The city of Asmara, nicknamed as “Piccola Roma” or “Little Rome” because of the strong Italian influence on its architecture, is the capital city of Eritrea. Eritrea is an African country that lies on the coast of Red Sea. Our ‘Asmara attractions’ gives a basic idea about the city for travelers.
It is interesting how the city of Asmara became the most modernist city in the continent. In the 1930s, Italian leaders wanted to colonize Ethiopia. What better way than by setting base in Eritrea, the nearest neighboring country to Ethiopia. And that’s exactly what they did.
During this timeline, a lot of Italians migrated to Eritrea and architects realized that the then-mundane streets of Asmara were the best place to experiment their new architectural designs and construction methods.
How to reach Asmara?
The international airport of Eritrea is located in Asmara. There are plenty of international flights to and from Asmara.
Once you reach Asmara, you can always take the local minibuses or yellow taxis to move within and around the city. Renting a car in Eritrea can be an expensive affair as petrol prices are quite high in the country.
Things to do in Asmara
While you are in Asmara, there are a lot of things to do and experience. In our Asmara Attractions, you will find some of the most impressive places to visit and things to do in the city.
Go sight-seeing | Asmara Attractions
You’ll find so many well-built and uniquely styled buildings in Asmara.
You’ll be amused to see that the Fiat Tiglerio building shaped like an airplane that was built for the purpose of a service station. It has a central tower with two adjacent wing-like cantilevers.
Next, head over to the Catterdale di Asmara, the Roman Catholic Church of Asmara. It was built in the Lombard Romanesque style and has a sky-high bell tower which can be spotted from miles away.
Another place of interest of the like is the Synagogue of Asmara which was built in 1906, and comprises of a main sanctuary and a Jewish cemetery.
Do visit the Great Mosque of Asmara, also known as the Al Kulafah Al Rashidan, built by fusing the Classical, Rationalistic and Islamic architectural styles. It is translated to “the mosque of the rightly guided caliphs”.
To know more about the history of Eritrea, pay a quick visit to the National Museum of Asmara. This impressive building houses artifacts that date back to the origin of their civilization.
Asmara also has a very small zoo, the Biet Ghiorghis Zoo located on the outskirts of the city. There is an entrance fee of 10 ERN to visit the zoo. The zoo has a number of amenities such as a restaurant, a play area for kids.
If you have the time, visit the Martyr National Park which is a scenic wildlife reserve having large a population of ostriches.
Go rock-hiking or mountain-climbing | Asmara Attractions
If you’re into adventure sports, then Asmara offers some off-city hiking trips. However, it is advisable to hire a private guide who is familiar with the route. You can get the required gear and tents from the market. Before you set out, make sure you’ve got mosquito-nets as the mosquitoes can get a little nasty during the evenings.
Don’t forget to visit Asmara markets | Asmara Attractions
Asmara is well-known for its weekly markets that sell everything from fruits, vegetables, eggs, chicken and spices, to furniture, utensils, ceramics and many household items. The Medeber market is one of a kind. You’ll find countless open-air workshops with locals working with recycled metals. You can also buy gold and silver jewelry at reasonable prices. You’ll also find many stalls selling attractive souvenirs such as clay coffee pots, goat-skin rugs and many more.
So don’t forget to get you a souvenir before you leave!
Where to stay?
Asmara has a good variety of hotels and other accommodation for travelers. You will be able to find very expensive and luxurious hotels to budget yet comfy stays in Asmara. During summer, hotel prices can go high in Asmara. Some of the recommended hotels to stay in Asmara includes,
- Asmara Palace Hotel, located near the airport
- Albergo Italia in Asmara – they serve one of the best Italian food in the country
- Crystal Hotel, Asmara
- Nyala Hotel, Asmara
While you are in Asmara, do not miss to taste Tsebhi and Injera (famous Eritrean delicacies). Mostly people consume coffee in Eritrea and Macchiato is an option among various varieties of coffee preparation that you must try in Eritrea.
Jaunt Monkey’s Asmara attractions is meant to help you with some quick facts about Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. If you feel you have a point or two to add here to help travelers to Asmara, please do contact me either through the comments below or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com