Asmara - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing varies, but generally people who work in the diplomatic missions have large houses in nice residential parts of town. It's a small town, so commutes tend to be good for all expatriates. Our house is good overall, but we have issues with drain flies and our water system in general. Our mission does a good job of keeping it up, but we have to call for repairs often. - Apr 2021

Houses are nice, very large with good amenities. My employer provides it, along with a good generator for when the power fails. Unfortunately, the power fails often, so without one life would be much more difficult. Commute times are pretty short, as it's a very small city with light traffic. NOTE: If your employer does not provide housing, it seems difficult to find housing. I have friends who have taken months to find a house. - Dec 2019

Housing is spacious and has some very nice features (high ceilings, big windows, lots of natural light, outdoor space, flowering or fruit trees), but also quirks and idiosyncrasies. Asmara is small, with light traffic. Commutes are fewer than 10 minutes by car. Many people walk or bike. Houses are scattered in residential neighborhoods. Many embassies and international organizations require their staff to locate their own housing, which many find a bit challenging. Most choose to spend the interim in apartments provided at the Asmara Palace hotel, the one more or less international standard business hotel in Asmara. The apartments are reportedly reasonably comfortable, and guests can take advantage of hotel amenities. - Feb 2019

Poor construction, lots of gaps between doors and windows that allow for rain or critters to get inside. Houses are block, which echo like crazy, and your every movement can be heard by neighbors since you are most likely sharing a wall. Size is adequate for living but not really for entertaining, but it just depends. Red dust is everywhere. Commute varies from 3-15 minutes, very walkable or bikeable. Yards are mostly patches of dirt bricked off, around the house. We made gardening due with a lot of containers we shipped in via Amazon. - Sep 2018

I had a stand-alone, single family residence (3 bedrooms), (2 bathrooms). Residences tend to vary, but they all have relatively small yards. Working for the US Embassy you have a generator and 24-hour guard presence. The commute to work is less than 10 minutes at any time of day. We were satisfied with our housing. Our house was really good for entertaining. - Dec 2016

Housing is mostly in small one-story houses behind compound walls. Yards are small or nonexistent. Asmara is a small city and one is always within about 30 minutes walking time of the center. - Aug 2007

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