What is the Capital of Eritrea?

Asmara is the capital of Eritrea. Asmara is a city of unique beauty blending African culture and Italian architecture.

Map of Asmara, capital of Eritrea
Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Founded in the 12th century, Asmara entered the Italian colonial rule in the late 19th century. With the new buildings built in the 1930s, the appearance of the city has changed a lot. The Italians named Asmara the Little Rome.

When did Asmara Become the Capital?


Founded by a village union that wanted to protect themselves from bandits in the 12th century, Asmara has since become a crowded city with more than half a million people. Asmara has been the host of many civilizations throughout its history. From the late 19th century onwards,  the city remained under the sovereignty of many states, including the British, with the Second World War, Ethiopia in the 1950s, and the Italian Empire. The achievement of Asmara’s independence coincides with the year 1991 following a long and bloody war with Ethiopia.

In 1993, Asmara became the capital of Eritrea after the war of independence, which left Ethiopia.

Features of Asmara


According to Asmara 2018 data, it has a population of 896,000. Asmara has a surface area of 45 square kilometers. The period from December to April in Asmara is called the dry season. The rainy period of the city is between May and September. The average temperature of Asmara does not exceed 30 degrees Celsius in the dry or rainy period. Known for its temperate climate, the city’s humidity is very low, so there is no geothermal heat and no temperature difference between day and night.

It is difficult to walk in one of the main streets in the center of Asmara and not see an old Italian building. In the early 1930s, the Italian dictator Mussolini invested heavily in the city in order to make the city of Asmara a second center of the Roman Empire. During this period, not only the cathedrals and the monuments built in the ancient-Romanesque style but also the numerous structures influenced by the architectural movements of cubism and futurism also took their place in the urban lands.

Important Places to See in Asmara


Colpo di Citta is the right address for those who want to observe the Italian architecture that makes Asmara interesting. There are many cafes, bars, shops and old cinemas in the area. You can also spend an enjoyable afternoon in one of the cafes where you can walk along the elegant streets and enjoy delicious coffees, alongside the city’s most lively area, the Compo di Citta line. Also on this line, the Nyala Hoteltirs terrace offers a tremendous terrace view for those who want to see the city from a bird’s eye view.

Opera House: Construction This building, completed in 1920, is one of the most elegant and old buildings of Asmara built in the 20th century. In this building where no opera performances have been carried out yet, there are still some films or match screenings. You can have a pleasant lunch at the Opera House, which has a very stylish restaurant and café.

National Museum: One of the most important tourist destinations of Asmara, the National Museum has a large collection. The city, which hosts many civilizations from the past to the present day, exhibits a very impressive collection that dates back over 600 years.