If you want to keep in shape during your vacation in Addis, the city offers several world class gyms, swimming pools and hiking or biking trails. The best gyms are usually found at hotels although there are also several purely gym and spa establishments that are equally well-equipped such as the most famous MAXVIEW FITNESS (“Life Fitness”) in “Gerji” Bawa Center which is home to the most professional fitness trainers, “BoleRock” behind Edna mall or Akiko Body Wise gym located in the area commonly referred to as Sar Bet with massage therapists and lots of impressive facilities.
Are you more of an outdoors person? Then the surrounding hills and intersecting trails especially to the north and west of the city offer not only a pleasant hike or bike ride but also stunning views of the unique setting of Addis Abeba. There are also quite pleasant outdoor pools at the Ghion, Sheraton and Hilton hotels with the Hilton being the favorite of many owing to its cross shaped pool and surrounding Jacuzzis fed from the close by hot spring of the famous “Fil-Wiha”.
As far as entertainment goes, movies are increasingly becoming a favorite pastime. More and more Amharic movies are subtitled in English these days so check out Alem Cinema or any other of your choice to get a feel for modern Ethiopian arts and culture. You can also visit one of many theaters such as “HagerFikir” in Piazza or “Biherawi Theatre” near Mexico Square where popular plays are staged almost every day. To watch the latest blockbuster from Hollywood head over to Edna mall near Medhianalem Church.
A tour of the city’s several historic sites and museums either with a guide or on your own could also be entertaining and gratifying. The National Museum at Amist Kilo houses many historical relics, costumes and prehistoric statues and skeletons including the 3.2 million year old australopiticus afarensis specimen Lucy, while the Ethnographic Museum which is right up the street in Sidist Kilo offers a more recent collection of paintings, weapons and handicraft. The Miniature Zoo housing the almost extinct black-mane lions which are endemic to Ethiopia is also at Sidist Kilo and is definitely worth a visit even though it has become rather dilapidated as of late.
There’s also bowling to be had in the city with the best one being in Laphto mall located in the area near Old Airport. Golfers can head over to the Golf Club around the same area to enjoy a game in the sun. The Hilton also sports a mini-golf course as well as a tennis courtFor those in the mood for more cultured entertainment, the international institutions Alliance Ethio-Française, the Italian Cultural Institution and the Goethe Institute are always hosting and organizing highly entertaining and inspirational performances and exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects. Head over to any one of their websites to find out what event suits you or subscribe to their weekly e-newsletters.