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Elbasan is a city and a municipality in the middle of Albania. Its central location is the reason it is sometimes referred to as "Kërthiza e Shqipërisë" (The Bellybutton of Albania).

Understand[edit]

Elbasan Castle

Elbasan is a key city for visitors to Korca, Pogradec and North Macedonia. All the travellers from Tirana or other parts of Albania must pass through Elbasan to arrive in North Macedonia through the Qafë-Thana border.

Get in[edit]

About 45 minute ride from Tirana with the bus through the semi-finished new motorway that is still being built as in 2018. Firstly, you have to go to the Terminal to take the bus that is in front of Faculty of Economics University of Tirana, in the "Qyteti Studenti" area, "Arben Broci" street. The new motorway was opened in 2012 and now you can go from Tirana to Elbasan much faster. Beside the new motorway you can see the beautiful landscapes. Elbasan is 54.7 km away from Tirana International Aeroport. You can take a taxi from there.

Get around[edit]

You can walk or you can take a taxi.Taxis are located close to the main square at the center of the city. All the main important places to visit in Elbasan are located near to the city center, you can only take a walk and visit.

  • The Castle is in the heart of the city.
  • The Mosque is in the heart of the Castle and the other Mosque is in the city center.

See[edit]

Naziresha Mosque
  • The Elbasan Castle is right at the city centre. Only two ancient walls remain but the area inside is full of old houses and famous personalities houses, cobblestone streets, and an excellent restaurant. One castle wall is centred around the impressive sahati (clock tower).
  • Castle of Elbasan The two-thousand-year-old Castle of Elbasan, a Roman construction built as early as the 3rd century B.C. Foreigners in the 800s noted that cities like Elbasan no longer existed in Europe. Skampis, as this fortress-town was once called, was founded in 1466 by two strikingly different leaders: the Roman emperor Justinian and Sultan Mehmet the Second.
  • Elbasan Ethnographic Museum - Located in the centre of the city, not far from the Castle of Elbasan, this museum is housed in a traditional two-story 18th century house that tells of the culture, folklore and lifestyle in this medieval city.
  • Scampa Theatre-is the culture cult of Elbasan, in the entrance of it is a library.
  • Shefqet Vërlaçi's house, he was a deputy and a member of the headship of Elbasan who supported the Albanian Independence in 1912.
  • The first professional Albanian education school ever opened in Albania in 1909, Normalja Elbasanit. The intellectuals that came out of that school were lay out all around the Albanian areas spreading knowledge and giving Albanian language lessons. Now its the Pedagogical school.


  • “Kostandin Kristoforidhi” house (started as a museum in 1978) - The house where the scholar Konstandin Kristoforidhi was born. Kristoforidhi is well-known in Albania for having set the basis of unification of the two Albanian dialects into a national language. The house doesn't work yet as a museum and isn't visitable on the inside although discussions are being made to turn it into a museum.
  • Elbasan Arena has a modern architecture. There are over 400 parking spaces, 2 restaurants, 1 conference room and a restaurant for V.I.P. The stadium has a capacity of 15,000 seats. You must have an ID card to enter the stadium.
Elbasan Arena Stadium
  • 1 Elbasan Castle, Elbasan City Center. Elbasan Castle You can take a break at Skampa Caffe that is well-known for its historical structure. In the enter of the castle are two water sources.

Do[edit]

  • Take a stroll down the wide brick boulevard leading from the center of town past one of the castle walls and the clock tower. Most evenings right after dusk the boulevard is full of many Elbasan residents out for a nightly walk.
  • Visit the Plane Tree and the ruins of the Basilica Take a dip on the curative thermal waters of Llixha and visit the caves and waterfalls of Gramsh
  • Stop at one of the picturesque villages of Gjinar and Stebleve.
  • Visit Krasta mountain that is known for its fresh air, the plants and the nature.
  • 1 Hike along Via Egnatia. Via Egnatia was a road constructed by the Romans in the 2nd century BC.
  • Visit the numerous Belsh Lakes near Belsh and take part in the annual Summer Day celebration in mid-March near the Dumreja Forest (to the North-East from the town).

Buy[edit]

  • Traditional costumes
  • Postcards of the city
  • Souvenirs with Elbasan castle carved in stones.

You can find them in a shop close to the city center and near to Scampa theatre.

Eat[edit]

  • Bugaçe, a traditional Elbasan breakfast roll found nowhere else in Albania. Smothered in butter and with a dash of salt, this roll is delicious but not for those watching their cholesterol.
  • Buke me qofte a traditional food made in various kiosks in the city.
  • Bollokume, another Elbasan speciality rarely found elsewhere in Albania. It is essentially a large sugar biscuit. While sold in stores all over the city, the best are always the freshly baked warm cookies.
  • Try the traditional Tavë Elbasani, Fërgesë Elbasani, tavë kosi and other yummy specialities.
  • Trilece at the restaurant across from the clock tower is especially good.
  • Kompeka is a traditional desert in Elbasan. You can try this delicious food in the first floor of Hotel Skampa, where is a restaurant.
  • Revani is also a traditional delicious desert.
  • The tallest building in Elbasan, one block from the centre and easily identifiable, has a rotating restaurant/bar on the top floor. If for nothing else, go for the view.

Drink[edit]

  • Cokollatë e zezë (black chocolate). It's like hot chocolate, but almost as thick as pudding and eaten with a spoon.
  • Ashure. A sweet pudding-like drink made with corn and nuts.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Elbasan Backpackers, +355 69 621 3789. This small, family-run hostel actually feels more like a home-stay. As March 2021 there are 2 buildings for guests: A dorm building with 8 beds and a small shed functioning as private room. Wifi available. Communal kitchen (outdoors), shower/WC (outdoors). The family lives on the premises and breakfast is served at the family's terrace. The host (mother) doesn't speak much English but there's always someone around to translate (the son, Eduart, is fluent in English and French). Dorm bed 850 lek.

Hotel Vila Imperial - 450 m from the centre. Hotel Vila Imperial features a bar, terrace and free WiFi. 069 432 7991

Hotel Guri - 500 m from the centre. Featuring room service, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The air-conditioned rooms provide a garden view and come with a desk and free WiFi.

Antique House Elbasan - 650 m from the centre. Antique House Elbasan has a balcony, free WiFi, a garden, as well as a terrace.

You can sleep at a Couchsurfer's house for free. Albanians are very generous and good hosts.

Connect[edit]

Wireless Internet is widely available in cafés and restaurants throughout the city, although it's a good idea to ask if one is available before you sit down. Free public WiFi is also available around the city through Albtelecom.

Several private phone calling shops with long-distance calling are available.

Mobile telephony providers provide 3G and 4G internet telephony.

Go next[edit]

  • Sopot - definite form Sopoti (Albanian: Sopoti), is a small region in north-east Albania. It is also a village (Prrenjas municipality) and mountain with the same name.
  • Pogradec
  • Struga, North Macedonia
  • Berat
  • Durrës
  • Tiranë
  • Korçë


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