Tirana is a place where old meets new. When you learn about the things you can do in the capital of Albania, you realize how much the city changed since the communist era. In comparison to 1990’s, it is an entirely different city. These days, you can see streets that are vibrating with positive spirits, colorful festivals and divine green parks. There is an abundance of places you should not miss. This list will move Tirana closer to you so you could decide what places are worthy of your time. Visiting Albania is a wholesome experience if you focus on right places and sites. This sample itinerary will present you some highlights of the country and additionally, connect you with Montenegro and Dubrovnik
Enver Hoxha pyramid: Although esthetically is not the most impressive building, its historic importance is huge. The building was opened in 1988 as the Enver Hoxha museum. Since then the pyramid served as an exhibition and conference center, the humanitarian aid headquarters during the Kosovo War and media broadcasting center.
Tanner’s bridge: One of the few Ottoman structures in Tirana. In the past decades, it was a part of much used St. George road: The connection between the city and the highlands on the east. Still, the bridge was kept as a monument and you can still walk across it.
Skanderberg square: It was named after a national hero Georg Kastriot Skanderbeg who helped stop the advance of Ottoman Empire into Eastern Europe. The great monument of Skanderbeg dominates the square. Today, many celebrations and gatherings are held here.
National History Museum: More than 4.750 works and artifacts from Paleolithic and communist periods are kept here. Even before you enter the museum, you can learn a lot about it because of the large mosaic that shows the different periods of country’s history.
Dajti express: One of the most fun things to do in Tirana is riding the Dajti express. It is one kilometer long and lasts for 15 minutes: The longest cable car ride in the Balkans. During that time, you will rise over 800 meters from the city to the mount Dajti. We don’t need to emphasize that the views from the top are outstanding. One of the more popular activities on the top is hiking. So, take a relaxing walk and keep your eyes on the wildlife around you
National historical museum: The museum itself is split into several different pavilions. The sections include Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Independence, the National library Fascist War and Communist terror.
Et’hem Bey Mosque: For a long time, the mosque was closed because of the communist regime. But, it was reopened as a worshiping place in 1991. It is noteworthy because of its frescoes depicting waterfalls and bridges. That’s a real rarity in Islamic art.
Clock Tower: We mentioned Skanderberg square before. Another site worth visiting there is a clock tower designed by Etehem Bey Mollay. Climb the narrow spiral staircases and enjoy the eye-soaring views of Tirana that is opening in front of you.
Grand Park: The favorite place for locals and tourists to escape crowds. It features an artificial lake and landmarks like the Presidential Palace, the St. Procopius church, Zoo and the Botanical Garden. You can see several memorials dedicated to notable Albanian citizens.
Pazari I Ri: If the need for some groceries during your trip is big, you can buy them at Pazari I Ri market. Even if you don’t need to do some shopping, you can come here to feel the vivacious atmosphere or to have a quick, cheap lunch. It is one of the oldest parts of the city.
Rruga Murat Toptani: street In the summertime, it is a perfect getaway place from the more crowded focal points of the city. You can have a lunch in one of the restaurants or do some shopping in authentic stores. During the winter, the place hosts the popular Christmas market.
Enjoy the Panoramic views from Sky Hotel Tirana: Locals and tourists alike say that you can have best food in the Sky Restaurant that’s situated on the 16th floor of Sky Tower. If you are hungrier for superb views of the capital city, climb up one floor more to reach the Sky Panoramic Bar. The bar even spins around its axis. So, sit down, grab your favorite drink and feel the gentle rotation around the city panorama.
Bunk’art: In search for unusual reminders of the history, your paths will most likely guide you towards the Bunk’art museum. It is located in the base of Mount Dajti and it shows the troublesome history of Albania during communist era. One part of the exhibition lineup shows the daily life of people during the communist regime and the other is reserved more for the country’s more recent history and modern pieces of ar.