Nakfa (nfa)

Tigrinya, Arabic, numerous tribal languages

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea's land borders, (except the towns of Senafe and Tessenei, and the border crossings with Ethiopia at Debay Sima – Burre, Serha – Zalambessa and Kesadika (Adi Kuala) – Rama, plus the main paved roads leading to those crossings). Click here for more information.

Drinking and nightlife

Coffee in Keren

Africa Pension

The best place in town to sit for a traditional coffee ceremony (nfa50). There's a cosy covered patio decorated with traditional handicrafts or a large garden out front. On the eastern side of the Jirafuri...

Bar in Asmara

Crispi Bar

Built in 1935, this old bar feels as much like a friend's living room as a place of business. If you're peckish, there's also a selection of simple foods (from nfa40 to nfa100).

Lounge in Asmara


Ease into low gear by sinking a cocktail at this genteel lounge bar (drinks range from from nfa20 to nfa100). It stays open until midnight, and is a good place to warm up before hitting the clubs. There's no...

Teahouse in Massawa


On the Piazza degli Incendi, across from the Sheikh Hanafi Mosque, this little teashop (and the few others that surround it) stays constantly busy with local traffic. Serving tea and a few simple dishes, it's a...

Bar in Asmara

Bar Zilli

Anchoring a historic Italian-era building from the late 1930s, this earthy hang-out is a good place to revive your spirits with a macchiato or an Asmara gin, if you dare! If you can't be bothered to look...

Cafe in Asmara

Green Village

Stop in for coffee and cake favourites and a wide selection of freshly squeezed juices in a bright, cool interior. The macchiato may just be the best in town, and the Italian villa motif makes for a nice respite...

Cafe in Keren

Sweet Corner

Strong coffee and sweet staff make the two pleasant shaded courtyards here a highlight, and the in-house pastries (nfa20) certainly don’t hurt either. Walk up Nakfa St, and you'll see it just before the Costina...

Cafe in Asmara

Pasticceria Moderna

A humming venue on the main drag with traditional styling and a large outdoor seating area. Keep up your strength with a macchiato and a delectable pastry (nfa14), and pull up a chair on the patio for...

Cafe in Asmara

Bar Royal

A delightful cafe with uniformed staff and a retro vibe. If the tempting display of cakes (nfa20) beside the entrance isn’t enough to draw you in, perhaps the strong dark coffee will do the trick.

Cafe in Asmara

Rozina Cafe

This classy joint just across from the Cinema Impero has a decent selection of sweet and savoury baked options (nfa14) – and a few harder drink options if coffee won't quite do the trick.

Bar in Keren

Atlanta Bar

It's may be small, but there's a bit of atmosphere and, more importantly, it's one of the only places in town that carries Beer Asmara (nfa35). On the southern side of Jirafuri roundabout.

Cafe in Asmara

Cafe Fiori

The macchiato kicks like a mule here, and the decor is decidedly retro. Cafe Fiori also features an appetising selection of croissants (nfa15) and the moistest cakes anywhere in Asmara.

Cafe in Asmara

KitKat Bar Fast Food & Pastry

Take a break at this retro cafe hidden behind the cathedral, with fresh-made cakes (nfa13) and tasty coffee on a large intersection that's perfect for people-watching.

Club in Asmara

Green Pub

This pub-disco is one of the favourite haunts of expats in search of fun and company, particularly on Wednesday for live music and Friday when local DJs spin.

Cafe in Asmara

Sweet Asmara Caffe

This sleek pastry shop is a treasure-trove for the sweet tooth, with a tempting array of diet-busting little treats in a central location on Harnet Ave.

Cafe in Asmara

Damera Cafe

Beyond a traditionally styled interior serving cafe classics, there's also a nice outdoor seating area on Harnet great for people-watching.

Cafe in Asmara

Impero Bar & Pastry

Almost next door to Cinema Impero, this endearing cafe has a more traditional feel. Perfect for a coffee during passeggiata.

Cafe in Asmara

Dolce Vita

Stylish modern coffee shop outside the centre, with a fantastic shaded courtyard out back perfect for whiling away a lazy afternoon.

Cafe in Adi Keih

Mehrep Cafe

This small cafe selling coffee and tea all day long has a kind of miasmic atmosphere, but the staff are outgoing and the caffeine does the job. Turn uphill just before the main highway leaves town, it's just off...

Club in Asmara


This hopping nightclub exhilarates dance junkies every weekend with live music, both traditional and Western. Hours are erratic, but you'll hear it before you see it when it's open (usually from around 10pm on...