With landmarks dating back to the 17th century, Tirana has emerged as a vibrant Albanian city filled with colourful architecture spanning the Ottoman, Fascist and Soviet eras. The picturesque streets overflow with eateries, pubs and boutiques framed by lush hills and parks.
Things to do in Tirana
Head to the heart of Tirana at Skanderbeg Square, named after a national hero and military commander from the Ottoman Empire. Visit the modernist National History Museum to explore the region from prehistoric times through to the Communist and anti-Communist movements and see the replica of Skanderbeg’s mighty sword.
Spend time at the National Art Gallery of Albania to browse art collections from the 1200s through to the 1800s. Marvel at impressive Bunk’Art, a converted Cold War bunker now housing a contemporary art museum. At Et’hem Bey Mosque, you can see frescoes depicting pastoral and landscape scenes, while the white-stone Palace of Culture hosts art galleries, small shops and a theatre.
Relax at Grand Park, an urban green space surrounded by vendors selling light snacks and souvenirs. For a dose of modern Albanian culture, head to the Biloku area and spend the day shopping before hitting one of the trendy nightclubs or bars. If you’re in the mood for traditional Ottoman-style dining, try oven-baked pies and homemade raki spirits at Oda Restaurant.
Enjoy the outdoors with a day trip to Mount Dajti, located about 25 kilometres from Tirana. You can hike to the top or ride the Dajti Ekspres cable car. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as brown bears, wildcats and wolves.
Getting around Tirana
You can take advantage of the bicycle hires and bike-sharing system to get around Tirana. Taxi stands are dotted throughout the city or you can rent a car at Tirana International Airport, about 11 kilometres away.