Aksum Ethiopia Travel Guide

Obelisks of Aksum Ethiopia
Obelisks of Aksum

Aksum Ethiopia, the epic home of the Ark of the Covenant that inscribes the Moses’ 10 Commandments. The ancient city that holds the burial of one of the Three Wise Men. And the present day venue of the ancient Aksumite empire, which is the domicile of UNESCO-attested ruins including the obelisks, temples and relics. Aksum or Axum has a lot of importance when you are on a historic trip through the highlands of Ethiopia.

My experience at Aksum with a religious group from Gabriel church (Dessie, Ethiopia) was awesome, but here you will find a mini travel guide of Aksum Ethiopia.

Aksum Ethiopia was once described as the ‘last of the great civilisations of Antiquity to be revealed to modern knowledge’ by Dr Neville Chittick. The famous stories of Ethiopia explains Aksum as the place where the Queen of Sheba reined. Her son, Ibn al-Malik (Menelik), from the King Solomon of Israel, founded Solomonic Dynasty many years before the Kingdom of Aksum.

A well planned tour to Aksum will take you through the phases of human civilizations since the Godwana, the ancient supercontinent, days. Visiting this ancient empire gives you a chance to explore the Aksum Stelae or the Obelisks of Aksum, and the Church of St Mary of Zion for some enthralling experiences with the ruins that date back to early christian era and even prior to Christ.

The Church of St Mary of Zion Aksum
The Church of St Mary of Zion

Aksum Travel Information

Aksum or Axum is located on the northern border of Ethiopia, although the ancient kingdom spread towards the present day Eritrea. Aksum Ethiopia was declared as a  UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

How to reach?

By Plane: Ethiopian Airlines have daily flights from Addis Ababa to Aksum airport. Aksum airport is small but you will experience it as a well-functioning facility.

By Road: Aksum can also be accessed by road. There are buses running between Addis Ababa and Aksum via Dessie. There are good private bus services from Meskel Square (Addis Ababa) that takes almost a whole day to reach Aksum. You must note that there are also bus services that takes two or more days to travel. Make sure that you take a good bus service to avoid frustrating journeys, if you decide to go by bus.

The only benefits of opting a bus journey/road trip includes

  • cutting down of expenses (in fact you won’t save too much), and
  • discovering the highlands of Ethiopia

I would suggest a road trip only if you plan to explore the highlands of Ethiopia, and several other historic and religious spots on the way, such as Debre Damo.

Where to stay?

Aksum is a small yet popular city of Ethiopia. You will find many small and large hotels here. The major concern of taking a small hotel is hygiene. Try inspecting the room and the surroundings before you take an accommodation. There are also luxurious facilities available in the city.

What to see and do?

  1. Visit Northern Stelae Field
  2. Do not miss the Church of St. Mary of Zion
  3. Though only the foundation remains, a must see in Aksum is the Palace of Queen of Sheba
  4. Other must visit places include Archaelogical Museum, Judith (Gudit) Stelae Field, Ezana Park, tombs of the kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel, Lioness of Gobedra, and Monastery of Abba Pantaleon
  5. Try interacting with the locales and get a feel of Tigray culture
  6. Enjoy Injera and Tej. Injera is the prime food of Ethiopians while Tej is a fermented drink from honey.

Keep traveling and live a happy life!

Also read: Jaunt Monkey Travel Tips for Ethiopia

Author: E Jey

Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com

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