"Asmara: The "Little Rome" of Africa" Top 5 Page for this destination Asmara by hunwagner

Asmara Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 737 photos

The capital of newly independent Eritrea, Asmara is one of the most beautiful and pleasant cities in the whole of Africa, if not anywhere in the World.
Situated at an elevation of 2400 metres above sea-level, its climate is pleasantly cool, but also dry and sunny for much of the year. Architecturally, it is a real feast for the eyes. Having been the centre of Italian colonial efforts in Africa in the first part of the 20th century, Asmara was blessed with beautiful buildings that would only draw praise in Italy as well. Even after the Italians were gone, the city has managed to escape the raveges of third world development, and has amazingly even survived the wars with Ethiopia intact. Current government policies also prevent it from become yet another sprawling, polluted African capital ringed with slums.
Not only is Asmara beautiful, clean and pleasantly cool, it is also a very safe and relaxed city, where one can walk around at any time of the day or night without having to worry about safety, or even more minor hassles like beggars.
The locals are a very cultured lot who seem to pride themselves on their city's Italian heritage, fondly call it "Little Rome", and cafeterias and pizzerias do a roaring trade along the city's main avenue.
And in case you start wondering whether all this comes at a price, you might be delighted to hear that Asmara is also among the cheapest capitals in the continent!
Not surprisingly, this is one of the few places that visitors almost invariably fall in love with instantly.

  • Last visit to Asmara: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (16)

  • alycat's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2008 at 2:31 AM

    Fascinating page..gr8 insight into Africa!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2007 at 10:39 PM

    Asmara has had a fascination for me for a long time now. Some of this I'd heard of, some is new - all is interesting. The sandals monument is great. Thanks leyle

  • mirko77's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2006 at 7:31 AM

    Great pages Laszlo! you where right: It's fantastic!! Thanx for the tip!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2006 at 2:45 PM

    Interesting insights into a different culture.

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2005 at 9:34 AM

    Thank you for this fresh travel idea. Now I know where Asmara is!

  • leonik's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2005 at 1:36 PM

    you're right! this is so not what i'd pictured in my mind of a sub-saharan capital city...

  • mikarov99's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2005 at 10:00 AM

    Nice captial city of africa whit great architecture, is a beutiful city, i hope one day go to here...

  • Jul 25, 2005 at 8:25 AM

    I was in Asmara in April 2005. The monument is not at his place at the moment, because it is refurbished offplace. Cheers!

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2005 at 5:36 AM

    Really amazing!

  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2005 at 2:12 AM

    WOW... what a pleasant surprise to see how lovely Asmara looks. Never imagined it would be the way it does. Great page, I will make this place a must visit...


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