Once the jewel in the crown of the Italian empire, Eritrea’s capital has a real European feel, while year-round balmy temperatures help to slow the pace of life right down.
Top things to see and do in Asmara
- For a great introduction to the city, take a stroll down the bustling Independence Avenue, stopping for a coffee along the way. You’ll get the chance to admire plenty of the colonial Italian architecture that makes Asmara so distinctive.
- Spend an afternoon wandering around the National Museum, which features a number of fascinating exhibits, including ancient tombstones and scrolls. It will give you a glimpse into traditional Eritrean life as it’s lived by the different ethnic groups in the countryside.
- As you may have guessed, Asmara is big on Italian food and there are lots of places to stop for a bite to eat. Casa Degli Italiani is housed in a beautiful old building and has space to sit outside.
- With its stunning dome and towering minaret, the Great Mosque is one of the most attractive monuments in the city. Blending different architectural styles, it’s a top spot to rest and spend some time people watching.
- You’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a forgotten corner of Italy at the Catholic Cathedral. Dating back to 1923, it brings a little slice of Europe to the heart of Africa and is simply a must-see sight.
Tips for travellers
Just a short bus journey outside the city lies the traditional highland village of Tselot. It’s close to a national park and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.