Curious about visiting Addis Ababa, but short on time? This half-day city tour is the perfect way to Explore Addis Ababa’s highlights in a few hours.

Why perfect? Who is this tour for? How do visitors benefit?

Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours half-day long (~5 hours) sightseeing is ideal for:

  • Busy travelers with short layover in Addis Ababa: We packed a lot of sightseeing and activities into a limited timeframe. You’ll make the best use of your short break in Addis.
  • First-Time travelers: Taking our well organized itinerary with pre-planned route, see Addis Ababa’s most important attractions. Experience things to do you should not miss on your first time in Addis Ababa.
  • Holistic experience seekers: If you are after a general picture of Addis Ababa, we adapt it with variety of Ethiopian Experiences. Work with us to combine historical sites, cultural experiences, museums, markets and local food tastings in your private half-day tour in Addis Ababa.
  • Travelers with brief stopover at Addis Ababa: If you are on a layover at Addis Ababa Bole Airport, our short tour is the best deal. Focusing on the highlights, our seasoned tour guides take you to city's must-see sights and iconic landmarks.

That’s not all. Our short Addis Ababa city tour is flexible to cater senior travelers, families with children, and solo female visitors.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor how fellow visitors enjoyed this tour, and scroll down to see even more details.

Ready to explore? Book your Addis Ababa half-day tour today! 

Header image of Half Day Addis Ababa City Tour

🤔 You have a few hours to explore Addis Ababa City. Right?

🤔 You're wondering what to do today in Addis Ababa for the next half-day.

🤔 Not quite sure how to best experience Addis Ababa?

We are so glad you found us! NOW is your chance to take advantage of our private, quick city tour with knowledgeable guides in Addis Abeba.

Review about Addis Ababa Tours on TripAdvisor

Make the most of your limited time in Addis Ababa with our exciting half-day tour. WE HELP YOU WITH

Personalized itinerary - Tell us what sets your soul on fire, and we'll design an unforgettable experience just for you.

Freedom and flexibility - Pick-up and drop-off at your convenience, anywhere in Addis Ababa.

Last-minute bookings - Secure your spot even with short notice of 8 hours before tour start time.

“Muluken responded to my last minute request for a transit night tour in Addis almost immediately!”

Christine Law, Review left on Google on March 27, 2024

Expert local guides - Immerse yourself in authentic Addis Ababa with passionate, knowledgeable Ethiopian guides.

"I loved visiting Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. It was a great experience. The tour guide was excellent. I recommend it to anyone."

Michael M, Review left on Viator on Jun 19, 2024

Unforgettable highlights - From bustling Merkato market to stunning Holy Trinity Cathedral, discover the city's must-sees.

 That is not just a promise. We really do!!

Click the link below and see feedbacks of our guests. After your short visits to Addis Ababa with us, HELP US HAVE YOUR REVIEWS BELOW!!Review your half day Addis Ababa City Tour on Google

OK! Let’s get going!

IN BRIEF - Addis Ababa Half-Day City Tour

Duration - 4 to 6 hours (flexible)

What you'll do (visit) - National Museum, Saint George Cathedral, (Mount Entoto OR Merkato Market), Cultural Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony Experience, and scenic drive in Addis Ababa City

Price (per person) in US Dollars - 1 = 110$, 2 = 75$, 3 = 65$, 4 = 50$, 5 = 45$, 6 = 40$

Price INCLUDES - Vehicle with gasoline and private driver, tour guide, All Entrance (Admission) fees, Local family visits, Lunch (home cooked Ethiopian meal), Hotel/Airport pick up and drop offs, Ethiopian Traditional Coffee Ceremony Experience, Local snacks and bottled water, Tea/Coffee, and all applicable taxes.

Price EXCLUDES - Meals and other expenses not mentioned above

For any questions on customizing this short tour of Addis Ababa or booking,  

Keep reading to see how we help you make the best of your brief time in Addis Ababa with our half-day private guided tour.

