Ethiopia Shopping and Districts

(Ethiopia, ET, East Africa)

Cityscape view of central HararSouvenir shoppers in Ethiopia won't be disappointed. Visitors could while away hours hunting for craftwork, jewellery and clothes to take back home.

From the bustling mercato to the main shopping streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city has plenty to offer visitors out on a shopping trip.

Other large cities and towns in Ethiopia also offer a good selection of small shops to tempt you.

Picture of shops in Gondar city centre

When to Shop and Opening Hours

Shop opening hours may vary depending on where you are in Ethiopia and the size of the town. However, in general, shops tend to open from 08:00 to 13:00 and then from 14:00 to 20:00, from Monday to Friday.

On Saturday, opening hours for shops are a little shorter, from 09:00 to 13:00 and then from around 15:00 to 19:00. Shops are mostly closed on Sundays.

Photo of market in Gondar

Where to Shop

The main shopping street in Addis Ababa is centred on and around Churchill Avenue. Other shopping areas include the Piazza district and around the Mercato. The Piazza district is particularly known for its jewellery shops.

Mementos of your trip to Ethiopia can be found in the Haile Selassie Shop on Churchill Avenue. As well as offering beautiful jewellery and local handmade items, the shop can seem like a welcome haven if you are tired out of haggling in the local markets and smaller gift shops.

View of central road in LalibelaSome of the larger hotels complexes in Ethiopia's proud capital of Addis Ababa also have their own small shopping arcades, including the Addis Sheraton Shopping Centre. Here, it's possible to shop without the hustle and bustle you'd expect in the city's busy streets, although of course prices for goods are higher than elsewhere. Other retail complexes in Addis Ababa include the Bole Dembel Shopping Centre in the south of the city, and the Getu Commercial Centre in the very city centre.

No shopping trip in Addis Ababa would be complete without a visit to the city's Mercato. Take care to keep your wallet secure in this vast market where you can expect to find bargains in abundance, so long as you're prepared to haggle. Look out in particular for local craftwork, clothing, baskets, fruit and vegetables, and of course, lots of spices. Around the edge of the market are numerous shops that sell an abundance of bric-a-brac that can make useful presents for the folks back home.

As you would expect, shopping centres are mostly confined to larger cities in Ethiopia. In the country's small towns, your shopping expeditions will mostly be based around bustling markets, street stalls and the small, fairly basic-looking, shops that line the streets. One particular purchase to look out for is coffee when visiting Harar. Ethiopia's coffee has a good reputation both in terms of taste and quality. Harar also has an interesting market.