Vlorë: The Complete Guide

Vlorë or Vlora is the third largest city in the country and is situated in Albania’s southwest.

It is located on the Vlorë Bay and the Ceraunian Mountains foothills on the Otranto Strait along the Mediterranean Sea’s Adriatic and Ionian Sea.

It is perfect for those who are searching for a historic beach escape with a taste of Italy in the guise of its local restaurants.

The cities historic fame comes from it being the place that Albania declared its independence in 1912.

Visiting Vlorë for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Vlorë on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

This website uses affiliate links which earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

History of Vlorë

The city was founded as Aulōn as an Ancient Greek colony in Illyria in the 6th century BC. The city was an important port of the Roman Empire and was part of the Province of Epirus Nova.

The city changed hands several times and belonged to Byzantines, Normans, Venetians and Ottomans.

11 Best places to See in Vlorë

This complete guide to Vlorë not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Vlorë and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Vlorë Ethnographic Museum

Vlore Ethnographic Museum 2
The Vlorë  Ethnographic Museum is located in one of the cities oldest houses, a neo-Renaissance house built in the mid-1800’s. Visitors can admire a beautiful collection of about 300 valuable objects showcasing the traditional culture, art, and clothing of the region. The exhibits include an authentic 19th-century waistcoat made of Kanina, some very old carpets […]
Location: Rruga Ceno Sharra, Vlore | Hours: Opening Hours Tuesday-Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Saturday-Sunday 09:00 – 14:00 | Price: 100 Lekë | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Vlorë Ethnographic Museum

Vlorë Museum of Historic Relics

Muzeu Historik Vlorë
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Arianit
Established in in 1962 the Museum of History, also known as the Museum of Historic Relics, is located in the center of Vlorë. Visitors are encouraged to explore archaeology from different historical periods starting from the Bronze Age to today.  The artifacts come from the territory around Vlorë which held a number of ancient cities […]
Location: Rr. 8 Marsi, Vlore, Albania | Hours: 8am - 6Pm | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Vlorë Museum of Historic Relics

Vlore Independence Monument

Vlora Independence Monument
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Arianit
The Independence Monument, is situates in Plaza of the Flag in Vlore. The monument represents Albania’s declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. It monument shows the masterful work of the prominent Albanian sculptors: Muntaz Dhrami, Kristaq Rama and Shaban Hadëri. The most prominent figure, among those in the sculptural bronze collection, is […]
Location: Sheshi i Flamurit Vlorë 9401 Albania | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Vlore Independence Monument

Muradie Mosque in Vlore

Muradie Mosque Vlorë
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Arianit
The Muradie Mosque is located in Vlorë. It was built in 1537 by Mimar Sinan during the rulership of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Sinan was a celebrated Ottoman architects and was connected to the construction of over 300 structures. The structure consists of the main building and the minaret which is 18 meters tall.
Visiting Muradie Mosque in Vlore

Vlorë Museum of National Independence

The National Independence Museum, founded in 1936, is located near the port in the city of Vlorë. It is a small two storey house that Ismail Qemali first raised the Albanian flag in 1912. The house was then the site of the government for its first six months. The museum contains 2 rooms and 2 […]
Location: SH8 Vlorë 9401 Albania | Hours: April- September, Every Day 9:00 – 17:00 October -March, Tuesday - Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM, 10 AM - 2 PM (Sunday) | Price: 100 Lek | Distance: 3.00km
Visiting Vlorë Museum of National Independence

Kanine Castle

Kaninë Castle is situated above the village of Kaninë about 6 KM from Vlorë. The castle was built in the 3rd century BC on the site of an ancient settlement. 100 years later the castle was changed into a fortress town. It would have served as a military post initially for the Roman Empire. In the […]
Location: Kaninë Albania | Distance: 4.10km
Visiting Kanine Castle

Zvernec Monastery

Manastiri Zvernece Vlore
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Altinserani.tecvlore
Zvërnec Island is an island in southern Albania, within the Narta Lagoon. Access to the island is via a wooden bridge,  270m in length. The island is small being is only 430m by 300m. The island is covered with a pine forest and has a rocky shoreline onto the lagoon. The island attracts tourists due to […]
Location: Zvërnec, Albania | Distance: 9.20km
Visiting Zvernec Monastery

Orikum Beach

Okum Beach
© 2024 Andrew Ashton
During summer weekends, a lot of the population of Vlore drive the 5km down to spend the day at the gleaming white beach of Orikum. The beach is made up of good white pebbles and sea is clean and the seabed mirrors the light on a sunny day to give the water an azure hue. […]
Visiting Orikum Beach

Sazan Island Soviet Military Base

Sazani Island
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Visem
Sazan is the largest island in Albania, with an area of 5.8 square kilometres, was a Soviet military base, and perhaps even a chemical weapons plant.  In 2015  it made the newsfollowing decades of silence, when it was eventually opened to the public. You can spend a day pottering through tunnels and bunkers designed to […]
| Website | Distance: 18.60km
Visiting Sazan Island Soviet Military Base


Ruins Byllis Albania
CC BY-SA 4.0 / ShkelzenRexha
Byllis was an ancient city located in the region of Illyria and is located north-east of Vlorë. The city had a dominating position on top of a hill looking over the Vjosa river. Although originally founded by the Illyrian tribe, the Bylliones, in the fourth century BC it was a Greek speaking settlement. Byllis like […]
| Hours: 08.00 - 18.00 | Price: 300 lek | Website | Distance: 21.50km
Visiting Byllis

Lepenice Caves

Written Cave Of Lepenica
CC BY-SA 4.0 / N.Bajrmaj
The Lepenice caves or “Shpella e Shkruar, Lepenicë, are located to the west above the of the village of the same name. It is a karst cave formed on limestone rocks and on its walls there are early drawings of great archaeological value. Discovered after 1970s, it features 19 anthropomorphic figures of people made with […]
Visiting Lepenice Caves

Tours and Activities from Vlorë