What You Need To Know
Durrës is a port city on the Adriatic Sea in western Albania, west of the capital, Tirana. It’s known for its huge Roman amphitheater. Nearby is a 9th-century church with mosaic-covered walls. The Archaeological Museum displays pieces from the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Broad Durrësi Beach has shallow waters. Nearby is the former summer villa of 20th-century King Zog.
It is the second most populous city of the Republic of Albania. The city is the capital of the surrounding Durrës County, one of 12 constituent counties of the country. By air, it is 165 kilometres (103 miles) northwest of Sarandë, 31 kilometres (19 miles) west of Tirana, 83 kilometres (52 miles) south of Shkodër and 579 kilometres (360 miles) east of Rome. Located on the Adriatic Sea, it is the country’s most ancient and economic and historic center.
Population: 113 249(2011)
Area: 338,3 km²
Language Spoken: Albanian
The Albanian Lek is the currency of Albania. The currency code for Leke is ALL, and the currency symbol is Lek.
The climate Durrës is mild, and generally warm and temperate. In winter, there is much more rainfall in Durrës than in summer. This location is classified as Csa by Köppen and Geiger. The temperature here averages 15.9 °C. Precipitation here averages 1064 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in July, with an average of 26 mm. Most precipitation falls in November, with an average of 160 mm. At an average temperature of 23.9 °C, August is the hottest month of the year. In January, the average temperature is 8.1 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.
Durrës is an important link to Western Europe due to its port and its proximity to the Italian port cities, notably Bari, to which daily ferries run. As well as the dockyard, it also possesses an important shipyard and manufacturing industries, notably producing leather, plastic and tobacco products. The southern coastal stretch of Golem is renowned for its traditional mass beach tourism having experienced uncontrolled urban development. The city’s beaches are also a popular destination for many foreign and local tourists, with an estimated 800,000 tourists visiting annually. Many Albanians from Tirana and elsewhere spend their summer vacations on the beaches of Durrës. In 2012, new water sanitation systems are being installed to completely eliminate sea water pollution. In contrast, the northern coastal stretch of Lalzit Bay is mostly unspoiled and set to become an elite tourism destination as a number of beach resorts are being built since 2009. Neighboring districts are known for the production of good wine and a variety of foodstuffs.
According to the World Bank, Durrës has made significant steps of starting a business in 2016. Durrës ranks 9 among 22 cities in Southeastern Europe before the capital Tirana, Belgrade, Serbia and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
One of the city’s main sights is the Byzantine city wall, also called Durrës Castle, while the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans is found close to the city’s harbour. This fifth-century construction is currently under consideration for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The theatrical and musical life of the city is constituted by the Aleksandër Moisiu Theatre, the Estrada Theater, a puppet theater, and the philharmonic orchestra. The International Film Summerfest of Durrës, founded in 2008, has since takes place every year in late August or early September in Durrës Amphitheatre. In 2004 and 2009 Miss Globe International was held in Durrës.
The city is home to different architectural styles that represent influential periods in its history. The architecture is influenced by Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Italian architecture. In the 21st century, part of Durrës has turned into a modernist city, with large blocks of flats, modern new buildings, new shopping centres and many green spaces.
Durrës has a long tradition of education since the beginning of civil life from antiquity until today. After the fall of communism in Albania, a reorganization plan was announced in 1990, that would extend the compulsory education program from eight to ten years. The following year, major economic and political crisis in Albania, and the ensuing breakdown of public order, plunged the school system into chaos. Later, many schools were rebuilt or reconstructed, to improve learning conditions especially in larger cities of the country. Durrës is host to academic institutions such as the University of Durrës, Albanian College of Durrës, Kajtazi Brothers Educational Institute, Gjergj Kastrioti High School, Naim Frashëri High School, Sports mastery school Benardina Qerraxhiu and Jani Kukuzeli Artistic Lycee.
Christianity in Albania has a presence dating back to classical antiquity. Christian traditions relate that the archbishopric of Durrës was founded by the apostle Paul while preaching in Illyria and Epirus and that there were possibly about seventy Christian families in Durrës as early as the time of the Apostles. The Orthodox Church of Albania, which has been autocephalous since 1923 was divided into the archbishopric of Tirana – Durrës, headed by the Metropolitan and sub-divided into the local church districts of Tirana, Durrës, Shkodër and Elbasan. The religious composition of Durrës consists of Muslims, both (Sunni and Bektashi) alongside Christians (Catholic and Orthodox) who form a significant part of the urban population.
Durres cannot be reached by train from abroad as no international train links exist. There is also no direct service to Tirana as of September 2013, due to closure of that city’s only railroad station, making Vorë the closest one at about 16 kilometers away. Other major Albanian cities, such as Elbasan, Shkodër and Vlorë remain accessible through the adventurous Albanian railway system.
Many taxis are available in Durres. You can find them parked everywhere on the streets with a taxi symbol on the top of their car
There are also Public Buses in orange that can drive you around the city although much slower