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An update from Evaneos

Axum (Ethiopia)

Practical information about Axum

  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Museums
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
A 1h 20minute plane journey from Addis Ababa
When to go
From September to May
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Axum

Camille Griffoulieres Travel writer
116 travel articles

This town in the north of the country, on the border of Eritrea, is famous for its giant stelae erected by one of the first civilisations known to man, the Sabians, who reigned in the 10th century BC., and which flourished until the 7th century AD.

My suggestion:
Hire a tuk tuk for half a day to visit the different sites in the area, including the price of entry into the stelae field.

A visit to the field of giant stelae in the centre of Axum is absolutely incredible and not to be missed! Some stelae are more than 30 metres tall. It is so ancient that we know next to nothing about the civilisation that lived here, and the mystical symbols engraved on these tombs have kept their secrets. They refer to Sabian pagan myths celebrating the sun and the moon which existed in the 10th century BC. The first Ethiopian civilisation was born from the union of the Queen of Sheba with Salomon, the king of Judah which led to the birth of the future king Menelik the First.

It is a little frustrating not to have more information about the site, more so because only 10% of the area of the original town has been excavated by archeologists. When you visit, you see whole fields which have not yet been excavated. It is the same thing around the town, you see fields of stelae within cow fields, it is unbelievable. 

The entry to the field of giant stelae in the centre of Axum also allows you entry into six other sites scattered around the town, notably the ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba a few kilometres away from the town, who reined in the 10th century BC. At the time of King Solomon of Judah. Hire a guide for 400 birrs a day (the official price), and he will take you everywhere and provide you with a lot of useful explanations.

The central part of the town is pleasant, dotted with bars with terraces and served by a large number of tuk tuks. A pretty sight! However, getting to Axum from Debarq by public transport remains difficult . Choose rather to go via Tigray (Adigrat or particularly Mekele.

The stelae erected in Axum.