truly one-of-a-kind because of the breathtaking panoramas, romantic interiors, and profusion of ancient artwork and church treasures.

Ethiopia is not only one of the most intriguing nations on the continent, but it is also incredibly diverse in terms of both culture and geography.

Book an Ethiopian Airlines ticket and visit the country’s top cultural attractions.

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