Hotels, motels and where to sleep
Restaurant, taverns and where to eat
Cultural (and not so cultural) events
Interesting information and useful tips
Location: Berat, Berat County
current citadel is largely from the 13th century construction under
Despot of Epirus, Michael Angelus Comnenus
Entrance Fee: free
Lodging and Hotels:
295, Gorica, Berat,
Tel. (+355) 693064429
Berat Castle is a massive medieval citadel
situated above a village of Berat in the Berat County. You can get
here by taking a bus from Tirana that lasts for 3 hours. The
entrance fee to the Berat Castle is free. It contains several
mosques and Christian churches including Church of Saint Mary, the
largest in Berat Citadel.
The strategic location of the
castle have seen several military fortifications on the same spot.
Earliest citadel built here was a wooden fortress of the Illyrian
chieftain in the 4th century BC. During Roman invasion castle was
burned down by the advancing army and subsequently reconstructed. It
was strengthened by Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in the fifth
century and another reconstruction was undertaken by Emperor
Justinian I in the sixth century. However much of today's appearance
Berat Castle owes to Despot of Epirus, Michael Angelus Comnenus,
cousin of the Byzantine Emperor who increased the size of the
defences in the 13th century. Besides numerous churches also
contains remains of the Muslim mosque that served Turkish garrison
stationed here after local lands were conquered by the Ottomans.
Berat Ethnographic Museum
Entrance Fee: 200 leke
Open: winter: 9am- 4pm Tue- Sat, 9am- 2pm Sun
9am- 1pm and 4- 7pm Tue- Sat, 9am- 2pm Sun
Museum is situated below the walls of the Berat Castle in the 18th
century Ottoman house. It contains a large collection of traditional
Albanian clothes, tools and other items used by everyday people. You
can get a brochure and a guided tour around the Ethnographic Museum.
Berat Onufri Museum
Entance Fee: 200 leke
Open: winter: 9am- 4pm
summer: 9am- 1pm and 4- 7pm
Onufri Museum is a museum of local arts and
history. It is situated in the church of the Dormition of Saint Mary
(Kisha Fjetja e Shen Merlse). Before the country was conquered Kala
region of Berat was predominantly Christian neighbourhood, however
forceful conversion forced many Christians either to convert to
Islam or to flee the village. During Medieval period Berat had over
20 churches, but after the conquest of Ottoman army most of them
were destroyed. This church was one of the few exceptions. It houses
a collection of art work through out much of the year, but
occasionally it is used for Christian service.
Mangalem old town area (Below the Kala, south of the river). a
traditionally Muslim area
Gorica old town area (Below the Kala,
north of the river). A traditionally Christian area.
Numerous Byzantine Churches, dating from the 13th century.
Mary church (Kisha e Shën Mari Vllahernes), next from Rrugica
Panajot Haxhimihali (within the Kala). St. Mary of Blachernae
Church of St Demetrius (Kisha e Shën Mitrit) (within the
Church of St. Theodore (Kisha e Shën Todrit) (Kala
Church of St. Sophia (Kisha e Shën Sofisë)
(within the Kala). edit
Dormition Cathedral (Center of the Kala).
Dormition of St. Mary Cathedral.
Holy Trinity Church (within the
Kala). Holy Trinity Church.
Saint Michael Church (Kisha e Shën
Mëhilli), Rruga e Shën Mëhilli. St. Michael's Church.
of St. Bitri (Katedralja e Shen Bitrit), Rruga Antipatrea and Rruga
Several Mosques from the Ottoman era (starting from 1417).
Sahatit Mosque (Clock Mosque, Xhamia e Sahatit), Rruga Xhamia e
Kuqe Mosque (Red Mosque, Xhamia e Kuqe), Rrugica Mbrica
(South part of the Kala).