Get flexible ways with us to spend an enjoyable time visiting Addis Ababa. See reviews of fellow visitors on TripAdvisor and how they enjoyed our HALF-DAY ADDIS ABABA CITY TOUR. In this short excursion, we combine visits to popular attractions and experiences in Addis Ababa.

If you have any questions about planning your ½ day private Addis Ababa Tour, don’t hesitate to

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Google's top-rated sights in Addis Ababa are part of this ½ day stopover tour. Keep reading for details on how we can make your short trip in Addis special.

Addis Ababa Short Layover Tour is a private sightseeing city visit of about five hours. This tour is best for transit passengers on stopover at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

A Local tour guide leads the private sightseeing tour of Addis Ababa. The tour is by driving with a comfortable, insured, and air-conditioned private vehicle. Get our free hotel pickup and drop-offs to all hotels in Addis Ababa. Ask for changes to this tour offer to visit other attractions in the Ethiopian capital.

Tour Description

Tour plan of Half Day City Tour in Addis AbabaTitle – Half-Day Addis Ababa City Tour

Duration – ½ day or 4 to 6 hours (flexible)

Tour Price – From $40 to $110 per person

Means of Travel – Private Corolla (1 or two people) OR Toyota Minivan of 2016/2017 Model (3 to six visitors)

Tour Guide – Professional English or French Speaking Guide

Kids Friendly – Yes

Activity Level – Light

Pick up/drop off locations and time – As per visitors’ inquiry (It is a private tour.)

Cancellation Policy – Addis Tours booked 12 hours in advance of the tour start time are eligible for free cancellation.

Places to visit in half day Addis Ababa sightseeing tour are: -

National Museum of Ethiopia – Addis Ababa’s principal museum

A Must-see religious site in Addis Ababa - Holy Trinity Cathedral

Addis Mercato or Merkato market – Africa’s largest local marketMerkato Market (Addis Mercato) market overview

The highest elevation near Addis Ababa (3,200 meters above sea level) - Mount Entoto

To keep you, our staff, and everyone on the tour safe from Coronavirus, we follow strict safety procedures. For Addis Ababa ½ day layover tour, we use clean sanitized vehicles. Get free facemasks, hand sanitizers, gloves, and wipes. This brief day tour in Addis Ababa includes free airport/hotel pick-up and drop-off. This Addis Ababa stopover tour can be booked at your convenience with flexible start and end times.

Below is a guide map of Addis Ababa that shows the driving routes (directions) and destinations for a half-day city tour.

Roadmap of places of visits in half-day Addis Ababa city tour

Please read the details below for more information about our short Addis Ababa layover tour. The itinerary details what to do and what to see during the Addis Ababa city tour. And, email us with any of your questions related to booking the Addis Ababa layover tour.

“አዲስ አበባ” in the Amharic language means ‘New flower‘, hence the name of Ethiopia's capital city - "Addis Ababa". "Finfine" is the local Oromo name of the city of Addis. Founded by Emperor Menelik II, Addis Ababa has several attractions for foreign tourists. Book this brief tour with a local guide to get Addis Ababa's highlights in a few hours.Ethiopian vegan food known as Beyaynet

Addis Ababa Layover Tour allows first-time visitors to learn about Ethiopia's diverse traditions. Learning history and recent trends in Addis Ababa is part of the half day trip. Scout Top attractions in Addis Ababa ranked according to TripAdvisor.

Attending cultural activities and visiting the best local markets make your time in Addis Ababa memorable. Please let us know if you have a special interest in touring Ethiopia's largest city.

We offer free hotel pickups and drop-offs. If arriving at Addis Ababa early morning or late afternoon, your tour guide waits for you at the airport.

The Half Day Addis Ababa City Tour is the shorter version of our Full-Day Addis Ababa City Sightseeing. Fluent English-speaking Ethiopian guide leads the city tour. This is private sightseeing half day long city visit in Addis Ababa. You'll discover new places, gain knowledge, and explore unique sites of Ethiopia's largest city.

