The Best and Worst of Lalibela: Honest Travel Reviews

November 9, 2023

The Best and Worst of Lalibela: Honest Travel Reviews

As an avid traveler, I’ve always believed that every destination has its fair share of highs and lows. Lalibela, the ancient city in Ethiopia, is no exception. Join me as I take you on a journey through the best and worst of Lalibela, sharing honest travel reviews and valuable insights. From breathtaking attractions to hidden gems, delicious cuisine to accommodations that may leave you wanting more, this article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all that Lalibela has to offer.

Top Attractions in Lalibela

One of my favorite experiences in Lalibela was exploring the ancient rock-hewn churches from within and atop. The intricate carvings and the sense of history that surrounded me were truly awe-inspiring. But Lalibela has much more to offer than just its churches. When it comes to dining, the top restaurants in Lalibela serve up delicious Ethiopian cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. From injera to doro wat, you’ll find a wide array of traditional dishes to satisfy your hunger. And if you’re up for some adventure, the best hiking trails in Lalibela will take you through stunning landscapes and offer breathtaking views. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, Lalibela has something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.

Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

As I continued my exploration of Lalibela, I discovered hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences that added an extra layer of excitement to my journey. One of the highlights was stumbling upon hidden cafes tucked away in quiet corners of the town. These cozy establishments offered a welcome respite from the bustling tourist crowds, and I savored the opportunity to indulge in delicious local cuisine while immersing myself in the authentic atmosphere. Additionally, Lalibela proved to be a treasure trove of unique souvenirs. From intricate hand-carved wooden artifacts to vibrant textiles showcasing traditional Ethiopian designs, I found myself spoiled for choice when it came to selecting mementos to bring back home. Exploring these hidden gems and discovering these one-of-a-kind souvenirs truly made my Lalibela experience unforgettable.

Hidden Cafes Unique Souvenirs
Cozy establishments tucked away in quiet corners of the town Intricate hand-carved wooden artifacts
Delicious local cuisine in an authentic atmosphere Vibrant textiles showcasing traditional Ethiopian designs

Best Places to Immerse in Local Culture

When it comes to immersing in the local culture of Lalibela, there are plenty of authentic experiences to be had. From attending traditional ceremonies and festivals to visiting local markets, there are numerous opportunities to witness local traditions and customs firsthand. By engaging with the locals, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life and forge meaningful connections.

Authentic Cultural Experiences

I’ve visited Lalibela and discovered a few exceptional places where you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture. One of the best ways to engage with the community is through cultural exchange programs. These programs allow you to interact with locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and even participate in daily activities. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life. Additionally, Lalibela is known for its vibrant traditional music scene. You can attend traditional music performances, where talented musicians showcase their skills and share their cultural heritage through music. It’s a captivating experience that allows you to connect with the soul of the community and appreciate the rich musical traditions of Lalibela.

Local Traditions and Customs

One highlight of Lalibela is the opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture through engaging with the community and participating in cultural exchange programs. When visiting Lalibela, there are several ways to experience the vibrant traditions and customs of the local people:

  • Attend local festivals: Lalibela is known for its colorful and lively festivals that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. From the Timkat festival to the Meskel celebration, these events offer a chance to witness traditional music, dance, and religious rituals.

  • Explore traditional clothing: One can learn a lot about a culture through its traditional clothing. In Lalibela, you can visit local markets to see and even try on the beautiful handmade garments worn by the locals. This is a great opportunity to appreciate the craftsmanship and learn about the significance of different clothing styles.

  • Participate in cultural workshops: Lalibela offers various workshops where you can learn traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, and basket making. These hands-on experiences not only allow you to engage with the local culture but also provide a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques passed down through generations.

  • Join community events: The community of Lalibela is warm and welcoming, and they often organize events where visitors can interact with locals. From traditional coffee ceremonies to community gatherings, these events offer a chance to connect with the people and learn about their customs and way of life.

  • Visit local cultural centers: Lalibela has several cultural centers that aim to preserve and promote the local traditions and customs. These centers host exhibitions, performances, and educational programs, providing a comprehensive insight into the cultural heritage of the region.

Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine: Where to Eat and What to Avoid

I often seek out authentic Ethiopian cuisine when I travel, and Lalibela offers a range of options for food enthusiasts like me. When it comes to Ethiopian food, Lalibela does not disappoint. There are several restaurants in the town that serve traditional dishes, allowing visitors to experience the rich and diverse flavors of Ethiopian cuisine. One of the must-visit places is Ben Abeba, which not only offers delicious food but also provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Another popular spot is Seven Olives, known for its friendly service and authentic injera, a traditional Ethiopian bread. However, it is important to avoid street food stalls and stick to restaurants with good hygiene practices to avoid any potential health risks. Overall, Lalibela is a great destination for those looking to savor the authentic flavors of Ethiopian cuisine.

