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  • Writer's pictureMilingona Team

From Ottoman Architecture to Natural Wonders: Unveiling the Beauty of Gjirokastër, Albania

Nestled in the heart of Albania lies a city that will make your heart skip a beat with its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Gjirokastër, also known as "the city of stone," is a place that should be on every traveler's bucket list. With its cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and breathtaking views, Gjirokastër is a city that is hard to forget.

As you walk through the city's narrow streets, you'll be transported back in time. Gjirokastër's history is palpable, with remnants of the Ottoman Empire still visible in the city's architecture. The city's castle, built in the 12th century, dominates the skyline and is a must-visit attraction for any traveler. As you make your way up to the castle, you'll be greeted with panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The castle also houses a museum, which showcases the city's rich history and culture.

10 Best things to do

  1. Visit Gjirokastra Castle - a stunning fortress dating back to the 12th century.

  2. Explore the Ethnographic Museum - located in an Ottoman-era house, it showcases the traditional way of life in the region.

  3. Walk through the Old Bazaar - filled with local crafts and traditional products.

  4. Discover Skenduli House - a historic home that has been turned into a museum.

  5. Admire the Ottoman-era architecture throughout the city - from the old mosque to the charming houses.

  6. Hike to the top of Mount Çajupi - for breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscape.

  7. Explore the Blue Eye - a natural spring with crystal-clear blue waters.

  8. Visit the Art Gallery - showcasing works by local artists.

  9. Indulge in the local cuisine - try the famous Tave Kosi or Baklava.

  10. Attend the Gjirokastra National Folklore Festival - held every 5 years, it celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Interior view of Gjirokastër castle showcasing its impressive architecture and rich history
Exploring the Rich History of Gjirokastër Castle: A Glimpse Inside

Another must-see attraction in Gjirokastër is the Skenduli House, a traditional Ottoman-era house that has been preserved as a museum. As you enter the house, you'll be transported back in time to the 18th century, when the house was built. The house is a marvel of architecture, with intricate wood carvings and beautiful frescoes adorning the walls.

One of the things that you will love about Gjirokastër is how well-preserved the city is. Unlike many other cities in Europe, Gjirokastër has managed to maintain its authenticity and charm. As you walk through the city's bazaar, you'll be greeted with friendly faces and an array of local products, including handmade crafts, traditional Albanian clothing, and delicious food.

Stunning panoramic view of Gjirokastër, Albania - a city filled with Ottoman-era architecture, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty
Gjirokastër: Where History and Nature Meet - A View from Outside the City

If you're a history buff, Gjirokastër has plenty to offer. The Ethnographic Museum, housed in an 18th-century building, is a treasure trove of Albanian history and culture. The museum showcases the city's traditional way of life, including clothing, tools, and household items.

But it's not just history that makes Gjirokastër an attractive destination. The city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with the nearby mountains offering some of the best hiking trails in Albania. The Blue Eye, a natural spring that is said to be the clearest water in the world, is also a popular attraction among visitors.

Colorful view of the old bazaar in Gjirokastër, Albania - showcasing traditional crafts and historic architecture
Stepping Back in Time at the Old Bazaar in Gjirokastër, Albania

Overall, Gjirokastër is a city that is full of surprises. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural beauty, Gjirokastër is a place that should be on every traveler's bucket list. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore one of Albania's most enchanting cities.


Looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay during your visit to Gjirokastër? Look no further than Milingona City Center Hostel in Tirana. Our friendly staff and convenient location make us the perfect choice for your Albanian adventure. Book your stay now!


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Vehbi Agolli, villa 11, Tirana, 100 Albania

+355 69 207 0076

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