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Europe > Balkans > Albania > Coastal Albania > Durrës

Durrës

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Durrës is an Albanian Adriatic port city. It has ferries to Bari in (Italy). Alternative spellings of the city's name are Durazzo (Italian), Drač (Драч, Serbo-Croatian) or Dyrrhachion (Δυρράχιον, Greek).

Get in[edit]

By boat[edit]

Durrës panoramic view

... and there are more ferry operators such as Anek, GNV, European Ferries and Ventouris.

By bus[edit]

Buses and furgons usually arrive and depart at the bus terminal with the "DURRES" logo on the outside near the railway station.

  • From Skopje, Macedonia, buses run through Durrës on their way to Tirana. A typical Skopje-Tirana ticket costs around €25 return.
  • From Kumanovo, Macedonia, there is an everyday direct bus line to Durrës. The cost of tickets is around €20.
  • From Pristina, Kosovo, in the summer season there are several buses a day. You should check the timetables at the Pristina bus station, but in 2013 the timetable was as follows; 04:00, 05:00, 06:00 and 06:30 and then at 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00 and 23:00. There are at least a couple of buses going back at 16:00 and 17:00. Return ticket costs about €12. The trip takes around 4 to 5½ hours, depending on whether it goes via Prizren. Buses depart and arrive at the northern end of Rruga Pavaresia street running parallel, and very close, to the beach.

By train[edit]

  • 1 Railway Station, Rruga Adria. There is no link to Tirana (which has been without a train station for some time), nor international links. Daily trains to Kashdar (a suburb of Tirana, several services), Elbasan (twice), Librazhd, Shkoder and Vlora (all once) through the adventurous Albanian railway system. There is a timetable posted outside of the train station. Durrës Rail Station (Q5316769) on Wikidata Durrës Rail Station on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

There is a road between here and Tirana, the SH2, which takes just over half an hour for the journey. You could fly into Tirana, then drive or get a taxi to Durrës, with the airport connecting to the SH2 by the SH60.

Get around[edit]

Map of Durrës

The city centre where the archaeological sites are located can be toured by foot. Many taxis are available in Durrës. You can find them parked everywhere on the streets with a taxi symbol on the top of their car. There are also public buses in orange that can drive you around the city although much slower

See[edit]

Churches[edit]

  • Shen Lucia Catholic Church (Kisha e Shën Luçia), Rruga Don Nikoll Kacorri (Center). built in 1907
  • Shen Gjergji Orthodox Church. Built in the 19th century.
  • 1 Saint Asti and Saint Paul Orthodox Church (Katedralja ortodokse e Shën Palit dhe Shën Asti). Built in 2001.

Mosques[edit]

  • 2 Fatih Mosque (Xhamia Fatih), Rruga Xhamia. Built in 1503. Fatih Mosque, Durrës (Q1398072) on Wikidata Fatih Mosque, Durrës on Wikipedia
  • 3 Great Mosque of Durres (Xhamia e Madhe e Durresit). Great Mosque in Durrës (Q18888007) on Wikidata Great Mosque of Durrës on Wikipedia
  • New Mosque. Built in 1937.
  • 4 Little Mosque (Xhamia e Vogel).

Museums[edit]

  • 5 [dead link] Archaeological Museum (Muzeu Arkeologjik), Rruga Taulantia 32. Durrës Archaeological Museum (Q5316767) on Wikidata Durrës Archaeological Museum on Wikipedia
  • 6 Popular Culture Museum, Kavaje village, Rruga Skuraj (S 18 km).
  • 7 Alexander Moissi Museum House (Shtepia e Alexander Mois).
  • World War II Relics Hall.
  • Koloseo Art Gallery. Showcases some of the best work of local painters.

Roman monuments[edit]

Durres, Roman Amphitheater
  • 8 Durres Amphitheater, Rruga Kalase. The biggest in the Balkans it also features restored iconography works. Roman amphitheatre of Durrës (Q779868) on Wikidata Durrës Amphitheatre on Wikipedia
  • 9 Durres Ancient City Wall, Rruga Sotir Noka (next to the Amphitheater). Medieval Hammam and the Tophane Well inside and around the wall.
  • 10 Venetian Tower (Rotonda, Kalaja). A circular tower at the city center built in the 16th century.
  • Shen Mehilli Hill (Kodra e Shen Mehillit). On 18 October 1801, Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos confronted Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard here. A basilica built in the 6th century AD with a beautiful mosaic is found here.
  • Byzantine Forum (Macellum). Built in the 5th century AD and public baths around and beneath Alexander Moissi Palace of Culture.

