Money and Costs
Bargaining is expected in markets and for contract (ie not shared) taxis. In most other situations, prices are fixed.
Budget: Less than nfa500
- Double room in a budget hotel: nfa150–375
- Fast food meal: nfa40–75
- Tea in a small cafe: nfa2–5
- Local bus in Asmara: nfa2
- Double room in a midrange hotel: nfa375–1125
- Pizza or pasta: nfa100–120
- Coffee at a historic cafe: nfa20
- Taxi to a village near Asmara: nfa400
Top end: More than nfa1500
- Double room in a restored colonial-era hotel: from nfa1125
- Eritrean curry with injera: nfa200–300
- Drink at a dance club: nfa150–300
- Daily car hire and driver: nfa3000 or more
There are no international ATMs in Eritrea and credit cards aren't much use. Bring all the cash (US dollars get the best rates) you expect to need.
If you run short of funds there is a Western Union transfer at the Commercial Bank of Eritrea in Asmara.
The official exchange rate for Eritrean Nakfa (nfa) is set by the government. All banks, exchange kiosks and official hotel exchange bureaux are legally required to provide these official rates, and visitors are legally required to only change money at these rates.
While locals may approach travellers offering to exchange money at rates of nfa25 per US dollar or more, changing any money outside of official channels is a serious legal offence and can carry serious consequences, up to and including imprisonment.
Only very rarely will businesses accept credit cards, and as these payments must be processed through networks outside the country, they often incur surcharges of up to 5%.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Tipping up to 10% of the bill is appreciated but not always expected in restaurants, and sometimes this will be included as a service charge. In smaller cafes rounding up a few nakfa is appropriate.