Accommodation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When it comes to accommodation in Lalibela, there are a range of options available for travelers seeking a comfortable stay. From luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, there is something to suit every traveler’s needs. Here are some of the accommodation options in Lalibela, along with customer reviews:

  • Lal Hotel: This hotel offers spacious and well-appointed rooms, with friendly staff and a great location. Customers rave about the delicious breakfast and the stunning views from the rooftop terrace.

  • Seven Olives Hotel: Guests praise the clean and comfortable rooms, as well as the helpful and attentive staff. The hotel’s proximity to the Lalibela churches is a major plus for visitors.

  • Mountain View Hotel: This hotel offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Customers appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and the delicious traditional Ethiopian food served at the on-site restaurant.

  • Honeyland Hotel: With its charming decor and friendly staff, this hotel provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Customers particularly enjoy the beautiful garden and the warm hospitality.

  • Jerusalem Hotel: This budget-friendly option offers clean and basic rooms at affordable prices. Customers appreciate the central location and the helpfulness of the staff.

Transportation Tips and Tricks in Lalibela

When it comes to getting around in Lalibela, there are a few options to consider. Firstly, there is the local transportation, such as buses and taxis, which can be a convenient way to explore the city. Secondly, hiring a private driver is another choice that offers flexibility and comfort. Lastly, walking is a viable option for those who prefer to soak in the sights and experience the city at a leisurely pace.

Local Transportation Options

Getting around Lalibela is a breeze with various local transportation options available to explore the city. Here are some transportation tips to make your journey easier:

  • Tuk-tuks: These three-wheeled vehicles are a popular mode of transport in Lalibela. They are affordable and convenient for short distances within the city.
  • Mini-buses: If you want to venture outside the city, mini-buses are a great option. They are shared taxis that operate on fixed routes and can take you to nearby towns and attractions.
  • Horseback riding: For a unique experience, you can explore Lalibela’s surroundings on horseback. Local guides offer horse riding tours that take you to scenic viewpoints and historical sites.
  • Walking: Lalibela’s compact size makes it easy to explore on foot. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other, allowing you to take in the city’s charm at your own pace.
  • Motorcycle taxis: If you’re looking for a quick and adventurous way to get around, motorcycle taxis are readily available. Make sure to negotiate the fare before hopping on.

With these transportation options, navigating Lalibela and its surrounding areas will be a breeze, ensuring a memorable and hassle-free trip.

Hiring Private Drivers

To continue our exploration of transportation options in Lalibela, let’s delve into the convenience and benefits of hiring private drivers. When visiting Lalibela, having a private driver can be a great way to navigate the city and explore its many attractions. Private drivers offer flexibility in terms of itinerary and can take you to places that may not be easily accessible by public transportation. They can also provide valuable insights and local knowledge about the area. Hiring a private driver ensures a comfortable and convenient travel experience, as you have the freedom to set your own schedule and explore at your own pace. Additionally, private drivers can save you time and energy, as they are familiar with the roads and can navigate the city efficiently. Overall, hiring a private driver in Lalibela is a worthwhile investment for a hassle-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Walking Vs. Public Transport

I prefer walking over using public transport in Lalibela because it allows me to fully immerse myself in the city and discover hidden gems along the way. There are several benefits to walking in Lalibela, such as:

  • Flexibility: Walking gives me the freedom to explore at my own pace and change my route whenever I want.
  • Authenticity: By walking, I can experience the local culture up close and interact with the friendly residents of Lalibela.
  • Sightseeing: Walking allows me to appreciate the stunning architecture and intricate details of the rock-hewn churches, as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Cost-effective: Walking is a budget-friendly option, saving me money on transportation fares.
  • Health benefits: Walking is a great way to stay active and fit while exploring the city.

On the other hand, public transport in Lalibela has some drawbacks, such as limited routes and schedules, overcrowding, and potential language barriers. Overall, walking is the ideal way to fully immerse oneself in the charm and beauty of Lalibela.

Recent Posts

Follow Us On

Begin Together

Unforgettable Honeymoons Crafted Just for You

Embark on the journey of a lifetime in the seclusion of the mountains. At Mountain View Hotel-Lalibela, we specialize in crafting bespoke honeymoon experiences that blend romance with the adventure of the Ethiopian highlands. Celebrate your love amidst breathtaking views and luxurious comfort, with special packages designed to pamper and delight. Make your first memories as a married couple unforgettable with us.

Mountain View Hotel-Lalibela – Elevating Your Experience, Beyond the Horizon.


Stay Elevated with Our News – Join the Mountain View community to receive exclusive updates and stories from the heart of Lalibela.