The main museum in Tirana, it is in the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts ranging from ancient times through Hoxha's regime. Repeated looting in the 1990s has robbed the museum of many artifacts, but it remains the best place in Albania to learn its history. The history between 1944 and 1991 is not yet covered but there is a harrowing exhibition about Albania's gruesome labor camp system during that time. There is enough information in English to follow the exhibition and there are guided tours in English from time to time. - '''Antichity pavilion''', the exhibited objects start with the Late Palaeolithic and ends with objects pertaining to the first part of the Middle Ages (4th–7th centuries). '''Middle Ages Paviilon''', the visitors have the chance to learn about the economic, social, political and cultural development of the Albanians, who have preserved their typical characteristics, also resistance against the ruling of Byzantines, French, Turks and Serbs. '''National Renaissance Pavilion''', express a clear view of the economic, political and cultural development of Albania from the beginning of the 19th century. '''Pavilion of Independence''', start with the activities of the National Government of Valona and the organization of the Albanian independent State. '''Iconographic Pavilion''', in this section the visitors has the chance to know great masters of the Albanian iconography. '''Ethnographic Pavilion''', in this pavilion are introduced the traditional garments of the various Albanian regions (19th and 20th centuries). Pavilion of the Anti Fascist War, in this pavilion the vicissitudes of the war of Valona (1920) are introduced followed by the events of years `20 - `30 and of the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.
1,612m high (getting to the topmost point is not possible because of a restricted area with antennas and a military zone). Offers great views of Tirana. A very relaxing area, mount Dajti can be reached through an Austrian-built express cable car (one ride takes more than 15 minutes so is worth the cost even if you don't stay atop the mountain). To get to the bottom station of the cable car, take the bus line "Qender - Linze" that starts east beside the Skanderbeg place behind the mosque. In the bus tell the conductor "Teleferik" and he will show you the station to get out of the bus. From there it is a short 5-minute walk guided by direction signs (the cable car is closed on Tuesdays). In the top station of the cable car, there is a hotel (30€ for a double room ) and a tourist agency offering various activities like horse riding, trekking, excursions, sky sports, ski etc. The area has a limited number of hotels and restaurants, but it is great for taking a breath of fresh air, mountain sports, or to just get out of the city for a while. The '''Pellumba Cave''' in the area is worth a visit. Unfortunately, litter is becoming a problem on Mount Dajti. This detracts from the experience somewhat, but the beautiful scenery still makes the trip worthwhile. Don't forget to visit the spectacular '''Erzeni Canyon''' along the Erzeni River south of the park near the dam.
Tirana has no international train connections. As of September 2013, the Tirana Train Station was temporarily moved to Kashar while a new multi-modal station is constructed in Tirana. The Kashar station was renovated and opened in May 2015. Passengers are bussed between Tirana and Kashar. The trains are operated by HSH sh.a. (map here [warning:PDF] [http://www.matinic.us/albania/HSH.pdf]), ([http://www.hsh.com.al HSH Official Site]) from the following cities: Durrës (100 lek, one hour, 8 daily), Shkodra (160 lek, 3.5 hours, twice daily), Elbasan (200 lek, 4 hours, 3 daily), Vlorë (210 lek, 5.5 hours, twice daily and only in the summer) and Pogradec (350 lek, 4 hours, twice daily - discontinued in 2012). Even though train services are poor, when compared to West Balkan standards, they may be more frequent, cheaper, and more scenic than taking the bus. Taking the train to Elbasan is not recommended: the four hour trip makes a large detour via Durrës (not very scenic) while Elbasan is only 35 km away from Tirana.
The Ali-Demi skate park is a great place to go with your family because there is a nice park on one of the sides next to the skate park, there are markets, and a beautiful café shop with a playground for small children with typical swings and benches and soccer fields in the back. The skate park is full of people on bikes, roller skates, and skate boarders. The Skate Park is very good for beginners, the ramps are all cement (there is coping on the ramps). The ramps have a good variety—there are small ramps along with big ones. Almost all the ramps are shaped like a plateau they are good for caching air. There are many places to do ollies and 180s off of and other places to grind if you are an experienced skate boarder. The skate park is slightly below the rest of the park so you shouldn’t go when it’s raining because it fills up with water. There are quarter pipes along the sides of the skate park. This skate park is very fun for skaters, bikers, and rollerskaters.
