Harar is an ancient city in eastern Ethiopia. Harar (sometimes spelled Harrar or Harer) has a population of about 75,000. For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.
Harar Jugol has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006 in recognition of its cultural heritage. It is considered the fourth holiest city of Islam with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines.
- Harar is served by Dire Dawa international airport.
The blue and white minibuses and rental vehicles are available.
- One of the major attractions of Harar is a mansion once housed the French's renowned poet Arthur Rimbaud. The mansion is now converted to a museum.
- The old town is home to ninety-nine mosques and many more shrines, centred on Feres Magala square.
- Notable buildings include Medhane Alem Cathedral and the sixteenth century Jamia Mosque.
- A long standing tradition of feeding porridge to hyenas one night a year developed in the 1960s into a nightly feeding show for the benefit of tourists.
- Incredible hand crafts that are available on the market.
There are very few mid range accomedations. However, Dire Dawa has a better selection of hotels and restaurants.
- Tewodros Hotel, from Birr 50 (double), a friendly, a bit out-of-town place, apparently you can watch the hyena from the balcony in the upper floor. Often fully booked.
- Tourist Hotel, from Birr 40 (single), very noisy (disco-cum-brothel), try to get one of the rooms which are the furthest off the disco area.