General Information

Asmara, is the capital city and largest city of Eritrea.  known locally as Asmera (meaning "They [feminine plural] made them unite" in Tigrinya) the sixth highest capital in the world by altitude. The city is located at the tip of an escarpment that is both the northwestern edge of the Eritrean highlands and the Great Rift Valley in neighbouring Ethiopia. In 2017, the city was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The lands that surround Asmara are very fertile, especially those to the south towards the Debub Region of Eritrea. The highlands that Asmara is located in fall away to reveal the eastern lowlands, characterized by the searing heat and humidity of the Eritrean salt pans, lapped by the Red Sea. To the west of the plateau stretches a vast semi-arid hilly terrain continuing all the way towards the border with Sudan through the Gash-Barka Region.

Asmara features a somewhat rare version of a steppe climate, with warm, but not hot summers and mild winters. Asmara's climate can also be considered arid to semi-arid. The city is home to the Eritrean National Museum and is known for its early 20th-century buildings, including the Art Deco Cinema Impero (opened in 1937 and considered by the experts one of the world's finest examples of Art Déco style building, Cubist Africa Pension, eclectic Orthodox Cathedral and former Opera House, the futurist Fiat Tagliero Building, the neo-Romanesque Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Asmara, and the neoclassical Governor's Palace.

The city shows off most early 20th-century architectural styles. Some villas are built in a late Victorian style. Art Deco influences are found throughout the city. Essences of Cubism can be found on the Africa Pension Building, and on a small collection of buildings. The Fiat Tagliero Building shows almost the height of futurism, just as it was coming into big fashion in Italy.

Asmara was known to be an exceptionally modern city, not only because of its architecture, but Asmara also had more traffic lights than Rome did when the city was being built. The city incorporates many features of a planned city. Indeed, Asmara was an early example of an ideal modern city created by architects, an idea which was introduced into many cities across the world, such as Brasilia, but which was not altogether popular.

Features include designated city zoning and planning, wide treed boulevards, political areas and districts and space and scope for development. Asmara was not built for the Eritreans however; the Italians built it primarily for themselves. One unfortunate aspect of the city's planning was separate areas designated for Italians and Eritreans, each disproportionately sized.

Asmara Intercontinental Hotel. The city has more than 400 examples of Italian-style architecture, wide streets, Piazzas and coffee bars. While the boulevards are lined with palms and local shiba'kha trees, there are numerable Pizzerias and coffee bars, serving cappucinos and lattes, as well as ice cream parlours and restaurants with Italian Eritrean cuisine.

People in Asmara dress in a uniquely Eritrean style. Asmara is also highly praised for its peaceful, crime-free environment. It is one of the cleanest cities on the continent.

The city hosts the We Are the Future center, a child care center giving children a chance to live their childhoods and develop a sense of hope. The center is managed under the direction of the mayor’s office, and the international NGO Glocal Forum serves as the fundraiser and program planner and coordinator for the WAF child center in each city.

 Each WAF city is linked to several peer cities and public and private partners to create a unique international coalition.