Asmara, Eritrea

Asmara, Eritrea

According to abbreviationfinder, Asmara is the capital and the largest city of Eritrea, its population is around 578,000 residents. The city boasts beautiful Italian-style architecture and fascinating historical sites. It is located on the northwestern margin of the Great Rift Valley, on the high plateau, and has amazing scenery and excellent opportunities for hiking and biking.

State of Eritrea

It is a country located in the northeast of Africa. It limits the north and the west with Sudan ; to the south with Ethiopia and Djibouti ; the east of the country has an extensive coastline with the Red Sea. Its name comes from the Greek eritros, which means “red.” It became independent in 1993, making it one of the youngest states in the world.


The city of Asmara, also known as Asmera, arose from the union of four villages in the 1100s. In 1889 it became a colony of Italy, it became the national capital in 1897. Most of the city center was built by Italians in the 1930s.. The Italian colonial era greatly influenced the infrastructure, architecture and cuisine of Asmara, which was then called “Piccola Roma” (Little Rome). Today most of the buildings are in neo-Roman, Victorian and art-deco styles and some places have Italian names (for example “Bar Vittoria”, “Modern Pasticceria”, “Casa del formaggio”, “Ferramenta “). The former Governor’s Palace is a neo-Roman Italian building built in 1899.

During Ethiopia’s war for independence, Asmara airport was used by Eritreans to acquire weapons and supplies from abroad. The last city to be taken by the Eritrea People’s Liberation Front, occurred in 1990 and on May 24, 1991 the Ethiopian army troops surrendered without a fight.



Asmara is located on the northwestern margin of the Great Rift Valley, on the high plateau of Eritrea


Its climate is Mediterranean, temperate and pleasant with warm summers, but not too hot, and moderate winters. Asmara has an annual average of 520 millimeters of precipitation. It rarely snows in the city. The rainiest period is in the months of July and August, the driest months are January and February.

The best time to visit Asmara is between October and March, when the weather is dry and pleasant.

Surrounding areas

The indigenous tribes of Eritrea make their living from agriculture and herding and can be found in nearby villages. The village Tselot is located 20 kilometers from the city center. In the village you can experience the traditional Eritrean way of life and enjoy the beautiful landscape with typical vegetation such as eucalyptus, aloe and cactus. The village has fascinating ancient stone houses and temples. The villagers live from agriculture and herding.

The mountains around the capital city offer good opportunities for climbing, cycling and hiking around Asmara. The Sembel archaeological site, located a short bus ride from the city, is a large, well-preserved Eritrean village built between 800 BC and 200 BC The Biet Ghiorghis Zoo and Park has a beautiful view of the city and displays the fauna and typical flora of Eritrea. The small zoo is inhabited by hyenas, snakes, birds and lions.



Asmara is a modern city with planned structures. Asmara’s main street, Independence Avenue, is lined with palm trees, shops, cafes and restaurants in Asmara offering Eritrean specialties and Italian delicacies. Asmara has modern facilities for tourists, but there is no nightlife in the city. There is a good variety of hotels in Asmara to suit all tastes and budgets. The colorful and lively market is a great place to haggle and buy delicious local fruits and vegetables, handicrafts and souvenirs.


Asmara’s natural museum is very small due to its short history as an independent country. There are many religious sites in the city, Catholic cathedrals, the Khulafa Rashiudin Mosque and the Coptic Cathedral Nda Mariam is the most notable of them. Colorful and skillfully painted murals by contemporary Eritrean artists can be found in many places in the city and there are also traditional markets and small shops for shopping in Asmara. The friendly and hospitable residents of Asmara always welcome tourists from their beautiful home.


Christians, Muslims and others have lived together peacefully in Asmara for centuries and there are beautiful churches and mosques in the city.

The city is the seat of the Archbishop of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, which acquired ecclesiastical sovereignty in 1993. The archbishop was elevated to the rank of Patriarch of Eritrea in 1998, alongside the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. See population of Eritrea.


Flights to Asmara arrive at Asmara International Airport. They operate long-distance buses between the main cities of Eritrea. Asmara’s public transportation consists of buses and minibuses, which are the cheapest way to get around the city. The buses are often crowded with people and have no scheduled times. There are regular and shared taxis found at the airport and the major hotels. The city is small enough to be explored on foot. Cars can be rented in Asmara for short trips out of town.

Asmara, Eritrea