Meskel Square
Meskel Square
3.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Duration: < 1 hour
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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3.5
171 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
37
Average
71
Poor
17
Terrible
13

Ibadanboy
Nairobi, Kenya6,153 contributions
May 2015 • Solo
Meskel Square is a central location in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This square is used during very important occasions, some of the most popular being public gatherings, demonstrations and festivals (the biggest one is called the Meskel festival)

This festival is over 1,600 years old. "Meskel" means "cross" in Amharic. The Meskel festival is celebrated on September 27 and the festival commemorates the moment when the crucifix was revealed to Empress Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great.

The festival is also used to welcome in the spring season by displaying the distinctive yellow Meskel daisies.

The celebrations start early afternoon with flaming torches assembled at Meskel Square. A burning pyramid is made in the center and is circled by priests in brightly coloured cloaks, students, brass bands, and the army carrying around giant crosses and torches. They set the pyramid alight with their torches, and the burning pyramid is kept ablaze until dawn until the celebrations through the night have ended.

Around the very busy square, the traffic can sometimes be extra hectic. When I visited, it was rather calm (Saturday morning) and tranquil.

A must see location when visiting Addis Ababa.
Written May 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GudrunG
Rudersdorf, Germany41 contributions
Dec 2018
If there isn't an event happening here, then there is not much to see.
You can combine it with the Red Martyr's Museum.
Written March 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ericcm3721
Prague, Czech Republic27 contributions
Nov 2018 • Business
Nice view, too crowded. It's close to the postal service office where you can buy souvenirs, not sure why a spot, just looks loke the center of the city.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Riley
7 contributions
Jan 2021
Yonothan and Local Addis Tours was the highlight of my trip in Ethiopia! Yonothan was extremely knowledgable, reliable, and made me feel like a local. We took excursions to Unity Park, Mercato (my favorite!), museums, amazing local restaurants, hikes and so much more.

I highly recommend Yonatan to anyone visiting Addis Ababa and Ethiopia!
His contact is - localaddistours@gmail.com
whats up - +251953407719
Written January 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StotheN
Stockholm, Sweden547 contributions
Sep 2022
This is the place where the main events from the Ethiopian christian community is celebrated. You can come here to spend some time and chill. There are ofcourse the usual cavets associated with public spaces and there is army presence all the time.
Written November 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kris k
Tallinn, Estonia21 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
We went there to buy bus tickets and we were warned twice for the pick-pockets in this area. Yet, the three of us were able to get rid of our two mobile phones within 2-3 hours when we set our foot to this area of Addis. The thieves there are exceptionally good, it’s outstanding really how good they are. If you think you’ve got your stuff close and tight to your body, think twice and thrice even. Basically they will pinch you in your arm and the other fellow will nick your valuables from the opposite side of your body where the attention is drawn off to the pinched side. Normally if you see two guys approaching you from both sides and “offering you tours” be cautious and ask them to keep distance. They are really skillful and can almost nick your underwear without noticing it.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PatA2006
Norwich, UK41 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
O what a place, visited first in 2006. Watch put for your pockets but enjoy the buzz, the smells and the sights of this huge open market where you can buy every spice, animal, butter, luggage, clothing, pot and pan etc. there is so much traffic it is difficult to get to it and when you arrive there are so many people it is had to move. Mind the goats and chickens and watch where you put your feet. A must when in Addis Ababa, as are all markets all over Ethiopia.
Written January 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

frans1954
Roermond, The Netherlands98 contributions
May 2018 • Business
A square. A huge square. With a lot of traffic around it and difficult to cross any street. And a lot, and I really mean a lot of people trying to sell you needless and useless thing but even worse take care of the pickpockets there. Even more than those who at least try to sell their needless things. Children ask you to buy a cookie or chewing gum and at the same time adults hold you other arm strongly. So strong that your attention only goes to that side. And at the same time they steal your money or phone. Be aware. In my opinion no need to visit it at all as it doesn't have anything interesting.
Written May 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ArmyFAOwife
Stuttgart, Germany216 contributions
Mar 2017 • Family
We have lived in Addis Ababa for the past 9 months. Though Meskel Square is a large open area, next to the Red Terror Museum and has space to run around and a park,it is not safe place to visit for the Western (white) tourist or expat-high pickpockets, scams and physical aggression towards people. During festivals and Ethiopian holidays, it is advised by Embassies here not to visit or be in the premises, as it poses a security threat.
Written May 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mar 2016 • Friends
Me and my friends visited this site today, Meskel square importance other than being busy with traffic jams, is the Tourist information office the selam Bus ticket office, and the book world. Very important square for travelers who prefeer to tavel with a tourist bus, you can buy ticket there. and who need some information from tourist office, but not much tourist stuff around Meskel square.

Our 8 days trip to northern ethiopia and Addis Ababa is organized by tour guide Isaac (Habeshaoui@gmail.com) so far he is easy going and informative.

March 16, 2016
Written March 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Meskel Square - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)