The old Lidetta Airport serving in the Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa was insufficient, so in 1960 a new airport opened its doors which was built in a different area of the city and named Bole International Airport. In 1992, the runway and control tower of the airport, which forms the base of the Ethiopian Aviation Academy and where many high-level pilots are trained was renewed. In 1997, a three phase expansion project was launched to expand Bole International Airport, to meet the increasing demand of the airport. The new international passenger terminal which was built within the framework of the project, opened in 2003 and become one of the largest passenger terminals in Africa. In 2006, a new cargo terminal building was built at the airport to be used by Ethıopian Airlines as its cargo center. Bole International Airport operates flights to many destinations in the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and America and its annual passenger statistics are over nine million passengers.
Addis Ababa, which is connected to Kenya, Somalia and Sudan by highways, connected to Djibouti, one of the important trade centers of Africa, by railways and has an international airport, is both a transfer point and an important trade center for the country. In the country where animal husbandry and agriculture are widespread and light industry is developed, the most important product of the city is coffee. The city is also an important education center thanks to the universities and colleges it hosts.
In the city, there are many coffee shops where you can drink and buy coffee. In Addis Ababa, urban transportation is provided with buses, minibuses and taxis. Public transportation isn’t very developed. Ticket prices of these means are affordable. However, bus routes don’t operate at regular intervals and there may sometimes be delays.
Blue - white colored minibuses that you can use as an alternative to buses are faster than buses and carry passengers with more affordable fares. The fare is about 1.5 Birr, which is less than 50 cents, depending on your destination. Minibuses that start operating at early hours in the morning generally offer service until 09:00 pm. You can also get on a taxi for your transportation in the city. It is not always easy to find a taxi here. You can find a taxi more easily in central parts of the city and in front of big hotels.
The vehicles used as taxi are generally old model automobiles. Despite of this, it can be said that taxis are the most comfortable means of transportation in Addis Ababa. However, before getting on a taxi you should agree on the fare and definitely bargain with the driver. If you are thinking of renting a car and having a comfortable means of transportation during your visit, you should be careful about the traffic. You should remember that there are no traffic lights on many roads and roundabouts and this situation negatively affects traffic flow. In addition, you can have trouble in buying gas. There can be long queues at gasoline stations. On the other hand, there is no problem about parking in the city and average parking fee is 0.50 Birr. Although there is a railway system in the city, trains are not a part of urban transportation.
Bole International Airport is located 6 km south of the city center on Bole Road. To get to the city center from the airport you can use minibuses as the means of public transportation or you can also choose to take a taxi. Renting a car is another alternative for your travel to the city center although it is generally not recommended due to traffic problems. If you are going to stay at a hotel, airport shuttle services offered by some hotel are one of the most comfortable and reliable transportation options.
If you are thinking of getting to the city center by using a means of public transportation, you can get on the minibuses departing from Bole Dild minibus stops located in front of the overpass found right across the terminal exit. Minibuses offer service from 06:00 am to 08:00 pm.
The fares are cheaper than taxis and vary according to your destination. The fares are 5 Birr on average. You should remember that tourists may be charged higher amounts. You can learn the amount you need to pay by talking to other passengers before getting on any minibus. You need to pay an additional amount for your baggage.
In addition to small hotels, accommodation centers of certain chain hotels like Radisson, Hilton and Sheraton are also located in the city center. Some hotels offer airport shuttle service. If you don’t prefer public transportation and don’t want to bargain with taxi drivers about the fare, you can take advantage of the airport shuttle service which will pick you up in front of the baggage claim area and leave you just in front of your hotel. To benefit from this service, you should contact your hotel in advance and agree on the price, make a reservation and give the necessary information such as the number of passengers and baggage.
