Durrës is a combination of old relics and new masterpieces. One of the greatest archaeological sites of the Balkan Peninsula is located just behind the port of Durrës. We are talking about the Amphitheatre of Durrës, the largest in Albania and the Balkans. In ancient times, it could host almost 20,000 spectators. The amphiteatre was built in 100 AD by Hadrian, but it wasn’t until the 1960s when it was rediscovered. For less than 3€ (the entrance costs only 400 lekë), it is worth a visit. We suggest taking lots of pictures. Near the amphitheater is a plentiful array of colorful and stunning murals. So, don’t forget to save a few extra minutes to look for them and appreciate their unique qualities.
Just at the entrance of the town, not far from the port, there is a beautiful Tower known as the Venetian Tower of Durrës, (it is called this because it was reinforced by the Venetians before the Ottomans conquered the town). This monument consists of a single tower and is an extension of the Byzantine Fortress of Durrës. Walking throughout Durrës, you’ll see the ancient walls of the fortress that lead to the amphitheatre. Unfortunately, the tower is located near the street, so it is very hard to admire because of traffic.
Walking through the city centre of Durrës, near the Aleksander Moisiu Theatre, you will be able to admire a bathhouse that dates back to the second century A.D. and a Byzantine forum of the fifth and sixth centuries with gorgeous marble columns. The forum was most likely built at the time of the Roman Emperor Anastasius I Dicorus, who reconstructed the city’s defenses. Nestled between modern buildings, this forum was the traditional centre of old Dyrrachium, and today it is an interesting place to visit.
If you haven’t had enough history, the Archaeological Museum of Durrës is a must-stop along this archaeological tour. Just a few steps from the sea, the museum is very important to the preservation of historic relics in the Balkan Peninsula, and it is the largest museum in Albania. It houses several artifacts that were found in the area, as well as mosaics, miniature busts of Venus, funerary steles and stone sarcophagi.