HomeTravel15 Finest Issues To Do in Gjirokaster (High Sights and Actions)

15 Finest Issues To Do in Gjirokaster (High Sights and Actions)

There are such a lot of unbelievable issues to do in Gjirokaster, it’s probably the most underrated locations in Albania. It’s a small city, and whereas it’s fairly and quaint, there’s lots occurring.

Situated within the south of Albania, Gjirokaster is ideally based mostly near the perfect coastal cities and a few of the major points of interest of the nation. If you happen to’re planning a visit to Albania, Gjirokaster ought to undoubtedly be in your record of locations to go to.

If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Gjirokaster, then learn on for my record of high issues to see on this stunning city.

Finest Issues To Do in Gjirokaster

If you happen to want some inspiration for issues to see in Gjirokaster, you’ve come to the best place. Under, is my record of probably the most enjoyable issues I did throughout my time there. Whether or not you like historical past, nature, meals, drink, or absorbing a brand new tradition, you’re certain to seek out one thing on this record for you.

1. Discover Gjirokaster on a Strolling Tour

Gjirokaster bazaar

A strolling tour is an incredible strategy to get to know a brand new vacation spot, and this 3-hour strolling tour is among the greatest issues to do in Gjirokaster.

The tour affords a unbelievable combination of a few of the points of interest of Gjirokaster, in addition to the chance to move off the overwhelmed observe. You’ll discover the Outdated Bazaar which lies beneath the partitions of Gjirokaster fort and discover attractive cobbled streets and a few of the oldest homes in Gjirokaster.

The tour continues by means of a few of the oldest neighborhoods within the city earlier than heading to the well-known Ali Pasha bridge. This 200-year-old viaduct introduced water all the best way up the mountain to the fort. It’s among the finest issues to see in Gjirokaster – it’s a powerful piece of engineering.

Be part of this wonderful day tour whenever you first arrive in Gjirokaster to get to know your means round and study slightly in regards to the historical past of this magical place.

2. Horseback Driving in Vjosa Nationwide Park

explore Vjosa National Park

Vjosa Nationwide Park is among the most stunning locations to go to in Gjirokaster. It’s centered across the Vjosa River, which is the final wild river in Europe.

Vjosa Nationwide Park is stuffed with stunning hills, outdated bridges crossing mountain rivers, numerous ruins, and the spectacular Lengarica Canyon. My favourite strategy to discover this countryside is on horseback, and this fabulous horseback using tour from close by Permet is among the greatest.

You’ll be in a small group of different riders, and the tour guides will regulate the tour relying in your potential. So, whether or not you’ve by no means been on a horse earlier than, otherwise you’ve ridden your complete life, the scene is ready so that you can have an unbelievable day in nature.

You’ll uncover why Vjosa Nationwide Park is among the greatest locations to go to close to Gjirokaster. It’s a magical journey and one in all my favourite issues to do in Gjirokaster. When you’ve got older youngsters, it’s among the finest issues to do in Gjirokaster for households.

3. Try Gjirokaster Museum

If you wish to study extra in regards to the historical past of this cobbled city, head to probably the most standard vacationer points of interest in Gjirokaster. At Gjirokaster Museum, you’ll acquire an perception into conventional, Albanian life by means of the ages.

Some well-known historic characters have fascinating hyperlinks to Gjirokaster. These embrace Enver Hoxha, (extra on his hyperlink under), and even Lord Bryon.

The Museum is hidden inside the Citadel, which is one other of my favourite issues to do in Gjirokaster (extra on that one later). It’s not included within the entrance charge for the fort, which will be complicated. It’s a separate 200lek ($1.88) to enter the Museum, and nicely value it at that value.

4. Take a Native Cooking Class

Arnavut cigeri is a traditional Albanian food

One other of my favourite methods to essentially get to know a brand new tradition is by making an attempt to make some conventional meals of the nation.

Gjirokaster is legendary for its conventional, culinary scene and so cooking lessons are extremely popular right here. This explicit cooking course is my favourite because it’s led by an area and focuses on small teams and conventional dishes.

Teta Marjeta will likely be your information as she welcomes you into her residence and teaches you easy methods to make a 3-course Albanian dinner. On the identical time, you’ll pattern native raki made by her husband – an excessive amount of of which makes the cooking slightly tougher…

After you’ve accomplished your dishes, you’ll sit all the way down to benefit from the fruits of your labor with a glass of wine. It’s one of many high issues to do in Gjirokaster and is an effective way to satisfy new folks, study extra in regards to the tradition of Albania, and have a enjoyable afternoon.

5. Head as much as Gjirokaster Citadel

View over the mountains from the castle of Gjirokaster, Albania.

Sat on the highest of the hill and looking out over the city, the fort is among the high locations to go to in Gjirokaster.

