Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure in the beautiful coastal city of Durres, Albania. As I explored this charming destination, I couldn’t help but compile a list of the top 10 things to do Durres. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on these incredible experiences!
From ancient ruins to sun-soaked beaches, Durres has something for everyone. So, whether you’re a history buff, a beach bum, or a foodie, you’ll find plenty of activities to fill your itinerary. In this blog post, I’ll be revealing my top 10 things to do Durres, so you can make the most of your time in this enchanting city.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do Durres and discover the hidden gems that make this city a must-visit destination for any traveler. Get ready to be inspired and start planning your next adventure!
Discover Durres’ Rich History: Ancient Sites and Museums
Durres is a city with a rich history that dates back to the 7th century BC. It was an important port city during the Roman Empire and has been ruled by various empires throughout history. Today, visitors can explore the city’s ancient sites and museums to learn more about its fascinating past. Here are the top 10 things to do in Durres to discover its rich history:
Visit the Durres Amphitheatre – This ancient Roman amphitheatre is one of the most impressive sites in Durres. It was built in the 2nd century AD and could seat up to 20,000 people. Today, visitors can explore the ruins and imagine what it was like to attend a gladiator fight or other event.
Explore the Archaeological Museum – The Archaeological Museum of Durres is home to a vast collection of artifacts from the city’s ancient past. Visitors can see everything from Roman mosaics to ancient Greek pottery.
Wander through the Venetian Tower – The Venetian Tower is a 15th-century tower that was built by the Venetians to protect the city from invaders. Today, visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of the city and the sea.
Visit the Byzantine Forum – The Byzantine Forum is a large public square that was built in the 5th century AD. It was the center of political and social life in Durres during the Byzantine Empire.
See the Roman Baths – The Roman Baths of Durres were built in the 2nd century AD and were used for public bathing. Today, visitors can see the ruins of the baths and learn about their history.
Explore the Ethnographic Museum – The Ethnographic Museum of Durres is housed in a traditional Ottoman-style house and showcases the city’s cultural heritage. Visitors can see traditional clothing, tools, and other artifacts.
Visit the Fatih Mosque – The Fatih Mosque is a 15th-century mosque that was built by the Ottomans. It is one of the oldest mosques in Albania and is still in use today.
See the Ancient City Walls – The ancient city walls of Durres date back to the 5th century BC and were built by the Illyrians. Visitors can see the ruins of the walls and imagine what the city was like in ancient times.
Explore the Roman Villa of Durres – The Roman Villa of Durres was a luxurious villa that was built in the 2nd century AD. Today, visitors can see the ruins of the villa and its impressive mosaic floors.
Visit the Venetian Tower Museum – The Venetian Tower Museum is housed in a 15th-century tower and showcases the history of the tower and the city of Durres. Visitors can see artifacts from the tower’s past and learn about its role in the city’s history.
In conclusion, Durres is a city with a rich history that is waiting to be explored. From ancient Roman sites to Ottoman-era buildings, there is something for everyone to discover. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Durres to learn more about the city’s fascinating past.
Bask in the Sun: Top Beaches and Water Activities
Durres is a coastal city in Albania, and it’s no surprise that one of the top 10 things to do in Durres is to enjoy the beaches and water activities. Here are some of the best beaches and water activities to add to your itinerary:
1. Durres Beach
Durres Beach is the most popular beach in the city and is a must-visit for anyone looking to soak up the sun. The beach is long and wide, with soft sand and crystal-clear water. You can rent a beach chair and umbrella and spend the day lounging, or take a dip in the sea to cool off.
2. Kallm Beach
Kallm Beach is a hidden gem that’s worth seeking out. It’s a quieter beach than Durres Beach, with fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. The water is calm and perfect for swimming, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby where you can grab a bite to eat.
3. Water Sports
If you’re looking for something more active, there are plenty of water sports to try in Durres. You can go jet skiing, parasailing, or take a banana boat ride. There are also opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling if you want to explore the underwater world.
4. Sunset Cruise
For a romantic evening, take a sunset cruise along the coast of Durres. You’ll get to see the city from a different perspective and watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s a great way to unwind after a day of exploring.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or get active in the water, Durres has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do in Durres, including basking in the sun at the city’s beautiful beaches.
