How To Spend A Day In Berat, Albania
Located just south of central Albania, Berat is known for its immense history and a place of refuge. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it’s also regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Albania. The Berat castle stands tall above the white-washed houses below, the city is well worth visiting.
One of the most authentic places in Albania, here are our suggestions on how to spend a day in Berat.
Is Albania's Berat Worth Visiting?
Yes, Berat is definitely worth the trip if you’re vacationing in Albania. The picturesque city offers something different from Tirana and it’s only 2 hours away!
Famously known as ‘the city of a thousand windows’ because of the long windows on its houses, Berat is a truly unique place. Situated on the side of a mountain, the city overlooks the Osum River and is inundated with beautiful historic buildings.
Make your way up the winding cobblestones through the preserved white-washed houses, past the cathedral and mosques and take in the wonder of the Berat castle at the top. The views there are unmatched, with the city hidden in a forest of pine trees overlooking the Osum Valley.
Berat is especially worth visiting if you’re an animal lover. Wild cats roam the streets and historic ruins, ready to be captured in the perfect pic of your travels.
How To Spend A Day In Berat
If we’re honest, you could quite easily spend more than a day in Berat, but we’ve managed to squeeze its best sights into a single-day itinerary for you. After all, there is plenty to see in Albania, such as Vlora and Shkoder!
If you only have time to do one thing whilst visiting Berat in Albania, this is it. The castle is what the city is most famous for and well worth the visit on your vacation. This is the biggest fortress in the country, and the climb up Gorica will leave you with breathtaking views.
Still in great condition despite being hundreds of years old, Berat Castle contains a plethora of sights for you to gaze upon. Wonder around the stone streets inside its walls and see houses that are almost a thousand years old standing next to Byzantine churches.
What’s even more interesting is that some locals actually live within Berat Castle, converting some of the structures to be habitable! If you’re there in the evening, we definitely recommend eating in one of the restaurants; it's unlikely you’ll find a better view to dine with.
Ensure you have some time to visit the Holy Trinity Church and St. Mary of Blachernae Church as there are some of the most beautiful structures.
The climb to the peak is long and steep, and wandering around its grounds requires a good few hours. However, the hard work and time commitment is absolutely worth it.
Onufri Iconography Museum
Out of the museums in Albania’s Berat, this is the one you should visit if you’re short on time. The Onufri Iconography Museum is a collection of relics from the religious buildings across the city.
What’s even better is that the museum is on the castle grounds, so you don’t have to go very far to see it.
Not only does the museum contain history, but the building itself is hundreds of years old. Located in the Church of Dormition of St Mary, you’ll be guided to the remains of the Byzantine cathedral where the original altar stands.
The religious relics are then on display for you to wander around, learning all about Albania’s important history.
Explore Mangalem And Gorica
Back down the summit, the city is divided into two sections: Mangalem and Gorica. In years gone by, the two weren’t just divided by the river. The Muslim population of Berat occupied Mangalem whilst the Christians lived in Gorica.
Nowadays the two aren’t that different, but they make a scenic walk. Truly embrace the ‘city of a thousand windows’ up close to the iconic buildings as well as the Old Town landmarks and churches.
Step over the Gorica Bridge to find the intriguing 18th-century architecture on the other side, exploring a different side of Berat culture.
The beautiful Berat is a must-do when visiting Albania, and hopefully, we’ve convinced you why.
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