The Most Beautiful City in Ethiopia: A Scenic Delight

Choose the city you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 22, 2024 05:21
Discover the hidden gems of Ethiopia's enchanting cities as StrawPoll brings you an exciting ranking of "What is the most beautiful city in Ethiopia?" Unveil the true beauty of this diverse and culturally rich nation as you explore its picturesque landscapes, ancient architectures, and vibrant communities. Join thousands of other travel enthusiasts as they vote for their favorite Ethiopian cities or contribute by suggesting a missing option. Don't miss out on your chance to unravel the mysteries of this captivating land and be a part of the ultimate quest in finding Ethiopia's most beautiful city! Cast your vote now and embark on this exhilarating journey with us at StrawPoll!

What Is the Most Beautiful City in Ethiopia?

  1. 1
    Lalibela is known for its rock-hewn churches, Lalibela is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ethiopia.
    Lalibela is a stunning city located in northern Ethiopia, known for its remarkable rock-hewn churches. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Ethiopia's most popular tourist destinations.
    • Architectural Wonder: Lalibela is renowned for its unique rock-cut churches crafted from a single piece of rock.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, recognizing its exceptional cultural value.
    • Religious Importance: Lalibela is considered one of Ethiopia's holiest cities and a major pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.
    • Eleven Churches: The city is home to eleven ancient churches, each with its own distinct architecture and religious significance.
    • Monolithic Structures: The churches were carved downwards into the ground, creating monolithic structures that blend with the surrounding landscape.
  2. 2
    Addis Ababa
    ምቅ37382 · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Addis Ababa

    Emperor Menelik II
    Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage and diverse population.
    Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is a vibrant and diverse metropolis nestled in the lush Ethiopian highlands. It is a city of contrasts, blending traditional Ethiopian culture with modern development. Addis Ababa is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality.
    • Altitude: 2,355 meters (7,726 feet)
    • Population: Over 3 million
    • Ethnic Diversity: Over 80 different ethnic groups
    • Architecture: A mix of traditional Ethiopian and modern styles
    • Cultural Sites: National Museum of Ethiopia, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Ethnological Museum
  3. 3
    Bahir Dar
    O.Mustafin · CC0
    Bahir Dar - located on the shores of Lake Tana, Bahir Dar is known for its picturesque landscapes, ancient monasteries, and colorful markets.
    Bahir Dar is a picturesque city located in the northwestern part of Ethiopia, perched on the southern shores of Lake Tana. It is often referred to as the gateway to the Blue Nile Falls and the Ethiopian highlands. The city boasts stunning landscapes, including lush greenery, wide-open plains, and beautiful water bodies.
    • Location: Northwestern part of Ethiopia
    • Geography: Located on the southern shores of Lake Tana
    • Tourism: Gateway to the Blue Nile Falls and the Ethiopian highlands
    • Landscapes: Lush greenery, wide-open plains, and beautiful water bodies
    • Culture: Rich cultural heritage with numerous historical sites and ancient monasteries
  4. 4
    Gondar is also known as the "Camelot of Africa," Gondar is a historic city with an impressive collection of castles and palaces.
    Gondar is a beautiful city located in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. It is known for its stunning historical architecture and rich cultural heritage. The city was founded by Emperor Fasilides in the 17th century and served as the capital of Ethiopia for about 200 years. Gondar is often referred to as the 'Camelot of Africa' due to its grand castles, palaces, and churches that showcase a unique blend of Ethiopian and European architectural styles. The city is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and offers a wonderful glimpse into Ethiopia's imperial past.
    • Fasil Ghebbi: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the royal enclosure consisting of palaces, churches, and other buildings.
    • Debre Birhan Selassie: A famous church known for its beautiful frescoes and ceiling artwork.
    • Fasilides Bath: A stone bathing pool that fills up during the Timkat Festival, celebrated in January.
    • Qusquam Complex: A group of buildings including the Qusquam Church, which displays impressive architectural features.
    • Gondar Castle: A fortress-like structure with towers and battlements, offering panoramic views of the city.
  5. 5
    Harar - one of the oldest cities in Ethiopia, Harar is known for its distinct architecture, colorful markets, and unique cultural traditions.
    Harar, also known as Harar Jugol, is a historic city located in eastern Ethiopia. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the country, boasting a unique blend of culture, architecture, and history. The city is known for its distinct traditional houses, narrow winding alleys, and ancient defensive walls that surround it.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Harar is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, reflecting its outstanding cultural and historical value.
    • Architecture: The city is famous for its unique architectural style, characterized by its beautifully decorated traditional houses with intricate designs and colorful facades.
    • Jugol Wall: The historic defensive wall, known as Jugol, is one of the main features of Harar. It has a perimeter of about 4 kilometers and is made of stone and mud. It encompasses several gates and watchtowers.
    • Hyena feeding: Harar is well-known for the practice of feeding wild hyenas. The 'hyena men' of Harar have maintained a unique relationship with these animals for generations.
    • Cultural Diversity: Harar is a melting pot of cultures and religions. It has been a center for Islam and is home to over 90 mosques. It also has a rich tradition in storytelling, poetry, and music.
  6. 6
    Axum - home to some of Ethiopia's most ancient and impressive ruins, including the famous obelisks and the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion.
    Axum is a historic city located in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. It was once the capital of the ancient Axumite Empire, a powerful kingdom that thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries AD. Axum is renowned for its rich history, archaeological sites, and religious significance.
    • UNESCO World Heritage site: Axum is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding historical and cultural significance.
    • Stelae: Axum is famous for its towering ancient stelae, including the largest single piece of stone ever quarried and erected by humans, known as the Obelisk of Axum.
    • Ark of the Covenant: It is believed by some that the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred biblical artifact, is housed in Axum's St. Mary of Zion Church.
    • Axumite Empire: Once a powerful empire, Axum was an important trading center connecting Africa, Europe, and Asia.
    • Churches and Monasteries: Axum is home to several ancient churches and monasteries, including the Church of St. Mary of Zion, which is a significant pilgrimage site.
  7. 7
    Dire Dawa
    Arne Hückelheim · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Dire Dawa

