Berat is a stunning city located in the south of Albania and one of the country’s oldest cities. It’s incredibly unique thanks to its well-preserved Ottoman and medieval architecture. I’ve visited many times and it really is special. Berat Christmas Market is one of the newer events in the city.
Start your visit to Berat by exploring the city’s many cultural and historical sites, including the ancient castle, the old bridges, and the impressive mosques. Make sure to visit the Onufri Museum, which houses a collection of ancient Byzantine and Albanian icons.
After that, head down to the riverfront to enjoy the Christmas markets in Berat. It’s well worth visiting if you’re in Berat in December.
Berat Christmas Market 2023
As you wander through the streets of Berat during the Christmas season, the aroma of delicious traditional dishes will fill your nose. If you love trying regional food on your travels, the Christmas markets in Berat are a great introduction to Albanian food.
You can taste some of the most delicious and authentic Albanian dishes, such as byrek, qebapa, and tavë kosi. These mouth-watering dishes are sure to delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Berat is also known for its excellent wines and the Christmas markets are the perfect place to try them. You can visit one of the cosy chalets and enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the festive atmosphere around you.
If you’re in the mood for something different, you’ll find German-style snacks that will satisfy your craving for something sweet or savoury. And don’t forget to check out the unique handmade gifts and decorations that are available at the markets. You can find one-of-a-kind Albanian souvenirs to take home with you as a reminder of your visit to Berat.
Dates and Locations
Berat Christmas Market dates: Waiting for 2023 dates.
Location: Bulevardi Republika, the main pedestrian street near Ura e Varur, the Hanging Bridge.
Opening times: 10am to 7pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Some options.
Gluten free: Limited.
Accessible: It can be difficult or impossible in the historic Mangalem district or up around Berat Castle.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Reason to visit: The unique backdrop that is Berat’s Ottoman-era architecture.
Recommended tour: Discover Berat’s complex history with a walking tour with a local guide.
Specialties: Albanian tave kosi (baked meat dish), rakija (strong alcohol), local cheese, Berati wine, pickled salads.
Where to stay: Bujtina Kodiket Guesthouse is located a restored Ottoman-era building.
Hotels near Berat Christmas Market
Berat is a very small city with many family-owned hotels and guesthouses. The beautiful old stone Ottoman-era houses overlook Berat from the district known as Mangalem. This is the area where you’ll most likely want to stay in Berat as it is stunning and close to everything. Although it’s not accessible if you have restricted mobility.
I recommend staying at Bujtina Kodiket Guesthouse, located in one of the best Ottoman-era buildings in Mangalem. I’ve met the owner and been inside this guesthouse, which has been lovingly restored. The stone walls, exposed timber beams and cobblestone courtyard and typical of this style of historic house.
Location of Berat Christmas Market
City and Christmas Tours
Berat is a city rich in history and culture, and a city tour is a fantastic way to experience all it has to offer. The charming old town, with its cobblestone streets and white Ottoman facades, is a sight to behold, and the stunning architecture is a testament to Berat’s unique character.
If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, I recommend a walking tour of Berat or an immersive food tour where you can learn about traditional Albanian cuisine and its significance in Berat’s history (ask at the tourist office in Berat about this). You’ll get to taste some of the most delicious dishes and learn about the local food culture.
During a city tour, you can visit Berat’s most iconic landmarks and attractions. You can admire the beautiful castle that overlooks the city, stroll along the picturesque Osum River, and visit the stunning Berat Cathedral.
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What to Expect
The following video will give you an idea of what the Berat Christmas Market is like. You’ll get a glimpse of the festive atmosphere, delicious food, and unique handmade gifts the market offers.
Christmas Specialties in Berat
Here are a few local specialties to try when you’re in Berat:
- Embelsira: This term encompasses a wide range of Albanian desserts, including cookies, cakes, and pastries. Examples include trilece, a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk, and sheqerpare, a type of cookie made with flour, eggs, and sugar.
- Baklava: This sweet pastry is made with layers of phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and honey syrup. It’s very common in the Balkans region.
- Kadaif: Similar to baklava, this sweet dessert is made with shredded phyllo dough and a sweet syrup made from honey or sugar.
- Flija: This traditional dish is made with layers of pancake-like batter that are cooked over an open flame and served with yogurt and honey.
- Roast lamb or pork: A popular slow-cooked meat dish served during holidays and special occasions.
- Pite me mish: This savoury meat pie is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with ground beef or lamb, onions, and spices.
- Almonds coated in sugar: These candied nuts are a popular snack during the holiday season.
- Byrek: This savoury pastry dish is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with cheese, spinach, meat, or other ingredients.
- Qebapa: These grilled sausages made with beef or lamb are a staple of Albanian cuisine and are often served with bread and onions.
- Tavë kosi: This traditional Albanian dish is made with baked lamb or beef and a custard-like sauce made from yogurt, eggs, and flour. You’ll find it all around Albania, not only in Berat.
Book another destination with the help of my guide to the Christmas markets in Albania. Discover where to go, things to do, and the best ways to experience Albania’s food, history, and culture.
Berat Tourism has information regarding events and the best ways to experience Berat at Christmas.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting the Christmas markets.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle, and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Berat, Albania. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.