Asmara has 10 downtown bus-lines on distinctive Red Mercedes Benz buses, with a sign in the front saying where they're headed oftentimes in Latin script. The bus stops are easily identifiable there are signs and an obvious shelter with a bench, but the buses stop running quite early in the evening about 7PM. They run on 15-30 minute intervals during the day every day, but there is no fixed or published schedule. The roads get pretty jammed at rush hours in the morning, midday and around 4PM in the evening. The fare is 1 Nakfa, and the entrance is in the back where one buys the ticket. It is not necessary to have exact change, but one should try to pay in lower denominations.
Line number 1 goes between the airport, 3 km south of the city, and the zoo in Biet Ghiorghis, 2 km 1 mi east of the city on the eastern escarpment the windy road to the Red Sea begins after Biet Ghirogis. Number 1 also passes through the main streets in downtown Asmara Independence and Martyrs Avenues. All bus lines that begin with 2 e.g. 21, 22, etc., run between the marketplace downtown and the surrounding villages, but there are only a few a day. Therefore, plan to leave early in order to be able to return the same day. Only the locals know the schedule through word of mouth. If you're lucky one of them speaks English and will be very helpful. Some villages like Embaderho and Tselot are well worth visiting for their scenery and traditional lifestyle.
There also white minibus-lines running on the main streets of the city, which run on fixed routes but without fixed stops or signs. They usually stop at the bus stops, but you still have to hail them when you see them, just like a cab. Before boarding, ask them where they're headed, unless the ticket-boy called fottorino doesn't beat you to it by announcing it loudly. Then, let them know when you want to get off "Stop!" is a universally understood command. 2 Nakfa.
Finally there are the yellow taxis, most of which also run on fixed routes on the main streets like the white minivans. They have a similar system to the minivans, and the fare is 5 Nakfa. You'll most likely be sharing the ride with 3 other people. Since some cabs do not use fixed routes, some will take you personally to where you want to go. These taxis are called contract taxis, and you will have to negotiate the price with the driver. The price depends on how far you're travelling, but most contract drivers charge, at a minimum, 70 Nakfa. These cabs usually wait outside the airport when a plane is coming in, the city's main hotels Asmara Palace Hotel, Nyala, Ambassador etc., the road to the right of the main cathedral downtown and other obvious spots. They can also be hailed on any street, but many cabs are on a fixed route with passengers already in them.
Renting a car is insanely expensive and fuel prices are higher than in Europe. Renting a cab to drive you around town is also quite expensive, but affordable. Be prepared to pay around 3000 - 6000 Nakfa for a weekend with a driver. It is perhaps better to take the bus or contact one of the national tour agencies ask at the information desk at the airport upon arrival.
There is a train from teseney to agordat to keren then Asmara. It takes a day to complete the cycle to and back from Asmara to teseney and the train looks fairly modern for African standards. There is also a vintage train line from Asmara to masswan witch takes 2 hours between the cites.