This upland city in south-central Albania has 2,500 years of history, which has bestowed it with stunning archaeology, quaint residential areas and preserved monuments. Berat’s appeal lies in its UNESCO World Heritage architecture and the epic mountain scenery that shelters the city. Since coming under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s Berat is also a place where Christians and Muslims have lived together in relative peace, with churches and mosques sharing the same space. The cityscape is part of Berat’s charm, where picturesque stone houses on the steep hillsides seem to be stacked on top of each other. Let’s explore the best things to do in Berat!
1. The Kala
Berat’s ancient citadel looms high above the newer part of the city and you can get up there on a tricky cobblestone path – don’t underestimate how steep this is! There’s been a fortress here since the 300s but the walls and towers as they appear today are from the 1200s. What’s fascinating is how this lofty defensive structure from medieval times still sustains homes and local businesses, including a number of bars for welcome refreshment. The combination of historical significance and the elevated setting make the Kala the ideal introduction to Berat. With a guided tour you’ll the inside story about these defences.