A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Addis Ababa vs. Johannesburg for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Addis Ababa or Johannesburg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Addis Ababa or Johannesburg, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Addis Ababa or Johannesburg?

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and also the nation's largest when ranked by its population of over three million. There are also more than 120 international missions and embassies in Addis Ababa, making the city a hub for international diplomacy concerning Africa. Other draws include its thriving marketplaces, spicy food, and rich coffee.


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a population of over 3 million people. Most of the population is made up of South Africa's black residents, who predominately reside in the Soweto area. There are approximately half a million white residents and 300,000 residents of other descent. Half of the population live in the Soweto area as well as the nearby suburbs.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Ethiopia, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Ethiopia, The Best Adventure Tours to South Africa, and The Best Eco Tours in South Africa.

Which place is cheaper, Johannesburg or Addis Ababa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Addis Ababa is $68, while the average daily cost in Johannesburg is $94. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Addis Ababa and Johannesburg in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Addis Ababa $44
    Johannesburg $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Addis Ababa $88
    Johannesburg $108
Compare Hotels in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg

Looking for a hotel in Addis Ababa or Johannesburg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Addis Ababa

Hotels in Johannesburg

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Addis Ababa Hotel Prices and Johannesburg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Addis Ababa $7.85
    Johannesburg $16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Addis Ababa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Addis Ababa are as follows:

  • Short Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Addis Ababa

Also for Addis Ababa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Addis Shuttles: On-Time & Reliable, Airport Transfers: $19
  • City/Airport Transfer in Addis Ababa - Shuttles: $21
  • Transfer Services Addis Abeba Airport : $23
  • City/Airport Transfers-Addis Ababa: $26
  • Addis Ababa Airport in/out transfer: $44

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Johannesburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Johannesburg:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Johannesburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Johannesburg:

  • Airport To Suncity Transfer And Return: $388
  • Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Transfer to Pretoria hotels: $276
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Johannesburg Airport to Mpumalanga: $275
  • OR Tambo to Sun City Transfer : $227
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg To Pilanesberg: $214
  • Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Transfer to Johannesburg hotels: $193
  • Private Land Rover transfer to Sun City from Johannesburg and PTA: $191
  • Executive Airport Transfers - OR Tambo to Sandton : $174
  • Transfers Between OR Tambo and Pilanesburg : $171
  • Private Transfer from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport (JNB) to Pretoria hotels: $163
  • Airport Transfers from Cradle of Humankind Muldesdrift to Jo'burg: $142
  • Private Transfer, Airports to Cradle of Humankind & Muldersdrift : $142

Is it cheaper to fly into Addis Ababa or Johannesburg?

Prices for flights to both Johannesburg and Addis Ababa change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Addis Ababa $18
    Johannesburg $17
Typical Food Prices in Addis Ababa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Addis Ababa:

  • Slice of Cake

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Addis Ababa

For Addis Ababa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Local Ethiopian Food Tour: $75
  • Food tours in Addis Ababa tastever with lunch: $108
  • Private Ethiopian Home Cooking Class in Addis Ababa with Transfer: $124
  • HALF DAY + DINNER Addis Ababa City Tour: $140
  • Half Day + Dinner Addis Ababa City Tour: $150
  • Ethiopian Cooking Class and Coffee Ceremony with a Local in Addis with transfers: $154
  • Market Tour and Cooking Class with a Coffee Ceremony at a Home in Addis Ababa: $168
  • Food Tour in Addis Ababa: $205
  • Food tours in Addis Ababa Ethiopia: $239

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Johannesburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Johannesburg.

  • Maboneng Street Art and Street Food Tour: $39
  • Unique street food tour from at least 6 different cultures!: $48
  • Taste of Africa Food Tour: $49
  • A Private Traditional Cape Malay Cooking Class, with a MKR Finalist: $95
  • Johannesburg Culture and food tour: $97
  • Pan-African Cooking & Dinning Experience: $186

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Addis Ababa $8.10
    Johannesburg $21

Tours and Activities in Addis Ababa

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Addis Ababa.

  • Addis Ababa Tour: $53
  • Addis Ababa City - Half Day Tour: $55
  • Addis Ababa highlight city tour: $56
  • 4 Hour Addis Cuisine Tasting Tour: $57
  • Guided City Tour: $59
  • A guided tour of Addis Abeba that includes a city viewpoint: $59
  • Addis Ababa highlights of the city tour: $59
  • Addis Ababa city Tour: $60
  • Addis Abeba's Market and Shopping Tour: $60
  • Half Day City Tour of Addis Ababa : $60
  • Addis Ababa Guided City Tours: $62
  • Guided City Tour / Addis Ababa Guided City Tour: $62

Tours and Activities in Johannesburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Johannesburg are as follows:

  • Golf Tour, Sun City , Gary Player Course - Rated the Best: $219
  • Private Full Day Johannesburg Historical Tour : $187
  • Rhino and Lion Park Safari Tour : $94
  • Soweto half day tour including Mandela House.Private transport: $67
  • (Meet the Artist)Art Gallery & Street Art tour with lunch: $29
  • 10 Days Overland Tour-Johannesburg and Cape Town: $2,589
  • 15 Days Johannesburg, Kruger National Park – Cape Town Tour: $3,884
  • 3 Day Kruger National Park Tour from Johannesburg: $823
  • 3 Days 2 Nights Panorama Tour & Kruger National park Safari: $797
  • 3 Days Big 5 Kruger National Park Tour from Johannesburg: $1,176
  • 4-Days Overnight Experience in The Panorama Route & Safari: $1,663
  • 6 Days Johannesburg and Kruger National Park Tour: $1,553

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Addis Ababa $6.69
    Johannesburg $4.65

Sample the Local Flavors in Addis Ababa

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Addis Ababa:

  • Pub-crawl Tour ( locally crafted beer and wine tasting ): $58
  • The Pub Crawl Royale: A Battle of the Best Drinks: $64
  • Locally crafted beer and wine tasting and nightlife in Addis tour: $65
  • Night Tour Addis Ababa beer and wine tasting: $69

Sample the Local Flavors in Johannesburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Johannesburg:

  • Wine Tasting Experience in Johannesburg: $8.08
  • Wine Tasting and Cableway Half Day Tour: $111
  • Experience Johannesburg Wine Tour Views and Luxury: $224

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Addis Ababa and Johannesburg, we can see that Johannesburg is more expensive. And not only is Addis Ababa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Addis Ababa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Addis Ababa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Johannesburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Johannesburg than you might in Addis Ababa.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Addis Ababa Expensive? and Is Johannesburg Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Addis Ababa or Johannesburg?

Addis Ababa has a larger population, and is about 36% larger than the population of Johannesburg. When comparing the sizes of Addis Ababa and Johannesburg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.