Medebar Market


Duck up northeast to soak up the atmosphere of the Medebar Market. No doubt you'll be awestruck the minute you enter this mind-boggling place. It's an open-air workshop where absolutely everything is recycled: old tyres are made into sandals, corrugated iron is flattened and made into metal buckets, and olive tins from Italy are made into coffee pots and tiny scoopers.

The southeastern section, devoted to preparing and grinding spices, is also worth a look. The main entrance is on the intersection of Jakmeira, Sahel and Qelhamet Sts; look for the large brick gateway.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Asmara attractions

1. Asmara Orthodox Cemetery

0.16 MILES

A calm overgrown tract just outside the city centre; the quiet chapel on a hilltop above the cemetery also offers stunning views of the skyline.

2. Enda Mariam Orthodox Cathedral

0.28 MILES

The Enda Mariam Orthodox Cathedral, just east of the centre, was built in 1938 and is a curious blend of Italian and Eritrean architecture. Its central…

3. Great Mosque

0.41 MILES

At the head of a large open square near the old market is the Great Mosque. Completed in 1938, this grand complex combines rationalist, classical and…

4. Central Market

0.48 MILES

North of Harnet Ave, the sprawling Central Market is one of Asmara's major attractions. The best time to visit is early on Saturday, when people come in…

6. Bowling Alley

0.62 MILES

A block south of the Municipality Building, the Bowling Alley is one of the few genuine 1950s alleys left in the world. It was probably built for US…

7. Catholic Cathedral

0.69 MILES

Strolling along Harnet Ave you'll be hard-pressed to miss Asmara's most iconic monument, the elaborate, brick-walled Catholic cathedral. Consecrated in…

8. Ministry of Education

0.81 MILES

Adjacent to the elegant Opera House, the 1930s Italian-era Ministry of Education, with its massive stepped tower, is strikingly austere. Because it's a…