Nicknamed the “Little Paris of Albania”, Korce is an enchanting city in the country’s south-west that’s backed by the rugged Morava Mountains. It’s considered the cultural capital of Albania, with an excellent choice of art galleries and museums to explore, along with French-inspired architecture and a vibrant cafe culture.
Things to do
Soak up Korce’s delightful atmosphere as you stroll along the cobblestone streets of its historic core. Admire the monumental Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, which is the largest Orthodox church in Albania and features beautiful mosaics and carved wooden iconostasis. Also not to miss is Korce’s Old Bazaar, a 500-year-old building that’s clustered with bars and cafes where live music shows are regularly held.
Learn about the history of Albanian writing at the National Museum of Education, which occupies an Ottoman-era house where the first official Albanian school was established in 1887. Browse the books once used by its pupils and see photos of the school’s linguists, as well as some of the earliest editions of the Albanian alphabet.
Art lovers should pay a visit to the National Museum of Medieval Art, which houses over 7,000 artworks and cultural objects dating back to the 13th century. In addition to textiles, religious icons and wooden sculptures, the museum has several pieces by the renowned 16th-century painter, Onufri Argitis, and the 18th-century Zografi Brothers.
Korce is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Tirana and three hours from Tirana International Airport. Both trains and buses connect with the Albanian capital, as do minivans and share taxis. Korce is compact enough to explore on foot or there’s a local bus service available for getting around. Hiring a car is the most convenient way of accessing the surrounding sights.