Main Attractions and Sights in Ioannina

Ioannina is a small city with limited attractions; therefore, a visit can be easily combined with an excursion to the nearby Vikos National Park or a picturesque mountain village.

The Byzantine Museum is unquestionably the city’s most interesting sight. Standing over the ruins of Ali Pasha’s former palace, it is a part of Its Kale Castle, which also includes a mosque and Ali Pasha’s tomb. The museum’s collections cover the Paleochristian, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine periods. A series of artefacts, manuscripts, religious images and jewellery from all around Epirus are exhibited here.

Exhibits related to folklore art can be found in both the Municipal Ethnographic Museum and Folklore Museum. Traditional costumes, tapestries, cooking utensils, and jewelery are on display. The Municipal Ethnographic Museum is housed in Ashlan Pasha Mosque, which was constructed in 1618. Divided into three sections, each is devoted to the Greek, Jewish and Muslim population of the city respectively. Ashlan Pasha’s tomb is included into the museum’s grounds.

Those interested in ancient Greek history may want to pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum. The museum displays discoveries from several parts of Epirus, including Dodoni. However, the collection is a bit poor and there have been discussions about moving some of the findings to other Epirot cities.

If the weather permits it, don’t hesitate to take a boat to Lake Pamvotis’ tiny island, known as Ioannina Isla. It hosts a well preserved parish of traditional houses, with less than 500 residents. The island was initially inhabited by monks, who built the first monastery in the 13th century. Today, scenic monasteries are one of Ioannina Isla’s major attractions, along with the Museum of Ali Pasha, who found tragic death on the island during a battle in 19th century.

While strolling around the city’s old quarters, don’t forget to pass by Stoa Louli. Stoa Louli is an arcade, which dates back to 18th century and has been a meeting spot for locals for over a century. One of Ioannina’s most picturesque corners, it features restored buildings in typical Epirot architecture, which mostly house “tsipouradika” and taverns.

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