Barhar 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 to be one of the most beautiful, well planned, and safest cities by many. In 2002 it was awarded the UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize for addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Barhar Dar area had a total population of 221,991.