This is an 18th-century Ottoman period stone footbridge. The bridge was once part of the Shëngjergj Road that linked Tirana with the eastern highlands. The Shëngjergj Road furnished the city with agricultural produce and livestock. The bridge went across the Lanë stream and was adjacent to the area of butchers and leather workers. The Lanë was rerouted in the 1930s and the bridge was neglected. In the 1990s the bridge was restored to its former glory and is now used by pedestrians only. - The Tanners' Bridge is composed by a main arch, on which the bridge raises in a back shape. This arch has the light span of 8 m and is built with two ranks of sideway arches which are 1 meter thick. The height from the water was 3.5 m. The pavement of the bridge with 2.5 meters in width, constructed with river stones and placed without any apparent order. In the two sides of the main arch, there are two arches in the shape of circular segments with a small space
Among the apartment blocks, one can find some of Tirana's best cafés, shops, and restaurants. Here is also located the '''villa of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha'''. During communism, the area was reserved solely for government officials and was not allowed to be entered by the commoner. It was opened to the public in 1991 and since became the number one spot for Tirana's youth. At night the area gets full of people especially on weekends when most night clubs are full. The streets, especially in summer afternoons, are filled with Tirana's citizens and expensive cars cruising around. From the Block you can go almost anywhere for less than 10-15 minutes. If you need to have a coffee or relax while taking a look at the parade of trendy and elegant people, the block is a perfect place for you. In the Block you can buy trendy clothing items and French delicacies. You can also get taxis.
- Airport facilities include free wifi and an Adrion press shop. Beside the baggage carousel in arrivals there’s an ATM, a currency exchange office and the airport’s tourism information desk. - The following '''airlines''' offer service to/from Tirana: Adria Airways (Ljubljana), Austrian Tyrolean Airways (Vienna), Belle Air (Ancona, Athens, Bari, Bologna, Cuneo, Florence, Forli, Genoa, Heraklion, Milan-Malpensa, Milan-Orio al Serio, Parma, Perugia, Pisa, Pristina, Rhodes, Rimini, Rome-Fiumicino, Trieste, Venice-Treviso, Verona, Zurich), British Airways (London-Gatwick), Lufthansa (Munich), Olympic Air (Athens, Thessaloniki), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk)
This is a castle in Tirana. Its history dates back before 1300 and is a remnant from the Byzantine-era. The fortress is the place where the main east-west and north-south roads crossed, and formed the heart of Tirana. About all that's left of the fortress above ground is a 6m-high Ottoman-era wall, covered in vines. The recently uncovered wall foundations were incorporated into the pedestrianised Murat Toptani Street, while a mosaic commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Albania's Independence was unveiled near the Albanian Parliament
Many small resorts and restaurants are located in Tirana's greenbelt areas of Berzhite, Petrela, and Farke along Rruga e Elbasanit and SH3. One locality features shooting range facilities, a modest golf club and horse riding, while others traditional food, wooden villa accommodations, and swimming pools. The area includes some gated communities with luxury villas and amenities. Additionally, you can visit '''Farka Artificial Lake Park''' in Farka where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Tirana Mountain Range.
This beautiful place in the heart of downtown Tirana. It includes restaurants, casinos, bars, a club, etc. It is surrounded by a huge lit water fountain with a glowing bridge that reaches to the restaurant, and is an ideal place for all ages. Children enjoy gourmet ice cream and iced European soft drinks, whilst adults and teens can enjoy fun casinos. This is an excellent tourist attraction, and many Albanian celebrities can be found in the area.
