Berat is a beautiful UNESCO city located south of Tirana on the banks of the Osum river.  Known for its well preserved white Ottoman-era buildings and cobblestone streets, there are plenty of things to do in Berat that a visit to this charming city should not be missed when planning a trip to Albania.

Is Berat worth visiting?  Nicknamed ‘the city of a thousand windows’, Berat is one of the most popular destinations in Albania due to its ancient architecture and proximity to the capital.  Tirana to Berat is only 2 hours away via bus or rental car.  So even if you are visiting Albania for only a short time, Berat is definitely worth a stop.

Besides picturesque balconies and cobblestone streets, there’s an old castle that overlooks the town which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and Mt Tomorr lurking in the background.  As soon as you start to wander around, you’ll quickly see why Berat is a highlight of Albania.

In this article, I’ll go over what to do in Berat, list the best day trips from Berat and at the end of this post I’ll also include some practical information that will aid you in your trip to this UNESCO world heritage site.  Including where to stay, how to get there, what to pack and any useful tips to know before you go.

Things to do in Berat, Albania

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Day Trips from Berat Quick List

Berat Travel Vlogs

Would you rather see what visiting Berat is like?  Berat was the first stop on our month long Albania travels.

Best Things to do in Berat, Albania

Things to do in Berat Albania
I'm Jess Traveling in Berat, Albania
Man and a Horse in the Berat Castle
Berat Castle

Wander Around Berat Castle

The Berat Castle is an iconic landmark and the most popular thing to do in Berat.  The castle is renowned for its beauty and offers some of the best views of Berat.  The views from the terrace are especially breathtaking, overlooking the city below and the mountains in the distance.

Getting up to the castle is a steep hike but it’s worth the climb.  Inside the castle are souvenir shops, restaurants, a few museums and the holy trinity church which we’ll cover in the next section.  You can spend a whole afternoon or morning finding different lookout spots and shopping for local crafts.

Holy Trinity Church in Berat
Holy Trinity Church in Berat

Find the Holy Trinity Church

The Holy Trinity Church can be found inside the Berat Castle walls.  It is considered to be one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in Albania.  The Byzantine church is small but very beautiful.  You can view the interior at no cost and the views from here across the valley are some of the best.

Traditional Albanian Food

Eat a Traditional Albanian Dish at Antigoni

Eating at Antigoni is one of the best things to do in Berat, not only for the food but for the views.  Located in the Gorica neighborhood directly across the pedistrian bridge, the beautiful building is 5 levels and offers fantastic views of the picturesque buildings and windows in the Mangalem quarter.

The restaurant serves up tasty, traditional Albanian dishes.  A must try item is the meatballs.  Main dishes run between 550 and 700 Lake (roughly 5-7 USD).  The best part may be the local, house wine – 250 Leke and hefty portions.

View of Mt Tomorr in Berat, Albania

Grab a Traditional Dessert in the Old Quarter

After you’ve filled up at Antigoni, head to the Old Quarter to find a traditional dessert.  There are a few cafes selling desserts but we found several traditional desserts at a local market in town.  Our favorite was the Monblan.

Berat, Albania
Gorica Quarter in Berat, Albania
Things to do in Berat, Albania

Explore Mangalem and Gorica Quarters

The Old Town of Berat is separated into three different quarters, the castle, Mangalem and Gorica.  The Mangalem or (Mangalemi) quarter is located right beneath the fortress and is predominantly Muslim.  Across the river is the predominantly Orthodox quarter of Gorica.

Both of these neighborhoods are wonderful to explore with unique architecture.  All the Ottoman style house are close to one another, set on elevated terrain with one window above the other which gives the towns nickname “Town of a Thousand Windows”.

Sunset on the Gorica Bridge

Sunset on Gorica Hill

If you’re a sucker for a fantastic sunset then don’t miss out on watching the sun say goodbye on Gorica Hill.  Gorica Hill is across the stone bridge on the left bank of the river.  Behind Hotel Muzaka you can start to make your way up where you will enjoy stunning views of the Mangalem quarters white houses.

National Ethnographic Museum

More of a well preserved traditional home than a museum, the National Ethnographic Museum offers visitors a peak into ‘old style’ Albanian living of the 19th century.  Located on the slopey road up to the Berat Castle, this local gem houses numerous artifacts and each room has its own specific purpose.

Explore National Iconographic Museum Onufri

The National Iconographic Museum Onufri can be found among the narrow streets inside the Berat Castle.  The museum offers visitors a peak into the religious art of the Orthodox Christian population.

The museum pays tribute to the renowned Albanian painter of the same name.  Onufri revolutionized 16th-century frescoes and illuminated manuscripts with his distinctive use of blues, reds and gold.  The museum is home to over 100 of Onufri’s works, making it one of the world’s most important collections of post-Byzantine Art.

st Michaels church in Berat
Church bells of St. Michaels in Berat
St Michaels Church in Berat

Hike up to St. Michael’s Church

St. Michael’s Church is perched on a side of a ‘mountain’ which can be seen from the Gorica quarter looking towards the Mangalem quarter.  It’s not recognizable at first until you start looking into the cliffside.

The hike up to the church takes about ten minutes and can be accessed from the sidewalk going into town.  Be careful standing under neath the cliffs while at the church as rocks could fall.  It costs a few Lek to enter the church and is a short, fun thing to do in Berat.

Eat at Lili Home-Made Food

Another great place to enjoy traditional homemade Albanian food is at home made food Lili.  This is one of the best things to do in Berat because it’s an experience as well as a meal.

