Durrës Historic Walking Tour

Amphitheatre Of Durres Albania
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Jed Horne

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As Durrës has been inhabited for almost 3000 years there is so much to see. The birthplace of emperors, visited by apostles and full of legends old ruins, from a flourishing period.

The city with its broad beaches and mild climate, is also one of the biggest seaports on the Adriatic coast, the city of famous musicians and poets, old quarters alive with vibrant and trendy bars and modern buildings.

Venetian Tower

Durres Castle Ventian Tower Albania
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Musli Berisha

Start the day with a coffee at the top of  the Venetian Tower.

In the 15th century Durrës was one of the possessions of the Republic of Venice. At the time the  city was under threat, from the Ottoman Empire, they extended the defenses by building this tower, and since then its been called the  Venetian Tower.

There’s a cafe located inside it now and you can climb the very steep steps carefully to see the view from up top and enjoy a drink while you’re up there.

In 1939 the castle was also the base of Albanian patriots who were delaying the advance of the Italian army.

Read more about Durrës Castle

Aleksandër Moisiu Museum

Ethnographic Museum Of Durrës
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Andis Rado

Walk along the outside of the city walls, until you find the first break in the walls. Turn left through the walls and left again to enter Rruga Kolonel Tomson. On your left you should see the Aleksandër Moisiu Museum.

In 1914 Kolonel Tomson was the Dutch military commander of the newly created International Gendarmerie peacekeeping force in the Principality of Albania. He was killed during fighting in Durrës on 15 June 1914.

Aleksandër Moisiu was a actor of international acclaim and was born in this house. The Museum is partly an the Ethnographic Museum of Durrës and partly a exhibition about the life of Aleksandër Moisiu. It is worth visiting the museum to also see the building itself which is a Ottoman structure of beautiful architecture.

Location: Rruga Kolonel Tomson Durrës Albania
Read more about Aleksandër Moisiu’s House-Museum

Amphitheater of Durrës

Amphitheatre Of Durres Albania
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Jed Horne

After leaving the Aleksandër Moisiu Museum you continue along the inside of the wall to get to the Amphitheaterof Durrës.

The Amphitheater of Durrës is the remains of a 20,000-seat 2nd-century Roman amphitheater. It was built by Emperor Trajan and is the largest Roman Amphitheater in the Balkans

There is also a Byzantine chapel in the amphitheater has several beautiful mosaics to see.

Just above Amphitheater, the one of the towers of the city walls. This is a great viewing point to look over the city.

Location: Rr e Kalasë | Hours: 9am-7pm Apr–mid-Oct, to 6pm mid-Oct–Mar | Price: 200 lekë
Read more about Durrës Amphitheatre

Xhamia E Madhe

Mosque In Durrës
CC BY-SA 4.0 / GentiBehramaj

From the Amphitheater walk to the north east to the large square, Qendra e Durrësit (Literally Center of Durrës), it is also called Sheshi Liria(Freedom Square).

The mosque overlooks the central square of Durrës where locals often sit and congregate.

The mosque is a new one, built in 1931 on the place of the older ottoman mosque. It was the largest mosque in the Balkans and was built by Italian architects.

Closed during the communist reign and turned into a youth center it was opened again as a mosque in 1993.

Location: Rruga Aleksander Goga Durrës Albania
Read more about Durrës Great Mosque

King Zog Royal Villa

Royal Villa Of Durres
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Andis Rado

This is an optional detour to see the summer residence of King Zog. It is about 1.5 km uphill walk! To the north of the Mosque you will find Rruga Karl Topia, head up the road which turns into Rruga Gjergj Komnino and Rruga Kont Urani. Basically when you come to a junction choose the road that goes uphill!

The building was built in 1926 and was used as the summer palace by King Zog I and the Albanian Royal family.

Although the villa is secluded and is surrounded by thick walls almost making it impossible to penetrate, you can still enjoy the external beauty from outside and also enjoy the view of the city from there.

Slightly further up the road is the Faro de Durrës, which serves as a good viewing platform of the bay and of the Palace.

Location: Vila e Zogut Albania Rruga Kont Urani 34 2000, Albania
Read more about Royal Villa of Durrës

Forum & Roman Baths

Byzantine Market Square In Durres
CC BY-SA 4.0 / GentiBehramaj

Just to the north of Qendra e Durrësit along Rruga Aleksander Goga lies the Roman baths and Forum of Durres.

This used to be the Roman Byzantine center of the ancient city of Dyrrhachium.  There are a number of  Corinthian columns in a semi circle.  Although not in a great state, they are free to see!

Location: Rruga Aleksander Goga, Durrës, Albania
Read more about Durrës Byzantine Forum

Well of Tophane

Well Tophanes Durres
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ardit Ajdini

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