Asmara Travel Guide

  • Art Deco
    Art Deco
    by sachara
  • Markets downtown
    Markets downtown
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  • Asmara theatre
    Asmara theatre
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Asmara Highlights

  • Pro
    georeiser profile photo

    georeiser says…

     Friendly people and safe to walk around in the streets 

  • Con
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    georeiser says…

     Cold temperature in the nights 

  • In a nutshell
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    icarus2004 says…

     it helps you don't be in a hurry running to nowhere 

Asmara Things to Do

  • Shida Square, the sandal statue

    "Shida Square, the sandal statue" is a roundabout with a construction of two giant sandals. The monument is under rebuilding now. The first photo is taken from another website, and shows what it was like before. The two last photos is taken in the end of December 2008. It doesn't look appealing...The monument was unveiled on the occasion of the...

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  • Harnet avenue

    Harnet avenue is the most famous and the main street in Asmara. It's a long, wide avenue with big palmtrees, surrounded by a large number of buildings in perfect condition, representing a colonial architecture. The buildings were in art deco and modernist style. Harnet avenue is maybe the prettiest street in Africa. The Asmara Cathedral is in the...

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  • Shuk market

    Shuk market is the biggest market in Asmara. It's a big district inside Asmara with open-air shopping and small shops.

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  • Medebar market

    Medebar market is the next biggest market in the center of Asmara, after the Shuk market. And it is also the area where you find the recycling market. You can buy all kind of things here.

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  • Recycling market

    The recycling market in Asmara is a market where almost all kind of garbage hardware is beeing recycled by skilfulled workers.

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  • Kahawta area in Asmara, more photos... 1

    On the way from Kahawta to the New Coptic Church on the hill on top of kahawta, you pass through the very poor area.

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Asmara Hotels

Asmara Restaurants

  • Capri Cafe Coffeehouse

    Capri Cafe / Coffeehouse is a good place to get something to drink. It's cheaper here than the cafe's at Harnet avenue. And the local people meets here drink coffee or fresh pressed juice. The premises are big, but it doesn't look like that when you are standing outside. You can walk 25 meter inside the place. It is located in a side street of...

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  • City Park cafe

    City Park cafe is located just below the president palace. It is located at the end of Semaetat avenue and the beginning of Harnet avenue. The cafe is average.

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  • Pizza and Spaghetti house

    The Pizza and Spaghetti house, opposite Opera House in Harnet avenue is a great place to eat. You can eat Italian- or American pizza, or other Italian specialities. The location is good, just in the beginning of Harnet avenue. Take a look at at the menu in the photos. (1 USD is 30 Nakfa in the black market)

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Asmara Nightlife

  • Asmara Palace Hotel

    Asmara Palace Hotel has three places where you can hang out at nights. This hotel is close to the UN headquarters in Asmara and expect many foreigners there."I Bay club" is located until the hotel. They have disco on Saturday nights, and Friday is not bad either. "Green Pub" is located in the hotel and is the place for people who doesn't like the...

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  • Asmara nightlife

    The streets are spooky and deserted after 11PM. I was at the "Piccadelly Night Club" in the basement of Roma Cinema in Harnet avenue. But that place had no guests at 11 PM, so I decided to leave. This was in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Maybe this was a quiet period. Friday and Saturday nights are normally good at this place.

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  • Asmara Hotels

    1 Hotels in Asmara

    22 Reviews and Opinions

Asmara Transportation

  • Bicycles in Asmara

    Asmara is good place to use your bike. And many Eritreans use their chinese bicycle. The terrain is flat and the streets are wide. And the traffic is not that hectic. I asked for a place to rent a bicycle, but I couldn't find it.

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  • Taxi in Asmara

    It's just like it is in New York. A typical street view with yellow cabs. The taxi system is well-arranged, and the cars are apparently newer and more modern than it is in f.ex Addis Ababa. The price is 50 Nakfa for a short ride within the city center. And 100 Nakfa if you drive out from the city center.

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  • The bus in Asmara

    A typical street view in Asmara with red city buses. The buses are apparently new and modern to be in a country in Africa. The public bus system is well-arranged.

