Addis Ababa Bole International Airport serves the city of Addis Ababa, capital and largest city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Africa. Operational from 2003, Bole International Airport boasts modern, efficient facilities including 2 passenger terminals, multiple runways, numerous gates and a luxurious business lounge. Terminal 1 handles mostly domestic and regional air carriers, whilst Terminal 2 is reserved for international flights.
The airport serves more than 3 million passengers annually, making it one of Africa’s busiest air transport hubs. It is also the hub of flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines, and home to the Ethiopian Aviation Academy. Due to strong demand for air transportation, Addis Ababa airport is scheduled for further expansion works (as of August 2015).
Do note that all foreign visitors to Ethiopia (except for those from Kenya) require a visa to enter the country.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is located less than 10 kilometres away from Addis Ababa, so the commute from airport to city isn’t too difficult. By car, the ride into town should take about 15 minutes or so (depending on traffic conditions).
Different types of taxis are readily available directly outside the airport terminals – the city’s NTO (National Tour Operation) runs the Mercedes cabs, whilst colored cabs (usually blue and white or yellow) are privately owned. NTO cabs operate on a fixed-rate basis depending on the destination, whilst privately-owned cabs sometimes have meters (if a meter isn’t present, agree on a price to your destination before starting the ride).
What to see and do
Though Addis Ababa is only the capital of Ethiopia alone, it is commonly referred to as the ‘Capital of Africa’ due to the city’s political importance to the continent – it is where the African Union (which represents more than 50 African nations) is based, and it also holds the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as well as countless foreign embassies from around the world.
If in Addis Ababa, a visit to the National Museum of Ethiopia is a must. Here you can admire a stunning collection of prehistoric fossils that include the remains of extinct beasts like sabre-toothed tigers, as well as world-famous fossilized hominids Salem and Lucy. If you’ve ever wondered what humans looked like 3 million years ago, this is the perfect place to satisfy your curiosity once and for all. Besides that, ancient artefacts like thrones and crowns from rulers who lived thousands of years ago are present in the museum, along with a collection of treasured Ethiopian art.
Next must-see after the National Museum is the bustling Addis Merkato, one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. Window-shopping here is an eye-opening experience in itself – wander through the colorful, chaotic bazaar admiring the cacophony of diverse offerings (whilst keeping your valuables safely with you) and pick up some locally-grown produce, fresh spices or that exotic silver jewelry you’ve been eyeing.
Flexible where you fly? Search nearby airports for bigger savings.
Airports near Addis Ababa
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.