Ethiopia’s capital, ‘Addis,’ as it’s often simply known, is the world’s third-highest capital city at 2,400 meters, and has worn its heart on its sleeve since it was founded by Emperor Menelik.
By James Jeffrey (CNN) |
Rambunctious, manic, beguiling, exciting — it’s hard to accurately describe Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia‘s capital, which translates as “New Flower” in the country’s Amharic language, shows little sign of losing its youthful, lusty edge and is the pulsing heart of this eclectic nation’s resurgence as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
“Addis,” as it’s often simply known, is the world’s third-highest capital city at 2,400 meters, and has worn its heart on its sleeve since it was founded by Ethiopian Emperor Menelik about 1892.
Life is lived very much outdoors on its bustling streets thanks to comfortable temperate weather boosted by months of nonstop sunshine.
“Perhaps the highest praise one can direct at this chaotic, contradictory and compelling city is this: Addis Ababa does feel exactly as the Ethiopia capital should feel — singularly and unmistakably Ethiopian,” says travel writer Philip Briggs.
Here’s 10 of the best things to check out when you travel to Addis.
1. Black gold
This is the land of the finest Arabica coffee — as legend would have it, discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd boy and his goats sometime around the sixth century.
And Addis is the city of cafés, traditional coffee stalls in bars and restaurants, and women walking the streets with thermos flasks — all dispensing potent high-quality coffee.
All modes of coffee distribution are worth trying, though you may struggle to sleep for some time afterward.
One of the city’s first roasters and deserving of legendary status is the original Tomoca Coffee shop off Churchill Avenue (Tomoca, Wawel St, Addis Ababa; +251 91 122 1412).
Alem Bunna off Bole Road is another traditional favorite, while Kaldi’s Coffee chain offers a more modern, Starbucks-esque experience, popular with hip and trendy young things. (Kaldi’s Coffee, Sarbet Adams Pavillion Building, Roosevelt St, Addis Ababa; +251 11 371 4258)
Extra tip: The delicious Ethiopian version of a macchiato is worth a try — many foreigners confess to being unable to start their days without two of them. Or you could ask for a spriss, which is half coffee and half tea.
Continue reading this story at CNN
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