Elbasan is the city at the very center of Albania. Its central location, North to South and East to West, is the reason it is sometimes referred to as "Kurthiza e Shqipërisë" (The Bellybutton of Albania).


Elbasan Castle

Get in

About one and a half hour furgon (van) ride from Tirana. This drive is very curvy as it passes through SH3 and car sickness is to be expected. However, driving your own vehicle may be a better option. A new motorway is being built that shortens the travel time to 20 minutes. From Durrës the furgon ride is about two hours. It is much flatter and car sickness is not a problem. The new motorway was opened in 2012 and now you can go from Tirana to Elbasan for 30-45 min. Also beside the new motorway you can see the beautiful landscapes.

Get around

Walking or taxi. Taxis are located close to the furgons (vans) at the center of the city.


Naziresha Mosque

The Elbasan Castle is right at the center of town. Only two ancient walls remain but the area inside is full of old houses, cobblestone streets, and an excellent restaurant. One castle wall is centered around the impressive sahati (clock tower).




The tallest building in Elbasan, one block from the center and easily identifiable, has a rotating restaurant/bar on the top floor. If for nothing else, go for the view.


Cokollate e zeze (black chocolate). It's like hot chocolate, but almost as thick as pudding and eaten with a spoon.


There are Imperial Hotel and Skampa Hotel in the city. You can sleep at a Couchsurfer's house for free. Albanians are very generous and really good hosts.

Go next

Elbasan is a key city for travelers to Korca, Pogradec and Macedonia. All the travelers from Tirana or other parts of Albania must pass through Elbasan to arrive Macedonia through Qafe-Thana border.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 22, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.