Asmara, Eritrea

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Asmara, Eritrea

Region: Asmara, Eritrea is located in the Maekel Region

Geographic Coordinates: 15.322800, 38.925000
Temperature Range: 15.0°C to 30.0°C (59°F to 86°F)
Climate: Dry and hot with occasional rainfall in summer. Cool and mild with occasional rainfall in winter.
Population: 963000
Language: Tigrinya

Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea, A small country located in the Horn of Africa. The city is situated in the highlands and has an elevation of over 2, 000 meters above sea level. Asmara is known for its unique architecture, Which reflects its Italian colonial past. The city was occupied by Italy from 1889 until 1941 when it was captured by British forces during World War II. Asmara’s architecture is a blend of Art Deco and Modernist styles with a touch of Italian Renaissance.

Visitors to the city will be struck by the elegant buildings that line its streets, Including cinemas, Bars, Cafes and shops that have been preserved from its colonial era. These buildings are now home to government offices or private businesses. The city has many interesting landmarks such as the Fiat Tagliero Building which was designed by an Italian architect named Giuseppe Pettazzi in 1938. This building resembles an airplane with wings spread out on either side and was used as a petrol station during its early years.

Another notable landmark is the Cathedral of Asmara which dates back to the early 20th century when it served as a Catholic church for Italian colonizers who resided in Asmara at that time. One can also visit Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque which stands out due to its distinctive green dome and minaret tower. It was built during World War II when Eritrea came under British rule.

Apart from these historic sites, Visitors can enjoy shopping at local markets such as Shuq or visiting museums like National Museum Of Eritrea which showcases artifacts from different eras including ancient times through modern times showcasing Eritrean history & culture. Asmara also offers great dining options ranging from traditional Eritrean cuisine to international dishes such as pizza or pasta due to strong influence left behind by Italians after their departure post-World War II. Asmara is a unique and fascinating city with a rich history and culture.

Its architecture, Landmarks, Markets, Museums and cuisine make it an ideal destination for travelers who want to explore the Horn of Africa.

Important Landmarks

  1. Fiat Tagliero Building
  2. Asmara Cathedral
  3. National Museum of Eritrea
  4. Opera House and Cinema Impero
  5. Tank Graveyard
  6. Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque
  7. Enda Mariam Orthodox Church
  8. St Joseph’s Catholic Church
  9. Cimitero Italiano di Asmara (Italian Cemetery)
  10. Martyrs’ National Monument

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
    • Coffee
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Grains
  2. Mining
    • Gold
    • Copper
    • Zinc
    • Potash
  3. Textile production
    • Traditional clothing made from locally sourced materials like cotton
  4. Construction
    • Housing and infrastructure development projects throughout the city
  5. Tourism
    • Rich cultural heritage sites like the Art Deco architecture of downtown Asmara
    • Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017
  6. Retail trade
    • Small shops selling food items or household goods throughout the city center
    • Larger supermarkets catering to more substantial shopping needs
  7. Service sector jobs
    • Finance
    • Healthcare

Noteable History

  1. Italian colonization: Asmara was a major center of Italian colonization in Eritrea during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  2. World War II: During World War II, Asmara was occupied by British forces from 1941 to 1952.
  3. Liberation struggle: Asmara played a key role in the Eritrean liberation struggle against Ethiopia, which lasted from the 1960s to the early 1990s.
  4. Independence: In May 1991, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia after a long and bloody war, with Asmara becoming its capital city.
  5. Isaias Afwerki: Isaias Afwerki is the current president of Eritrea and has been in power since independence in 1991.
  6. Fiat Tagliero Building: The Fiat Tagliero Building is an iconic Art Deco building located in central Asmara that was built by Italian architect Giuseppe Pettazzi in 1938.
  7. Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St Maryam Tsion: The Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St Maryam Tsion is one of the oldest churches in Asmara and dates back to the early years of Italian colonization.
  8. National Museum of Eritrea: The National Museum of Eritrea is located in Asmara and houses artifacts related to the country’s history, including prehistoric fossils, ancient coins, and traditional clothing.

