Berat is a city in Albania. In 2008 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. It is one of the country's most beautiful towns, and is known as the "town of a thousand windows".
The Kala, a castle mostly built in the 13th century, but with origins going back to the 4th century BC. A very beautiful place with great views of the surrounding area. Getting to the Kala requires a steep walk up a cobbled path - take care, the stones are worn and slippery. The citadel is still inhabited, with many churches, and there are a couple of bars and shops in the Kala area.
Onufri Iconography Museum located within the Kala at the site of a Dormition Cathedral, features the vivid iconography works of the famous 16th century painter Onufri and others. The museum hold other artifacts gathered form nearby churches and others around Albania. Closed Mondays.
Berat Ethnographic Museum located in the grounds of a traditional house, on the way up to the castle. It features traditional local furniture and house utensils.
Below the Kala are two other old town areas - Mangalem north of the river (a traditionally Muslim area), and Gorica south of the river (a traditionally Christian area).
Numerous Byzantine Churches, dating from the 13th century.
Several Mosques from the Ottoman era (starting from 1417).
Nearby Tomorri Mountain can be reached with 4x4 vehicles. At mountain peak a Bektashi Temple is located.
Take a walk along the main Promenade at sunset where locals hang out for some fresh air.
Day trip to Corovode and the Osumi Gorge, Corovode, Berat County. In, Corovode, a few hours from Berat is a lovely gorge well worth a visit. On the way back, stop in Bogove and hike to the waterfall.edit
Accommodation is mainly in the form of private rooms as many traditional house owners have turned their localities into B&B. Hotels are also available.
Berat Backpackers, Rruga Nikolla Buhuri 295, Gorica (Get of the bus at hotel Palma. Walk across the footbridge next to the hotel. Having crossed the bridge walk up the steps pass the entrance to antigoni restaurant to the upper path road. Walk five minutes and you will see the sign for the hostel on the right hand side), ☎ (+355) 693064429, . Berat's hostel. Prices from 1350LEKedit
Lorenc Guesthouse & Hostel, Stiljano Bandilli Road, Porta 18 (cross the old bridge of Gorica, there is the square Alfred Gimitiku and you will see the Road), ☎ +355 696337254. Nice private guesthouse in an old quarter of Gorica. It's run by Lorenc and his mother, feels like home.€12. edit
Hotel Palma, Rruga Santa Lucia (across the street from the Bachelors' Mosque, near the bridge), ☎ +355 32 232 143, . Comfortable air-conditioned room with king size bed for €30 per night, buffet breakfast included. Some of the staff speak English.edit
Ana's Resthouse. A lovely guesthouse with a 6 bed dorm with good thick mattresses, plus a few private rooms (twins and doubles). Homecooked breakfast is included (toast, eggs, cheese, coffee etc). Has a cozy common area and a terrace with a nice view of the town. Dorms 12 Euros. (To get there, get off the bus at Hotel Palma. Walk across the footbridge next to the hotel and continue straight, walking up the narrow path past Antigioni Restaurant for about 6 minutes. Ana's is on the left hand side, directly across from Berat Backpackers.)12 Euros. edit
To get to Ohrid, Macedonia:
Take the bus to Pogradec. There's a direct bus going to Korca (leaving at 4:45) from Berat, and ask the driver to be dropped off at Pogradec.
Or, catch a bus to Elbason (leaving at 5:50, 7:20, 8:45, 10:45, 12:00, 13:00 and 14:30). Then, from outside the post office ("Posta") in Elbason, catch a furgon going to Korca and asked to be dropped off at Pogradec. (To get to the post office, walk back to the road where the bus came from and turn right. After 500m, turn left and post office is about 150 m down the road). From Elbason, there are 2 borders, Qafe Thane or the Pogradec border. You need to tell the bus driver which you want as it's the same bus to both. From Qafe Thane, walk across the border and then get a taxi to Struga, then from there a bus to Ohrid. From Pogradec, you get a taxi to the border and walk across to Sveti Naum monastery (about 4km from the border). Catch a bus from Sveti Naum to Ohrid.
If you wish to travel to Gjirokastër or Fier, it is recommended not to take shortcuts as the direct road between Berat and Fier is in bad shape. Instead, go via Lushnjë.