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A Traveller’s Guide to Harar

Harar is one of the most visited cities in all of Ethiopia as well as one of the most beautiful towns in Ethiopia. Being one of the most holiest city in the world, Harar is known for its fascinating alleyways, ancient sights, cultural treasures, charming people and beautiful landscapes. There are numerous top-rated attractions and things to do in Harar. For ideas on how to spend your time in this city, read our travel guide to Harar with some handy hints for visiting.

How to get there

The city of Harar is served by Dire Dawa international airport, which it makes it easier getting to the city from there. There are also bus services from Addis Ababa, and Dire Dawa to Harar. Once in Harar, there are several blue and white minibuses and rental vehicles are available for getting around.

Where to stay while in Harar

Your accommodation will take little of your budget so don’t worry about leaving a hole in your wallet. The Harar Ras Hotel at about €20 per night or try the Wonderland Hotel, there’s always a good deal.

What to do in Harar

Harar’s animated markets and crumbling walls are beautiful and doesn’t cost a penny. Walk the beautiful and colourful natural alleyways and explore the historic Great Five Gates of Harar. Head to the city’s old town of Harar Jugol, and get lost in the fortified historic town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Harar Jugol is considered to be the fourth holiest city of Islam with over 80 mosques, a few of which date from the 10th century. Its various shrines and townhouses with a mixture traditional and Indian architecture adds to Harar’s cultural heritage.

Harar hyena feeding
Feeding spotted hyenas in Harar | Photo: Courtesy of Carles/@carles_millan

When you’ve had enough of the landscapes and when to get your adrenaline pumping, head to the north of Fallana Gate. This is one of Harar’s hyena feeding stations, where visitors get to watch local guide feed the hyenas. Feeding the hyenas has is a long-standing tradition in Harar. Tourists can get into the action, and feed the hyenas yourself with some meat. Not to be missed on any visit to Harar, firm favourites among the tourists.

Notable buildings in Harar worth visiting include Medhane Alem Cathedral, the house of Ras Mekonnen, the house of Arthur Rimbaud and the Jami MosqueJust natural landscapes of Harar is amazing, there are handful of perfect Instagram spots.

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