Duration: 4 to six hours (Half-day)

We plan the short guided tour of Addis Ababa to help you get a great feel of Addis Ababa and Ethiopia in a short time. Must-Do activities when in Addis are covered in this visiting.Write review on Google about your half-day tour in Addis Ababa

Best part of Addis Ababa half-day tour is that it is customizable. Your informative tour guide adjusts your visit to fit your travel style. Going on for few hours city sightseeing tours of Addis Abeba is easy to book with short notice.

Typical half day city tour of Addis Ababa includes visiting:-

  • National Museum of Ethiopia (የኢትዮጵያ‎ ‎‎ብሔራዊ ሙዚየም) – mainly to see the skeletons of Lucy or Dinknesh (the oldest human ancestor and 3.2 million-years old)
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral (መንበረ‎‎ ጸባዖት‎ ቅድስት‎‎ ሥላሴ ካቴድራል) ‎‎to learn about Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity and to see the royal tombs of Emperor Haile Selassie I
  • Merkato (Addis Mercato) market (መርካቶ‎‎ ገበያ)‎‎ - the biggest outdoor cultural market in Africa and
  • Mount Entoto (እንጦጦ‎‎ ተራራ)‎‎ - to experience Addis Ababa's panorama and Ethiopian cultural activities with locals

Depending on visitors’ interest and time, drive to Entoto Hill for view of Addis Ababa. At Intoto Mountain, take part in cultural experience. Learn how to prepare Enjera (Injera) – the Ethiopian bread. Attend Ethiopian traditional Coffee Ceremony.

NOTE - The Holy Trinity Cathedral is currently under restoration and is not open to the public for visits. However, we are available to guide you to the best alternative places to visit in Addis, or any other site you are interested in discovering.

Activity Summary

Make the best use of your short time in Addis Ababa with experienced local tour guide who knows the city inside out.

Merkato market road scene in Addis Ababa The half day Addis Ababa City Tour itinerary takes 4 to 6 hours. Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral and experience how life goes for locals at the giant open-air local market of Merkato. Enjoy the panoramic view of Addis Ababa from top of Entoto Mountain. See the fossil remains of Lucy–the oldest hominid (3.2 million years old).

At Merkato market, walk with your tour guide to discover its unique cultural sections. Know of Ethiopian spices, colorful hand-woven grass baskets, secondhand items, and recycling section.

At Entoto Mountain, visit a local family to experience Ethiopian culture. Learn how to cook Ethiopian meals, and see how to brew Tella (Ethiopian homemade beer). A unique activity to get in touch with Ethiopian culture is to try the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

Drive around to view historic structures and well-known statues of the city. See famous monuments and significant buildings as you go along Addis Ababa's main streets.

Addis Ababa Stopover City Tour Itinerary

Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel in Addis Ababa. Are just arriving at Addis Ababa? You can start your half-day city excursion of Addis from the Airport. Meet your guide at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.‎

If you’re hoping to book a short trip in Addis Ababa with us, here’s what you can expect.

Drive on Bole Road and via Meskel Square (the main square of Addis Ababa) to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This cathedral is the most important religious site of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in Addis Ababa.

INSIDE Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis AbabaTake 45 minutes to 1 hour guided tour of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. See the artfully crafted stained glass windows, and the stunning architecture of the building. Take time to visit ancient historical and religious artifacts at the Trinity Museum.

The next stop on Addis Ababa Half Day City Tour is the‎ National Museum of Ethiopia. Start visiting the national museum with archaeological discoveries on the basement floor. Meet Lucy or Dinknesh (the oldest hominid who lived in north east Ethiopia (Afar Area) about 3.3 million years ago.


Learn about Human Evolution and why Ethiopia claims to be the “Cradle of Mankind”.

Then, drive for half an hour to the busy local market of Merkato–the biggest outdoor market in Africa. With about an hour walking tour of Merkato learn about the Ethiopian local spices. See the colorful hand-woven grass baskets and shop at Merkato.