Others[edit]

King Zog's Villa
  • 11 Municipality (Bashkia), Sheshi Liria, 15.
  • 12 King Zog's Villa (Vila e Zogut), Rruga Kont Urani (lon top of a hill overlooking the city). This used to be the most luxurious crib in all of Albania, but it was looted in the 1997 uprising and isn't open to visitors now. Reportedly prince Leka has plans to renovate the villa "in the near future", but this has been reported for quite some time. Endure the steep climb up the hill for one of the most spectacular views over the city. Royal Villa of Durrës (Q13530086) on Wikidata Royal Villa of Durrës on Wikipedia
  • 13 Kavaja Rock (Shkembi i Kavajes) (SE 5 km). A historic landmark in Golem where once caravans used to pass along the ancient Via Egnatia. This is where a battle between Pompey and Julius Caesar is said to have taken place.

Further afield[edit]

Lezhe
  • 14 Lalzit Bay Area (N 27 km). Visit Ishem Castle and Rrushkull Nature Reserve (Rezervati Rrushkull)
  • 15 Rodoni Castle (Kalaje e Rodonit) (Cape of Rodon).
  • 16 Scanderbeg Castle (Sebastia s Castle), Rruga e Sebastes, Laç village (N 33km).
  • 17 Shen Ndout Church (Kisha e Shna Ndout), Rruga Kisha e Shna Ndout, Laç.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Culture Palace, Bulevardi Dyrrah. Events
  • Evening walk (promenade). Go for an evening walk along the sea front promenade or along the beach where you can see families walking around or even men with bears on a leash or with snakes entwined around their necks!
  • 2 Villa Hill (Kodra e Viles), Rruga Currila. Panoramic view of Durres seaside at Currilat from top of a newly reclaimed hill.
  • 3 Seaside Large Steps (Shkallet tek Brryli), Intersection between Rruga Currila and Rruga Taulantia (Brryli area). Sit and admire the sea from up close on these large steps descending into the water
City beach

Beaches[edit]

  • 4 Lalzit Bay Beach (Gjiri i Lalzit), near Hamallaj village (25 km north of Durres). Popular weekend retreat and exclusive wealthy beach area. A small resort can be found here.
  • 5 Portez Beach (Plazhi Portez), Bishti Palles (13 km north of Durres). Nice beach, bar, and wooden bungalows north of Currilat
  • 6 Golem beach (Plazhi Golemit/Mali i Robit), Golem, Mali Robit, Kavaja Rock (Shkembi i Kavajes) (follow SH4 and enter secondary road at Plepat roundabout (SH56, SH85) or continue along SH4 and exit at Golem/Mali Robit exit). This is the main seaside resort south of Durres with long sandy beaches popular among Albanians and foreigners alike. Tirana inhabitants have their beach houses and villas in the area for weekend and summer retreats.

Diving[edit]

Events[edit]

  • Take a look at interesting films from around the world at the annual Durres International Film Summer Festival in early September.
  • Visit the yearly Open Port Festival where the Port of Durres opens to the public featuring various exhibits of historic ships and modern inventions coupled with local entertainment.

Buy[edit]

  • Kokomani Wine
  • Souvenirs

Eat[edit]

  • Bar Restorant Kajser (near King Zog's Villa). it offers a panoramic view of Durres from above. Delicious ice cream combinations including baked ice cream (400 lek), spaghetti, fish and baked lamb.
  • 1 Restaurant Piazza (Restorant Piazza), Rruga Taulantia 1 (near the port), +355 52 237601. 08:00-23:00.
  • 2 Splendid Restaurant, Street Egnatia (from street Adria, toward street Adria; at roundabout 1 st exit onto promenade Egnatia; arrive at promenade Egnatia on the left, you can find Splendid restaurant), +355 692824222. Especially known locally for fish. Everything is fresh, tasty and served in the most professional way. Prices are slightly more than average for Albania, but for the whole experience of eating you get there it's worth every cent.
  • Nepsi restaurant (from Durres railway station, take street Adria toward street J.Ballhysa, make a U-turn to stay on street Adria; at the roundabout, take 2nd exit onto promenade Egnatia. At roundabout, take the 1st exit; bear right onto promenade Taulantia; the road name changes yo street of Currila and there you can find Nepsi restaurant), +355694609111. 07:00-23:30. Restaurant in industrial style near the sea.
  • 3 Sema Restaurant (Depart street Adria toward street J.Ballhysa. Make a U-turn to stay on street Adria, at round about take 2nd exit onto promenade Egnatia. Bear right onto street H.Troplini. Turn right to stay on street H.Troplini. Keep straight onto road. Arrive on the right. There is Sema restaurant.), +355672033224. 07:00-23:59.
  • Pelikan bakery, Street Pavaresia (near Hotel Adriatic), +355683095270. You can eat different sweets.
  • 4 Fly Restaurant, Street Erazmi, +355684058103, . 08:00-23:00. This restaurant has a breathtaking view from the 15th/top floor.
  • 5 Mema House, Taulantia Street (Head east on Adria Street toward J.Ballhysa Street. Make a U-turn to stay on Adria Street. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Egnatia Promenade. At the next roundabout, take the 1st exit and bear right onto Taulantia Promenade), +355697541068, . 08:00-22:00.

