Trip Calculators - 8 min read

Ethiopia: Budget Calculator & 6 Unique things to do?

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated September 2, 2023

Ethiopia is a diverse & colorful land. The wildlife ranges from the camels which wander in Dire Dawa to the Ethiopian wolves which prowl the countryside of Bale mountains National Park.

The landscape ranges from Lava Lakes, to hot springs, sprawling wilderness and bustling market towns!

Ethiopia also offers a rich heritage along its “historical circuit” which ranges from the mysterious cave churches at Lalibela to the preserved castles in Gondar and even the underground tombs of Aksum!

Fun Fact: Many believe coffee originated in Ethiopia! These days production & consumption is a part of daily life.

In this post I will answer some Frequently asked questions submitted by readers of  Town & Tourist, these include the following:

  1. 6 Captivating things to do in Ethiopia?
  2. Is Ethiopia Expensive to Travel?
  3. Ethiopia Travel Budget Calculator 
  4. Ethiopia Costs (Detailed) 
  5. Is Ethiopia Safe for Tourists?
  6. Do you need a Visa to Enter Ethiopia?
  7. When is the Best time to Visit Ethiopia?
  8. Where to stay in Ethiopia? 
  9. 3 Essential Travel Tips? (Packing Guide)

A. 6 Captivating things to do in Ethiopia?

1. Wander around the city of Gondar 

Gondar was nicknamed Africas Camelot, it offers a unique mix of African Castles & Italian Cafes.

fasilides-castle-gondar-ethiopia-africa. Source; Getty

2. Explore the Danakil Depression

The Danakil Depression is the lowest point in Africa, (-116m) and its amongst the most inhospitable places on earth!

The colorful volcanic landscape of dallol in the danakil depression, Afar region, Dallol, Ethiopia
DALLOL, ETHIOPIA – The colorful volcanic landscape of dallol in the danakil depression, afar region, dallol, (Photo by Eric Lafforgue via Getty Images)

3.  Bath in the Hot Springs of Wondo Genet 

Hike through the forest over the Rift valley, past baboons & hyenas, before taking a relaxing bath in the Hot Spring pools of Wondo Genet.

4. Go lost in Harar’s walled old town

Harar’s walled old town is the ideal place to get lost in its maze of 362 alleyways!

Harar Ethiopia
Harar Ethiopia

5. Hike the Simien Mountains national park

Simien Mountains National Park is the ideal place for relaxing strolls & week long hiking.

This will also give you access to Africas forth-highest peak Ras Dashen (4620m).

6. Visit the Mountain churches of Lalibela

The 11 rocky mountain churches of Lalibela, are an awe inspiring treat. Located at an altitude of 2630m, they are home to monks & religious ceremony!

These were included in our: 13 Most Stunning & Unique Mountain Churches in the World!

Lalibela ethiopia
Lalibela ethiopia. Source: Getty

Fun Fact: 

If your into historic landmarks check out the Aksum palace ruins, underground tombs!

B. Is Ethiopia expensive to travel?

Ethiopia is extremely cheap to travel! A budget traveller should budget $5 -$10(USD) per day,

while a mid range traveller should budget $10-$20 (USD) per day.  

This includes the cost of accommodation, food and transport! 

The Prices in Ethiopia are cheaper than South Africa , Morocco, Egypt .

In addition to the USA & Europe, UKFranceGermanyItaly. 

C. Ethiopia: Travel Budget Calculator

To help you budget your next adventure to Ethiopia

Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below

User Guide: Simply select your “Travel Style”,  ” Number of Persons” and Number of Days Traveling.

Top Tip: “Group” travel budget gives the total budget for 4 people! To find out how much that is each simply divide by 4.

Family Budgets:

Families would be best using the Group selector, or those with small children should select “Couple” if the children are young enough to share a room.

We have compiled the data in the table above from our vast travel experience & other reliable sources.

What is the Currency in Ethiopia?