Stop at the 'Chat' (green leaves locals chew for stimulation) market. Experience how life goes at the second-hand items market of Mercato market. Merkato in Addis Ababa is ideal for sightseers who enjoy snapping photo shots.

Next, drive through the beautiful eucalyptus forest to Mount Entoto. The highest peak around Addis Ababa is Entoto Mountain with 3,200 meters above sea level. Entoto is a great spot to overlook Addis Ababa city. Here meet a local family and learn how to prepare Enjera (the Ethiopian national bread).

See how Tella (the local homemade beer) is brewed, and take part in a typical Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. See the entire process of the Coffee Ceremony starting from roasting the beans, pounding by hand using mortar and pestle, and brewing it.

Stop at the new Entoto Park. Go for a little walk in nature smelling the pleasant scents of eucalyptus trees. Check out the breathtaking view overlooking Addis Ababa city. Note that all visitors must have passports or Identity cards to visit the Entoto Park. For historical sites visiting, you can stop at Menelik II Palace (the first palace in Addis Ababa) at Entoto Mountain.

On the way back from Entoto to Addis Ababa, stop at Shiro Meda local marketShop for small local gift items and hand-woven cotton clothes.

Before your hotel/airport transfer, have lunch at one of the best traditional Ethiopian restaurants in Addis Ababa. Taste varieties of delicious Ethiopian meals. Conclude your tour with drop-off at your Addis Ababa hotel or Airport.How to bake Enjera - Ethiopian bread

You can combine this short tour of Addis Ababa with a bit of visiting the countryside. Check our one-day trips from Addis Ababa to customize it with us.

If you are interested to visit sites out of the city, check our interesting Addis Ababa Day Tour packages. Please, have a look at the list of interesting day tours from Addis Ababa offered by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours. 

Drive on scenic routes that allow you to discover all the most important aspects of Addis Ababa.  Explore best of Addis with our highly rated Ethiopian tour guides. Vacationers can visit trendy sites in Addis Ababa. We organize the city tour of Addis Ababa by including Sheger Park, Entoto Park, or the new Andinet or Unity Park.

Andinet Park entrance fee varies for locals (Ethiopians) and foreign visitors. Entrance fee to visit Andinet Park in Addis Ababa is 300 Ethiopian Birr per person for locals and 20 US Dollars for foreign visitors per person. Get details about Andinet Park in Addis Ababa and organize your visit to the park with us.

Price of Half Day Addis Ababa City Tour

Number of visitors in a group

Price per person

1 person

110 US Dollars

2 people

75 US Dollars

3 people

65 US Dollars

4 people

50 US Dollars

5 people

45 US Dollars

6 people

40 US Dollars

Price of Half Day Addis Ababa City Tour INCLUDES: - 

 Comfortable insured private vehicle – Toyota Corolla (1 or 2 travelers) OR Toyota Minivan (3 to 6 visitors)

 Fuel surcharge, per diem for private driver, and insurance

 French, German, or English-Speaking professional tour guide

 All entry charges (admission fees) to visit sites mentioned in Addis Ababa itinerary above

 Hotel/Airport pick up and drop offs

 Local family visits

✔ Lunch (home cooked Ethiopian food)

 Docent services (as needed)

 Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

 Bottled water and local snacks


 And, all related taxes


 Fees for visiting other areas of interest not included in the above itinerary


 And, any other expenses not mentioned in the Included list above

For booking this culture themed half day city tour in Addis Ababa ONLINEBOOK NOW on VIATOR

Alternatively, Email Us to inform us about your individual expectations.

