The most ancient city and one of the most economically important as the biggest port city. The beaches of Durrës are an important part of tourism in Albania.
The city was colonized by the colonists from Corinth and Korkyra in 627 B.C. It was named Epidamnus, which later became Dyrrachium. Between the 1st and 3rd centuries Durres was an important port and trading centre on the Via Egnatia trading route, between Rome and Byzantium (Istanbul). After a great number of earthquakes, much of ancient Durres sank into the sea or collapsed and was subsequently built over. The most important object is the amphitheatre with 15,000 seats, dating back to the 2nd century AD. Durres Beach ResortDurres Beach Resort In the middle ages was Durres coveted by many different intruders from all over Europe. The fact that this city has been inhabited throughout its history, means that very little of the ancient city has been excavated, as it exists under the newer buildings. However the archeological museum is well stocked and presented. The famous Roman orator, Cicero called Durres an admirable city, while the poet Catullus called it the tavern of the Adriatic. Today the city is well known for the beach resort of Durres with sandy beaches and warm sea waters. It is about 10.5 km long and is frequented by Albanian and foreign tourists from May until October.
What to see
City Walls - were built in the reign of Anastasius I and enclosed one of the greatest strongholds of the Balkans. The medieval town of c. 150 ha lay within this circuit. We know from historical sources that in front of the walls there was once a moat and that access to the city was by means of a drawbridge. Free access.
Amphitheatre - with a capacity of 15,000 spectators is one of the largest in the Balkans. Its diameter must have been more than 120 metres. It is one of the biggest and most exquisite monuments that have survived from the ancient city. It was built in the 2nd century AD. The gladiatorial and wild beast fights were suppressed in the 4th century; in the 7th century a Christian mortuary chapel with wall-mosaics, dedicated to Saint Asti, the first Bishop and martyr of Durres, was constructed in one of the galleries and the arena became a cemetery.
Open Daily, 09:00–19:00. Admission 500 lek.
Roman Thermal Baths - were discovered on 1962. The baths have a hypocaust or heating system and a pool, 7m long by 5m wide. Free access.
Byzantine Forum - was built in the city centre between the 5th and 7th centuries AD. The paved area is 39m in diameter, and is paved in marble. In the middle of this circular space there was probably a statue of the emperor. Free access.
Archaeological Museum - situated near the sea. It houses the largest archaeological collection in Albania. In its display cases are items of the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, late antique and early medieval periods found in Durres and its surroundings.
Ethnographic Museum - is next to the amphitheatre, in a historic house of the second half of the 19th century. Traditional costumes and other craft items from Durrës and its neighbourhood are on display.
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Durres port information accompanied with city and port maps
Shore Excursions Durres port, are offered & tailored in our own creative way,we present you the Albanian culture,culinary offer,national parks,UNESCO sites. Adventure and outdoor for Shore excursions travelers,
Coldest month: January with 4°C
Warmest month: August with 30°C
The official currency used in Albania is Lek.
Daily Exchange rate please check here: http://www.xe.com/currency/all-albanian-lek
Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa) and you can also pay with Euro or Dollar in them. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, travel agencies, hotels, cheques can be cashed in banks. Just outside the port area you can easily find banks or exchange offices. (National Bank of Albania is just in front of Port Entrance). In Albania you can easily pay also in Euro or USD.
January 1 and 2 – New Year’s Day
March 14 – Summer Day
March 22 – Nevruz Day
April 5th* – Catholic Easter
April 12th* – Orthodox Easter
May 1 – International Worker’s Day
July 17th** – Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
September 24th Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
October 19 – Mother Teresa Beatification Day
November 28 – Flag and Independence Day
November 29* – Liberation Day
December 8 – National Youth Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
During the national holidays all public institutions are closed.
***Note: As of April 2015, the holidays on the above dates that are on weekends (Saturday, Sunday) are pushed as a day off on the Monday, but make sure to double check for this.
Bus and coach: Parked on the pier 30 m from the cruise ship
Taxi Service: Available 50-80 m from the ship at main port entrance (Taxi service is not equipped with taxi meters, a distance of 2-3 km taxi driver would cost 2-3 euro.
Post Service: 2000 m
Bank: 150 m
Souvenir shop: 150 m
Restaurants: 150 – 200 m
Coffee shops: 150 – 200 m
Distance from the center: 200 m, 3 minutes walking distance
Brief Description of Durres port Accesses:
As soon as you step out of the port area, you will be in front of the National Commercial Bank of Albania, a grandiose building with our famous Queen Teuta’s statue on roof. Walking (or driving) to the center, you will soon find yourself emerged to the city’s noise and movement, but not without noticing some of its attractions on the way. The new boulevard along the shore of the sea gives quite a taste of Durres, a combination of modernism and antiquity. You will notice this while moving along the castle wall (hosting inside the Roman Amphitheater) on one side of the street and with new modern buildings on the other side. In 360 degrees turn in the center will see around the spacious square name Freedom Square (Sheshi Liria) the Durres City Hall, the Mosque, the Theatre, the Roman Forum and the Roman Baths.