Addis Ababa Transportation – Taxi, Train, Bus & Airport Tips

Types of Transportation in Addis Ababa

If you don’t want to rent your own car, there are a couple transportation options in Addis Ababa. Here are some tips on arriving at the airport and finding transportation to your next destination.

Bole Airport

Most people arrive in the capital of Ethiopia through Bole Airport. The small airport services large international carriers as well as Ethiopian Airways, which will take you to other cities in Ethiopia. If you don’t have a visa, it is fairly easy to obtain one once you land. There is rarely a line at the visa counter and the process is usually swift and easy. If your hotel does not offer a shuttle, you can find some public transportation options outside the airport.

Lada taxis

The well-known taxis in Addis Ababa are blue and white old Russian Lada cars and they can be found all over the city. Some of the taxis are very old and run down, but they are generally safe. Be sure to haggle for your cab fare though since international visitors are often charged a higher price.


A cheaper alternative to the Lada taxi is the minibus, where dozens of people fit into a vehicle that only has 12 seats. Watch out for the driver, who will hang his head out the window and shout his destination, so that you know which bus to take. If you are coming from the airport with luggage, you will be charged double to bring your bags on the minibus. Like the Lada taxi, these busses are also painted blue and white so they are easy to find.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation in Addis Ababa. 

By Jamie Ditaranto

Jamie Ditaranto is a traveler in a love triangle with writing and photography. Follow the drama on Twitter @jamieditaranto and Instagram @jamieditaranto.

Ditaranto joined SmarterTravel in 2015. She loves ecotourism, cities with history, and discovering local hangouts. Though she likes all the continents equally, she holds a special place in her heart for rainy little islands.

Her work has also appeared online at USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and other publications. You can check out her photography on her website.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "My instant camera comes in handy for giving instant gifts to new friends."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Befriending penguins in Antarctica."

Travel Motto: "You have to get the hard places out of the way first."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "On short flights, the window. For long flights, the aisle."

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