    Emperor Menelik II
    Dire Dawa is a bustling commercial hub and melting pot of cultures, Dire Dawa is known for its vibrant street life and colorful architecture.
    Dire Dawa is a vibrant and multicultural city located in eastern Ethiopia. It is known for its unique blend of cultures and architectural heritage. The city offers a mix of modern and traditional lifestyles, making it a fascinating destination for both locals and tourists.
    • Location: Located in the eastern part of Ethiopia.
    • Multicultural hub: Dire Dawa is home to diverse ethnic communities, including Oromo, Somali, Amhara, and more.
    • Architecture: The city showcases a blend of Italian, French, and Arabic architectural styles.
    • Railway history: Dire Dawa was a major hub for the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, connecting Ethiopia to the port of Djibouti.
    • Historic buildings: The city is dotted with historic buildings such as the Dire Dawa Railway Station, Ras Hotel, and the Mariam Church.
  8. 8
    Awasa - located on the shores of Lake Awasa, this scenic city is known for its tranquil atmosphere, nature reserves, and birdwatching opportunities.
    Awasa is a scenic city located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. Situated on the shores of Lake Awasa, it is known for its natural beauty, pleasant climate, and diverse wildlife.
    • Lake Awasa: A picturesque lake offering activities such as boating and bird watching.
    • Paradise Nature Park: A lush green park with trails, waterfalls, and beautiful viewpoints.
    • Awasa Fish Market: A popular spot for seafood lovers, offering a variety of fresh fish options.
    • Tabor Hill: A scenic hill providing panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
    • Sidama Cultural Center: A center showcasing the rich culture and traditions of the local Sidama people.
  9. 9
    Jijiga is the capital of Ethiopia's Somali region, Jijiga is a fascinating blend of Ethiopian and Somali cultures, with a vibrant street life and colorful markets.
    Jijiga is a city located in eastern Ethiopia and is the capital of the Somali Region. Situated near the border with Somalia, it is known for its vibrant cultural heritage and beautiful natural landscapes. The city showcases a unique blend of Somali and Ethiopian traditions, making it a fascinating destination to explore.
    • Population: Approximately 500,000 people
    • Location: Eastern Ethiopia, close to the Somalia border
    • Cultural Diversity: Jijiga is home to various ethnic groups, mainly Somali and Oromo
    • Language: Somali and Amharic are widely spoken
    • Architecture: A mix of traditional Somali and modern Ethiopian styles
  10. 10
    Debre Berhan
    Ji-Elle · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Debre Berhan

    Debre Berhan municipality
    Debre Berhan is a small town located in the highlands of Ethiopia, Debre Berhan is known for its beautiful churches, stunning landscapes, and traditional way of life.
    Debre Berhan is a picturesque city located in the central part of Ethiopia. It is known for its stunning natural landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant culture. The city is nestled amidst rolling hills and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
    • Location: Central Ethiopia
    • Elevation: 2,840 meters (9,318 feet) above sea level
    • Historical Importance: Once served as the capital of the powerful Kingdom of Shewa
    • Religious Significance: Home to the Debre Berhan Selassie Church, renowned for its beautiful religious paintings on the ceiling
    • Climate: Mild and temperate, with cool temperatures throughout the year

Missing your favorite city?


Ranking factors for beautiful city

  1. Natural beauty
    The landscapes, greenery, mountains, lakes, rivers, and overall scenery that contribute to the city's attractiveness.
  2. Architectural beauty
    The design, historical significance, and aesthetic appeal of buildings, monuments, and other structures in the city.
  3. Cultural attractions
    The presence of museums, art galleries, and other cultural institutions that showcase Ethiopia's rich history, art, and traditions.
  4. Cleanliness and sustainability
    How well-maintained and environmentally friendly the city is, considering factors like waste management, pollution levels, and green spaces.
  5. Infrastructure and accessibility
    The quality of roads, public transportation, and accessibility to popular attractions and essential services like healthcare and education.
  6. Urban planning and design
    The layout and organization of the city, including factors like pedestrian-friendly streets, public spaces, and overall functionality.
  7. Safety and security
    The overall crime rate in the city and the effectiveness of local law enforcement agencies in maintaining a safe environment for residents and tourists.
  8. Cultural diversity
    The extent to which the city embraces and celebrates diverse cultures, ethnicities, and religions.
  9. Local cuisine and dining
    The availability of diverse and high-quality dining options that showcase Ethiopian and international cuisines.
  10. Social atmosphere and local hospitality
    The friendliness and welcoming nature of the local people, as well as the availability of events and activities that promote social interaction.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful city in Ethiopia. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or city is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each city once every 24 hours. The rank of each city is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful city in ethiopia

Ethiopia is a land of rich history and diverse cultures. With a population of over 100 million people, the country boasts an array of stunning cities that are bursting with life and color. From the bustling capital city of Addis Ababa to the ancient city of Axum, each city in Ethiopia has its own unique charm and beauty. When it comes to choosing the most beautiful city in Ethiopia, there are many contenders. Some may argue that the ancient city of Lalibela, with its breathtaking rock-hewn churches, is the most beautiful. Others may point to the vibrant city of Harar, with its winding alleys and colorful markets, as the most picturesque. Whatever your preference, there is no denying that Ethiopia is home to some of the most stunning cities in Africa. So, which city do you think deserves the title of the most beautiful in Ethiopia? Cast your vote on StrawPoll and let your voice be heard.

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