The capital of Eritrea is an absolute gem of a city. Magnificent Italian architecture dominates the skyline, while bustling pizza parlours and relaxed pavement cafes rule the roost at ground level. The culture is the perfect infusion of Italian, Arabic and African. Catholic Cathedrals brush up against historic mosques, while tree-lined avenues and peaceful neighbourhoods offer perfect venues for relaxing afternoon strolls. The mountains around the city provide ample day trip opportunities for nature lovers, with plenty of hiking, biking and climbing trails to discover.
Airports in Asmara
Asmara International Airport (ASM) (previously Yohannes IV International Airport) serves the city. It’s currently the most important airport in Eritrea, as it’s the only international airport currently receiving international flights. The airport was originally built in 1922, and became the main air gateway into the country after independence in 1991. The runways were vastly improved in 2003, and since then the airport has increased the number of international flights.
Airlines that fly to Asmara
There are no direct flights from the UK to Asmara. Turkish Airlines fly from Europe, with regular flights from Istanbul. EgyptAir, Eritrean Airlines, Nova Airways, Qatar Airways, Sudan Airways, and Yemenia also fly to Asmara from a range of Middle Eastern and African locations.
Getting into Asmara
Bus line 1 runs from the airport to the city centre. The buses have no fixed schedule, but tend to arrive every 10-15 minutes. You can ask for an update from the information desk at the airport. Single tickets cost 1 Nakfa (about 40p)*. Taxis are also available outside the airport, but you may have to negotiate your fare with the driver. Car hire is available at the airport, too, which is perfect if you’re planning on doing a lot of exploring during your trip.
*Prices subject to change
When to fly to Asmara
Asmara has a pleasant climate all year round, but the best weather tends to happen between October and March. This is high season, with pleasant temperatures of 21-25°C and very little rainfall. It’s ideal weather for sightseeing, or just soaking up that lovely Eritrean sunshine. If you’re visiting in the height of summer, don’t miss the Festival Eritrea. This huge celebration is held during the last week of July and the first week of August, and is a huge celebration of everything Eritrean: food, art, and cultural performances.
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Airports near Asmara
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