Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar: An Experiential Tourist Destination in Ethiopia

Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Tana, Bahir Dar is Ethiopia’s third largest city, making it a popular tourist destination. Situated in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, this vibrant city offers a unique cultural experience, with a rich history and culture, a plethora of outdoor recreational activities, and stunning natural landscapes. With so much to offer, Bahir Dar is an ideal destination for a memorable and experiential holiday.


A Brief History of Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar’s history dates back to the 12th century, where the city was the capital of the Ethiopian Empire under the rule of Emperor Fasilides. This era saw the construction of the breathtaking Fasil Ghebbi fortress, the Debre Berhan Selassie Church, the Zega Pond, and the Tana Qirqos Monastery.

Today, Bahir Dar is known as the centre of Lake Tana’s tourism industry and is the capital of the Amhara region. With its bustling markets, lively nightlife, and stunning natural landscapes, Bahir Dar is one of Ethiopia’s most vibrant cities.


Experience the Beauty and Splendour of Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is home to some of Ethiopia’s most magnificent natural attractions. The Blue Nile Falls (Tis Abay) is one of the most breathtaking sights in Ethiopia, with a thundering 400-metre drop. The Blue Nile Gorge is also home to several ancient monasteries, including the Ura Kidane Mehret, which dates back to the 14th century.

Also nearby is the Bezawit Hill, where one can enjoy sweeping views of the city and Lake Tana. The hill also hosts the Bezawit Palace, the former residence of Emperor Haile Selassie, which is now a museum.

The best way to experience the beauty of Bahir Dar is through its lake. Boats are available for hire to take visitors to the thirty monasteries dotted around the lake. Some of the most interesting monasteries include the Kibran Gebriel, the Kibran Gebriel, the Azwa Mariam, and the Ura Kidane Mehret.


Explore the Culture and Cuisine of Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is a city bustling with life and culture. The city’s markets are a great place to explore, where one can find anything from traditional hand-crafted goods to modern day souvenirs. There is also a thriving nightlife, with live music, theatres, and clubs.

The city also offers a unique culinary experience. Traditional dishes include Injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread, as well as Tibs, which is a stew made with a variety of meats and vegetables.


Take Part in Outdoor Activities

Bahir Dar is a great destination for those looking for an active holiday. There are numerous activities to take part in, such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and swimming in the lake. There is also the opportunity to explore nearby villages and take in the stunning landscapes.

For those looking for a more leisurely experience, Bahir Dar is home to a number of golf courses and tennis courts. There is also a popular 18-hole golf course located just outside the city.


Enjoy a Memorable Stay in Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar offers a variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts. The city also boasts a number of excellent restaurants, serving both traditional Ethiopian cuisine and international dishes, ensuring that every visitor enjoys a memorable dining experience. Some popular accommodation choices include the Kuriftu Resort and Spa, the Blue Nile Resort, and the Tana Hotel, all of which offer stunning views of Lake Tana and provide top-notch amenities for a comfortable stay.


Getting to Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is easily accessible by air, with the Bahir Dar Airport serving domestic flights from Addis Ababa and other major Ethiopian cities. Additionally, the city is well-connected by road, with buses and minibuses running from various parts of Ethiopia.



Bahir Dar stands as a testament to Ethiopia’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. From exploring ancient monasteries and majestic waterfalls to indulging in delicious cuisine and partaking in exciting outdoor activities, Bahir Dar offers a truly immersive experience for travelers seeking adventure and cultural enlightenment. Plan your visit to Bahir Dar today and embark on a journey of discovery in this enchanting city by the shores of Lake Tana.

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