Have you ever heard of the city of Korça in Albania?
If you have made a trip to Albania certainly yes. Because there are three certainties during a holiday in the Land of Eagles : in the beach bag you will have a bottle of Tepelene water , at the restaurant you will order (excellent) Italian coffee and in the evening you will drink ice-cold Korça beer .
Here, the Korça beer comes from the homonymous city, Korça (or Korçe), which is located in central-southern Albania, not far from the borders of Greece and Macedonia. But this city is actually much more than its beer , although – and pardon the pun – the Korça Beer Factory is one of the things to see in Korça city.
But let’s go in order to find out more about the Beer City of Albania .
- Useful information
- The beer of the city of Korce
- What to see in Corizza
- Visiting Korca with children
- The surroundings of Korça
If you want to get inspired on what to do in Korca and surroundings, we leave you our video here:
1) Visit Korça: useful information
In Korça to sleep we chose a B&B that rents apartments not far from the Orthodox Cathedral and the city center. The Butjina Leon Apartment offers spacious and clean apartments, very quiet and well equipped. We found ourselves very well and you can find all the information and prices on Booking: we booked there.
How to get around in Korce
The city is good on foot, the center is small and even in summer the temperature is always a little cooler than in the south or in Tirana. However, if desired, there is a tourist train that allows visitors to get around the city seeing the main attractions of Korça. Tickets can be purchased at the tourist office.
How to get to Korça
We arrived in the city by car but if you want from Tirana you can get to Korça by bus in about 4 hours. The alternative to vans (as buses are called in Albania) are taxis or private transfers since the Albanian railway network is currently practically non-existent.
Korça Beer Festival
The Korça Beer Festival is free , lasts until Sunday and, in addition to the local beer, there are also many other beers, accompanied by typical Albanian cuisine. During the five days of the great Korça Beer Festival, the streets of the city are decorated while visitors enjoy musical performances where international artists also perform.
In recent years, the Korça Festival has become not only a point of reference for the inhabitants of the region but also a real tourist attraction so if you don’t like confusion, avoid going to Korça at that time.
2) The history of Korça beer in Albania and the Beer Festival
Birra Korça is the first brewery in Albania , founded in 1928 by an Italian entrepreneur, Umberto Umberti, and by Selim Mboria, an Albanian entrepreneur. After the Second World War and with the birth of the Regime, the Corizza brewery (another name to call this city in southern Albania!) Became state property, only to be privatized again at the end of the 90s, in concomitance with the social unrest that led to the end of the Regime itself.
Today the Korça brewery has been completely renovated and the production of beer is ten times higher than that initially produced in the old factory in the city. The brewery has been modernized while maintaining the traditional design and a Beer Festival is organized in Korça which is the largest in the country.
The Korça Beer Festival is held every August and is Albania’s most popular summer event . Founded in 2007, every summer it attracts thousands of visitors, both Albanian and foreign, who flock to the streets of the city to participate in events and attend musical performances. But if you are not a beer lover, don’t worry, there are other things to see in Korça!
3) What to see in Korça: itinerary besides beer
Korça is in fact called the Little Paris of Albania , due to its slightly sophisticated charm that you wouldn’t expect in this corner of the country. Immersed in a basin and surrounded by beautiful mountains, with its cobbled streets and ancient houses, this Albanian city is also an excellent starting point for exploring the surroundings, such as Lake Prespa and Ohrid.
But during your trip to Albania, dedicate at least one day to visit Korçe . Begin your exploration of the city from Pazari i Vjetër, the old bazaar of Korça , recently renovated and become one of the coolest areas in the city with boutiques, restaurants and clubs. From here move to see the Iljaz Mirahori Mosque , the oldest in the city: on its square in the summer, children play football and the elderly rest from the hardships of the day.
Crossing the gardens behind the mosque, then head towards the most important religious building in Coriza: the Cathedral of the Resurrection: it is a large Orthodox church built in 1992 on the ruins of the cathedral destroyed during the Communist Dictatorship which preserves precious paintings inside.
Then continue along Bulevard Shën Gjergji, the pedestrian boulevard where one of the must-see attractions in Korça is located: the National Education Museum. The museum is housed in what was the first Albanian language school in the nation, opened in 1887 in Korça, on two floors, if there is no one to welcome you, you need to call the caretaker to be opened.
And if you are passionate about art, continue your visit to Corizza by visiting the National Museum of Medieval Art , which houses a very rich collection of ancient Byzantine icons. At this point, if you still want to walk, arrive at the RED Panoramic Tower from where you can observe the whole city lying at your feet.
5) What to see in Korça with children
If you decide to visit Korça with children in the summer, pack a change in your backpack because the fountains – especially those located in front of the great Cathedral – will be irresistible. Even the tourist train that goes around the city is a good idea for children, especially if they are small and not very keen to walk while behind the mosque you will find a small garden with carousels and many families. Finally, a curiosity: at the Korça Beer Festival there is a Kids Corner dedicated to the little ones.
If you are looking for more information for a trip to Albania with children, follow the link with all the information.
5) Korçe what to see nearby
Besides the city there are also many things to see around Korça and in general in the south-east of Albani . Prespa Lake is wonderful, with suggestive views, forgotten villages and mysterious islands in the middle. Another destination to see near Korça is the beautiful Moscopoli – Voskopojë in Albanian – a delightful town in the middle of the mountains, suspended in time with its splendidly frescoed churches. And if you love walking, go to Rehove , where you can make beautiful treks in the mountains.
Our experience in Korça ends here but if you liked this post, share it and leave a comment below.