Korçë (Korça) is the principal city and an important cultural and industrial centre in the district of Korçë in Southeastern Albania.
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175 km from Tirana and approximately 40 km from Pogradec, Korça is the eighth most populated city in Albania. It is located in the south-eastern Albania and it stands 850 m above the sea level. It is full of life during the summer when you can find couples and families strolling through the city's main park, Parku Rinia. Besides strolling around the great city full of history and cultural sites, you can also hike to the top of the beautiful mountain Morava and view the city and its surrounding landscape.
- 1 Visit Korça Region Info Center, Shën Gjergji Boulevard, ☏ +355 8225 7803, +355 6720 34403, fax: +355 82 25 7803, email@example.com. Info center offers walking tours of the city, and skiing, hiking, and biking tours.
An interesting, though slow, way to get to Korça from Tirana is to take the train. The train leaves at 06:00 from Tiranë. Because the train makes a big detour via Durrës, it arrives no less than four hours later at Elbasan, about 35 km from Tiranë, so it should be possible to make a shortcut. The price is very favourable (295 lek). The second-hand German carriages are OK, though for some unclear reason all windows are damaged, apparently by bullets. The scenery is beautiful, and until October it is possible to have the window wide open.
Vans (furgons) to Tiranë depart every 20-30 min from the fork of the main road on the north.
Furgons to Voskopojë depart at 07:30, 10:00, 13:00, 15:00 from the fire station.
Buses going to Sarandë depart early in the morning from the 1 central bus depot, across from bazaar.
From Korçë to Pogradec, it is a short trip by furgon. There is also a bus connection with Berat.
The easiest way to arrive to Korça is by car. If you depart from Tirana, you can choose between 2 different ways, the old road and the new one, from the Elbasan Highway.
Korçë is surrounded by mountains and nearby natural parks.
You can go by furgons around. But the easiest way is by car.
Urban buses are available but the city is walkable and renting a bicycle is also possible and you can go throughout the city and see lots of places.
Even though there are a lot of possibilities to visit the city and the places nearby, most preferable is strolling around the city by foot. This way you can visit a lot of churches, historical and cultural places that are close to each-other. You can use car and buses to go in different parks and villages that are close to the city of Korça (Voskopoja 21 km from Korça, Dardhë 18 km from Korça and Morava Mountain 18 km from the city.)
In the city:
- 1 National Museum of Medieval Art (Muzeu i Artit Mesjtar Shqiptar), Bulevardi Fan Noli, 7001 Korçë (Bulevardi Fan Noli, about 1.2 km east from the tourist information, across from hospital, road toward village Mborje. (Note a new location since 2021.)), ☏ +355 068 412 7575. M-F 08:00-14:30, 17:00-19:00; Sa Su 09:00-12:00, 17:00-19:00. Fantastic collection; if the door is locked during opening hours, ring the buzzer.
- 2 Korça Brewery (Birra Korça), JQ6R+F7M, Fan Noli Boulevard, Korçë, ☏ +355 082 254 033, firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-00:00. Famous throughout Albania, sponsors a week-long Beer Festival in early August.
- 3 Archaeological Museum, 19, Rruga Mihal Grameno, Korçë, ☏ +355 067 207 6748, email@example.com. Daily 09:00-19:00. Contains around 1200 artifacts mainly from the Prehistoric period.
- 4 Gjon Mili Museum of Photography (Romanian House), Konferenca e Pezës (off Shën Gjergji Boulevard). Tu-Su 09:00-14:00, 17:00-19:00. With an exhibit of 240 photographs and interactive spaces, the Gjon Mili Museum shows off the work of one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, born in Korça in 1904.
- 5 Bratko Museum, Boulevard Fan Noli 57, Korça. A museum dedicated to Asian art. 100 lek.
- 6 First Albanian School & Museum of Education (Muzeum Kombëtar i Arsimit), 10 Dhjetori (off Shën Gjergji Boulevard). Tu-Su 09:00–14:00; 17:00–20:00. This museum is located in the building where the first secular Albanian-language school opened in 1887. Exhibits show information about the school, Mësonjëtorja, and about the Albanian language.
- 7 French Lyceum (Albanian National Lyceum), Sotir Gura Street.
- 8 Martyrs' Cemetery (Varrezat e Dëshmorëve), Konferenca e Labinotit.
- 9 French Military Cemetery, Rilindasit Boulevard. open 24 hours. It has 640 crosses. They mark the graves of the French soldiers that died there in the conflicts of the First World War.
- 10 Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral (Katedralja Othodhokse “Ringjallja e Krishtit”), Demokracia Boulevard (in the town center). is the main Albanian Orthodox church in Korçë. It is painted in pink, blue and brown. The cathedral was built in 1995. A previous cathedral in Korçë named after St. George was destroyed by the Communist authorities in 1968.
