Ethiopian currency is the “birr” and comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 100 birr notes. You can easily change your foreign currency for birr at any of Ethiopia’s banks. However, if you plan to change Ethiopian birr back to a foreign currency at the end of your tour, you should keep the receipt of your foreign currency exchange. The banks want to make sure you actually brought foreign currency into Ethiopia and will want to see the receipt as proof. For this reason, we suggest you only change funds that you are confident you will spend during your tour. If you later need more birr, banks are in all towns and cities.
ATM machines are also widely available in Addis Ababa and are increasingly found in the larger towns. Before leaving home, you should inquire at your bank about any transaction fees for using a foreign ATM. At most banks, the total amount that can be withdrawn by any one ATM card is 3,000 - 4,000 birr per day.
Credit cards are generally only accepted by Ethiopian Airlines, some travel agents, and at foreign hotels such as the Sheraton, Hilton, or Radisson Blu. You should not plan to use your credit cards at local restaurants or gift shops.