Ethiopia’s capital and largest city, Addis Ababa, is where Ethiopia’s past, present, and future come together in a flourish of color and a savory blend of taste. The city is considered the diplomatic capital of Africa, giving it an international character, but not in the European or Asian sense. Imagine the many cultures of Africa and their rural and urban traditions merging into one place, and you will begin to understand the many layers of exotic adventure that await. Look left and see modernity, look right and see heritage.

Ker & Downey’s expert guides turn Addis Ababa into a living museum of Ethiopia. While the contradictions can be overwhelming to those trying to go it alone, our local guides interpret the diversity to give you snap shots of what you will see as you venture out into rest of the country.

The city is full of cultural institutions and fascinating architecture. A walk from Meskel Square to Sidest Kilo is a showcase of churches, palaces, and hotels. The architecture of one of the world’s oldest Christian nations is distinct from it’s Islamic neighbors, and yet the African details will fascinate even the most seasoned student of architecture.

As part of your Ethiopian primer, visit some of Addis Ababa’s stunning museums. With a history dating back to further than any Western cannon, visitors will likely find their minds stretched as they imagine the peoples and events that the city has seen over the course of millennia.

Of course, Ethiopian cuisine and coffees are a world favorite, holding remarkably true to themselves wherever they are exported. But by far the best place to soak up savory stews with the perfect roll injera is in the heart of Addis Ababa. The city has plenty of international cuisine as well, and the Ethiopians’ deep understanding of flavor and technique brings a sweet succulence to every experience.