Savor the Flavors: Must-Try Local Cuisine and Restaurants
When visiting Durres, it’s not just about the sights and sounds, but also about the flavors. The city is known for its delicious cuisine, which is a blend of Mediterranean and Albanian flavors. Here are some of the top restaurants and dishes you must try during your visit to Durres.
1. Restaurant Panorama
Located on the top floor of Hotel Panorama, this restaurant offers a stunning view of the city and the sea. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including grilled octopus and shrimp, as well as traditional Albanian dishes like fërgesë and tavë kosi. Don’t forget to try their homemade rakia, a popular Albanian brandy.
2. Taverna L’oro Nero
This cozy restaurant is located in the heart of the city and is known for its delicious meat dishes. Try their lamb chops or beef fillet, which are cooked to perfection. The restaurant also offers a variety of vegetarian options, including stuffed peppers and eggplant.
If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, head to Piazza. This restaurant offers a fusion of Italian and Albanian cuisine, with dishes like risotto with shrimp and saffron and grilled sea bass. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, featuring both local and international wines.
4. Durres Fish Market
For a more authentic experience, head to the Durres Fish Market. Here, you can choose from a variety of fresh seafood, including mussels, squid, and sea bream. The vendors will cook the seafood for you on the spot, and you can enjoy it with a side of fresh bread and a cold beer.
5. Gelateria Dolce Vita
No trip to Durres is complete without trying some gelato from Gelateria Dolce Vita. This family-owned gelateria offers a variety of flavors, including pistachio, hazelnut, and stracciatella. Sit outside and enjoy your gelato while taking in the views of the city.
These are just a few of the top restaurants and dishes to try during your visit to Durres. Make sure to add them to your list of top 10 things to do Durres and savor the flavors of this beautiful city.
Unwind and Relax: Best Cafes and Nightlife Spots
After exploring the top 10 things to do in Durres, it’s time to unwind and relax. Durres has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of cafes to enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshing drink. Here are some of the best cafes and nightlife spots in Durres:
1. Hemingway Bar
Located in the heart of Durres, Hemingway Bar is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The bar has a cozy atmosphere and serves a variety of cocktails and drinks. It’s a great place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
2. Bar Restorant Piazza
Bar Restorant Piazza is a trendy spot in Durres that offers a great selection of drinks and food. The outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying a drink while people-watching. The bar also hosts live music events on weekends.
3. Kafe Muzeum
Kafe Muzeum is a unique cafe that combines art and coffee. The walls are adorned with paintings and sculptures, and the coffee is top-notch. It’s a great place to relax and soak up some culture.
4. Bar Kujtimi
Bar Kujtimi is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The bar has a laid-back atmosphere and serves a variety of drinks and snacks. It’s a great place to unwind and socialize with friends.
5. Bar Restorant Kallma
Bar Restorant Kallma is a beachfront spot that offers stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. The bar serves a variety of drinks and food, and the outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying the sea breeze.
Durres has plenty of cafes and nightlife spots to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bar or a trendy cafe, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. So, after exploring the top 10 things to do in Durres, make sure to unwind and relax at one of these great spots.
Shop ’til You Drop: Unique Souvenirs and Shopping Destinations
Durres is not only a city of historical and cultural significance, but it is also a great place to shop for unique souvenirs and gifts. Here are some of the top shopping destinations in Durres that you should not miss during your visit.
1. Durres Bazaar
Durres Bazaar is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique shopping experience. This bustling market is located in the heart of the city and offers a wide range of products, from traditional Albanian handicrafts to modern clothing and accessories. You can find everything from handmade jewelry to leather goods, and the prices are very reasonable.
2. Sheshi Aleksander Moisiu
Sheshi Aleksander Moisiu is a popular shopping destination in Durres, located in the city center. This square is surrounded by shops and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon shopping and people-watching. You can find a variety of products here, including clothing, shoes, and souvenirs.
3. Durres Archaeological Museum Gift Shop
If you are interested in history and archaeology, then you should definitely visit the Durres Archaeological Museum. The museum’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs and gifts related to Albanian history and culture. You can find books, postcards, and replicas of ancient artifacts.
4. Durres Beach Promenade
Durres Beach Promenade is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts while enjoying the beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. You can find a variety of products here, including beachwear, jewelry, and local handicrafts. The prices are reasonable, and the vendors are friendly and welcoming.
