Top things to do

Top Choice Memorial in Asmara

Tank Graveyard

Part junkyard, part memorial, the ruins of military vehicles from around the country have been dragged to this open field in the years since heavy fighting ended, and make for poignant reflection on the damage done …
Top Choice Seafood in Massawa

Sallam Restaurant

It doesn't look like much from the outside and even worse inside, but this place is the culinary gem of Massawa. Here you can relish the Yemeni-style fresh fish sprinkled with hot pepper and baked in a tandoori oven…
Top Choice Historic Building in Asmara

Opera House

The Opera House, completed around 1920, is one of Asmara's most elegant early–20th-century buildings. It's free to have a look around during the resident cafe's opening hours. Or hang around and soak up the atmosphe…
Top Choice Architecture in Asmara

Bowling Alley

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 servicemen when they were manning military bases in the region.
Archaeological Site in Adi Keih

Qohaito

Historians debate whether or not the ruins of Qohaito were once the inhabited walls of the ancient town of Koloe, a settlement that predated, but grew to commercial importance during, the Aksumite kingdom. Even if i…
Palace in Massawa

Imperial Palace

Overlooking the harbour just north of the gates of the Dahlak Hotel is the Imperial Palace, the original iteration of which was built by the Turkish Osdemir Pasha in the 16th century. The present building dates from…
Market in Keren

Camel Market

From 8am on Monday mornings, a small yard on the Nakfa road just before the edge of town comes alive with buyers and sellers from Keren and the surrounding villages haggling over livestock in a lively market. Though…
Historic Building in Massawa

House of Mammub Mohammed Nahari

The ancient House of Mammub Mohammed Nahari was built with magnificent soaring Ottoman-style windows on every side. Unfortunately they are particularly decrepit and, like the rest of the house, seem ready to crumble…
Historic Building in Asmara

Fiat Tagliero Building

A futurist departure from the art deco standard that defines most of the notable Italian-era buildings in Asmara, this former petrol station was constructed in the late 1930s to resemble an airplane and may be the s…
Cinema in Asmara

Cinema Impero

The eye-catching Cinema Impero from the late 1930s is made up of three massive windows that combine strong vertical and horizontal elements with 45 porthole lamps. This is one of the only historic cinemas in town th…