Durrës is the largest port and second largest city and a municipality of Albania. Founded by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corfu as Epidamnos in 627 BC, it has been continuously inhabited ever since and is one of the oldest cities in Albania. Geographically, it is central on the coast, about 33 km (21 mi) west of the capital Tirana.
It is one of the most ancient and economically significant cities of Albania. Durrës is home to Albania's main port, the Port of Durrës. The city is at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi. The port is also the 10th largest cargo port on the Adriatic Sea that handle more than 3.4 million tonnes of cargo per year.
The city of Durrës is home of one of the largest amphitheatres in the Balkan peninsula, the Durrës Amphitheatre once having a capacity of 20,000 people.
Durrës is one of largest cities on the Adriatic Sea and ranks 5th with a population of 175,110. The total population is 175,110 (2011 census), in a total area of 338.30 km2. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 113,249. The metropolitan area has a population of 265,330.
Durrës is the second largest city and a municipality of Albania. It is central on the coast, about 33 kilometres (21 miles) west of the capital Tirana. The city is at one of the narrower points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi. Durrës is located 41.32 latitude and 19.44 longitude and it is situated at an elevation of 13 metres (43 feet) above sea level.
Durrës has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool winters. The average of water temperature in Durrës is from 14 °C (57 °F) in February to 26 °C (79 °F) in August. The summer in Durrës starts from May to middle of October .
The southern part of the coastal plain is characterized by a relatively dry Mediterranean climate, hot summers with an average temperature of 26 °C (79 °F). Winter is mild and wet with an average temperature of 9.8 °C (49.6 °F). The average annual rainfall amounts to 800 to 1,300 mm (31.5 to 51.2 inches), but only 12 percent of the total falls in the period June–September. In this area many crops are grown (cereals, industrial crops, vegetables, forages etc.), also citrus and olive trees.
Durrës is an important link to Western Europe due to its port and its proximity to the Italian port cities, notably Bari, to which daily ferries run. As well as the dockyard, it also possesses an important shipyard and manufacturing industries, notably producing leather, plastic and tobacco products. The southern coastal stretch of Golem is renowned for its traditional mass beach tourism having experienced uncontrolled urban development. The city's beaches are also a popular destination for many foreign and local tourists, with an estimated 800,000 tourists visiting annually. Many Albanians from Tirana and elsewhere spend their summer vacations on the beaches of Durrës. In 2012, new water sanitation systems are being installed to completely eliminate sea water pollution. In contrast, the northern coastal stretch of Lalzit Bay is mostly unspoiled and set to become an elite tourism destination as a number of beach resorts are being built since 2009. Neighboring districts are known for the production of good wine and a variety of foodstuffs.
According to the World Bank, Durrës has made significant steps of starting a business in 2016. Durrës ranks 9 among 22 cities in Southeastern Europe before the capital Tirana, Belgrade, Serbia and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Durrës is home to the largest archaeological museum in the country. There are also several museums such as Royal Villa of Durrës and the Museum of History (the house of Aleksandër Moisiu). Durrës host also the Aleksandër Moisiu Theatre, the Estrada Theater, the puppet theater, and the philharmonic orchestra.
The city hosts the Durrës Ancient City Wall called also Durrës Castle while the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans is in the city close to the harbour. This first-century construction is currently under consideration for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Durrës hosts the International Film Summerfest of Durrës, it has since takes place every year in late August or early September in Durrës Amphitheatre. In 2004 and 2009 Miss Globe International was held in Durrës.
It is home to different architectural styles that represent influential periods in its history. The architecture is influenced by Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Italian architecture. In the 21th century, Durrës has turned into a proper modernist city, with large blocks of flats, modern new buildings, new shopping centres and many green spaces.