Not solely does it boast unbelievable views over Gjirokaster itself and the countryside past, but it surely’s additionally a captivating look into the historical past of town. Initially of Ottoman development, it was later used as a jail for political prisoners in the course of the Communist Period.

It’s 400lek ($3.76) to enter, and as soon as inside you may stroll by means of the assorted rooms and tunnels at your leisure. There are many data boards round that will help you study extra in regards to the fort.

Because of this, the fort is an fascinating mixture of Ottoman design and trendy features, due to its use being tailored over time. You’ll be able to even head to the highest of the fort for some wonderful views. Don’t skip Gjirokaster Museum, which is talked about above and located contained in the fort.

It’s the focus of the entire city, and it’s simple to see why it’s probably the most standard Gjirokaster points of interest.

6. Go Rafting within the Vjosa River

The valley of the Vjosa River in Albania.

As Vjosa Nationwide Park is among the most stunning locations to see in Gjirokaster, it’s solely proper that it will get a second point out on this record.

This time, it’s one for the adrenaline junkies. This sensible white water rafting day journey will see you crashing over rapids on the final free-flowing river in Europe. The expertise is categorized as class II rafting with some class III rapids in there. All I do know is that it’s a whole lot of enjoyable!

The river itself runs for some 270 kilometers by means of beautiful canyons, islands, and oxbows. After some preliminary coaching and preparation, you’ll discover a part of this majestic river over 3 hours of rafting. You’ll expertise 4-foot waves and squeeze by means of slender passages as you fly alongside on the rapids.

For me, it’s among the finest issues to do round Gjirokaster and a very memorable day trip.

7. Personal Chilly Battle Metropolis Tour

If you happen to’re within the Chilly Battle and within the impression it had on Albania, then this non-public day tour is an excellent selection.

On this tour, you’ll get to discover non-public Chilly Battle tunnels underneath town which might be not often seen by vacationers. You’ll hear first-hand tales from individuals who lived and labored in Albania throughout this tough time.

The tour features a tour of the fort, in addition to a tour of the tunnels, with a massively educated information who shares the fascinating historical past of Albania in the course of the Chilly Battle.

The tour ends within the Outdated Bazaar to see the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, the notorious dictator of Communist Albania. It’s an excellent, insightful tour and among the finest issues to do in Gjirokaster.

8. Butrint Nationwide Park and the Blue Eye

Butrint National Park in Albania

The south of Albania is blessed with some fascinating historical past and beautiful surroundings, so there are some wonderful issues to do close to Gjirokaster.

Two of my favourite locations close to Gjirokaster are Butrint Nationwide Park and the Blue Eye. And what higher strategy to mix them each than on this adventurous day tour from Gjirokaster? You’ll head off over unmade roads in 4x4s the place the journey will get began right away.

First up is Butrint Nationwide Park. Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage Website that’s been residence to the Romans and Venetians amongst others throughout its lengthy historical past. At this time, it’s an uncovered historic metropolis full with an amphitheater, the Nice Basilica, the Venetian Citadel, and rather more.

Subsequent, you’ll head to probably the most stunning locations in Gjirokaster; the Blue Eye. This beautiful pure spring boasts a few of the bluest water you’ll ever see. Take a dip or dive from the viewing platform for the proper strategy to cool off after the stroll.

This action-packed tour is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Gjirokaster and a very good strategy to discover the encompassing space.

9. Have Dinner on the Barrels

take a wine tasting tour

Discovering this little gem was completely one of many highlights of my time in Albania – I can not advocate it sufficient.

The Barrels is a small, family-run vineyard simply outdoors Gjirokaster. It’s very unassuming from the surface, however you’ll quickly be met by the household, (and certain no less than one of many pets), earlier than being taken across the again to the backyard and vineyards past.

Right here, you’ll discover plenty of tables arrange underneath tremendous cute arches that look out onto the vineyards. The menu modifications from each day relying on what fruit and greens are in season and practically the whole lot is sourced from the winery. There’s a superb selection of veggie choices too.

Paired with the Barrels’ wonderful wine and do-it-yourself raki, the magical setting makes this among the finest issues to do in Gjirokaster for {couples}.

And whereas the meals and wine is great, it’s the household that makes this expertise so particular. They’re pleasant, and welcoming, and are a pleasure to be round.

10. Wander the UNESCO Outdated City

UNESCO Old Town of  Gjirokaster

After getting your bearings on a strolling tour, among the finest free issues to do in Gjirokaster is to easily stroll across the Outdated City.

The cobbled streets and tall, conventional buildings will make it apparent why this metropolis is acknowledged as probably the most stunning locations in Albania. The Ottoman-style homes have been reworked into cool cafes, bars, eating places, and boutique retailers.

