Hostel Ethiopia : The Best Budget Accommodation in Addis Ababa

By on December 2, 2017 in Accommodation, Africa, Backpacking, ETHIOPIA, Reviews with 0 Comments

Hostel Ethiopia : The Best Budget Accommodation in Addis Ababa

It’s always a terrifying moment when you arrive into a new foreign country, alone, naïve and at night!

You can kind of ready yourself for it – get the right currency, research the visa situation and read the Lonely Planet Guidebook – but nothing quite prepares you for that moment when you walk through immigration to face the unknown completely unaided!

And so it was on my recent arrival in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

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My stay at Ethiopia Hostel was kindly sponsored, but as always all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.

Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Coffee Cup

Venturing into the Unknown

If you’re anything like me, you’ve met very few people (if anyone) that has visited this African country and, if you’re ever tried to research travelling there online, you’ll know the information is outdated, vague and unclear at best.

(And I say all this having been just travelling in Southern and East Africa for the last 3 months!)

What I did know is that Ethiopians often don’t speak English – the national language being Amharic – they have their own alphabet, their currency (Birr) is not available outside the country, their culture is highly unique and their capital is the 4th largest city in Africa!

Cue me arriving into Addis Ababa (Addis for short) after dark, with no Amharic to my name and totally unsure of what was going to happen next!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Balcony View

Accommodation in Addis Ababa Organised

Luckily I had my accommodation in Addis Ababa booked, which I think is a sign of me getting old and sensible, but one that I was kind glad of nevertheless.

So, after I’d managed to navigate Ethiopian immigration (no mean feat!) and get some USD changed to Birr at the airport, I walked through arrivals and set about finding a taxi!

Thankfully I found someone who spoke English and I was able to give them the number of Ethiopia Hostel, who kindly instruct their guests to call on arrival at the airport so that specific directions can be relayed and a specific price can be agreed on.

As I was soon to learn, this is a godsend in Ethiopia!

Tip: You should not pay more than 200 Birr at most to get the Ethiopia Hostel from the Addis Ababa airport.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Bedroom

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And so it was I found myself in a taxi, driving through the thronging streets of Addis on my way to Ethiopia Hostel – the country’s first official backpackers!

I was kind of praying in the back that the taxi driver was definitely going to take me to the hostel (as I had no way of knowing if he was going the right way and no way of communicating with him) and thankfully he was, for in less than half an hour I was being warmly greeted by the hostel owner, Roza.

Ethiopia Hostel Welcome

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Kitchen

Roza, who is from Ethiopia, and her German husband, Mike, are the perfect hostel hosts, which was evident from the very start, when I was made to feel instantly welcome.

Having been travelling since 6am that morning – it being 9pm when I got to the hostel – I was more than delighted to accept the glass of Ethiopian wine they kindly offered.

We all sat round in the common area, along with the other backpacker guests, and proceeded to talk for a few hours, by which time I could barely keep my eyes open!

Fantastic Staff

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Roof Terrace

However the conversation had been so informative and interesting, I felt I couldn’t leave.

Just within those first few hours, I felt like I learnt so much from Mike and Roza about Ethiopia, how life and travels works here, that I could just about have thrown my Lonely Planet Guidebook out of the window (except for the fact was an ebook on my phone and I wasn’t prepared to throw that!)

Because that’s what you want when you travel right – local, on the ground info and interactions. To glean some direct insight into the culture, to receive advice and to listen, ears wide open, and absorb it all!

To meet and mingle with Ethiopian people on my first night in the country was such a delight that I knew I’d made the right choice for my accommodation in Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Courtyard

Things to Bring When Travelling to Ethiopia
#1 Headtorch – required for those all too often power cuts. I always go for Black Diamond
#2 Toilet Paper – most places don’t provide it
#3 Long, Thin Trousers – perfect for the cold evenings and conservative dress standards during the day
#4 Good Camera – an absolute must if you’re looking to capture the incredible landscape and cultural practices of Ethiopia. I love my mirrorless Sony A6000, which is light, compact and robust – ideal for Africa travel
#5 Hiking Boots – necessary for dusty roads, walking and cold nights. KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are a great option.
#6 Travel Scarf or Sarong – whether it’s covering your shoulders in churches, wrapping round you at night as a shawl or using as a pillow on long bus journeys, this is a great multi-purpose travel item for Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Ladder


And after the best night’s sleep on an incredibly comfy bed, I woke in the morning able to see a bit better where exactly I was!

Situated in the east of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel is in a developing suburban, which although has a lot of construction work going on, is well connected to the city centre by metro and has a supermarket, bank and several coffee bars / restaurants all within easy walking distance.

Venturing further afield to try and get an Ethiopian SIM card – because sadly Ethiopia Hostel doesn’t yet have wifi (my only bugbear, along with the lack of toilet paper!) – it was so wonderful to have one of the hostel staff join me, to show me the ropes and help me navigate the city’s minibus system!

This kind of summed up Ethiopia Hostel for me.

In a country, which can be confusing and chaotic to get your head around at first, the staff here couldn’t do more to help you.

In all honesty, I would have been lost in Addis without them.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Bathroom


And having that local presence, of course, made me feel very safe there too – it was clear we were well looked after and in a strange new city that’s pretty awesome.

But not only was it the staff that made this place, but my private room, complete with its own balcony was a real treat.

Add into this the piping hot shower (1st I’d had in over 3 weeks!), the free breakfast, the delightful roof terrace and the spotlessly clean appearance of the place and there’s no question where I’ll be staying when I return to Addis.

You can even have a bath when you’re here… a bath for goodness sake!

And with dorm rooms available too, Ethiopia Hostel really is the best budget traveller bet when it comes to accommodation in Addis Ababa.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get the best price on Ethiopia Hostel here!

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Hostel, Stairwell

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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