There are two types of taxis that you can get on to reach the city center from the airport. At airport taxi stand, Mercedes taxis of the National Tour Operator (NTO) operate under a company and offer service with more comfortable vehicles. With their predetermined tariffs, they create a more reliable image in terms of the fares and offer private services. You can ask your hotel to call a NTO taxi for you or get in contact with the taxi desk located in the arriving passenger terminal. Tariffs are offered according to your destination. There is no taximeter in these taxis, so it is advised to agree on the fare before getting on. These taxis are approximately 10 times more expensive than blue-white taxis. You can also reach the city center in a short time with a blue-white taxi which you can get on at the exit of the airport. The average fare is between 80 and 100 Birr.
These taxis are managed by individuals. These taxis, which are larger than a standard automobile, operate just like a small bus. They have a standard route, pick up passengers from certain points and drop them off at certain points. There is no taximeter in blue-white taxis and the fares of the stops are predetermined. In addition, you shouldn’t forget that you may need to bargain on the fare.
You can rent a car from one of the car rental companies located at the airport. Since some roads have no name, there isn’t sufficient number of traffic signs throughout the city and there is no traffic light on many roundabouts, traffic flow isn’t in order. In order to reach the city center with the car you have rented, you should drive northwestward after leaving the airport. The road is about 6 kilometers.Last Updated: 27 Sep 2017
The airport, which is approximately 6 kilometers of the city center, is located on Bole Road. In the city where public transportation is not very developed, you can use minibuses to reach the airport. Taxi is another transportation alternative that is frequently preferred by visitors. In addition to these, you can get to the airport from the city center by renting a car or by benefitting from the airport shuttle service in case your hotel offers this service.
You can reach the airport by getting on a minibus from the minibus stops located in the city center. Minibuses generally carry passengers to the airport from 5:30 am to 09:00 pm. Although it is relatively cheaper compared to taxi, you should remember that drivers may demand higher amounts from tourists. The fare is about 5 Birr. They may also charge extra amount for each baggage.
Hotel shuttle service is the most comfortable alternative for your travel to the airport. In Addis Ababa city center, there are both small hotels and accommodation centers of chain hotels such as Hilton, Radisson and Sheraton. Some of these hotels offer airport shuttle service. If your hotel offers this service and you want to benefit from this service for your travel to the airport, you should definitely make a reservation in advance.
There are two types of taxis that you can get on to reach the airport. Mercedes taxis of the National Tour Operator (NTO) operate under a company and offer service with more comfortable vehicles. With their predetermined tariffs, they create a more reliable image in terms of the fares. You can ask your hotel to call a NTO taxi for you.
There is no taximeter in the taxis operating in Addis Ababa, so it is advised to agree on the fare before getting on. These yellow taxis are approximately 10 times more expensive than blue-white taxis. You can also reach the airport in a short time with a blue-white taxi which you can find in the city center or waiting in front of hotels. The average fare is between 80 and 100 Birr. The owners of these taxis aren’t companies but individuals. Since there is also no taximeter in blue-white taxis and fares are not standardized by a company, they are more flexible in terms of fares and you should definitely bargain.
You can rent a car from one of the car rental companies that you can find in the city center or from the offices of tour operators. You can also get help from your hotel about renting a car.
Since some roads in Addis Ababa have no name, there isn’t sufficient number of traffic signs throughout the city and there is no traffic light on many roundabouts, traffic flow isn’t in order. For this reason, renting a car during your visit may not be a good option. If you want to rent a car only for travelling to the airport from the city center, you should prefer a company which has an office at the airport.
In order to get to the airport with the car you have rented, connect to Bole Road in the city center, drive southeastward and follow the airport signs.
There are 2 terminals at the airport. Terminal 1, which offers service for domestic flights, is located in the old building. Terminal 2 offers service for international passenger transportation in the new building.
At Bole International Airport, there are many restaurants and cafes in addition to stores and a duty-free shop where you can do some shopping before your flight.
At the airport, there is also a lounge for passengers looking for a comfortable environment and a much larger lounge is now being constructed. Although there is no left luggage service at the airport, you can find other standard airport services such as pharmacy, currency exchange office and ATM.Last Updated: 27 Sep 2017
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