This tower has become a symbol of Tirana. It is one of the oldest constructions in Tirana, built in the 1820s. Don't forget to visit the nearby '''Clock Towers of Albania Museum''' featuring Clock Towers from around Albania, and traditional costumes from Tirana region. The stairs have 90 steps that go in a spiral fashion. It is 35 metres (115 ft) tall and was the tallest building in Tirana at the time.
People have picnics and have fun, and the natural beauty allows it because of the huge trees, open spaces, and mountains surrounding them. An artificial lake lies in the middle of the Park. It is popular with locals and tourists as a place to walk around and enjoy a lunch or coffee at one of the restaurants or cafés. Over 120 types of plants. A popular swimming pool complex is located nearby.
The pyramid was built in 1987 according to the design of Enver Hoxha's daughter and was originally a museum of her father. In 2007 US president George W Bush gave a speech in front of this building. The building was the most expensive erected under communism, and there are plans for future changes into it. The new designs are worked by architectural firm associated with Hoxha's daughter.
Persqopi was an ancient city. Loceted on the Viles Hillside (malin e Vilës). The outer wall was 7 m high, the Bastion 12 m high. The city is built using more than 2 m long and 1 m high stone elements. Take a [http://www.palmtreeproduction.com/Hikes%20and%20Climbs/Albania%20Climbs/Petrela%20Persqop/Persqopgallery.html tour] around the hill
Centrally located, this hotel was built during communist times and has recently changed hands. There are plans for drastic changes in its appearance, and it still remains one of the major and best hotels in Albania. If you have the time have lunch on the covered balcony of their one restaurant, the food and service is excellent.
To Berat (06:30-18:00, twice hourly, 2 hrs, 400 lek), Fier (06:00-17:00, twice hourly, 2 hrs, 400 lek), Gjirokastra (05:00-18:30, 4 hrs, 800 lek), Permet (twice a day at ~06:30, 14:00, 4 hrs 500 lek), Saranda (at 05:15, 07:00, 08:30, 09:30, 16:00, 22:00, 7 hrs, 1200 lek), Vlora (05:30-16:30, twice hourly 3 hrs 500 lek)
Tirana's city centre. A statue of Albanian hero '''Skanderbeg''' stands in the square with the Albanian flag on the side. Renovations have made the square pedestrians and public transportation friendly. Government buildings featuring Italian architecture and some structures outlined below are all right off this square.
A gourmet fish restaurant that has some very fishy combinations indeed. The chef likes to experiment; try the raw fish with radish, grapes and strawberries, or the potato-cake with cod and mozzarella. Thankfully there's also traditional grilled fish and lobster. The hot choc fondant cake is a worthy dessert.
to Bajram Curri (06:00-14:00, 6 hrs, 1000 lek), Peskopi (06:00-14:00, 5 hrs, 800 lek,- from Laprak, one traffic light beyond Zogu I Zi), Kruja (at 07:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00, 45 min, 150 lek), to Kukës (a couple between 06:00-16:00, 2 hrs, 8000 lek), to Shkodra (07:00-16:00, hourly, 2 hrs, 300 lek)
Part of the Rogner chain of hotels, this modern hotel is located where the headquarters of the communist party were planned to be built before the fall. Very luxurious. Beautiful gardens and an outdoor swimming pool that is always freezing. The comfort has five stars. Security is unsurpassed.
A popular seaside weekend retreat. The name stems from an Italian general who used to rest at this beach during WW2. Accommodation is available in form of wooden villas. An international resort is also being build nearby at Kalaja e Turres. Visit nearby Bashtova Castle and Shenepremte Church.
A panoramic boulevard built by the Italians in the 1930s similar to the Champs de Elysee extending south from Skanderberg Square. The boulevard features Fascist, Communist, and modern architecture of government buildings, business centers and hotels. Many local parks are found here.
This is the cemetery where the remains of 900 partisans that fought for Tirana are buried. Here one can also find the 12m statue of Mother Albania built in 1972 (Monumenti Nëna Shqipëri). Hoxha was buried here in 1985 but exhumed in 1992 and moved to the other side of the city.