Museums and Things To See

  1. National Museum of Eritrea
  2. Fiat Tagliero Building
  3. Asmara Opera House
  4. Enda Mariam Orthodox Cathedral
  5. Tank Graveyard
  6. Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque
  7. Cinema Impero
  8. Biet Ghiorghis Zoo Park
  9. Asmara Palace Hotel
  10. St Joseph’s Cathedral

Sports Teams

  1. Asmara Brewery FC: This football club was established in 1939 and is one of the oldest clubs in the country. It has won numerous national championships and was once considered the pride of Asmara.
  2. Red Sea FC: Another renowned football club in Asmara, Red Sea FC was founded in 1945 and has also won several national championships.
  3. Eritrea Cycling Team: The team has gained global recognition for its achievements in long-distance races such as the Tour de France.
  4. Adulis Club: This basketball club dates back to the 1950s and has been a dominant force in Eritrean basketball for many years.
  5. Asmara United SC: Established in the early 2000s, this football club quickly rose to fame by winning multiple national championships within its first few years of existence.

Cultural Events

  1. Independence Day (May 24th) is the most significant national holiday in Eritrea. It commemorates the country’s independence from Ethiopia in 1991.
  2. Festival Eritrea is an annual event that takes place in Asmara, celebrating Eritrean culture through music, dance, food, and art.
  3. Martyrs’ Day (June 20th) honors those who lost their lives fighting for Eritrea’s independence.
  4. Christmas (January 7th) is celebrated by Orthodox Christians with religious services and feasting, despite being a minority religion in Eritrea.
  5. Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan with prayer, feasting, and gift-giving.
  6. Meskel is a Christian holiday that celebrates St Helena’s discovery of the True Cross.
  7. The Asmara International Book Fair brings together writers and publishers from across Africa to share their work with readers and audiences in Asmara every year.
  8. The National Festival of Arts & Culture showcases traditional music, dance, crafts, and culinary arts from different regions of Eritrea over a week-long festival period.


  • Zara Restaurant: This restaurant is known for its traditional Eritrean dishes like injera (a sourdough flatbread) and tsebhi (stew). It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Asmara Beer Garden: This outdoor restaurant serves up delicious grilled meat dishes and has a great selection of local beers.
  • Fickry Restaurant: A family-owned restaurant that offers a mix of Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Green Leaves Restaurant: Specializing in vegetarian and vegan dishes using fresh ingredients from the local market.
  • Tsegi Cafe & Pizzeria: Offers both traditional Eritrean food as well as Italian-inspired pizza options.
  • La Cucina Italiana: One of the few Italian restaurants in Asmara, it serves up authentic pasta dishes with homemade sauces.
  • Keren Hotel Restaurant: Located inside the historic Keren Hotel, this restaurant offers a mix of international cuisine with an emphasis on seafood dishes.
  • Asmara Palace Hotel Restaurant: Another upscale dining option that specializes in Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with locally sourced ingredients.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Mai Nefhi Park is a popular destination for picnics and outdoor activities in the heart of Asmara.
    2. Enda Mariam Orthodox Church, located in the center of Asmara, offers breathtaking views of the city and has a rich historical significance.
    3. Cimitero Monumentale is an intricately designed cemetery with beautiful gardens and elaborate tombs and monuments.
    4. The National Museum of Eritrea showcases Eritrean history, culture, and art to visitors.
    5. Cinema Impero has been restored to its former glory as a historic cinema that now hosts film screenings and live events.
    6. Medebar Market is a bustling marketplace where one can find clothing, food, souvenirs and more.
    7. Sembel Hill Park provides panoramic views from its hilltop location overlooking Asmara below.
    8. Gurgusum Beach Resort is located on the Red Sea coast just outside Asmara offering water sports activities such as swimming, snorkeling, diving etcetera for tourists to enjoy their stay at the resort.


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