Bahir Dar (Amharic: ባሕር ዳር "sea shore") is a city in north-western Ethiopia. It is the capital of the Amhara Region (kilil).
Administratively, Bahir Dar is a Special Zone, a designation in between a chartered city (astedader akabibi, a first-tier division, like a kilil) such as Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, and cities like Debre Marqos and Dessie, which are organized as districts (woredas).
Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia, with a variety of attractions in the nearby Lake Tana and Blue Nile river. The city is known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and a variety of colorful flowers. It is also considered one of the most beautiful, well planned, and safest cities by many standards. In 2002 it was awarded the UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize for addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization.
Geography and Transportation:
Bahir Dar is situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile (or Abay), in what was previously the Gojjam province. The city is located approximately 578 km north-northwest of Addis Ababa an elevation of 1840 meters above sea level.Bahir Dar Airport (ICAO code HABD and IATA BJR) has paved runways. Ethiopian Airlines operates daily flights between Bahir Dar and the capital as well as with Gondar to the northwest.
The city is also connected through roads (and buslines) to these cities. The most common and convenient way of traveling in Bahir Dar is cycling. Taxis also provide efficient transportation in the city. Intercity bus service is provided by the Selam Bus Line Share Company and Sky Bus Transport System which operates daily to and from the capital.
People and Culture:
The city offers a small daily market and a very extensive weekly market. There are some music clubs in the city. The city is home to Bahir Dar University, which projects an enrollment of over 4,400 students in the academic year beginning in October 2006.The Blue Nile Falls (Tis Issat) are located about 30 km to the south. Nowadays the amount of water running through the falls is being reduced and regulated, since the construction of a hydroelectric power dam. Nevertheless, the Blue Nile Falls are still one of the main tourist attractions of Bahir Dar, espcially during the rainy season when the water level rises and the falls become greater.