A 120-bed private hospital offering medical services. Service available 24/7. Universal Hospital Tirana is the largest, most comprehensive private hospital in the country. English, French, Russian, Turkish and Italian-speaking doctors.
The hotel is on a ten minute walk from the Tiranë airport terminal building, very convenient for early departures or late arrivals. While there are hotels even closer to the airport, this hotel provides very good value for its price.
This is the underground bunker of Enver Hoxha featuring Cold War exhibits turned into an art gallery, with many corridors full of art works to admire. The most famous works of Albanian art are available here to witness and observe.
Located at the southern side of Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard, this square features typical Fascist architecture. Buildings include the University of Tirana, Archaeological Institute, Academy of Arts and the National Stadium.
The English-speaking staff are very helpful and can provide maps and directions to hostels/hotels etc. Also free copies of "Tirana in your pocket" guide, which includes vital information about bus and furgon schedules.
- The mosaic was discovered following excavations for an apartment complex. Various artifacts point to the presence of a village in the area thousands of years ago. This is the only archaeological site in Tirana!
Murat Toptani Street is a recently opened pedestrian only street east of Rinia Park constructed with stone and located nearby '''Tirana Castle''' walls. Traditional houses, cafes, and a local park are found here.
Popular weekend beach retreat where small seaside resorts can be found. This is also where Albania's wealthy rest. Visit Skanderbeg Castle along the cost, and a small church at Rodon Cape nearby.
Visiting this zoo is an odd experience; there are few animals but you will see them at remarkably close range. Nearby is located the '''Botanical Garden''' featuring the best of Albania's fauna.
Owned by artist Paskal Prifti, you will enjoy homemade bread, a variety of local wines and the local firewater, Raki. Prifti invites friends to sing traditional polyphonic songs from the south!
A panoramic canyon and Ottoman bridge just steps from the capital. Spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Tirana. A cave and a beautiful waterfall is found near Shengjergj village.
Construction of this mosque took about 28 years and finished in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania with very interesting decorations and art-work within it.
This is one of Albania's best preserved castles. It is known as an ancient settlement 2000 years old and was commanded by princess Mamica, the sister of the national hero, Skanderbeg.
There is often live shows performed by bands from all over Albania, when prices for drinks drop a little. Lizard is known for the cocktails their experienced bartender prepares.
Small hostel, with just 25 beds, situated in a beautiful villa built in 1940. Dorms are spacious and well lighted, back garden. Bikes can be rented for city tours.
Clean, safe, nice private rooms with private bathroom and shower, well maintained, friendly, all of the staff spoke English, they take credit cards.
11 rooms. TV, air-con and bathroom worked fine. No restaurant (and no breakfast included) but a hotel bar. Some staff had trouble speaking English.
This museum features ancient artifacts from Illyrian to Roman and Hellenic times featuring wonderful mosaics, Roman statues and illustrative maps.
Traditional restaurant in a marvelous place, with fantastic view of the city. Fresh meat, fresh trout (you can also catch it by yourself there).
A more formal restaurant than other Blloku eateries, children-friendly Yamato has a big selection of Japanese foods prepared by a Filipino chef.
This biannual art festival features the best of internatioanl contemporary art. It was last held in 2009 at the historic Hotel Dajti building.
This well preserved traditional house owned by painter Sali Shijaku features art displays, traditional house emnities, and a restaurant.
Also furgons depart from here to Shkodra (07:00-16:00, hourly, 2 hrs, 300 lek), to Durres (06:00-19:00, twice hourly, 40 min, 150 lek),
This is a teqe (teqe or cemevi is a Turkish meeting house for communal worship service) in Tirana. It is a Cultural Monument of Albania
This cathedral is brand new featuring fascinating architecture and rich interior iconography. The church covered with a 23 m high dome
This annual film festival held at the end of November and beginning of December highlights the work of ethnic Albanian artists.
Newly renovated (June 2011) and family-owned hotel, situated in a new residential area that offers quietness and fresh air.
