Berat Travel Guide

  • Berat
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  • Things to Do
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Berat Things to Do

  • Look for bunkers.

    What most people know about Albania is that there are a lot of bunkers, leftovers from the Cold War, scattered "all over" the country. Most bunkers were built in the -70s on order of Enver Hoxha. The purpose was to use them as a defence line, manned by partisans coming down from the mountains plus every male person who could possibly be able to...

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  • The Gorican Castle ruine.

    If you want to get to the old Illyrian fortification called the Gorica Castle you will have to cross the Gorica Bridge, turn left and head up the hillside until you reach the top.

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  • The Helveti Tekke.

    The Helveti Tekke was built in the 15th century and rebuit in 1782 by Ahmet Kurt Pasha. It belongs to the Khalwati order.The portico has five stone pillars which were taken from the antique town Apollonia, south from Berat. The entrance is decorated with two stars and an inscription in arabic above the door.On the inner walls there are eight...

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  • Bekthashi Festival.

    Every year during the third or fourth week in August a Bektashi festival is held in the Tomorr Mountains. Thousands of pilgrimes go up to the grave of Abaz Aliu for about a week of celebrating.The Bekhtashi order is one of the most prominent mystic orders in Islam.

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  • The Tomorr Mountains National Park.

    To the east and south-east of Berat rises the Tomorr Mountains with its national park. The highest peak, Cuka e Partizanit, reaches a height of 2.416 m. Tomorr is of great importance to the local people with the religous temple that can be found there. Of course there is a story about how Tomorr mountain was created. Legend has it that Tomorr was a...

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  • Narrow streets.

    Inside the fortress area will you find a lot of narrow - or sometimes very narrow - streets. Picturesque, we may say, but not very practical when it comes to move large things. Many streets are also very steep and all of them are covered with cobble stones or marble stones put on edge, so it must be challenging to live in such an area.

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  • " Balkan character" to the houses.

    In many countries in the Balkans you will see the special character on the houses where the upper part is built to potrude out over the lower part. So also in Berat. This of course to give a bit more space inside but the reason might also be, like in for instance Poland and Holland, that you had to pay tax after the width the house occupied along...

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  • The Etnographic Museum.

    The Etnographic Museum sits just off the steep road which goes up to the fortress. The house itself was built at the end of the 18th century. It represents the traditional way of building where the bottom floor was used for storing and such things as pressing olive oil or distilling raki (Berat is famous for its raki!). The living areas were on the...

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  • A brave woman.

    Margarita Tutulani was a young woman active in the anti-nazi resistance during the WWII. She was shot by the Italians at the age of 19. The statue stands in a small green area where the Bulevardi Republika and Rruga Antipatrea connects, and just south of the Cultural House.

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  • The Church of the Dormition of Mary.

    The Church of the Dormition of Mary was rebuilt in 1797 on the foundations of an older church with the same name. The iconostasis is from 1806 and shows icons by the famous painter Onufri.While doing some renovation works in 1968 two very old and valuable manuscripts from the 6th and 9th centuries respectively were found hidden under a stone slab...

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  • Out of reach.

    Due to renovation works being carried out I couldn't get to see the two mosques called the Leaden Mosque (in middle of the main square where buses call) and the Batchelors' Mosque. The former got its name from the lead covering the dome. It was built in 1555. The latter was built in 1827 to be used by the town's unmarried shop assistants.I could...

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  • The striped mountains.

    The mountains behind the Gorican quarters are the Shpirag Mountains. They are unusual in the way that they are very clearly striped, traces from the time when the great inland ice melted some 10.000 years ago.Nowadays one can read the word "NEVER" in capital letters on the slopes. I have read somewhere that during the era of Enver Hoxha the people...

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Berat Hotels

  • Hotel Berati

    Rr. Veli Zaloshnja, Berati Lakes, Berat, 1233, Albania

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 2 out of 5 stars

Berat Restaurants

  • Coffee and raki.

