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An update from Evaneos

Mek’elē (Ethiopia)

Practical information about Mek’elē

  • Desert
  • Castle and fortress
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - One review
How to get there
1hr15 from Addis Ababa by plane
When to go
From September to May
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Mek’elē

Camille Griffoulieres Travel writer
116 travel articles

With a population of 220 000 inhabitants, Mek'ele is northeastern Ethiopia's big city. This is the departure point for excursions to the Danakil Desert and the Tigray villages all around Hawzen where there are remarkable churches to visit.

My suggestion:
This is where you negotiate for the lowest price on trips to the Danakil and for cars to hire for a few days if you want to visit the Tigray region. 

I really liked Mek'ele whose main high street is lined with palm trees. I stopped at a small, popular café with a garden and a billiard table, which served a selection of goof homemade fruit juice, before going to lunch at Abreha Castle, a 19th Century castle transformed into a government hotel overlooking the town and offers a nice terrace view. 

If you're thinking of buying a tailor-made traditional Ethiopian dress, this is where you'll get a good deal (starting from 1000 birrs per dress).  

Personally, I was a bit disappointed that the Yohannes IV Museum was closed (apparently temporarily), as it was practically the only tourist attraction to visit! However, the hotels are comfortable and cheap, and you come here to take a break before setting off on tiring excursions. I have great memories of a Trigrayan traditional wedding in Mek'ele to which I was invited completely by fluke. What a way to be welcomed! 

Tigrayan women from Mek'ele