Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia

Africa Travel Guide: Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia
Simien Mountains National Park. © Ajtravel/Instagram

Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia: Ethiopia officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is an African country located in the Horn of the continent. It is a popular destination for travelers and tourists. These are the top best towns and cities you should stay or visit whenever you are in the country. Here’s our list of top 10 most beautiful towns in Ethiopia.

We also recommend our guide to the best breakfast and brunch spots in Addis Ababa.

1. Bahir Dar

Africa Travel Guide: Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia - Bahir Dar
Pelicans on the lake Tana, Bahir Dar. © itsmekonta/instagram

The town of Bahir Dar situated between Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa is one of the leading tourist towns in Ethiopia. The town is home to attractions like Lake Tana, Blue Nile River, the oldest monasteries and churches in the world. Bahir Dar is a town often said to be a natural beauty with river views, colorful flowers scattered around the area and wide streets with palm trees. This is one of the most beautiful towns in Ethiopia.

2. Dire Dawa

Africa Travel Guide: Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia - Dire Dawa
Streets of Dire Dawa © mannayy_

Dire Dawa town in Ethiopia is beautiful in a very unique and eccentric way. The town is notable for its unique fashion pieces, big stone buildings and is also home to local and crafted vacation rentals suitable for tourists. This is one of the best places to visit in Ethiopia.

3. Axum

Africa Travel Guide: Most Beautiful Towns in Ethiopia - Axum
The dome and bell tower of the new Cathedral of Our Lady Mary of Zion, built by Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1950s. © Paul Snook

Axum which is in the northern part of Ethiopia is a quiet town that offers great views, a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopian history through its Stellae fields, and archeological ruins. The town is also home to the Hill of Gobo Dura, the palace of the queen of Sheba, tombs of kings Kaleb and Gebre Markas, Mausoleum, tomb of brick arches, and the tomb of false door; amongst many others. The town of Axum holds a mystery of ancient humans that is both fascinating to foreigners and keeps the Ethiopian history alive. This is one of the best towns in Ethiopia.

4. Harar

Things to do in Ethiopia: Ras Makonnen Statue, Harar
Ras Makonnen Statue, Harar, Ethiopia. © Angel Garcia Lacuesta

The Islamic town of Harar is enviable with its beautiful life routine. The towns homes a colorful traditional market, provides tourists with the activity of feeding hyenas outside the city wall, and taking part in traditional coffee ceremonies.
The town of Harar truly represents the culture and traditional history of Ethiopia.

5. Awasa

Things to do in Ethiopia: Amora Gedel Park, Awasa
Amora Gedel Park, Awasa, Ethiopia. © Hiwot Hailu

Awasa is a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley. The town is always bubbling with its nightlife consisting of night clubs, bars, and music. The town also offers hotels and vacation rentals.
Awasa also homes attractions like the Lake Awasa, Tewj Yan Tol, amongst others. This is one of the best places to stay in Ethiopia.

6. Gondar

Things to do in Ethiopia: Ruins of Gondar
Dawn over the ruins of Gondar, Ethiopia. © A.Davey/Flickr

The historical town of Gondar, inhabiting the old Imperial Palace is located in Semien Gondar zone of the Amhara Region, north of Tana Lake. The town presents an insight into the history of Jews in Ethiopia and is also home to old stone structures, the Fasilides Bathing Pool, Debre Birhan Selassie church, Ploughshare Women’s Creaft Training Centre where traditional handcrafts can be purchased, Empress Mentewab’s Kuskuam Complex, Fassil Ghebbi, amongst others.

7. Waliso

Africa Travel Guide - Things to do in Ethiopia: Wonchi volcano
Wonchi volcano – the highest volcano Ethiopias, is some km away from Waliso. © DeDuijn/Wikimedia Commons

Waliso town in Oromia Region is a home of intriguing attractions like Waliso hot water springs, and the town also offers activities like boat trips, hiking, wildlife, and horse backs riding that gives tourists access to the beautiful landmarks in the town.

8. Gambela

Africa Travel Guide - Things to do in Ethiopia: Visit Gambela
Coffee cultivation in the Gambela region. © Zach Garfield

Gambela in the Anuak zone situated in the confluence of Baro river and Jajjaba is a funfilled town and is home to Ethiopian history with a beauty to behold.
The town is notable for its Gambela National Park on the river bank of Baro which houses wildlife like the buffalo, roan antelope, bush buck, Nile lechwe, warthog, the Ethiopian white whiskered vervet monkey, amongst others. This is a good place for tourists and one of the best places to stay in Ethiopia.

9. Jimma

Africa Travel Guide - Things to do in Ethiopia: Visit Jimma
Good morning, Jimma, Ethiopia. © coffeecircle/instagram

The Jimma town located in south-western Ethiopia, although poor and filled with bad roads, promises beauty with its warm people, cultural attraction and historical sites like the Aba Jifar Palace, amongst others. Jimma is one of the most beautiful towns in Ethiopia.

10. Mekelle

Africa Travel Guide - Things to do in Ethiopia: Visit Mekelle
Downtown Mekelle, Ethiopia. © Ondrej Hanousek

In the northern Tigary region of Ethiopia is Mekelle, home to landmarks, attractions, vacation rentals, hotels, restaurants that offer local dishes and activities like Gheratta Rock, World Sun Ethiopian tours, Derg Bombing Monument (home to victims of the Derg bombing in Hawzien), Martyr’s Memorial (for victims of the Derg governemt), Yohannes IV Museum (Italian designed stone palace built for Emperor Yohannes now turned museum), Black Rose Lounge Bar, Agobo Ethiopia tours done on camel backs, Dallol Ethiopia tours, Lake Assale, amongst others, that displays contemporary Ethiopia and journeys into Ethiopian history. Mek’ele is one of the most beautiful places in Ethiopia.

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