The capital of a coffee-producing area, Jimma is a large, lively city blessed with excellent tourist facilities and a warm location in the fertile western highlands. The town is named after the 19th-century Islamic kingdom of Jimma, which lay at the meeting point of several trade routes. The last autonomous ruler of Jimma was King Abba Jiffar, whose impressive palace at Jiren, on the outskirts of the modern city, has been restored with partial funding from UNESCO. Other attractions include the daily central market, the ethnographic displays at the Jimma Museum, a nearby patch of forest inhabited by the spectacular colobus monkey, and out-of-town Lake Boye with its resident hippos.
The historic city of Jimma offers myriad products for visitors. The historical Jimma Aba Jifar palace which perched on a staggering mesa is an ideal cultural stopover in the city. Constructed with an amazing mix of wooden and masonry structures, the compound keeps an age-old mosque, palace, and living quarters. Check the nearby museum for the superb collections! The Jimma museum in the center of the city is also one of the places of interest in the city.
Jimma is best accessed from Addis Ababa by car with asphalt road (325 km from Addis Ababa). Ethiopian Airlines has also a daily scheduled flight to Jimma.
There are locally based guides in the town of Jimma. They are helpful and will take you to every part of the city including the Jimma Aba Jifar palace.
Jimma boasts a number of standard and basic accommodation facilities.