When I arrived in Albania, my only plan was to go to the seaside. And the closest place is Durres, so after Tirana my first stop was this city.

Getting there

It is close to the capital and buses and minibuses go both ways all day long. It was also my first bus ride, not counting the bus from the airport to the city center in Tirana, and it's a unique experience at first.

There is a highway connecting Tirana to Durres, and there are several smaller towns and industrial complexes along the way. There are no designated bus stops, but people get on and off the bus every few minutes, seemingly random. When there is someone who wants to take a ride, he just stands on the side of the highway and waves at the bus which then stops. Similarly, if you want to get off at some point, you can say so and the bus will stop to let you get off.

I saw on packagings that house numbering is also special here: it says Tirana-Durres highway, km X.

Also, the buses going south also stops in Durres, but not in the central bus station but the one south of the city. If you are going to a hotel on that side of the city you might want to go to that bus station as it's closer to the hotels than the central one.

Things to do

Durres is a port city, and as such, it has a sizeable terminal. There is a nice promenade west of the port, which is quite nice and there are some beaches along it.

On the eastern side of the port, you'll see the infrastructure for mass tourism. Hotels after hotels, beaches with umbrellas after beaches with umbrellas for kilometers. It's not nice at all, and it was mostly empty when I was there as it was after the tourist season. But I can't imagine how it could be a nice experience to stay there for any amount of time when it's crowded.

Overall, Durres is a nice place, but if the seaside is your thing you'll see way nicer places in the south.

Map of Durres