Ethiopia Travel Budget

How much does it cost to travel to Ethiopia?

How much money will you need for your trip to Ethiopia? You should plan to spend around ETB1,215 ($35) per day on your vacation in Ethiopia, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ETB291 ($8.47) on meals for one day and ETB97 ($2.83) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Ethiopia for a couple is ETB1,378 ($40). So, a trip to Ethiopia for two people for one week costs on average ETB17,008 ($494). All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - Learn more about these numbers.
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A vacation to Ethiopia for one week usually costs around ETB8,504 for one person. So, a trip to Ethiopia for two people costs around ETB17,008 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs ETB34,016 in Ethiopia. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Ethiopia can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Ethiopia?

How much does a trip to Ethiopia cost? Is Ethiopia expensive? The average Ethiopia trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Ethiopia prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in Ethiopia can vary, the average cost of food in Ethiopia is ETB291 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Ethiopia should cost around ETB117 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Ethiopia is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The cost of a taxi ride in Ethiopia is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent ETB97 per person, per day, on local transportation in Ethiopia.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers
  • Intercity Transportation1 Travel between cities
  • Scams, Robberies, and Mishaps1
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Flights to Ethiopia

How much does it cost to go to Ethiopia? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

How much money do I need for Ethiopia?

Typical travel prices in Ethiopia are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in Ethiopia. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in Ethiopia can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Lalibela Admission (for 2)
  • Short Taxi Ride
  • Tuk Tuk Ride
  • Short Taxi Ride
  • Short Taxi Ride
  • Slice of Cake
  • Cookies
  • Dessert Cake
  • Two Cold Fruit Drinks
  • Pastries (for 2)
  • Breakfast (for 2)
  • Restaurant Dinner for 2
Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia On a Budget
Ethiopia Lalibela, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is in eastern Africa just north of Kenya and south of Eritrea. It is a fascinating country that is unlike any other place in Africa. In the north it is lush and green with villages and historic sights such as the world renowned Lalibela. It has natural beauty, like the famed Blue Nile Falls, and cultural history with its religious ties to both Islam and Christianity. In the south, you can encounter traditional tribal communities that continue to live and thrive as they have for centuries. In the Omo Valley, you can see the Merci people, with their clay plates and unusual body jewelry. Back in the capital, Addis Ababa, you can see a growing and changing African capital that is becoming more and more linked to the international world.

Ethiopian religion, history and food is unlike anything else. Visit a traditional restaurant where you can watch the impressive local dances and dine on the unique Ethiopian cuisine. Coffee ceremonies are performed in many places as an intricate way to welcome you to the country.

Trips to this country are often divided into two "circuits." Many people head to the culturally rich north to visit Lalibela and Blue Nile Falls among other sights. Public transportation is an option in this more developed portion of the country. The roads are constantly improving and bus routes are fairly common. Many people do choose to take a least one domestic flight on Ethiopian Air to help reduce their travel time. The southern circuit has much less infrastructure and generally requires use of a private vehicle. Many travelers group together to split the cost of hiring a car and driver. This is a very fascinating part of the country and you really shouldn't miss it, but do realize that the expenses can be far greater because you essentially have to do a tour or take inefficient local transportation.

In general, this is one of the less expensive African countries. You will likely be charged a "ferengi" price which is at least twice the local price. You can try to negotiate this down but it will be challenging. Restaurants, hotels, and public transportation are still quite cheap in the country. If you're looking to save money, consider traveling to the northern part of the country independently and then skipping out on the south because it is far more expensive with a private vehicle.
At A Glance
  • Lalibela is by far the most famous and popular tourist destination in Ethiopia. No trip to the country is complete without a visit to this sight which contains mesmerizing churches carved out of rock. There is now a fixed price to visit Lalibela. You can expect to pay $50 (USD) per person for a multi-day pass. There are no single day passes available. This price is significantly higher than in the past, and goes up every few years, but it is still well worth it. You will be shown a basic slideshow and then allowed entry into the churches. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Ground transportation in northern Ethiopia is generally uncomfortable, but doable. If you're doing the entire northern circuit you should consider taking at least one flight to save time. This will dramatically cut down on the amount of time you spend in a bus by at least a day. Private drivers are also available, as are tours of the region which provide more comfortable transportation.

