The Saudi Arabia of Albania… Durrës is a coastal city located in the Western part of Albania, along the Adriatic Sea. It holds the distinction of being the country’s second-largest city and serves as a significant economic and cultural hub.
Amongst its repertoire of distinctions, Durrës has an elusive personality that combines the ruins of Rome with the shores of the Seychelles and the aurora of Amalfi.
It draws on its Balkan counterparts to create a city that caters to tourists, families, locals, wine lovers, budgeters and foodies. This is where to stay in Durrës based on your preferences, showcasing the best hotels in Durrës.
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Durrës City Center|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||Palace Hotel & SPA|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Vila One Beach Hotel|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Giulia Albérgo Hotel|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||Baka Guest House|
|✨ Best Hostel||Hostel Durres|
Below are 5 of the best neighbourhoods in Durrës Albania to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best areas to stay in Durrës for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.
We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Durrës so you can use this as a go to guide.
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Durrës City Center – Where to stay in Durrës for Tourists
The city center of Durrës is a complex array of life that serves as the heart of the city. It is characterized by a mix of historical landmarks, modern buildings, lively streets, and a diverse range of activities and attractions.
The city center of Durrës offers a blend of history, culture, and entertainment. The city center is also home to a vibrant commercial district with a mix of shops, boutiques, and local markets.
Back to the city you’ll go if you’re an avid eater, lover of local cuisine and swoon at the sight of a flaky pastry.
Why Stay in Durrës City Center?
Durrës City Center is well-connected and easily accessible. It serves as a transportation hub, making it convenient for travelers to explore the city and its surroundings.
The city center has good public transportation links, including bus and taxi services, allowing you to easily reach other parts of Durrës or venture out to nearby attractions.
Durrës City Center is home to several historical landmarks, Albania nightlife and cultural sites. Staying in this area means you’ll be within walking distance or a short commute to attractions such as the Durrës Castle, the Archaeological Museum, and the Durrës Amphitheatre.
This proximity allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of the city without having to travel far.
Staying in the city center allows you to experience the energy and ambiance of Durrës. The area is busy, particularly along the promenade and main streets. You’ll be surrounded by the friendly locals, and a vibrant mix of locals and tourists, creating a dynamic and exciting atmosphere.
For food lovers visiting Durrës, the area known as “Durres City Center” is an excellent choice. This bustling neighborhood offers a wide array of culinary delights, ranging from traditional Albanian cuisine to international flavors. Let’s dig in!
Things to do in Durrës City Center
- Visit the iconic Durrës Castle, located in the heart of the city center. Explore the ancient fortress, walk along its walls, and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the sea.
- Discover the rich history of Durrës by visiting the Archaeological Museum. It houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the city’s ancient past, including statues, pottery, and archaeological finds from various periods.
- Visit the Durrës Amphitheatre, one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the Balkans. Marvel at the impressive architecture and imagine the gladiator battles and performances that once took place here. Or for the fun of it, recreate your own.
- Take a walk through the narrow, winding streets of the Old Town in Durrës. Admire the traditional architecture and visit local shops and boutiques.
- Explore the Fatih Mosque, a beautiful Ottoman-style mosque located in the city center. Admire its elegant architecture, peaceful courtyard, and intricate interior design.
- Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the market in Durrës City Center. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, local products, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Engage with friendly vendors and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the market.
- If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to visit Piazza Gelato, a popular gelateria in Durres City Center. Treat yourself to a wide variety of delectable gelato flavors, ranging from classic favorites to unique combinations. It’s the perfect spot to cool down and indulge in a sweet treat.
- The Durres Bazaar is a vibrant market where you can explore a rich variety of local produce, cheeses, olives, and other delicious Albanian specialties. Stroll through the market, sample different flavors, and interact with the friendly vendors. This is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the local food culture and bring home some authentic Albanian ingredients.
Best places to stay in Durrës City Center
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Durrës City Center
Budget accommodation in Durrës City Center
Mid range accommodation in Durrës City Center
Family Friendly accommodation in Durrës City Center
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Durrës City Center
Beach of Durrës – Where to stay in Durrës with Family
The Beach of Durrës is a stunning stretch of coastline that stretches for several kilometers along the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most popular and well-known beaches in Albania, attracting both locals and tourists seeking sun, sea, and relaxation.
The beach features a wide expanse of golden sand, ideal for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or taking leisurely walks along the shore. The soft, fine sand is comfortable to walk on and provides a pleasant surface for beach activities.
The beach is well-maintained, with designated areas for sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as ample space for visitors to spread out and find their own spot.
Why Stay near the Beach of Durrës?
The crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea are inviting for swimming, offering a refreshing escape from the summer heat.
The water is generally calm and relatively shallow, making it suitable for families with children. There are also areas with deeper waters for those who enjoy a more adventurous swim.
One of the highlights of the Beach of Durrës is its scenic backdrop. The coastline is lined with a variety of establishments, including beach bars, restaurants, and cafes, offering a range of dining and refreshment options.
Many of these establishments provide outdoor seating areas where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the breathtaking views of the sea. This is where you’ll find some of the best hotels in Durrës, Albania.
This is starting to sound like the ultimate family vacation bound to get the kids excited for the trip. Wait till you see what else you can do near the beach…
Things to do near the Beach of Durrës
- Just a short distance from the beach, you’ll find Aqua Park, a water park that offers a range of slides, pools, and water attractions suitable for all ages. It’s a perfect place for a fun-filled day of water-based entertainment and excitement. How many times will you be going on the super tube?
- Take a boat tour from the beach to spot dolphins in their natural habitat. It’s a thrilling and educational experience that kids will surely enjoy that will bring their Shark Tale fantasies to life.
- The Beach of Durrës provides ample space for family-friendly sports and games. Set up a volleyball net, play a game of beach soccer, or simply have a friendly competition of frisbee or beach tennis. Emphasis on ‘friendly’ 😉
- Head to one of the mini-golf courses near the beach for some lighthearted family fun. Putt your way through colorful obstacles and enjoy a Tiger Woods style competition among family members.
Best places to stay in Beach of Durrës
Budget accommodation in Beach of Durrës
Mid range accommodation in Beach of Durrës
Family Friendly accommodation in Beach of Durrës
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Beach of Durrës
Rinia – Where to stay in Durrës as a local
Rinia, also known as Rinia Park, is a popular public park located in the heart of Durrës, Albania. It is a beloved gathering place for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful and green oasis in the midst of the city center.
Rinia Park spans a considerable area and features well-manicured lawns, tree-lined pathways, and vibrant flowerbeds. One of the main attractions within Rinia Park is a large artificial lake, which serves as a focal point and adds to the park’s scenic charm.
Why Stay in Rinia?
Rinia is known for its tranquil and green surroundings. The park provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Staying in this area allows locals to enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the park, with its tree-lined pathways, flowerbeds, and the calming presence of the lake. It’s an ideal place to unwind, exercise, or spend quality time with family and friends.
Rinia Park is often a venue for cultural events and performances, particularly during the summer months.
Locals staying in the area have the advantage of being in close proximity to these events, allowing them to easily attend concerts, festivals, and other cultural gatherings. It provides an opportunity to engage with the local arts scene and enjoy live performances in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Rinia is surrounded by a variety of amenities and services that cater to the needs of residents. Nearby, you’ll find supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, cafes, and restaurants, providing easy access to daily essentials and dining options.
This ensures that locals have convenient access to necessary services without having to travel far.
Things to do in Rinia
- Rinia is situated in the heart of Durrës, making it a convenient base for locals to access other parts of the city. It offers easy access to major roads, public transportation, and key attractions. This central location ensures that residents can easily commute to work, run errands, and explore the city without hassle. You know what they say… Live like the locals, become like the locals.
- Rinia Park offers a range of recreational opportunities for locals. The park’s facilities, including playgrounds, sports fields, and fitness areas, provide opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities. Locals can engage in activities such as jogging, cycling, picnicking, or playing sports, all within a short distance from their accommodation. Who doesn’t love a bit of an active holiday?
- Rinia is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and eateries where you can sample local Albanian cuisine. Head to nearby establishments and indulge in traditional dishes such as byrek (savory pastry), tave kosi (baked lamb with yogurt), or seafood specialties. This is an excellent opportunity to savor the flavors of the region.
- Rinia’s central location allows for easy access to other attractions in Durrës and its surroundings. Consider taking a day trip to nearby locations such as the Durrës Castle, the Archaeological Museum, or the beautiful beaches along the coast. These destinations offer additional opportunities for exploration and discovery.
Best places to stay in Rinia
Budget accommodation in Rinia
Mid range accommodation in Rinia
Family Friendly accommodation in Rinia
Vrina – Where to stay in Durrës for wineries
Vrinë (Vrina) is a village located in the former Xarrë municipality, which is part of the Vlorë County in Albania. Situated in the South-Western part of the country, Vrinë offers a rural and picturesque setting surrounded by natural beauty.
Vrinë is known for its scenic landscapes, fertile fields, and vineyard collection. The village is characterized by traditional Albanian architecture, featuring stone houses, narrow streets, and a close-knit community.
