Addis Ababa, a city in Ethiopia, is gaining popularity as a tourist attraction. One visit and you will know why. There is so much to do including shopping, playing a bit of golf and visiting some of the cities museums and ancient palaces.
The National Palace is a popular stop for many who are visiting the area. Unfortunately, this beautiful structure can only be viewed from the outside. The President and his family still live within the palace walls, so tours of the interior are not allowed.
Another great way to spend some free time in the city is shopping. There are plenty of wonderful places to shop, and one of the most popular is the Mercato. The Mercato is one of the largest open air markets in all of Africa.
Haggling is expected, and if you do it well you will be able to get great deals on jewelry, textiles, souvenirs and just about anything else that you could want. The fact that the Mercato is among the largest of the open air markets is exactly the reason that some choose to skip it.
The scene can be quite chaotic. There are animals roaming free, homeless people begging and so much merchandise that it is impossible to see it all. If the confusion of the Mercato seems a bit overwhelming to you, you can have the same experience without the chaos by visiting any one of the similar, but much smaller, open air markets located nearby.
For those who are interested in the nightlife, Addis Ababa will not disappoint. There are many nightclubs and other venues in which you can have a good time dancing, listening to music and partaking of some of the local specialty drinks such as Tej, which is made from honey.
The weather in Addis Ababa is another facet of the city that many find appealing. Free from drastic weather changes based on the season, the average temperate remains between 55 and 70 degrees. There is, however, a rainy season that extends from June through September. Happily, Deluxe Kosher Tours avoids the rainy season, so when you travel with them, you will not have to worry about packing your rain gear.
In addition to the general attractions in the city, of which there are many, there are also some that are of particular interest to Jewish visitors to Addis Ababa. The most important may be the chance to see a Jewish tradition that spans thousands of years. Each morning, remaining members of the House of Israel gather for morning prayers. Those praying face the Ark of the Torah and the scene likely looks just at did in ancient times when the same daily routine was being played out.
As you visit the city, you will be able to visit part of the route that was traveled by the Queen of Sheba as she journeyed toward her meeting with King Solomon. There are tours offered that will guide you along part of the route, or you can visit on your own.
Addis Ababa is one of those cities that you must see to appreciate. The ancient history — the traditions of which are sometimes still being observed today — alone make it worth the journey.