Albanian's version of McDonald's. Specializes in burgers and pizza. +Also on Blv. Bajram Curri, and on Rruges Elbasanit
Clean, safe, private rooms with private bathroom and shower, well maintained, friendly, staff speak English.
48 luxurious rooms, equipped with all the modern amenities. Restaurant with Albanian traditional cuisine.
New Hostel, opened in 2009. Old Tirana Villa with about 350m². Very spacious rooms and a large garden.
This 15th century castle is located on the picturesque hills of Preze village west of Rinas airport.
Situated inside a Tirana traditional house, this restaurant features delicious traditional cuisine.
Specializing in traditional Albanian cuisine, the interior is decorated with traditional ornaments.
Combination of excellent Albanian and Italian food. Always very popular with expats and locals.
A large shopping centre has some 180 shops, a Mercator hypermarket, food court, skating rink
Pogradec (07:00-16:00, hourly, 3 hrs, 500 lek), Korca (07:00-16:00, hourly 4 hrs, 600 lek)
The event features an international competition in the rough Albanian countryside roads.
The mall has a café, a food court, a good little supermarket and several upmarket shops.
This street was named after US President George W. Bush in honor of his 2007 visit.
Budget self service restaurant in the Central Campus. Very popular among students.
Meeting facilities include conference rooms, a ballroom, and banquet facilities.
The library holds over a million books and is known for its ancient collections.
Located on a pyramid-shaped hill. A cobblestone paved pass lead to the castle.
Recently constructed, this cathedral features fascinating window murals.
Magazines and newspapers from around the world. English books available.
The Albanian version of KFC, specializes in fried chicken and burgers.
A fancy and comfortable restaurant. Its specialty is the Italian food.
This shoe shop has fancy shoes such as Dsquared, Fendi, Moschino, etc.
This museum features the fauna and geological composition of Albania.
Mainly serves Italian food but Albanian as well. A 5 star restaurant.
good taste of Albanian fast food. Freshly cooked rotisserie chicken
Rooms are passable, usually with ensuite. No true dorm rooms. WiFi
has a supermarket, electronics store. - phone=+355 4 2380103
One of Tirana's newest, largest, and most modern hotels.
centre with a Conad supermarket and a cinema complex
13th century pieces, modern art, socialist art.
English, French and Italian-speaking doctors.
Family-owned hotel with exquisite service.
Grand hotel with every modern amenity.
Excellent rooms and helpful staff.
good taste of Albanian fast food.
Tourists usually find Tirana a beautiful and charming city, where the cosmopolitan and small town feeling is intertwined with a lively night life. Tirana is where the old and new Albania meet. Unpaved streets host brand new Land Rovers, iPhone-toting youngsters rub shoulders with street vendors peddling all manner of items, and gleaming glass towers look down on abandoned construction projects. However, Tirana suffers from pollution problems mainly due to the rapid increase in cars in the city and continuous construction. Long gone are the days when Tirana used to be subject to power outages almost daily and this made Tirana a noisy city as the lack of power and lack of traffic lights had cars navigating by honking their horns.
Today the situation has dramatically improved regarding power outages. Tirana is undergoing a major renovation from its communist days. Many of the ugly dull buildings have been repainted, but a lot of work is left to be done. English is rapidly gaining steam as the second language of the city with the youth, but many older residents also speak Italian.
The main business and entertainment area (not by coincidence) has become "The Block" (Blloku) which is the area where in the past, the communist leaders used to live under strict protection. Tirana is a youthful and lively town resonating constant energy. Locals prefer to hang out at the many cafes and main parks. A popular retreat is by cable car to Mount Dajti where one can get a panoramic view of the city from above.
Albanians are very hospitable towards foreigners, despite media frequently portraying them unfairly as thieves and mobsters. Tirana is very approachable if you're the adventurous type - crime is rare, if ever directed towards foreigners and the costs are very low by regional standards. The worst experience you may have is with erratic driving style of Albanians.