5. Durres Castle Gift Shop
Durres Castle is one of the top 10 things to do in Durres, and its gift shop is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts. You can find a variety of products here, including postcards, magnets, and replicas of ancient artifacts. The prices are reasonable, and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.
Whether you are looking for traditional Albanian handicrafts or modern clothing and accessories, Durres has something for everyone. Make sure to visit these top shopping destinations during your visit to Durres and take home some unique souvenirs and gifts.
Explore the Surroundings: Day Trips and Excursions from Durres
Durres is a beautiful coastal city in Albania that offers a lot of things to do and see. However, if you have more time to spare, there are many day trips and excursions that you can take from Durres to explore the surrounding areas. Here are some of the top 10 things to do Durres that you can add to your itinerary:
1. Visit the Ancient City of Apollonia
Located about 40 km south of Durres, the ancient city of Apollonia is a must-visit destination for history buffs. Founded in the 6th century BC, Apollonia was an important center of learning and culture in the ancient world. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the city, including the ancient theater, the Odeon, and the Temple of Artemis.
2. Discover the Natural Beauty of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll definitely want to visit Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. Located about 30 km south of Durres, this park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare bird species like the Dalmatian Pelican and the Pygmy Cormorant. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park, go birdwatching, or simply enjoy a peaceful walk in nature.
3. Explore the Castle of Kruja
The Castle of Kruja is a historic fortress located about 50 km northeast of Durres. This castle was the site of a major battle between Albanian forces and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, and today it is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the castle’s many towers and walls, as well as the Ethnographic Museum and the Skanderbeg Museum.
4. Relax on the Beaches of Golem
Golem is a popular beach destination located just a few kilometers south of Durres. This long stretch of sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. There are also many restaurants and cafes along the beach where you can enjoy a meal or a drink with a view of the sea.
5. Visit the City of Berat
Berat is a historic city located about 100 km south of Durres. Known as the “City of a Thousand Windows,” Berat is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture. Visitors can explore the city’s many mosques, churches, and museums, as well as the beautiful Berat Castle.
6. Take a Boat Tour of the Adriatic Sea
If you want to see Durres from a different perspective, consider taking a boat tour of the Adriatic Sea. There are many tour operators in Durres that offer boat tours of the coastline, as well as trips to nearby islands like Sazan and Ksamil.
7. Hike in the Albanian Alps
If you’re an adventure seeker, you might want to consider taking a day trip to the Albanian Alps. Located about 150 km northeast of Durres, this mountain range offers some of the best hiking and trekking opportunities in Albania. Visitors can explore the Valbona Valley National Park, hike to the summit of Mount Korab, or simply enjoy the stunning scenery.
8. Visit the Blue Eye
The Blue Eye is a natural spring located about 100 km south of Durres. This crystal-clear spring is named for its deep blue color, which is caused by the reflection of the sky. Visitors can take a dip in the cool water, or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.
9. Explore the City of Tirana
Tirana is the capital city of Albania, located about 35 km east of Durres. This vibrant city is home to many museums, galleries, and historic landmarks, including the National Museum of History, the National Art Gallery, and the Et’hem Bey Mosque.
10. Visit the Monastery of Ardenica
The Monastery of Ardenica is a historic monastery located about 25 km southeast of Durres. This monastery was founded in the 13th century, and today it is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the monastery’s many chapels and frescoes, as well as the beautiful surrounding countryside.
These are just a few of the many day trips and excursions that you can take from Durres. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or adventure, there’s something for everyone in the surrounding areas. Don’t forget to add these top 10 things to do Durres to your itinerary!
In conclusion, Durres is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty that should not be missed on your next adventure. From exploring ancient ruins to basking in the sun on pristine beaches, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your itinerary. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that the top 10 things to do Durres offers something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a beach lover, the top 10 things to do Durres will leave you with unforgettable memories and a longing to return. So, pack your bags, and embark on a journey to this enchanting city, and don’t forget to share your own Suitcase Stories with fellow travelers.
Remember, the top 10 things to do Durres are just the beginning of what this incredible city has to offer. So, go ahead and dive into the rich history, indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine, and soak up the sun on the stunning beaches. Your adventure awaits, and the top 10 things to do Durres are the perfect starting point for your unforgettable journey. Safe travels, and happy exploring!