There are many things to see and do in the seaside city of Durres, and in the surrounding areas. Hostel Durres is located on the city center square. In the evenings, when the weather is warm, you can see the locals, dressed nice and enjoying some community chatting in the square. Also, all along the seaside boardwalk, you can see the families and couples, enjoying a walk and the sound of the waves. There are some handicraft market stands and carnival type games, rides, and activities peppered along the boardwalk, as well as an ample variety of restaurants, cafes, snack shops, and gelato!
An easy 10-minute walk from the hostel is the beautiful food market. Open air, and offering an enormous variety of vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, spices, tea, oils, local honey, and local-made alcohol. It is open every day, until around sunset. It is a delight to smile with the locals as you select things for your snack or meal preparation. There is an abundance of the produce of the season, as well as imported specialty fruits and vegetables.
Across the plaza from the hostel, there is the famous amphitheatre of Durres. It was built in the late 1st century. It is still quite preserved and for a small fee, you can get a pass to go explore the interior of the whole amphitheatre. Not far from the amphitheatre is the ancient castle, and the remains of the surrounding walls. You can walk along these ruins and imagine the history they have been a part of.
Durres also has an Archaeological Museum. It includes over 2,500 artifacts, from the 3,000 years of Durres history. If you by an entrance ticket to the Amphitheatre, it will include a pass for the Archaeological museum too.
Durres is well connected to nearby areas. The port of Durres is very active and full of activity. There are ferries several times a day to Italy, trains for Albanian cities, and many busses that can take you to Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, as well as connections to all points of interest in Albania.
There are many beaches in and near Durres. There are small beaches, just a 20 minute walk from the hostel. Or you can hire a bicycle and ride to one of the further beaches. There are remote, wild beaches, and also large, popular ones. If you want a long bike ride, or if you have a car, you can easily take day trips to these beaches: Kallm, Sektori Rinia, Rrushkull, Hamallaj, Gjiri i Lalzit and Shen Pjeter.
If you want more ideas for daytrips, there are many. For example:
• The capital city of Tirana, with Albania’s airport, is just a half hour away.
• The rural area of Ishem
• The beloved castle and tourist market in Kruja (with the National Ethnographic Museum, the Scanderberg Museum, and the old bazaar)
• National Park of Divjak, with its pelikans
• Beach of Bishti i Pales
• Ruins of Apollonia
Durres is a special place for cultural and art appreciation. In April, there is the International Festival of Modern and Contemporary Dance. In May, you can experience the “Poeteka” International Festival of Poetry. In August, the International Summer Film Festival is very popular. Then in September, the Jazz Festival brings visitors yet again.