World Travel GuidesHistoric Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra, Albania

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Berat and Gjirokastra are two historic towns in the southern part of Albania. They were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2005, and extended in 2008. The heritage core zones cover a total area of 58.9 hectares while the buffer zone encompasses 136.2 hectares.

Citadel of Berat, Albania
Citadel of Berat, Albania
Joonas Lytinen (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

What to See in Berat and Gjirokastra

The town of Berat (or Berati in Albanian) has a 13th century castle, called Kala, whose roots goes back to the 4th century. There are also churches from the 13th century Byzantine era as well as mosques from the 15th century Ottoman era. The town of Gjirokastra (also written Gjirokastër or Gjirokaster) has well-preserved two-storey houses from the 17th century. It also has a bazaar, an 18th century mosque and two churches from that period.


The World Heritage Site covers the old quarters of Berat and Gjirokastra.

Berat is located on the right bank of the Osum river, just before the confluence with the Molisht river. The town has a population of around 45,000.

Gjirokastra is located on the Drinos river valley. It is the birthplace of Albanian Communist dictator Enver Hoxha, who was born there in 1908.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N40 4 10 E20 7 60
Inscription Year: 2005
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV

Advisory Body of Evaluation was conducted in 2005 and 2008. Berat and Gjirokastra were inscribed when the World Heritage Committee decided at the 29th session in Durban, South Africa, on 10-17 July, 2005.

Location Map

View Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra in a larger map

Visiting this Site

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Tirana, the capital of Albania. From there, you can make your travel arrangements.

Getting there

It is possible to take a shared taxi called furgon from Tirana, the capital of Albania, to visit Berat. You can also take a bus or furgon to Gjirokaster.

Book Hotel Rooms in Albania and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Albania or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.

Orthodox Cathedral of Berat, Albania
Orthodox Cathedral of Berat, Albania
Decius (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Gjirokastra, Albania
Gjirokastra, Albania
Joonas Lyytinen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

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