The Ethiopian Birr is the currency of Ethiopia.

1 USD =32 ETB

1 GBP = 42 ETB

1 EURO = 35 ETB

D. Ethiopia Travel Costs (Detailed):

i. Budget Backpacker Travel Costs:

Budget Ethiopia Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Average Daily cost: $5
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel) $2
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $4
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $1
Food & Water $2
Entertainment $1
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $5

ii. Mid Range Travel Costs:

Mid Range Budget:Ethiopia Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Average Daily cost: $12
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel) $5
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $9
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $1
Food & Water $5
Entertainment $3
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $12

iii. Luxury Vacation Travel Costs:

Ethiopia Luxury Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Average Daily cost: $30
Accommodation (Single Occupancy) $15
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $25
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $3
Food & Water $8
Entertainment $10
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $26

E. Is Ethiopia safe for tourists?

According to the UK Government & US Government most parts of Ethiopia are safe such as the capital (Addis Ababa)

However, some parts should be avoided!

See map below.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to:

  • the four woredas (districts) (Akobo, Wantawo, Jikawo and Lare) of Nuer zone and the Jore woreda of the Agnuak zone in Gambella region
  • the Nogob (previously Fik), Jarar (previously Degehabur), Shabelle (previously Gode), Korahe and Dollo (previously Warder) zones of the Ethiopian Somali Region
  • within 10 km of the border with South Sudan
  • within 100 km of the Ethiopian border with Somalia and Kenya in the Afder and Liben zones of Ethiopia’s Somali region
  • within 10 km of the border with Sudan and the other parts of the Kenyan border, with the exception of principal roads/towns
Ethiopia Travel Advice (Safe/Danger zones)
Ethiopia Travel Advice (Safe/Danger zones)

In addition, like in any busy area be sure to not carry too much cash and exercise caution in crowded areas such as,

train and bus stations, airports to avoid pickpockets.I recommend purchasing a hidden money belt,

I take mine everywhere. See: Travel Accessories

F. Do you need a visa to enter Ethiopia?

Most countries require an EVisa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Ethiopia

US Citizens:

According to the US Department of state: 

A Visa is required for travel to Ethiopia,  Travellers can apply for an eVisa on the website for the Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs.

While tourist visas are also available upon arrival at Bole International Airport, some travellers have experienced significant delays obtaining their visa upon arrival.

Contact the Embassy of Ethiopia for the most current visa information.

Overseas inquiries about visas should be made at the nearest Ethiopian embassy or consulate.

UK Citizens:

According to the UK Government:

You will need a visa to enter Ethiopia. E-visas can be purchased in advance from the Ethiopian Immigration website.

Visas on arrival are also available for tourists at Addis Ababa (Bole) International airport, at a cost of approximately $US50 for 1 month and $US75 for 3 months.

It’s recommended that you bring US$ cash for this.

Insider Tip:

All governments advise on a valid Travel Insurance policy before traveling.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years.

G. When is the Best time to visit Ethiopia?

The best time to visit is between October and June, which is the dry season.

Rains usually stop in early October, which means the highlands are lush & green at this time of year.


H. Where to Stay in Ethiopia?

For a complete list of our recommend SAFE hotels in Ethiopia, follow the link HERE

I. 3 Essential Travel tips?

1. Invest in a quality Travel Camera! 

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

2. Important! Are you insured?

Be aware that you will need separate travel insurance if you are traveling to Ethiopia!

If you get ill or have an accident it will be a very costly experience!

All travellers to Ethiopia should have a robust travel insurance to avoid paying out thousands of dollars.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years,

they are the best and most reliable insurance, they also provides an unlimited medical budget!

Travel Insurance

Getting hit with a large hospital bill after getting sick or injured, could really add to your worries! Get some Travel Insurance


For more info see: Why you NEED Travel Insurance?

3. Be sure you have your Travel Essentials  

(Things You can’t travel without!)

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments to help you cut costs and have more of an adventure while traveling!

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Want more?

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