Seize a espresso on the pedestrianized streets at Kashahu Kafe or head into the Outdated City after darkish for a drink and a few meals and benefit from the magical feeling of the lights on the cobbled streets and historic facades. It’s among the finest issues to do in Gjirokaster at evening.

11. Bounce on a Safari Day Tour

stunning town of Permet in Albania

One other of the wonderful nationwide parks and locations to go to in Gjirokaster is Fir of Hotova Nationwide Park. It’s often known as the pure lungs of Southern Albania and covers a powerful 34,000 hectares.

The easiest way to discover this unbelievable space is on a jeep safari from close by Permet. It’s run by the identical guys that set up the white water rafting above, and as such, it comes extremely beneficial (and never simply from me).

On today safari, you’ll bump by means of the park in a 4×4, visiting the gorgeous Saint Maria Church of Leuse earlier than going wildlife recognizing within the park itself. At an altitude of round 900 meters, the temperature is cooler right here, and also you’ll be surrounded by lush forest and natural world.

Lastly, you’ll head to Benja Thermal Baths to loosen up after a day of journey earlier than returning residence. I like Hotova; it’s a magical place and is among the most stunning locations to go to in Gjirokaster.

12. Attempt a Wooden Crafting Expertise

Gjirokaster is legendary for its artisanal merchandise, so an effective way to embrace the native tradition is to show your hand to a conventional craft.

This 3-hour wooden crafting expertise is hosted in an area woodwork workshop the place you’ll be taught by an skilled native, who will allow you to craft no matter you would like from the supplies offered. You’ll begin off by creating your design on paper earlier than carving it underneath the watchful eye of your trainer.

Have fun your creation with a glass of wine or raki and take one thing residence with you that can without end remind you of your journey.

13. Discover Argjiro Citadel on a Strolling Tour

Argjiro Castle in Gjirokastë

Gjirokaster’s cobbled streets and pedestrianized zones are good for exploring on foot, and so strolling excursions are tremendous standard right here.

That is the second strolling tour bazaar on this record and takes in a few of the hottest sights in Gjirokaster. You’ll head to the Outdated Bazaar, which appears like touring again in time. From right here, you’ll discover the fort and a medieval fortress as you find out about Gjirokaster’s navy previous.

A strolling tour is an effective way to study what to do in Gjirokaster from an area information, and a very good strategy to discover your means round. This feature is not any exception and is among the greatest issues to do in Gjirokaster.

14. Have some Cocktails at Hangover Bar

Bartender with cocktail with orange at the bar.

Gjirokaster is residence to some wonderful bars and eating places and has a enjoyable social scene after darkish.

One in all my favourite locations is Hangover Bar, which serves some scrumptious cocktails. Don’t let the identify put you off, though one too a lot of their wonderful raki-based cocktails might nicely justify that identify!

It has a beautiful terrace to sit down and have a drink and watch the solar go down. The proper spot after a day of exploring the myriad issues to see in Gjirokaster.

15. Wander across the Ethnographic Museum

View of Old Town Gjirokaster from the castle, Albania

A little bit-known truth about Gjirokaster is that it’s the birthplace of the Albanian Communist Dictator, Enver Hoxha. At this time, his residence has been become an fascinating museum, showcasing an array of native garments and wares from every day life in historic Gjirokaster.

The Ethnographic Museum is a lovely and conventional Ottoman home that offers an fascinating view into what life seemed like on this a part of the Balkans by means of the ages.

It’s a powerful assortment and an incredible stop-off throughout a stroll by means of the Outdated City. It’s one in all my favourite locations to go to in Gjirokaster.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Gjirokaster

If you wish to benefit from your time in Gjirokaster, check out my advised itineraries under.

1 Day in Gjirokaster Itinerary

If you happen to’re planning a flying go to, then I undoubtedly advocate taking a strolling tour to cowl as most of the standard issues to do in Gjirokaster as potential. The Argjiro strolling tour above features a journey to the fort which means you may tick off one other of the most well-liked issues to do in Gjirokaster.

Within the afternoon, discover the Outdated City and cease in Hangover Bar for a cooling drink. Have dinner out at the Barrels to finish an incredible day.

2-3 Days in Gjirokaster Itinerary

When you’ve got slightly longer on the town, then mix the 1-day itinerary above with a few of the highlights simply outdoors Gjirokaster. I counsel exploring Vjosa Nationwide Park, both on horseback or on a rafting tour.

On the third day, make a journey out to Butrint Nationwide Park and the Blue Eye for much more historic historical past and nature. For more moderen occasions, take the Personal Chilly Battle tour.

The place to Keep in Gjirokaster

These are a couple of of the perfect neighborhoods in Gjirokaster for vacationers:

The Outdated City – Finest for First-time Guests and Nightlife

Situated on the high of the hill, the Outdated City is the perfect place to remain in Gjirokaster. Right here, you’ll discover cobbled streets, plenty of bars and eating places, and the vast majority of the Gjirokaster points of interest. The aptly named Citadel Resort is a beautiful 3-star resort with a terrace and bar boasting wonderful views over town.

