Asmara - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

I'm told they are not safe. - Dec 2019

Public transportation is relatively scarce, and generally not recommended. Many locals rely on a small number of buses and minibuses, bursting with humanity, which are not recommended for foreigners. Taxis are somewhat better, but scarce aside from a few well-traveled routes, and safety/security is only so-so. Fortunately, Asmara is compact and relatively walkable. Many get by on foot or using bikes for their transportation needs. - Feb 2019

Local taxis have a designated route, four people per car at 10 nakfa each. Safe, but some pickpocketing has been observed. There are some reliable taxi drivers who will go anywhere for around US$8 per ride, you can ask other expats for their numbers. Local buses are super crowded, not recommended. - Sep 2018

Local buses are cheap but ill-advised. They are often very over-crowded and are an ideal place to be pick-pocketed. Taxis can be cheap if you know how to use them. They are safe. They are easily recognizable. They run a route and if you get in and get off along the established taxi route, the rates are cheap. If you deviate, they can be more expensive. Example: from the airport to the Asmara Palace Hotel, which about 2 miles is 300 Nakfa or $20 USD. A lot of people who live in Eritrea and don't have cars have "drivers" that come at a negotiable rate.

That aside, Eritrea is very much a walk-able city, with very pleasant weather. - Dec 2016

There are buses and taxis. We use them as little as possible. The buses are cheap, but usually packed with people, making them unsafe. Private taxis are expensive. Shared taxis are cheap, but not as comfortable. - Aug 2007

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