The road to Massawa

Travel to Massawa – Home to Notable Buildings and Memorials

Massawa, formerly known as Mitsiwa is a port city that is located on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea in the West of the country. Important for many centuries, it has been colonised by Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Britain and was finally part of Ethiopia until the independence of Eritrea in 1991. Massawa was the capital of the Italian Colony of Eritrea until this was moved to Asmara in 1900.

Attractions in Massawa include the shrine of Sahaba and the fifteenth century Sheikh Hanafi Mosque, houses of coral, the bazaar, the Imperial Palace, St Mariam Cathedral; the 1930s Villa Melotti and the 1920s Banco d’Italia. There is a memorial to the Eritrean War of Independence in the middle of Massawa. Also from here you can take a boat to the Dahlak Islands where you can scuba dive and snorkel to see marine life.

  • Take a boat to the Dahlak Islands.
  • See the memorial to the Eritrean War of Independence.
  • Visit impressive buildings and bazaars.


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