Retiring in Berat, Albania | Local Spotlight

Retiring in Berat, Albania

Tranquility and Affordability: Albania Could Be Just the Thing

By Romeo Kelolli - Berat Resident

Berat is one of the most beautiful cities in Albania which in recent years has become part of the world heritage family (UNESCO). It is a small town with a big heart and with a divine serenity that characterizes it. It has a warm climate during the summer which is suitable and favorable for anyone who wants to visit it.

Located between two important mountains of Albania, Berat is the ideal place for anyone who wants a virgin nature, peace and social warmth. Berat offers a wide range of activities for those who love adrenaline, including: mountain walks, visiting museum neighborhoods, and rafting in the canyons of Osum.

The city is known for its safety and cleanliness which makes it one of the most popular destinations in the country. With more than 6 retirement communities offering the best services to its customers, Berat is a must-see destination.

5 Best Things about Berat

  • The city is ancient - over 2500 years old, built on a special architecture by the Ottoman Empire. If you're a history buff, you'll love it here. 
  • The homes here can be 400 years old. It's an ancient city with lots of history.
  • It is the cleanest and most forested city in the country.
  • There is a unique cooking tradition where traditional and modern dishes are combined.
  • The city is friendly to tourists and people are willing to help with anything.

3 Least Favorite Things about Berat

  • Since the castle of the city is located at the top of the hill, it's a little hard to get to it especially for those people not in the best shape. 
  • The city of Berat does not offer nightlife. This could be a pro though if you are looking for peace and tranquility. 
  • Museum neighborhoods cannot be accessed by car...only on foot.

Is Berat Walkable? Is There Good Public Transportation?

Berat is a small town where you can go anywhere on foot. The city offers a comfortable and informative road infrastructure for tourists. Public transport is good and the only time you need to use it is when visiting the canyons of Osum.

However, the buses have no timetables they go by. They leave when they want so if you're used to efficient buses leaving right on time, you'll be surprised when you get to Berat. 

How is the Weather in Berat?

Albania and in particular Berat is characterized by a Mediterranean climate which means that all four seasons of the year are fantastic. During the winter, it does not snow much and during the summer the temperatures are normal. 

Summer month highs are in the mid to upper 80s with lows in the high 50s to low 60s. Colder months highs are in the low to mid 50s and the colder averages are in the mid 30s.

Fun Fact

Berat's Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site.

What Language is spoken in Berat?

Albanian is primary language in Berat...but if you know English or Italian, you will have no problems.

Is Berat Dog Friendly?

Berat citizens are also very friendly with dogs. They allow dogs in public transport, in rented apartments, in shops, in restaurants and wherever needed.

5 Top Things to Do in Berat for Tourists

  • Visits to pig hills.
  • Climbing the 1000 steps of Bogova Hill to see the natural water source where the city is supplied.
  • Walk on Republic Boulevard which was reconstructed with U.S. state funding.
  • Bathing in the river Osum.
  • Weekly concerts organized by locals.

3 Top Activities in Berat that Locals Love

  • Picnic in the Cave of Bogove. Locals on the weekends go to the Bogove cave for picnics. It offers a quiet nature and natural water springs.
  • Visit Roshnik, a very beautiful hilly village, filled with cherry trees and pears. The locals go there to eat cherries and pears.
  • Drink delicious coffee. Berat is one of the cities with the most coffee bars in Albania. Every morning they are full of people drinking coffee and enjoying a fantastic view of the river Osum.

Fun Fact

Albanians nod their heads when they mean no and shake their heads when they mean yes. 

Berat Restaurants Not to Miss

  • Restorant Gjahtari
    In this restaurant, only traditional dishes of the area are offered like bean pie, tavë kosi and meat-filled peppers. It is recommended that you have to book a reservation in advance.
  • Bar Restorant Ago
    This restaurant is known for baked meat. You can find all kinds of meat and fish products.
  • Restorant Antigoni
    Distinguished for its delicious pizzas and salads. Here is also offered the best wine in the city.

Bottom Line

If you're looking to find a quiet place to retire - a historic place that is off the beaten path and offers more affordability that other more popular destinations, Berat, Albania might be for you. But be sure to bring your sense of adventure! 

Quick Facts about Berat, Albania






190 ft


Short, hot and dry summers with longer winters that are cold and wet. Average temps are from 35°F and 92°F

Flight time to U.S.

12-15 hours by plane to New York


Albanian Lek but Euros are accepted

Retirement Programs


Retirement Visa

Public Transportation

Buses available but not needed as the city itself is small

  • Please speak with a legal representative in regards to residency requirements. 
About the Author Guest Blogger

Our guest bloggers are retirees or residents living in cities around the world. They're giving insider perspective to what it's like to live and retire in various places.