Top ChoiceMemorial 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...

Top ChoiceSeafood 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...

Top ChoiceHistoric 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...

Top ChoiceArchitecture 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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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).

Archaeological Site in Eritrea

Adulis Archaeological Site

Adulis was once the primary port of the Aksumite empire and a few impressive architectural remnants of this heritage remain. Most notable is the foundation of a large 5th-century Byzantine basilica....

Desert in Eritrea

Dankalia

Dankalia

Dankalia is the name of the narrow strip of land about 50km wide that stretches south of Massawa down to Djibouti, about 600km along the coastline. You can't miss it on the map: it looks like a long peninsula...

Christian Site in Adi Keih

Belocalo

Though the large iron cross is Italian-era, legend claims that the peak towering over Senafe and the surrounding region has been a site of worship and pilgrimage for much longer. The ancient chapel at the foot of...

Archaeological Site in Adi Keih

Metera

What at first appears to be a stele and two small ruined buildings just off the dirt road is actually the sprawling site of a city that was once an important stop between the Aksumite capital (in modern Ethiopia)...

Market in Asmara

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:...

Village in Asmara

Emba Derho

This small village on the road to Keren is within the 25km limit from Asmara within which travellers can move freely without permits, and the foothills that surround it make for a nice wandering day trip. An...

Island in Massawa

Green Island

Green Island is 10 to 20 minutes from Massawa and is the most accessible place for decent snorkelling and tolerable beaches. It's certainly no Bora Bora, but it can make an excellent retreat if you need some hush...

Historic Building in Massawa

Hotel Savoiya

As you come over the causeway from Taulud Island, a broad sweep of white, arcaded palazzi (palaces) stretches out before you. On the corner you'll see the Hotel Savoiya with its long gallery. Start your...