town in Albania
Europe > Balkans > Albania > Southeastern Albania > Gjirokastër
Gjirokastër is a town and a UNESCO world heritage site in Southeastern Albania.
View of Gjirokastër from the Castle
Tourist Information Centre (near the Old Bazaar), ☏ +355 84 267077, ✉tic@gjirokastra.org. Every day 09:00-17:00 (Mar-Nov); 09:00-15:00 (Dec-Feb). 
Get in
Regional Bus & Furgon Station (at the entrance to the town, on the NW corner where the town's main boulevard intersects the National Road. It is just past this intersection going north, on an empty lot opposite a shopping complex which includes Drino and Kaffe Bar Lani. There is a small shelter there with seating and a sign saying Autobus Bileta ("bus tickets").). It's less of a "bus station" and more of a collective gathering place for buses and furgons (shared minibuses) along the shoulder of the road. From here you can catch northbound buses to Tirana, Vlorë, Fier, Berat, Tepelene, Korçë, Permet, and southbound buses to Sarandë. -International buses direct to Ioannina (€5, 07:00/ departure) and Athens (€20, 20:30 departure) in Greece are available from the private bus agency offices found around the junction. A shuttle to the Kakavie border crossing with Greece runs several times a day. - Buses depart every day on the route Sarandë - Gjirokastër (300 leke) stopping hourly at the bottom of the hill until the early afternoon. Buses and minibuses are going to Tirana (1000 leke) every hour from around 07:00 until 13:00, then there is a bus at 14:30 and a night bus leaving at 24:00 (it arrives in Tirane at 05:45 near Skanderbeg Square). 
Transportation and other tourism information is available from the employees of the Tourism Information Center (TIC), located in the old town, on the left side of the road leading towards the castle.
Get around
Map of Gjirokastër
Gjirokastër can be divided into roughly two halves, the old town up on the hill, and the new town in the valley below. You can walk just about anywhere if you're able to handle the steep cobbled streets. Taxis are cheap and there is a public bus circuit that connects the old town and the new town for about 30 leke. From the roundabout at the center of town to the bus station on the National Road is a fairly flat, easy, 10-minute walk along the main boulevard. Taxis will make this trip for around 200 leke.
An example of some of the old Ottoman houses in Gjirokastër
Archaeological sites
Viroit Park (Parku i Viroit), Parku i Viroit (2 km north, along the SH4). A park encompassing the Viroi Lake and surrounding hills. The park features a relaxing environment and an accommodation area. 
National Folklore Festival. A festival showcasing traditional Albanian music and dance considered as the most important event in its genre. Held every 5 years since 1968 in Gjirokaster Castle, it was last held in May 2015. An artisans' exhibition took place as well. 
Take a look at the Artisans' Center near the Information Center featuring many souvenirs and traditional crafts.
Gjirokastër is known for its Qifqi (baked dish made of rice, egg, and seasonings). The city is also well known for its dairy products, especially its white cheese.
There are also well established restaurants in Gjirokastër catering to travellers and the local crowd.
Old town
New town
Characteristic street in Gjirokastër
There are internet cafes in Gjirokastër which usually charge between 50 and 100 lek per hour.
There are also a few cafes which provide free wireless:
Greece, Konsulata e Pergjithshme e Greqise - Sheshi I Cercizit, Gjirokaster, ☏+355 8426 3804, +355 8426 2010 (Emergencies), fax: +355 8426 8141, ✉​grgencon.arg@mfa.gr​. M-F 09:30-16:30. 
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Last edited on 31 July 2021, at 14:00
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