Mercato Tours » Venture Ethiopia - Tours and Travel

Mercato Tours

  • Explore the mercato, the largest market in Africa
  • Go green and travel with the locals by bus or on the new Addis Light Railway
  • Navigate through the winding streets and maze of market stalls with a local guide to show you the way
  • Discover the best places to eat, drink and shop
  • Tailor to your tour according to your interests

The mercato, rumored to be the largest market in Africa, sprawls over several square miles to the west of the city centre.  Originally established during the era of the Italian occupation (1936-41), it is now estimated to contain over 7,000 shops and stalls.  If you know where to look, you can buy almost anything there.  The narrow streets, mazes of stalls and bustling atmosphere can be a little daunting to begin with, but with a local guide to show you the areas for different goods, from coffee, spices and every type of food to fabrics, handicrafts, and even recycling streets, you'll soon start to appreciate that the mercato is the real heart of Addis Ababa.  From rows of vintage sewing machines to balancing towers of mattresses, there's almost always a surprise round the corner.

This is a half-day tour, starting either from our office in the Taitu Hotel (Piassa area of town) or from your hotel, by prior arrangement.  From there, you will travel with your guide by public bus or on the new Addis Light Railway, to the mercato, where the tour begins.  Alternatively, we can arrange for you to meet your guide at the mercato itself.

Services Included

  • An experienced professional English-speaking local guide

  • Public transport to and from the mercato from anywhere in Addis

Services Not Included

  • Tips for staff

  • Any food, drink or other purchases

Upcoming group tour dates:

This tour is for groups of up to 5 people only.  If you are interested in this tour, we can arrange a date to suit you.  Please contact us.



As we make use of the cheap and efficient public transport in Addis Ababa, this half-day tour is just

468 ETB (9 USD / 8 EUR / 7 GBP) for 1 person

273 ETB (5 USD / 5 EUR / 4 GBP) per person for 2 people

208 ETB (4 USD / 4 EUR / 3 GBP) per person for 3 or more people


Please see the further details tab for information about services included.

A deposit is required upon booking.  For more details, please see our FAQ page, or read our full terms and conditions.

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