The Korça Promenade, is the main walkway of the city. Lined with trees, traditional houses, modern cafes and restaurants, this street is a real magnet for local and international tourists. However, Korça is not a touristic town. On the contrary, it is precisely the vibrant local life and atmosphere that, with its warmth and simplicity, gives the town its romantic reputation and makes it truly appealing for all.
Korça is a town for all seasons. In winter, bars and restaurants light up under the warm fireplaces. In the fall, one can ride around the narrow cobble stoned streets in a bicycle and admire the changing colors of the leaves. In the warmer seasons, as the day becomes longer, the Promenade becomes the heart of the town. Many of the town’s best restaurants, bars, cafes, and guesthouses are found in the Promenade or its vicinity. One of the best places to have your morning coffee, lunch, afternoon glass of wine or even spend the night is Vila Themistokli. Its warm, contemporary yet traditional atmosphere, and the beautiful vernadah surrounded by trees and flowers, make it a wonderfully pleasant place to relax.
A walk in the famous Promenade will make you acquainted not only with Korça’s contemporary life but with its significant history, as well. At the Promenade’s entrance stands the iconic sculpture of the “Unknown Soldier,” realized by the renowned Albanian sculptor Odhise Paskali in 1933. The monument commemorates the city’s patriots who fought against the foreign invaders. Behind it, the new Orthodox Cathedral named Christ’s Resurrection, built in the last couple of decades, has earned its well-deserved place as one of the country’s must-see architectural objects.
Another requisite stop should be the Museum of the First Albanian School, located directly across the “Unknown Soldier.” The Museum is set in the very building of the first secular school in the country, opened on March 7th, 1887, otherwise known as “Mësonjtorja.” Its yard is decorated by the ABC obelisk, the school-museum’s very visible symbol. Inside the museum, the visitor can find copies of the original Albanian ABC-books as well as a traditional classroom with wooden desks, books, and framed pictures on the wall.
As you make your way to the other end of the Promenade, you will find the Panoramic (or Red) Tower in the center of the square. Here, you can take the stairs or the elevator to climb the height of 33 meters and enjoy beautiful panoramas of the entire town! The Old Bazaar, one of the city’s main centers, is located only a few steps from the Panoramic Tower. During the day, the bazaar is open, offering a wide variety of fresh, local products. It is a warm, lively place, buzzing with people, movement, and energy. It is surrounded by many local bars like the popular Qoshka e Komitetit (Committee’s Corner) or Koloniali (the Colonial) which liven up the evening with their warm atmosphere, live music and delicious cocktails. In the summer, these spots’ verandas are the places to be. From there, cocktail in hand, one can overlook the bazaar square with its romantic lights and the colorful two-story villas.