  • If you're going to be in the country for any length of time then you're likely to get a little burned out of injera. Even though it's delicious, you'll find that you are eating it at almost every meal. If you're in the capital city there are plenty of western restaurants that are actually quite good. You can choose anything from Chinese to Indian or Italian. You will likely pay a little more for them, though.

  • If you're heading into Southern Ethiopia you'll probably have to hire a private car and driver. It's easy to split the cost with other travelers if you can locate them. You can try to coordinate with people via a travel forum like Lonely Planet, or you can wait until you arrive. Either option is usually reliable.

  • If you plan to buy domestic plane tickets on Ethiopian Air it is sometimes cheaper to purchase them online once you're within the country. You can also use Ethiopian Air's app to buy tickets. You do have to make the purchase about forty eight hours in advance, and the internet can be unreliable so do plan ahead.
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Top Tourist Attractions
Blue Nile Falls: This is a stunningly beautiful waterfall in northern Ethiopia. It beautifully forms a rainbow when the sun is positioned correctly. It's best to visit it towards the end of the rainy season when it is at its fullest.

Lalibela: This is a world famous town in northern Ethiopia that is known for its rock-hewn churches, some of which date back to the tenth century. It's also one of the holiest cities in Ethiopia and one of the most popular with tourists.

Simien Mountain National Park: These dramatically beautiful mountains offer some of the country's best trekking opportunities. Government requirements dictate that you hire a guide and several assistants before you begin the climb, so organizing a trip can be somewhat cumbersome for an independent traveler.

Popular Foods
Ethiopian food is unlike any other African cuisine. It's a unique and delicious cuisine that involves a lot of meat and spices. It is typically served on top of a pancake like bread. Similar dishes are available breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you do get tired of typical Ethiopian food then it is possible to find spaghetti in most towns. In Addis Ababa you can find a wide variety of western restaurants as well.

Injera: The staple of most Ethiopian meals, this is a traditional pancake like flat bread that's made from teff flour. Some people compare its flavor to sour dough bread, but its texture is far more chewy. Stew like entrees are typically served on top of the bread and diners then enjoy the meal by eating with their hands.

Wat: This is a thick meat stew that is served on top of injera and is usually quite spicy. It's one of the more popular stew like dishes in Ethiopia and can be made with several different types of meat.

Kitfo: This popular Ethiopian specialty is made with raw ground beef that is mixed with a type of chili powder and served on top of injera. Many travelers choose to avoid this dish because it is raw, but it is a favorite of most local residents.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Ethiopia Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to Ethiopia: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips

Ethiopian Airlines Discounts

By Bryan
You can get major discounts on Ethiopian Airline's domestic flights around the inside of the country if you flew into the country with the airline. Show your tickets at an Ethiopian Airlines office when buying your internal flights and you should be given the discounts. The flights really help because a lot of the best destinations are several days' worth of driving or bus riding.

Share a Car for the Omo Valley

By wanderinggurl
If you have enough time, and your schedule is flexible, you can book your car in Ethiopia to make a trip into the Omo Valley. Find some other travelers (you can ask on the lonely planet forums) and split the costs. It's a unique trip and well worth the expense!

Finding an ATM

By wanderinggurl
ATMs are available in most larger towns in northern Ethiopia now. Power outages and a shortage of money in the machine may limit your ability to withdraw cash so it's still a good idea to carry enough money with you. In the south there's almost no ATMs so it's essential you carry plenty of money with you.

Travel in Groups

By backpackguru
Independent travel is often the most affordable option, but in some countries like Ethiopia, meeting up with other travelers can really safe you money. In countries where transportation is difficult to find you will likely have to hire a care for at least part of your trip. Find fellow travelers through either travel forums, or in your hotel or hostel. Split the cost and you'll save tons of money. This is particularly true when you head south to the Omo Valley.


By Seni in Accommodation
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