If you prefer, reserve our short Addis Ababa Layover Tour by sending message on WhatsApp

Half day tour of Addis Ababa Ethiopia can extend to Full day tour (8 to 9 hours). The complete private city tour of Addis Ababa includes more activities. A few additional experiences and more places to visit with the long tour of Addis include: -

  • Ethnological Museum (also known as Ethnographic Museum) was Emperor Haile Selassies's former palace. Ethnological Museum is one of the best museums in East Africa. Haile Selassie (formerly known as Ras Teferi or Ras Tafari before he became Emperor) lived here for more than 25 years. The Emperor is revered for Rastafarians.
  • St. George Cathedral is among the best places first time visitors of Addis have to visit. Saint George Cathedral is historic for its Tabot (copy of the Ark of the Covenant). St. George's Tabot accompanied Ethiopians who defeated invader Italians in 1896.
  • Cultural Activities - Learn how to bake Injera (እንጀራ). Enjera (Injera) is the Ethiopian flat bread. 'Teff' (ጤፍ) grains are used to prepare Injera. Attending a cultural Ethiopia Coffee is also a lot of fun.

Book Online - Addis Ababa Half Day Cultural Experience

If you are curious to try tasty local Ethiopian food, we rearrange your layover tour to a remarkable Addis Ababa Food Tour. Spend your half day in Addis Ababa with exotic Ethiopian culinary experience. The unique Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony culture is part of the activity.

Whether you are interested in the highlights or deeper engagement, we will make your layover tour in the city of Addis Ababa a complete SUCCESS.

If you are wondering what you can do in one day from Addis Ababa, read our article on interesting attractions around Addis Ababa. Choose any sites your feel you would explore and tell us how you plan to visit it. Please, check out other interesting tours offered by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours!

If you are on stopover at Addis Ababa Airport at night, our Overnight Transit Tour in Addis Ababa helps you have a great evening.

Please read how other visitors enjoyed their half-day visits to Addis Ababa with professional tour guides

Had a wonderful visit to Addis Ababa. Thanks to Muluken for planning and arranging things perfectly well. He picked from airport, took to all popular spots, handled my custom requests and dropped back safely at hotel. I'll highly recommend him if you are planning.

By Chimbu Kumar

Our full day tour of Addis Ababa was extraordinary. We were met by our friendly and knowledgeable tour guide Biruk at the airport and a day full of discoveries and adventure commenced.

By Joanna Roguska

We spent an awesome day in Addis with Muluken! He went to pick us up at the airport, and immediately start our private tour. He’s very friendly and explained us a lot about the Ethiopian culture Great experience that we’ll not forget :)

By Leticia Asserquet


Have your entry visa to Ethiopia in advance by applying online. Ethiopia stopped giving visas upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole Int’l Airport. Get visa to Ethiopia from Ethiopian Embassy close to you. Or, have e-visa applying online. Click to apply for your Ethiopian E-Visa

For security reasons, it is NOT ALLOWED to bring in drones, satellite phones, BINOCULARS, etc. to Addis Ababa. If you carry those items, it is better to check them in to your next destination (when checking in to fly to Addis Ababa).


Are you an expat in Addis Ababa?

You already visited the common attractions of the city?

Do you wish to go to and visit unique, rarely visited, yet worth visiting sites in Addis Ababa in a half day or less?

Here are our recommended special interest attractions to discover in Addis Ababa.

Washa Mikael Rock Church

If you're looking for distinctive, unfamiliar and interesting places to visit in Addis Abeba, WASHA MIKAEL ROCK CHURCH comes in the top of the list.

The rock church of Washa Mikael is located north east of Addis Ababa. The 4th Century church of Washa Mikael is cut out of rock (similar to the churches of Lalibela). It is sad that it was destroyed twice. But, Washa Michael is still worth-visiting site in Addis Ababa.

To visit only Washa Mikael Rock Church in Addis Ababa, you need about 3 hours. With our half-day trip in Addis Ababa, you can discover Washa Mikael church together with other interesting places to visit in Addis.

Join us on our half-day city tour of Addis Abeba to visit Washa Michael Rock Church!

Contact us soon for details about visiting Addis Ababa in half day! We are always ready to help in customizing your brief layovers and enjoy a bespoke tour of Addis Abeba.

If you enjoyed your half-day tour of Addis Ababa city, share your experience online. Please write a review on TripAdvisor clicking the following button.

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