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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

Best Things To Do in Vlore, Albania in 48 Hours

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

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Vlore is a beautiful coastal city along the famous Albanian Riviera, known for its beaches, restaurants, and bars. It’s also considered to be the oldest city in Albania so there is plenty of history to unravel here. Many tourists who visit Vlore tend to stay along the coastline and spend time relaxing on the many beaches that the city has to offer. If you have the time though I would highly recommend taking the short drive to Vlore’s old town which is significantly less busy than the coast and has some interesting points of interest to offer.


Having visited Tirana, Berat, and Gjirokaster I decided to make my way to Vlore via the Llogara Pass which stretches between Vlore and Sarande. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in Europe and along the route you’ll get incredible coastal and mountain views. If you’re visiting Vlore to see its tourist attractions and visit some nearby towns then 2 or 3 days should be enough time to spend in the city. Here are the best things to do in Vlore, Albania at any time of the year.


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Things To Do in Vlore

Although there aren’t as many attractions in Vlore as other cities and towns in Albania, there are still plenty of things to see in Vlore to keep you busy for a couple of days and you should still have time to chill out on the beach. Vlore is one of the most historically important cities in Albania and there are quite a few incredible points of interest to visit just outside of the city too.


Explore Vlore's old town

A colourful street in Vlore's old town with outdoor seating.
Old town of Vlore

One of the first things I did when I arrived in Vlore was to visit its old town. Vlore’s old town is around a 15 minute drive from the coast and there are a lot of free parking spaces available. You won’t find too many tourists here but part of the old town has undergone a revamp and boasts colourful streets lined with restaurants and cafes which is nice to walk around. There are also a few important monuments and museums within the old town that are worth visiting.


Muradie Mosque

Old Ottoman mosque in brick in old town of Vlore.
Muradie Mosque

Muradie Mosque is a 16th century mosque that’s considered to be one of the oldest buildings still standing in Vlore. It’s a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture and is a fantastic spot for photos. The mosque wasn’t open when I visited so I’m not sure if you can go inside it or not.


House of Eqerem Bey

A large white painted house behind an iron gate and wall.
House of Eqerem Bey

Located right next to the Muradie Mosque is the House of Eqerem Bey which you can view from behind a large gate. It was owned by the son of a wealthy landowning family in southern Albania who famously wrote a two-volume German language memoir that provided readers with a unique insight into the world of the noble class.


Independence Monument

A large stone monument with various historic Albanian figures carved in it.
Independence Monument

Visiting the Independence Monument is one of the top things to do in Vlore. This monument is dedicated to the Albanian Declaration of Independence from the Ottomans in 1912 and is the centrepiece of Flag’s Square. It features several key historical figures and is really nice to look at up close so you can see all of the details.


Ancient wall ruins

Ruins of the ancient walls of Vlore in green space.
Remains of the city's ancient walls

To the left of the Independence Monument are the ruins of the ancient walls of Vlore. They’re quite hidden among the grass so most tourists don’t notice they’re there but if you like history and archaeology then this may be a spot worth stopping at - just don’t go out of your way!


History Museum

A long white building in Vlore's old town used as a museum.
History Museum

The Vlore History Museum is located in the heart of the city centre, a short walk from the Independence Monument and the old town. If you want to learn more about the history of the city then this is one of the best places in Vlore to do it. The building that the museum sits in was built in 1918 and was meant to be used as a dormitory for Italian soldiers but instead it was turned into a museum during the Communist era.


Take in the view from Kuzum Baba

View of the city of Vlore from a viewpoint.
Kuzum Baba

Looking for the best view in Vlore? The view from Kuzum Baba is hard to beat. If you have some spare time you can hike to the top but I would recommend driving if you’ve rented a car in Albania. There’s a restaurant here but you can also walk along the garden and admire the views from there if you don’t want to eat here.


Drive up to Kanine Castle

View of the ruined castle walls at sunset at Kanine Castle.
Kanine Castle

If you finish your Vlore sightseeing with some time to spare then I would highly recommend heading up to Kanine Castle. Technically it costs 300 ALL to enter but when I arrived there was no one at the ticket office and people were freely walking around the ruins of the castle. It’s located around 6km from Vlore and has a history dating back to the 3rd century. By the 14th century it had become the administrative centre of the region. The lighting here at sunset is amazing and you may get to see some goats and sheep wandering around the grounds too.


