The Mercato is the largest outdoor market in Africa and Addis' most colourful sight. There are tinkers, tailors, spice and vegetable merchants, camel traders and of course, wonderful Ethiopian coffee. Mercato is an exhilarating place to visit with animals wandering the streets, vendors hollering, the pungent aromas of local dishes and a riot of colour and sensations, you will find a visit here to be a memorable experience.
The museum has a varied range of exhibits across three floors covering a wide scope of Ethiopian history. The most famous exhibit is the replica statue of Lucy, at 3.18 million years old, the oldest hominid skeleton ever found. The fragile original skeleton is now in USA. Also of interest is the selection of celebrated Ethiopian artworks from Aksum, Lalibella, and Tana Monasteries, plus relics from Haile Selassie's reign.
St George Cathedral was founded by the great Emperor Menelik to commemorate his 1896 victory over the invading Italian army. The outer walls of the building are covered in wonderful artwork and mosaics, including work by Afewerk Tekle.
Ethiopia is a land rich in culture and diversity and Timkat is arguably the most important date on the Ethiopian calendar. All across the country special masses are held to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. Festivities start on the eve of Timkat with colourful costume processions throughout the country.
This is where the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is headquartered as well as most UN offices in Ethiopia. It is also the site of the founding of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) which eventually became the African Union.