Best for culture, urban hot spots and nature.
Global Encounters on a Local Level
1. Harar, Ethiopia
Why Go Now: Find the most surprising city in East Africa
The busloads of tourists at rock-hewn churches and castles in northern Ethiopia haven’t yet discovered the laid-back east, anchored by the enchantingly contradictory city of Harar. With 82 mosques, three of which date back to the 10th century, Harar welcomes the devout. Yet this is no place for the ascetic. In Harar, a one-hour flight from Addis Ababa, cafés dole out spicy fava bean stew and craftswomen sell brilliantly dyed baskets. French poet Arthur Rimbaud once lived on one of these narrow streets, abandoning writing for the coffee and arms trades. Harar touts Ethiopia’s best beer, strongest khat, friendliest hyenas, and not least, highest quality coffee in a country renowned for its beans.