5 Reasons to Visit Addis Ababa Now

By Jenny Miller, Fodors.com

AddisTell your friends you’re off to Addis Ababa, and the response might be “Addis…where?” But just because the Ethiopian capital isn’t at the top of travelers’ must-visit lists doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. In fact, this slightly under-the-radar city of 3.5 million people has much to recommend in it, and the good stuff isn’t mobbed by hordes of tourists.

For one thing, compared to other cities in the region, Addis (as everyone calls it) is very safe. Sure, people will warn you to watch out for pickpockets, especially at busy markets and public areas, but terrorism and violent crime are not big dangers here. In recent years, the city has become a hub for diplomatic missions (making it a great place to secure visas for onward travel to other African countries); meanwhile, upscale hotels, restaurants, and a forthcoming light rail are sprouting up.

As such, Addis feels very much under construction. There’s dust everywhere, but also sunshine, jacaranda trees, and a promising feeling that this is a city on the rise. All the more reason to visit before its particularly Ethiopian charms (which are numerous) are subsumed by the sameness of global luxury. Speaking of what’s charming, below are five reasons to visit Addis now.

Read more at: Fodors.com