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Asmara Shopping

See all 4 Shopping in Asmara
  • Shuk flea marked

    This isn't actual what tourists are looking for... Used clothes and other belongings from the estate of deceased persons. It's sold for a very cheap price so the poorest people can buy clothes. Bruma flea market in Johannesburg, S-Africa is small compared to this marked.

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  • Buying spice in Asmara

    The Eritreans like their food spicy. You can buy different kind of spice at the markets, like the big market "Shuk".

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  • Eritrean souvenirs

    Local craft and souvenirs can be bought on the streets or at the market in Asmara. Souvenirs are not cheap in Eritrea. Expect the prices to be higher here than f.ex Ethiopia.The photos here are taken at the souvenir shop in Asmara airport.

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Asmara Local Customs

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    Chrismas celebration, Asmara 4 more images

    by georeiser Updated Feb 18, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    50% of the Eritreans are Christian. I was in Asmara in week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The local people celebrate christmas with Santa Claus and Christmas tree.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Backpacking

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Asmara Warnings and Dangers

  • The safest place for tourists

    It's easy to see the difference between rich and poor people here. Some parts of Asmara have nice houses and fashionable streets. Other parts are so unbelievable poor. Many Eritreans can only afford one meal a day and walk around in dirty clotes full of holes. It's wise to be discreet and use caution. But Asmara is a safe city despite this...

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  • Traveling out of Asmara is restricted

    Traveling out of Asmara is restricted. All foreign nationals are required to get permits to travel out of Asmara. Applications for tourists are processed by The Ministry of Tourism opposite Asmara Cathedral. You can only get one permit per visit.Foreign nationals residing/working outside of Asmara can get a travel permit to go outside their normal...

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  • Do not take photo of government...

    Do not take photos in the neighbourhood of the government buildings. I took this photo in the direction of Semaetat avenue. What I didn't know was that 20 meters behind me was entrance to the government area. A soldier shouted against me and clapped his hand to make me aware of taking photography in this area was not legal.I quickly put the camera...

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Asmara What to Pack

  • georeiser's Profile Photo
    Pullover / sweater

    by georeiser Written Feb 18, 2009

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Asmara is cold at nights. Check the temperature before you travel and decide if you need a pullover or sweater.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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Asmara Off The Beaten Path

  • Train from asmara to massawa

    Early this year, i travelled to Eritrea, a lovely country on the red sea. I took a fantastic train trip from the capital city of asmara down to the coastal town of Massawa. The train is an old one from the italian erra, the eritreans have maintained the trains very well. The trip took me around wonderful hills and villages.

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  • Countryside life in Asmara

    Right outside Asmara center is the life different. Solid concrete buildings are replaced with more simple construction material, like stone. Almost no high buildings. Only the main streets have asphalt paving. It's a countryside life with happy children is playing in around the houses.

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  • Sandals monument

    Another bizarre sight along the same lines is this giant statue of a pair of sandals in the middle of a major crossroads.These sandals were worn by the Eritrean freedom fighters, and are still very common among the poor.Appearently there is a tradition in Eritrea of keeping the shoes of the dead to remind the living of them, and this monument...

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Asmara Sports & Outdoors

  • georeiser's Profile Photo
    Jogging in the Asmara plateau 2 more images

    by georeiser Updated Feb 18, 2009

    Asmara is located at a higher altitude and has fresh air. The conditions for jogging or similar sports activities is perfect in the suburban areas.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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Asmara Favorites

See all 10 Favorites in Asmara
  • The price level and black market

    The black market is a big industry in Asmara. Money exhange on the illegal black marked gives twice as good rate than the official rate. Then it's the cheapest country in East-Africa together with Ethiopia. If not the price level is the same as Namibia and Botswana. Tips: You have to declare your money on a customs receipt when you enter the...

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  • Beggers in Asmara

    The government want Eritrea to be self-contained and doesn't allow foreign aid or assistance.I guess the situation has changed lately in Eritrea because there are numerous articles on Internet that says Asmara has no beggars. I can confirm that there are beggars in Asmara. And it is not better than Addis Ababa compared with the difference in...

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  • Asmara is located at 2400 meters

    Asmara is located at 2400 meters (7874 feet). The days are never too hot and the nights can be cold. It was only 8 degrees when I arrived the airport at night, December 27. The usual temperature in December/January is 10-15 degrees at night. About 18-20 degrees in the daytime, and sunny weather.

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