Visit Zvernec Island

Long boardwalk leading over the lake to a small island with monastery.
Zvernec Island

One of the most unique places to visit in Albania is Zvernec Island. Although it’s not exactly in Vlore it’s only a short 20 minute drive from the city and is definitely worth a trip. It’s a relatively small island covered in pine trees that can only be reached by crossing a long boardwalk. Zvernec Island is home to a 13th century Byzantine monastery that’s been beautifully preserved as well. This is a bit of a hidden gem in Albania so you won’t find it teeming with tourists but I would suggest arriving near sunrise for the best lighting and to ensure no one else is there.


Walk along the waterfront

Small fishing boats in the water at sunset in Vlore.
Beach in Vlore

At sunset one of the best things to do in Vlore is to take a walk along the waterfront. My hotel was located directly across from the promenade so I had easy access to the main walking path. Along the way you can enjoy the views of the various beaches at sunset and check out some of the restaurants and bars that are along the waterfront as well. This is especially nice to do in the summer months when the evenings are pleasantly warm.


Where To Eat in Vlore

I only spent 2 days in Vlore so I didn’t have enough time to try out a lot of restaurants in the city - that’s something that I’d like to rectify when I return though. But I did find two very budget friendly places to eat in Vlore that I thoroughly enjoyed dining at.


Restorant 4 Stinet

Restorant 4 Stinet has to be one of the best restaurants in Vlore. It’s located a short walk from the Independence Monument and is very popular with locals and Albanian visitors but not very well known with foreign tourists since it’s off the beaten path. It had near perfect reviews on Google so I decided to try it out - and the food was amazing!


I visited twice for dinner and once for breakfast and I couldn’t fault any of the food. Everything is prepared fresh in the kitchen and the portions and quality of the food for the price you pay (under 1000 ALL for three courses and a drink) is incredible. If you only have time for one meal in Vlore make sure it’s at Restorant 4 Stinet.


Happy Pizza

Medium vegetarian pizza topped with salad leaves.
Vegetarian Pizza

There are quite a lot of pizza places in Vlore, especially along the waterfront. I chose Happy Pizza since it was only a short walk from my hotel and I was really impressed with the sesame seed crusted pizzas. An individual pizza was under 500 ALL and was just the right amount for dinner. The restaurant sits right across from one of the beaches in Vlore too so you have a pretty nice view while you eat.


Where To Stay in Vlore

Hotel Esbjerg

Hotel Esbjerg is a brand new hotel located along Vlore’s waterfront. It had only been open a couple of months when I visited so all of the facilities and the room itself were brand new. I stayed in one of the large double rooms with a balcony which offered an incredible view of the waterfront - especially at sunset. This was one of the largest rooms I’ve ever stayed in and even the bathroom was enormous! The sleek and modern décor of the room was complemented by bean bag chairs, a large TV, a mini fridge, and plenty of storage space.


There are parking spaces available outside of the hotel if you’ve driven to Vlore and they’ve now opened the dining area for breakfast where they offer a wide selection of Albanian and continental food. Hotel Esbjerg is perfectly located to enjoy the beaches in Vlore from and to explore the rest of the city too. And if you want to drive outside of Vlore the main road is easy to access so it’s a win-win.


>> Click here for the most up to date prices at Hotel Esbjerg <<


The weather in Vlore is nice all year round so whenever you decide to visit this important city in Albania you’ll have a great time. There are plenty of things to do in Vlore regardless of personal interest but overall I found it to offer a great combination of beaches and historic attractions. Vlore is also the perfect base to explore more of the Albanian Riviera from!


If you’re looking to rent a car in Albania I would recommend booking through Capital Car Rental who are based in Tirana with two pickup locations. They’re very budget friendly and a nice local company to rent from.


Have you had the chance to visit Vlore in Albania yet? If you have any questions about planning a trip to Albania or want some advice about unique things to do in Albania and places to drive to by car please get in touch via email or through Instagram. Don’t forget to follow me too!


 

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