July 14, 2024

Butrint National Park: One of the Best UNESCO Sites in Albania

Located close to the Albanian Riviera, Butrint National Park is widely considered to be one of the best UNESCO sites in Albania; and, for good reason!  Inhabited since the prehistoric ages, Butrint was an ancient and important city.  As you would expect, this led to it becoming a valuable site for artifacts with discoveries dating back to the middle and iron ages being revealed.  Some of these artifacts can be seen in the on-site museum.

Butrint is also home to some very well preserved buildings, including the Temple of Asclepius and a Greek style theatre which seats up to 2500 people.  The latter is still used on occasion for events.  A castle (with incredible views of the surroundings), beautiful floor mosaics, Roman baths, and an acropolis can also all be seen at the Butrint National Park.

How to Get to Butrint National Park

Butrint National Park is located close to the Albanian Riviera, so many people who choose to visit opt to take a day trip.  You can do this through a local tour company, or rent a car and drive yourself.  The Park is located around 20 minutes from Saranda, and there’s a large carpark on-site.  Alternatively, you could take the bus or a taxi.  Taxis cost around 1300 lek (10 euros) each way, and the bus costs 100 lek.

Entry into the park costs 1000 lek; however, discounts are available for groups of ten or more.

Insider Tips for Visiting Butrint National Park

  • Go early in the day: It’s not unheard of for temperatures to reach 40oc during the summer months, and this is not the kind of heat you want to be walking around in. If visiting the park during July or August, it’s advisable to go early in the day.  Not only will this be more comfortable but it will enable you to beat the crowds from the docking cruise ships, and the tour buses from Corfu, as well.
  • Excavations continue to happen: A team of archaeologists is regularly on-site, and they believe they have only recovered around 15% of the artifacts in the area. While you won’t be doing any digging, as a tourist, it’s recommended to leave around 2-3 hours to fully explore the park. Good signposts will lead you around the ancient city and there are informational panels dotted around as well.
  • Wear comfortable clothes: Butrint is a large, and at times hilly, national park, and it’s not the place to execute a fashion show. Wear light comfortable clothing and a proper pair of walking shoes as you’ll be spending quite a lot of time walking around.
  • Pack water: While there is a restaurant located inside the park, it’s always best to carry some water with you. You are also permitted to carry snacks or even a picnic – there are lots of places to stop and enjoy a nice lunch inside the park.
  • Check when the mosaic is going to be revealed: On a few select days each year, the mosaic within the Butrint National Park is uncovered for the public to see. For the remainder of the year, it is covered with stones in order to preserve it.  The official Butrint website provides details on this should it be something you really want to see.
  • Check the dates of performances: During the summer months, the ancient theatre hosts an International Drama Festival where ancient stories are played out. This is a truly spectacular experience and one you won’t want to miss.


Butrint National Park is open every day from 8am until dusk.  The on-site museum is open from 9am until 4pm daily.

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