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Travel Advice

Addis Ababa is a rather safe city where violent crime is uncommon, but travellers are advised to exercise vigilance and be weary of pick-pocketing and muggings which occur fairly frequently, and are not exclusively targeted at tourists (these have been especially common along Churchill Ave, in Piazza and Meskal Square). If invited for an unsolicited "culture show" decline politely but firmly, and continue on your way; this is one scam to which tourists have often fallen prey. Avoid talking to anyone approaching to sell you things in the street. Homosexuality remains both illegal (with punishments of up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted) and severely morally condemned in Ethiopia. So strong is the sentiment, that some hotels may refuse business to clients suspected of being in a same-sex relationship. It is strongly advised that same-sex couples keep a very low profile and avoid any form of public displays of affection.
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Passport / Visa

Entry visas to Ethiopia are necessary for citizens of all countries with the exception of Djibouti and Kenya. Travellers must apply for visas in advance, but visas on arrival are issued at the Addis Ababa International Airport to nationals of 40 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States. As of 2017, nationals of most countries eligible for visa on arrival can also apply for eVisa (first point of entry for eVisa holders must be Addis Ababa Bole International Airport).
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Public Transport

Public busses aren't the most efficient way of getting around; instead, most locals use the smaller, faster blue-and-white mini-busses. Fares in these are very moderate and normally fixed. Destinations will often be yelled out by staff on board the mini bus at major intersections/hubs. Addis Ababa now also has a light rail system, with lines connecting north and south (stops at Merkato, Meskal Square, and Menelik II Square), and east and west (stops at Meskal Square and Mexico Square). Tickets may be purchased at stations.
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Most taxis in Addis operate from 6am to 11pm. Short journeys (up to 3km) usually cost foreigners Birr60 to Birr80 (more at night). Medium/long journeys cost Birr100/140. If you share a taxi with strangers, the normal fare is split between the group. If you want to visit a lot of places in Addis Ababa, negotiate with a driver for a half- or full-day fare (Birr600 for a full day is pretty reasonable). A ‘city tour’ lasting a couple of hours should cost around Birr300 to Birr350. Taxis can be found outside larger hotels, as well as the National Theatre, national stadium and on De Gaulle Sq in the Piazza. At night, many line up outside the nightclubs.
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