Cost of Living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Addis Ababa?

Despite being an industrial and economic center of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa has a few cultural landmarks.

Travelers are willing to come and see these contrasts.

The natives here are poor like in the other parts of Ethiopia, yet there are many rich hotels offering nightlife, swimming pools, restaurants, fitness clubs etc.

Besides, ecotourism becomes more popular.

Most of the houses do not have basic amenities like washing machines, air conditioners, water supply and so on.

You have to handwash your clothes and air dry them.

These facts make the prices for basic utilities, for instance, quite controversial.

Let us see the entirety of living in Addis Ababa.

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Cost of Living in Ethiopia


In Addis Ababa, you will definitely eat heavily spiced dishes, salads, stewed vegetables and even lots of vegetarian food.

Cappuccino costs $0.85, but you better give preference to coffee, because in Addis Ababa you can see a traditional ceremony of grinding and making good coffee.



The biggest market in Addis Ababa is located in the central streets, it’s called Merkato and has everything from handmade jewelry to expensive souvenirs and woodware.

There’s also a Salem’s Ethiopia market where the local craftsman work and sell their works.

Actually, Addis Ababa is a huge market city which trades everything everywhere at low prices.



Well, transportation is a sensitive issue for the capital of Ethiopia.

There are taxis, rented cars, buses, mini-buses, a tram and airplanes at your service.

No river ports, no sea, no railways available.

Prices for public transport are cheap too.



Since most of the population live beyond the poverty line, prices for utilities seem extremely high here.

Basic comforts including electricity, water supply, garbage and conditioning cost around $87 monthly.

The Internet is available in a few Internet-cafes via modem where young people check e-mails or play computer games.

Sports and leisure


Several sports clubs in Addis Ababa provide for recreational activities.

The price of a monthly subscription to a fitness club is $81.24, an hour at the tennis court is $11.13, and international release at the cinema is $3.00 per seat.

Male and female athletes are registered members of the Athletics Federation and train for the Olympics in local clubs.

Clothing and shoes


Addis Ababa is known as the capital city of shopping in Ethiopia.

Chain stores and malls are mixed together with the street markets which sell both locally manufactured clothes and the traditional European brands.

You can buy a really cheap pair of jeans here for only $34.20 or an expensive summer dress from an H&M or similar stores for $146.50.

Rent per month


Monthly rent in Addis Ababa depends on the district of the city.

Average prices range somewhere between $350 – $1200 per month for a one bedroom apartment in the center of the capital.

Then there goes the remote area with the same accommodation at the price of $144 – $700 for one room.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Addis Ababa

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$5.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$1.00
Water (0.33 Liter)$0.45
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$1.00
Loaf Bread (500g)$1.00
Eggs (12)$1.78
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$0.25
Monthly Pass$10.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$87.10
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.01
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$538.75
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$81.24
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$11.13
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$3.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$34.20
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$146.50
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$92.60
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$684.80
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$329.88
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$2155.56

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Addis Ababa?

Rent per month is the number one item of expenditure for the natives.

They give around 28.9% of all the income to the landlord.

After that, 26.8% is spent on vegetables, dairy products, wine, and cheese.

Public transport seems cheap for tourists but it is somewhat expensive for too many people.

They spend nearly 13.1% of the money to pay for the bus and tram tickets, gasoline and taxi services.

By no means, this is 3% less than they save to pay bills which are enormously high at times even if you handwash and sundry your things, and use a fan instead of the AC.

Average Costs Breakdown


Addis Ababa: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Just like the rest of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa does not have a fixed rate of the minimum wage and the salaries highly depend on your specialty and job.

The lowest salary can range between $50 – $80 per month in the suburbs and an average salary in Addis Ababa is $200.

The job is too difficult to land in Addis Ababa, the cost of living seriously decreases for this reason.

People have to tighten belts to have at least basic goods and comforts.

The mortgage is available but this opportunity is mostly used by foreigners and non-residents.

They can get loans for housing at t18.25% yearly for upwards of 20 years.

Average Salary$187.50
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate18.25%

What About Travel Safety in Addis Ababa?

Addis Ababa Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Addis Ababa Safety Review

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1 Review on Addis Ababa

  1. My God this is soo exaggerated price. Nothing about this price is average. I live at the centre of Addisabeba and i tell you this is the cost of living for some one who want to stay at a 4~5 star hotel.. shopping Levis and zara. And you can find a single bedroom apartment for 100$ great one actually. The price of water is even for 2 litres. I just don’t want any one to be discouraged to visit and experience my beautiful city with this article. Must be written by Diplomat.

Rated 4 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

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