    Close to Hotel and Restaurant Pasarela (at the square in front of the Orthodox church) there is a coffeehouse where I went in for a coffee and a shot of the raki which Berat is so famous for. The coffee was of the small kind that is usual in these countries in the Balkans. But the raki!! It was heavenly, so mild in taste that it was impossible to...

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  • Simple eating arund town

    I had a look round for places to eat. There are plenty – birek shops (esp. near the bus station), pastry shops and restaurants, but none that looked special. (Possibly you can get fish near the river – I don’t know.) The one that seemed most popular with the locals was the “Cuci”, opposite the post office, where you can order, for example,...

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  • Berat, restaurant Mangalem, dinner

    For the two of us, we had the dinner shown on the photo :Veal cotelettes with fries.Salad with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, onions and olivesTarator (almost the same than the Greek tzatziki) : sliced cucumber in yoghurt, sprinkled with olive oil and paprika powder. On the right a special dish, which Albanian name I forgot to write. It is...

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Berat Transportation

  • Bus station.

    The bus station is situated just in front of the football stadium. You will find buses to most places in Albania but perhaps the most important ones are the buses to Tirana. They leave every 30 min between 04.30 and 11.30, and every 40 min between 12.30 and 15.10.When going from Tirana you will have to go the station for the southbound buses. You...

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  • Mini buses.

    There are two "bus stations" in Berat, one of which is just the square between the Leaden Mosque and the Orthodox church. This is the best place to catch the mini buses, but perhaps not full size buses starting from the real bus station since they may be crowded when they arrive here. You pay directly to the conductor on the bus.

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  • Berat-Saranda Transportation

    There is only one connection a day beetwen Berat and the most popoular summer resort of Albania - Saranda. Bus leaves from the central square of Berat (next to Lead mosque) at 8 a.m and reaches Saranda after 7 hours of driving. Ticket costs 800 Leke.

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Berat Shopping

  • njonjo's Profile Photo

    by njonjo Written Jan 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are some souvenirshops in Mangalem quarter. I saw some beautiful wood workings representing old quarters of Berat and the castle. There is a variety of things to look through. Negotiate about the prices.

    Part of Mangalem quarter
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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Berat Local Customs

  • The "evening giro".

    It is very popular among the locals to stroll along the Bulevardi Republika and Shetitorja Osumi surrounding the park. It normally starts around 17 - 17.30 and lasts until ~20.00 - 21.00, or even later depending on what day it is.

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  • “Out of the beaten path” near Kisha e...

    In Kala, the passages that are often used are weed free but you can immediately guess that you are “out of the beaten path” when the alley is green!Photo 1 is a steep alley with stairs, moderately green.Photo 2 is obviously an alley that few use. It might as well be mowed and that would be a lawn!

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  • School visits.

    Both in 2007 and in 2009, we visited Albania in late May. Both times, we noticed that there were often busses loaded with a whole class, visiting museums, historical places or places of interest. That has to be “end of year” travels. We noticed that in Butrint, at Syri i Kalter, at Gjirokaster and here at Onufri museum. On this photo, this was a...

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Berat Warnings and Dangers

  • Holes in the pavement.

    All over Albania you have to look out for holes in the pavement due to the fact that people have stolen the covers to sell the metall.

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  • Steep way up

    The footpath from the city to the citadel is extremely steep and exhausting. The main road up the hill is also steep. Wear good foot ware especially when its raining and slippery. About halfway up Kalase A Tovanxhi there is a small shop. Opposite there is a even steeper short cut up to the citadel.

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  • Gipsy children

    The only drawback of Berati is in the main square where buses and furgons leave. There is quite a significant number of gipsy children (roma? majup?) begging for money (no problem) but also coming up to you and clinging tight to your arm and never letting go. Not dangerous but annoying - and better watch out for your money. A good escape is inside...

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Berat What to Pack

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    by JLBG Written Sep 5, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The houses are built on following levels on the slope of the mountain, as can be seen on photo 1 and 2. Between the houses, alleys climb towards the upper levels.

