Exploring Tirana and Berat


Berat, with its white Ottoman houses

First visit: May 2023
My Country #82

A few weeks ago, Mike and I had the chance to visit Albania for the first time. We stayed three nights in Tirana and one night in Berat, one of two UNESCO Heritage cities in Albania, the other one being Gjirokastra. After spending our first night in Tirana, we took a public bus from the bus terminal to Berat, costing us 500 Albanian Lek per person for  a two-hour ride. Berat is a fairly small city so we spent our afternoon exploring the Castle of Berat and a wonderful dinner at Portik Hotel´s rooftop restaurant with views of the castle. The following day, we explored the city itself and enjoyed the wonderful Ottoman houses which earned Berat the title of "city of a thousand windows". Coming back to Tirana, we were able to visit the National Historical Museum, the Pyramid, Tirana Castle (a medieval castle turned into a chic shopping area with handicrafts shops and restaurants), Bunk´Art2 and the Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral among others. It was interesting to see lots of fruits and vegetable stalls as well as folks drinking coffee in countless coffee bars. Overall, we had a wonderful stay in Albania and would recommend it to other fellow travelers. 

Video on YouTube


Bunk´Art2, a museum based on a real communist-era bunker.


Skanderbeg Square with the Et´hem Bey Mosque and the statue of Skanderbeg, the Albanian military commander who led the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. 

Tirana´s Clock Tower

National Historical Museum

Pyramid of Tirana (which is yet to be completed).

Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral

Tanner´s Bridge, 18th-century stone footbridge

Shëtitorja Murat Toptani, a famous pedestrian street with nice cafés and souvenir shops

Tirana Castle, with it´s walls only the remaining structure, this has been converted into a chic place with handicraft shops and nice restaurants 👍

Located in the Blloku Area (the closed-off precinct for the party elite during the Communist era), the area has trendy bars, restaurants and shops. The photo above is the villa of the former dictator Enver Hoxha.

The Office of the Albanian President, also located in Blloku.

Postbllok Checkpoint (next to it is a piece of the Berlin Wall).

Tomb of Kapllan Pasha

Reja the Cloud

New Mosque

Parku Rinia Youth Park/Taiwan Park

House of Leaves Museum (Museum of Secret Surveillance) Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the museum.

Interestingly, many houses/offices are located downstairs (which might not be good if there is flooding).


Berat Castle

Berat Castle

The Ottoman white houses

The Gate of the Pasha

Gorica Bridge, one of the oldest Ottoman bridges in Albania.


  1. I've never heared about this place but it looks amazing! I've added it to my travel list for 2024.


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