Drink[edit]

  • Venetian Tower (Rotonda) bar (on top of the Venetian Tower). It offers a nice view of Durrës and its coastline.
  • 1 788 cocktail bar Durres (Depart street Adria toward street J.Ballhysa, make a U-turn to stay street Adria at aroundabout, take 2nd onto promenade Egnatia. Bear right,and then be right onto street H.Troplini. Turn left onto street Dok Margariti. Turn right onto street De Rada and then immediately turn right onto street Epidamni. Turn left onto street Mosque), +355692121788, . Nice music, great cocktails and that seaside summer breeze. During winter instead, live music, different events and local activities.
  • Bonsai Caffe (from Durrës railway station, go right street Adria, continuing with Martyrs street; welded with Kerol Bar), +355674999111, . 07:00-23:00. A nice selection of drinks and a very welcoming environment.
  • Portiku Wine Bar (from railway station, depart street Adria toward street J.Ballhysa, make a U-turn to stay on street Adria, at roundabout, take 2nd exit onto promenade Egnatia there at roundabout take 1st exit. Turn right at street Epidamni), +355686080666. M-W 09:00-23:30, Th 09:00-23:00, F 09:00-23:45, Sa Su 09:00-00:00.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Hotel Lido Durres, Lagja.2; Rruga Aleksander Goga, +355 52 227941.
  • 2 Hotel Nais, Lagia 1, Rruga Naim Frasheri nr.46 (from the port: 100 meters toward the town center; left on Naim Frasheri street, behind the tower). Check-out: 11:00. An easy to find three-star hotel, just off the main street. Close to the action but quiet. Breakfast is included. Double €40.
  • 3 Hotel Arvi, Rruga Taulantia 16 (Center), +355 52 230403. Check-in: 12:00-22:00, check-out: 07:00-11:00. Single from €60 (2014.jun).
  • 4 Hotel Aragosta, Rruga Taulantia, 71, +355 52 226477, +355 52 232669, +355 68 2058070 (mobile), fax: +355 52 233720, . Double from €67 (2014).
  • 5 Hotel Adriatik, Lagjia 13, Rruga Pavaresia, Plazh Durrës (near the beach), +355 52 260850, fax: +355 52 260855, . From €80 (May 2014).
  • 6 Hotel Pepeto, Mbreti MONUM Nr.3, Rruga Ramazan Jella, +355 52 224190.
  • 7 Arragosta Hotel & Restaurant, Neighborhood 1, street Taulantia, Currila (From railway station depart street Adria toward street J.Ballhysa. Make a U-turn to stay on street Adria. At roundabout, take 2nd exit onto promenade Egnatia. At roundabout take 1st exit. Bear right onto promenade Taulantia. Road name changes to Currila`s street. Turn left onto road.Arrive on the left and there you will find Arragosta Hotel & Restaurant), +355683337050, .

Go next[edit]

  • Tirana (E 40 km). The capital. Trees and mountains surround the city. Mt. Dajt is a popular tourist site for a great view of the city.
  • 2 Lezhe (Lezha, Lezhë) (N 35  km).  — a small city home to Skanderbeg's Tomb, panoramic Lezhe Castle and several renovated churches
  • Fier — Lively seaside city, and only about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) away from the ruins of the ancient Illyrian city of Apollonia. Much of this ancient city still remains buried under the hills.
  • Kruje
  • Velipoje (Velipojë, Velipoja) (N 90  km). Coastal town near Ada Bojana south of Shkoder known for its curative beach sand. The beach is long and wide, and a lot of hotels offer nice rooms. However, the beaches are crowded in August. If you prefer quieter beaches, you should go to Southern Albania
This city travel guide to Durrës is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.