Bachelors' Mosque (Xhamia e Beqareve),
Mbret Mosque (King Mosque, Xhamia Mbret), Rruga
Tekke of Helveti (Teqeja e Helvetive). Halveti
Lead Mosque (Xhamia e Plumbit), Rruga Gaqi Gjika. Lead
Tomorri Mountain (Parku Kombëtar
Mali i Tomorri) (20 km east of Berat. Can be reached with 4x4
vehicles). A national park. - At mountain peak a Bektashi Temple is
Bogova Waterfall (Ujëvara e Bogoves), Bogovë village (30
km south of the city, between Berat and Corovode.).
Canyon (58 km south of Berat. Skrapar District). One of the most
beautiful rivers in Albania passing through canyons as high as 100
meters. Outdoor Albania offers a 3 hour rafting experience inside
After being burned down by the Romans in 200 B.C., the walls were
strengthened in the 5th century under Roman Emperor Theodosius II to
protect from Barbarian incursions into the Balkans. They were
subsequently rebuilt during the 6th century under the Emperor
Justinian I and again in the 13th century under the Despot of
Epirus, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, cousin of the Byzantine Emperor.
This last phase can be seen as a Monogram formed by red bricks set
in a wall of the castle. The castle was under the rule of John
Komnenos Asen in the mid-14th century The main entrance, on the
north side, is defended by a fortified courtyard and there are three
The fortress of Berat in its present
state, even though considerably damaged, remains a magnificent
sight. The surface that it encompasses made it possible to house a
considerable portion of the cities inhabitants. The buildings inside
the fortress were built during the 13th century and because of their
characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments. The
population of the fortress was Christian, and it had about 20
churches (most built during the 13th century) and only one mosque,
for the use of the Turkish garrison (of which there survives only a
few ruins and the base of the minaret). The churches of the fortress
were damaged through years and only some have remained.
Castle is depicted on the reverse of the Albanian 10 lekë coin,
issued in 1996, 2000 and 2013
Take a Furgon/Van from Tirana to Berat (cost: 500 lek).
From other towns make a connection via Fier (200-250 lek). Buses
also run from Tirana to Berat (cost: 400 lek). To Sarandë (via
Gjirokastër), departs 8AM and 2PM daily, 6 hours (1000 lek). Buses
to major towns in Albania from Berat. Check the board at the bus
station for destinations and departure times.
The town is small enough to be toured by foot. Taking a walk on the
footpaths of the old town is a must!
Accommodation is mainly in the form of private rooms as many
traditional house owners have turned their localities into B&B.
Hotels are also available.
Berat Backpackers, Rruga Nikolla
Buhuri 295, Gorica, ☎ +355 693064429. Berat's hostel. Prices from
Hotel Mangalemi, Mangalem District, ☎ +355 32 232 093.
Hotel Nasho Vruho, Rr. Llambi Guxhumani, Mangalem District, ☎
+355 32 232355.
Lorenc Guesthouse & Hostel, Stiljano Bandilli
Road, Porta 18 (cross the old bridge of Gorica, there is the square
Alfred Gimitiku and you will see the Road), ☎ +355 696337254. Nice
private guesthouse in an old quarter of Gorica. It's run by Lorenc
and his mother, feels like home. €12.
Hotel Palma, Rruga Santa
Lucia (across the street from the Bachelors' Mosque, near the
bridge), ☎ +355 32 232143. Comfortable air-conditioned room with
king size bed for €30 per night, buffet breakfast included. Some of
the staff speak English.
Rice with turkey-cock (Pilaf me kaposh deti)
Mont Blanc pastry
named after the white peak of Tomorri Mt
Try the delicious figs
and olives of the area.
There is a traditional restaurant just inside the Kala area that
does very good food.
Guva Mangalem Hotel-Bar-Restaurant, Rruga
Llambi Guxhumani, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Average. - Rooms:
Air Conditioning, Room Service, Internet, Bathroom
Restaurant (across the Osum River). Delicious food with an excellent
Try traditional Raki made from walnuts (Raki
me arra), and peculiar juice made from roses.
Features locally made wine and a winery tour.
Traditional souvenirs include stone
carving, wood cheeping, and textile products.