New City – Finest for Households

The choice to the Outdated City is the newer a part of city on the backside of the hill. This can be a unbelievable spot for households or people who have pushed to Gjirokaster as parking is less complicated, and it’s base for visiting the close by points of interest. Dream’s Resort affords nice views of town. Alternatively, Novi’s House affords beautiful luxurious and trendy design.

Finest Eating places in Gjirokaster

The meals scene in Gjirokaster is admittedly standard and listed here are a few of the highlights:

The Barrels

I can not price the Barrels extremely sufficient. From the fantastically do-it-yourself meals, scrumptious wine, and wonderful views, this place is really particular. The seasonal menu, with vegetarian highlights, is admittedly well-thought-out. The household and repair make this my favourite restaurant in Gjirokaster by far.

Taverna Tradicionale Kardhashi

For a conventional Albanian restaurant in Gjirokaster itself, head to Taverna Kardhashi. It serves scrumptious, native meals at unbelievable costs. The stuffed peppers are scrumptious, and the employees is tremendous pleasant. A very welcoming, native restaurant.


One other conventional, Albanian restaurant with a cute terrace for some alfresco eating. At Kujtimi, the meals is tasty, the wine is sweet, and the costs are wonderful.

Submarine 105

Submarine 105 is positioned within the Outdated Bazaar and combines its conventional setting with a contemporary twist. The Albanian dishes are scrumptious and are served in massive parts, all mixed with a superb, and intensive, drinks record.

Pizza Me Gusta

If you happen to fancy pizza then head to Pizza Me Gusta. The tremendous pleasant employees will allow you to select, and the pizzas are very well-priced. Skinny and crispy bases with plenty of toppings. An ideal pizza spot in Gjirokaster.

Attending to Gjirokaster

Gjirokaster is positioned round 3 hours south of Tirana and an hour from Sarande. To get there from outdoors of Albania, you’ll possible land in Tirana or cross on the Corfu to Sarande ferry.

You’ll be able to catch a direct bus from Tirana to Gjirokaster which can price you round 1,000lek or $9. The journey takes round 3-4 hours relying on visitors and departs from the Regional Bus Terminal numerous occasions a day.

aerial view of Tirana artificial lake at sunset

From Sarande, there are common every day buses which price round 400lek or $3.50. They depart from Friendship Park.

Alternatively, you may take taxis from both metropolis to Gjirokaster. When you arrive, you’ll be capable of stroll across the metropolis itself. You’ll be able to take taxis or leap on a tour to move to a few of the sights outdoors of town.

Issues To Do in Gjirokaster: FAQs

Listed here are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Gjirokaster:

What’s Gjirokaster recognized for?

Gjirokaster is understood for its stunning cobbled streets and Ottoman structure. It’s a classy and standard vacation spot with a spread of excellent cafes, bars, eating places, and boutique retailers.

When is the perfect time to go to Gjirokaster?

The most effective time to go to Gjirokaster is in the course of the shoulder seasons between April and June or September to October when the temperatures aren’t at their peak however are heat sufficient to sit down outdoors and revel in a chilly drink within the solar.

Is Gjirokaster value visiting?

Completely. Gjirokaster is among the most stunning cities in Albania. On the identical time, it has some unbelievable nationwide parks and nature on its doorstep. It’s an incredible place to go to.

What number of days ought to I spend in Gjirokaster?

I like to recommend no less than 2-3 days to discover Gjirokaster itself. If you happen to keep for longer, you may discover a few of the well-known sights and nationwide parks simply outdoors town too.

Is Gjirokaster protected?

Gjirokaster is tremendous protected. It feels actually cozy and pleasant within the Outdated City, with its cobbled streets and plentiful bars and retailers. I’ve by no means heard of any points with security in Gjirokaster.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Gjirokaster?

Visiting the fort is the most well-liked factor to do in Gjirokaster because it dominates the skyline and boasts some unbelievable views. After that, doing nothing may be very extremely rated. Sit down at a restaurant on the streets and watch the world go by.

What meals ought to I attempt in Gjirokaster?

Gjirokaster has a proud historical past of scrumptious meals. Attempt stuffed peppers to start out, and trilece (three milk) cake for dessert – each are divine.

In Closing

Gjorikaster isn’t solely a lovely metropolis, stuffed with beautiful structure and fairly cobbled streets, but it surely’s additionally a spot of pure magnificence and a vacation spot the place you may actually have an journey! There are such a lot of unbelievable issues to do in Gjirokaster, you’re spoiled for selection.

I hope this put up helps you propose the perfect journey to Gjirokaster!

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