- New library and Art Gallery
Nearby the city:
- Pustec is home to Prespa National Park and multiple medieval cave churches.
- Small Prespa lake and Trenit cave
- Voskopoja (Moscopole) - village remnants of a 17th city of large cultural importance in Albania
- Historic and alpine villages of Dardhë, Boboshticë, and Vithkuq.
- Take part in the Byrek Day (Festa e Lakrorit) showcasing local delicacies
- Go for a walk in the evening as part of the traditional Xhiro (walkabout)
- Go for a hike in the Morava Mountains
- Visit the 1 Fir of Drenovë National Park.
- Celebrate Earth Day Festival in Dardha village.
- Attend the carneval (Karnavalet e Korçës) in June
- Beer Fest, week-long event in early August with many concerts and visitors from across Albania and beyond
- 2 Andon Zako Çajupi Theatre.
The famous 1 Bazaar of Korça has been renovated. You can find souvenirs shops there, along with fruits and vegetables market every day (until 13:00).
You can also have a walk on the pedestrian street or on the main street (Republic boulevard).
- Try Lakror, a type of byrek with spinach, onions and tomatoes or lakror with pumpkin.
- Teru (formerly Peking Restaurant), Midhi Kostani (Near the Grand Hotel).
Kërnacka, are some types of Albanian croquettes made with different types of meat. If you visit Korça, you should definitely try them out with a bottle of beer.
- Raki from mulberry fruit
- Birra Korça local beer
- 1 Hotel Kocibelli (Formerly Hotel Turizëm in the communist days), Shën Gjergji Boulevard (Main Square) (just north of the bus station), ☏ +355 69 981 7654, firstname.lastname@example.org. Refurbished, quite clean. Rooms are not as modern as façade, but OK. Free Internet. Breakfast included. English-speaking receptionists.
- Guest House Bujtina Leon, Shpresa Palla 3 (behind the cathedral, next to the Greek consulate), ☏ +355 694366504. Very nice little traditional hotel, ideal for relaxation. Renovated, offers flat screen TV to every room and breakfast in a beautiful room of wood and stone by the fireplace. The only hotel so far that offers online booking. €45.
- 2 EcoHostel Stars of sunrise (Stars of Sunrise Hostel), Foqon Postoli, no 22 (10 minutes walking from the bus station. Reach the central place (tourist info, theater...) at the beginning of the pedestrian street. Go to the cathedral at the end of this pedestrian street. Turn left and walk until Kinema building on your right side. Turn at the second street on the right (Rruga Stephan Andrea)), ☏ +355 697 724 468, email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Located in a house with a beautiful garden, it’s a modern and cosy place, between a hostel and B&B, next to Doctor Polena house. Beds in a dorm and a double room are available, or you can camp in the garden or park your campervan. Local products are cooked by Aurora at breakfast. Snacks are also available at the bar. They're also willing to share lots of travel advice for Albania. €11-45.
- Hotel Roberto Rruga Teli Samsuri (1.9 km from the center)
- Hotel Bujtina e Bardhe (Hotel White Inn) Rruga Spiro Ballkameni, Mbrapa Katedrales. (350m from the center). Free parking available at the hotel. Hotel Bujtina e Bardhe in Korçë features a bar and a shared lounge. The air-conditioned rooms provide a mountain view and come with a wardrobe and free WiFi.
- 3 IN Gallery Hotel & Spa, The Republic Boulevard, 1, ☏ +355 069 520 2000.
- 4 Bujtina Oxhaku, Thoma Huaja Street, 1, ☏ +355 069 403 7021.
- Greece (Γενικό Προξενείο Κορυτσάς), Pavllo Katro Nr.4 (behind the cathedral, big blue-painted building)), ☏ +355 82 252 888, +355 69 368 9855 (Emergencies), fax: +355 82 245 052, firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-15:00.
- Romania, Bulevardi "Republika", rruga "Teni Konomi", ☏ +355 69 202 4271, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Honorary Consulate (Does not provide consular services. Instead, Romanian citizens in need of assistance should contact the embassy in Tirana.)
- Dardha - this mountainous village lies 20 km from Korça at an altitude of 1,344m ASL. Dardha is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. In the winter, it attracts skiiers while rest of the year it is suitable for hikers.
- Historic and alpine villages of Dardhe, Moscopole (Voskopoje in Albanian), Boboshtice, and Vithkuq
- Pogradec - overshadowed by its glitzy neighbours on the Macedonian side of the lake, the town of Pogradec has experienced a revival.
- 1 Prespa National Park
- Pustec is home to Prespa National Park and multiple medieval cave churches.
- Kastoria, Greece
- Kozani, Greece
- Ohrid, Makedonia