Why Stay near Vrina?
These regions boast fertile soil, suitable climate conditions, and indigenous grape varieties, which contribute to the production of unique and flavorful wines.
Find yourself a deep wine glass and a drinking buddy because you’ll be heading for the hills (or in this case, vineyards) next for a tour of the Albanian wine region.
Things to do in/ near Vrina
- Some wineries or restaurants may offer wine pairing experiences, where you can enjoy a selection of wines paired with local dishes. This allows you to discover how different wines complement the flavors of Albanian cuisine, enhancing your gastronomic experience.
- Keep an eye out for wine festivals or events happening in nearby regions. These gatherings often showcase local wineries, offering the opportunity to taste a wide range of wines, enjoy live music, and immerse yourself in the vibrant wine culture of Albania.
After all that, feel free to take a long nap to end off a glorious day.
Best places to stay in Vrinë
Budget accommodation in Vrinë
Mid range accommodation in Vrinë
Family Friendly accommodation in Vrinë
Rrashbull – Where to stay in Durrës on a budget
As you approach the village, you’ll be greeted by stunning views of the Adriatic Sea, with its turquoise waters stretching out to the horizon.
The sandy beach, fringed with gentle dunes and bordered by lush greenery, offers a picturesque setting for relaxation and sunbathing.
Moving inland, the landscape transforms into undulating hills and fields, adorned with olive groves, vineyards, and scattered farmhouses.
The countryside exudes a peaceful and idyllic charm, inviting visitors to explore its hidden trails and enjoy breathtaking panoramas.
Why Stay in Rrashbull?
Rrashbull offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options, including guesthouses, apartments, and small hotels.
These establishments often provide basic amenities and comfortable rooms at more affordable prices compared to accommodations in central Durrës. Staying in Rrashbull allows you to save money on lodging while still being within reach of Durrës and its attractions.
Despite being a quieter destination, Rrashbull is conveniently located near Durrës, allowing easy access to the city’s attractions and amenities.
Durrës is just a short drive away, where you can explore historical sites like the Durrës Amphitheatre, visit museums, enjoy local restaurants, and experience the lively atmosphere of the city.
Staying in Rrashbull provides a balance between tranquility and proximity to urban amenities. Think of it like a ballroom dance but the traveling edition.
Rrashbull has managed to retain its small-town charm and a sense of local authenticity. It offers an opportunity to experience the Albanian way of life and interact with friendly locals who contribute to the welcoming atmosphere of the village.
Immerse yourself in the local culture, learn about traditional customs, and enjoy a more authentic Albanian experience.
Things to do in Rrashbull
Not every holiday destination has to be expensive. Rrashbull is one of those places that offer plenty of attraction and adventure from the natural landscape.
- Pack a picnic basket with local snacks, fruits, and drinks from nearby markets or grocery stores. Find a shaded spot along the lake or in one of the scenic coastal areas and enjoy a budget-friendly outdoor feast with the soothing sound of the waves as your backdrop.
- Discover the rolling hills, olive groves, and vineyards that characterize the area. Enjoy the fresh air, breathtaking views, and the opportunity to connect with nature. All of which can be explored by foot.
- Explore nearby local markets or farmers’ markets to experience the vibrant atmosphere and discover local produce, crafts, and goods. This is a great way to engage with the community, sample affordable local treats, and perhaps find some unique souvenirs to take home.
Best places to stay in Rrashbull
Budget accommodation in Rrashbull
Mid range accommodation in Rrashbull
Family Friendly accommodation in Rrashbull
Areas to avoid in Durrës
The Durres Port area can be crowded and busy, especially during peak hours. While it’s a significant transportation hub, it’s recommended to remain cautious in this area, particularly in terms of pickpocketing or petty theft. Keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings.
While public transportation in Durrës is generally safe, it’s recommended to remain cautious, especially during crowded times. Be mindful of your belongings, and avoid displaying valuable items openly. If possible, opt for licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services for added security and convenience.
Shkallnur is a neighborhood located to the south of Durrës, near the port. While it’s not necessarily a dangerous area, it has a reputation for being less developed and may lack some basic amenities. It’s advisable to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings when visiting this area.
Fusha e Aviacionit is an industrial area located in the southern part of Durrës. It’s not a typical tourist destination and may not have much to offer in terms of attractions or amenities. Unless you have a specific reason to visit, it’s best to avoid this area.
Durëss is a mixture of the Mediterranean’s waters, the cityscape of Dubai and the culture of the Roman Empire. It’s not the first destination travelers decide to frequent but it most certainly should be. Durëss is a coastal oasis rippling with Baltic authenticity.
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