Durres is a versatile port city with both a modern and ancient appeal. If fun in the sun is in order look no further than the waterfront, where Albania’s largest and liveliest beach buzzes with activity in summer. Durres is also replete with Roman and Byzantine heritage – you can discover the remnants of Albania’s biggest amphitheatre here, while both the city defences and forum date back 1500 years. You could also travel inland to see the castle where Albanian national icon Skanderbeg fought off three Ottoman sieges in the 1400s, or continue on to Tirana to visit the nation’s capital.
Also see: Best places to visit in Albania.
1. Durres Amphitheatre
Surely one of the greatest pieces of ancient architecture in Albania, if not the Balkans, the Durres Amphitheatre was built in 100AD by Hadrian and was only rediscovered in the 1960s. It was used for about 300 years and back then it could as many as 20,000 spectators. This grand scale is part of what makes the landmark special, but archaeologists are also intrigued by how the building demonstrates the Roman transition to Christianity. Within this site is a chapel with stunning wall mosaics of saints, showing how the amphitheatre took on a religious purpose later in its life.