Lili makes delicious home cooked food with both vegetarian and meat options.  This is was of our favorite meals in Berat and we were here for 4 days in total.  Come here for the hospitality, tasty dishes and memories.

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    Berat Day Trips

    I couldn’t make a things to do in Berat post without mentioning some of the best day trips from this city.  Berat is a small town and you should be able to cover all the activities I listed above in a few days.

    If you are staying in Berat for longer and have your own transportation these day trips are perfect ways to experience the surrounding countryside.

    Day Trips from Berat

    Cobo Winery

    Berat is known for its fine wines, which can be sampled at local wineries.   One of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in the country is the Cobo Winery.  Located 15 minutes outside of town, this is a great day trip from Berat if you enjoy delicious wines and superb views.

    Book a Wine Tasting Tour →

    Monastery inside Apollonia
    Museum inside Apollonia
    Apollonia Day trip from Berat


    Apollonia, named after the God of Healing, Apollo, is an ancient city perched on a windswept hilltop.  Highlights of Apollonia include a theatre, the Acropolis and other ruins scattered about.

    There’s also a monastery and museum on the grounds.  Many tourists don’t make it to Apollonia, but if you have your own wheels and are driving south to Gjirokaster after Berat, it’s worth a stop as it’s on the way.  This is how we visited and it took no more than an hour and half to explore the grounds.

    Book a Tour →

    Osum Canyon in Albania
    Osumi Canyon one of the best places to visit in Albania
    View from above at Osum Canyon

    Osum (Osumi) Canyon

    The Osum (Osumi) Canyon is one of the best day trips from Berat as its easiest to reach from this city.  The canyon has steep cliffs and one of the most popular ways to experience the canyon is on a rafting trip.  We went rafting in Montenegro so we opted out of this experience but I’m sure it’s a beautiful ride.

    Osumi Canyon is one of the most majestic and unique wonders found in Albania.  There’s also a great viewpoint to take it all in if you have your own transportation and don’t want to get down into the canyon.

    Book a Osumi Canyon Tour →

    Tomorr National Park

    Lurking in the background of Berat is Mount Tomorr.  Tomorr National Park is surrounded by beautiful mountains, covered in lush forests and sprinkled with pristine rivers and streams, making it an ideal spot for activities like rock climbing, camping and hiking.

    If you have ample time and love a good challenge, you can summit Mt. Tomorr for epic views and sense of accomplishment.  Joe and I spent time hiking in the Accursed Mountains up north so we didn’t hike Mount Tomorr.  It’s defiantly a must do if I ever return though.

    Osumi River in Berat

    Where to Stay in Berat City

    There are plenty of places to stay in Berat that will accommodate every type of traveler and on every type of budget including nicer hotels and budget friendly guesthouses.  These are the top picks on where to stay in Berat.

    📚 Read Full Post: 10 Charming Hotels in Berat

    Hanging with the Locals in Berat

    How to Get Around

    Berat is a pretty compact and walkable city.  Prepare for lots of walking and if you are staying at a Berat hotel that is on a hill, prepare for some steep walks.  Some of the cobblestone streets are uneven so exploring in a pair of comfortable walking shoes would be a good idea.

    I walked everywhere when I visited Berat, even the steep trek up to the castle in the hot sun.  The Gorica Quarter and Mangalem Quarter in the old town are filled with tiny streets which are fun to explore by foot.  Joe and I found some fun shops on those back streets.

    How to Get to Berat

    There are three ways to get to Berat – bus, taxi or rental car.  A bus or furgon from Tirana to Berat costs 500 lek about 5 USD and takes about 3 hours.  

    A taxi takes about an hour and a half and will cost around 60 Euro.  If you want to see the drive check out the YouTube video above ↑.

    What to Pack for Berat

    Where to Stay in Berat
    View of Berat from Above

    Onward Travel in Albania

    Albania is a pretty small country and if you rented a car you’ll be able to cover a lot of ground.  If you are relying on public transportation, the Berat bus terminal has good connections throughout the county.

    • Press north to the lively capital of Tirana.
    • Head south for a couple hours to Gjirokäster, Albania’s second UNESCO city.
    • Go trekking in the Accursed mountains on the Valbona Theth trek.
    • Explore Shkoder – the jumping off point for Valbona & Theth National Parks.
    • Head to the southern coast and explore the Albanian Riviera.
    • Step back in time in Kruja – Albania’s historic town just north of Tirana.
    • Road Trip through the Balkans and explore bordering countries such as North Macedonia, Montenegro or Greece.

    Albania Travel Tips

    📍Plan your Trip:

    🗺 How long to travel Albania?  3-6 Day Albanian Alps Hiking Itinerary

    🛂 Visas: Up to 90 Days on arrival for most countries.

    ☔️ Best Time to Visit:  Peak season = July & August.  May, June, September & October = Less crowds & costs.

    💰 Average Daily Budget: Expect to pay 50 USD’s a day for basic accommodations, sit down meals at a cafe and entrance fees.

    ⛺️ Albania accommodation Guides:

    🪂 Highlights

    🧳 What to Pack: What to Pack for Albania

    🎥 Watch our Albania Series on YouTube

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    Those are the best things to do in Berat, Albania.  If you found this article useful let me know in the comments below.

     Balkan Travel Guides ↓

    Planning a trip to the Balkans?   Check out these guides for more tips & inspiration.

    33 Things to do in Belgrade, Serbia

    Staying the Night in the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria

    19 Things to do in Ohrid, N. Macedonia

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