    At river level, most of these alleys are wide and paved, sometimes with stairs.

    As much they climb, as much they are narrow. Some have rough stairs (photos 3 and 4) but others are almost natural rock with a few half stairs, just to help.

    Good walking shoes are obviously the best choice to visit Berat!

    Mangalem, steep alleys Mangalem, steep alleys Mangalem, steep alleys Mangalem, steep alleys
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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Berat Off The Beaten Path

  • Berat, May the 31st 2007, Robert Schuman...

    We were in Berat on May the 30th. Once back home, I found the following information on the web site of the French Embassy in Tirana :A delegation led by Mr Xavier DE VILLEPIN, former President of the Commission of the Foreign Affairs of the Senate, and Jean- Dominique GIULIANI, President of the Foundation Robert SCHUMAN, also made up of Mrs....

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  • Berat, the mountain slope

    TThe mountain slopes overhanging Berat are living. If you enlarge this photo, you will see that the zig-zag across the picture is actually a narrow path carved in the steep slope of the mountain. If you look carefully, you will see that it is currently used : in the upper parts, several herds of cows can be seen, walking down into the valley.

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  • Berat, carrying wastes out of Kala

    While we were parked at the entrance of the fortress, we were amazed to see two men carrying on a stretcher a heavy load of wastes taken out of the Kala district. That seemed to be very heavy and at one moment, they put their stretcher on the soil to have a rest (second photo). And a few minutes after, they took it again to carry it further away....

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Berat Favorites

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  • Wine making.

    Albania has a very long history of wine making, in fact one of Europe's longest. Already Pliny the Elder, who lived in the 1st century, talked about the Albanian wines, and in a very positive way. Berat and Korca stand out as the best regions. The most famous vine yards around Berat are Cobo and Luani.I post two links to the Cobo winery here, and...

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  • Three museum zones.

    Berat has neighbourhoods that are declared as museum zones: Kala, Gorica and Mangalem. Kala is the fortress area with its inhabitants, Mangalem is the town centre on the same side of the river as Kala. In Mangalem you will find most of the sights, like the mosques. Here you will also find most of the hotels and service, like the bus stations and a...

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  • The Purple Codex was found in Berat.

    Berat's period of documentation began with the writing of the Purple Codex in the 6th century. It is one of the oldest remaining books of evangelical literature in the world, written with silver letters on red parchment. The Codex contains two gospels on 190 pages. Unti the middle of the last century the gospels were used once a year, on the day of...

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Explore Deeper into Berat
The cannon.
Things to Do
The viewpoint.
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The Church of St George.
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The Red Mosque.
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The White Mosque.
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The Trinity Church.
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The Onufri Museum.
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The fortress.
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A war memorial.
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How to find the objects.
Favorites
The Dervish Lodge.
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The King Mosque.
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The Medieval Centre.
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The Edward Lear Art Gallery
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Money-changing shops
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Street life
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Berat, Views from hotel Mangalem
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restaurant Mangalem, breakfast
Restaurants
City cleaning
Local Customs
Berat, Kala, Kisha e Shën Mërisë, Onufri museum
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Berat, Kala, Kisha e Shën Triada
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Berat, Kala, Kisha e Shën Kollit
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Berat, Kala, Kisha Shën Mëri Vllaherna
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Berat, Kala, flag tower
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Berat, Kala, acropolis and white mosque
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Berat, Kala, near Kisha e Shën Todrit
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Berat, Mangalem, Vrionis house, pasha’s harem
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Mangalem, narrow alleys, 1988 and 2007
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Narrow and steep alleys, 2009
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Berat, Xhami e Beqareve, the fresques
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New minaret in front of Xhami e Beqareve?
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Berat, Gorica
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Berat, Bridge over Osum river
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The Red Mosque
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The Ottoman Bridge across the Orsum River
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The White House of Mangalem
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Walk through Gorica Streets
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The Citadel
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Berat, Margarita Tutulani.
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Berat, Vrionis house
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Map of Berat

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