Best Places in Ethiopia for Solo Female Travel

Ethiopia, located in the Horn of Africa, is a remarkably diverse nation known for its unique mixture of cultures, languages, and historical sites. Often hailed as the birthplace of mankind, it is home to several UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the Simien Mountain National Park. Ethiopia is also famous for its unique coffee, vibrant ethnic music, distinct ritual dances, and an indigenous script, the only one in Africa. This land of contrasts is steeped in history from the medieval castles and palaces of Gondar to the old Islamic city of Harar, imbuing Ethiopia with a captivating aura that enchants every visitor.

1, Lalibela

Lalibela, often referred to as the "New Jerusalem", is an enchanting town located in northern Ethiopia. This wonder of the world is famous for its distinctive rock-hewn churches, built during the reign of Saint Gebre Mesqel Lalibela in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Visitors from around the world are drawn to this UNESCO World Heritage site not only for its rich religious history and archaeological value, but also for the mysterious beauty of the intricate cave churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Each church showcases the architectural prowess of the ancient Ethiopian civilization with their complex designs and mesmerizing interior decorations. One's journey to Lalibela would be incomplete without witnessing the lively spiritual ceremonies renowned for their fervent spirituality. Over and above the grand churches, the town offers breathtaking mountain views, local markets and tranquil paths - a must-visit for all history, culture and archaeological enthusiasts.


2, Gondar

Gondar, often referred to as the 'Camelot of Africa,' is a majestic city nestled in the high mountains of northern Ethiopia. Renowned as the historic capital of the old Ethiopian Empire, its magical ambiance is cloaked in splendor, royal intrigue, and legendary landscapes. Being an architecture aficionado's nirvana, Gondar is known for its unique ancient castles, notably the grand Fasil Ghebbi fortress -a UNESCO World Heritage Site- dating back to the 17th Century. This vibrant city is additionally recognized for Debre Berhan Selassie Church with its beautiful angel-wall paintings, the enchanting surrounding Simien Mountains National Park, and the exuberant Timkat Festival, an inspiring event that celebrates the Ethiopian Epiphany with colorful processions. Embarking on a venture to Gondar offers travelers a window into Ethiopia's rich history and a chance to connect with its deeply rooted culture and tradition.

Bahir Dar

3, Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar, located in northwest Ethiopia, is often considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the country due to its picturesque setting on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. This charming city is best known for its centuries-old monastic churches, some of which are nestled on the numerous islands scattered across the lake. Also, the iconic Blue Nile Falls, often called as the 'smoking water' due to its smoke-like spray, is just a short boat ride or drive away. Exploring Bahir Dar allows you to embrace the awe-inspiring natural beauty, fascinating historical and cultural heritage, including its handful of bustling markets, offering an immersive taste of Ethiopia's wonderful traditions.

Meet new people

Get the Travel Ladies app to meet new people, find travel buddies, share solo travel experiences and stay with locals through couch surfing.
Download from App StoreDownload from Google Play
Get the Travel Ladies App
Addis Ababa

4, Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, the sprawling capital city of Ethiopia, is a vibrant metropolis nestled in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley. Known as the “Political Capital of Africa,” Addis Ababa's unique geographical location at an elevation of 2,400m makes it one of the highest capital cities in the world. The city brims with a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity and is home to iconic landmarks such as the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie, and the National Museum where you can encounter Lucy, the famous early human ancestor. Addis Ababa is also noted for its bustling markets, specifically the vast Mercato - one of Africa's largest open-air markets, its unique Ethiopian cuisine particularly injera (a sourdough flatbread) and traditional coffee ceremonies.

Debre Zeit

5, Debre Zeit

Debre Zeit, also known as Bishoftu, is a stunning city nestled in central Ethiopia, approximately 47 kilometers southeast of the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. Known for its scenic beauty, the city is characterized by a chain of seven stunning crater lakes positioned within the confines of volcanic calderas. These shimmering bodies of water, which include Lake Bishoftu, Lake Hora, and Lake Babogaya, are well-known for their flourishing birdlife, making Debre Zeit an irresistible point of interest for ornithologists and nature lovers. Besides its alluring natural beauty, Debre Zeit is reputed for its growing hotel and resort industry and a vibrant horse-riding culture, providing an example of Ethiopia's rapid urban and economic expansion whilst maintaining its rich cultural tradition and biodiversity intact.


6, Awassa

Awassa, also known as Hawassa, is a vibrant city located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia, about 275 km drive south of the nation's capital, Addis Ababa. Renowned for its ethereal beauty, Awassa is nestled on the shore of Lake Awassa, a serene body of water that is home to a diverse range of wildlife. The city is most known for its captivating natural attractions, including its bustling fish market where you can witness local fishermen in action and the captivating Lake Awassa with its hippos, kingfishers, and countless other bird species. Besides its natural beauty, Awassa offers a rich cultural experience, with the Sidama people's unique traditions and history adding to the city's allure. Moreover, the city is also a hub for agricultural research and hosts two of Ethiopia's prominent universities.

Arba Minch

7, Arba Minch

Arba Minch, translating to "Forty Springs", is a vivacious city in southern Ethiopia nestled in the lush Gamo Gofa Zone. Adorned by two mesmerizing lakes, Chamo and Abaya, connected by the scenic ‘Bridge of God,’ Arba Minch is a treasure trove of natural beauty enchanting visitors with slices from paradise. The city is recognized for its remarkable Nechisar National Park, offering a myriad of vibrant flora, fauna, and vibrant bird life for wildlife enthusiasts. Famous for its breathtaking panoramas that blend water, wildlife, and verdant jungles, the city provides a remarkable experience to visitors with its boat safaris, exotic animals like the Nile crocodile, and bird watching opportunities. Moreover, Arba Minch is a portal to engaging Ethiopian cultures and renowned for its Dorze woven houses. The city offers an unparalleled blend of natural splendor and cultural richness that promise to make every visit indeed memorable.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best places in Ethiopia for solo female travellers?

The best places in Ethiopia for solo female travellers are:

What is the ranking methodology?

The ranking is based on over 5000 reviews from verified female travelers. Five crucial rating factors are taken into account: overall experience, food, safety, affordability, and things to do.