We Experienced The Best Things To Do In Tirana, Albania. This Is Our Guide

Foreword by your authors

Misho and I will never forget our first evening in this vibrant city. We had just settled into a cozy little hotel near Skanderbeg Square, and with the sun setting, we decided to explore the Dajti Ekspres, the famous cable car that offers a panoramic view of the city.

As we ascended, the city lights began to twinkle beneath us, and the view was nothing short of breathtaking. But, as fate would have it, halfway up, the cable car jolted to a sudden stop! Suspended high above the city, with the cool evening breeze brushing against our faces, we exchanged nervous glances. Misho, always the jokester, quipped, “Well, at least the view’s nice from up here!”

As minutes turned into what felt like hours, a fellow passenger, a local, began singing an old Albanian folk song. Soon, the entire cabin joined in, turning our anxiety into a moment of unity and shared joy. By the time the cable car resumed its journey, we had made new friends and a memory we’d cherish forever.

Tirana, with its unexpected adventures and warm-hearted locals, had already won us over on our very first night.

We, Misho and Mile, wanderers who sought Tirana’s secrets, now share with you the paths less trodden.

Quick Intro

This guide, a map to the best things to do in Tirana, invites you to tread the worn cobblestones as the locals do, leaving the well-worn tourist roads behind.

Our adventure, a journey through the city’s veins, revealed the lifeblood of this bustling metropolis: cafes alive with laughter and chatter, streets where the scent of freshly-baked byrek drifts through the air, and vibrant squares where life flows as wine in the evening.

So, join us as we venture through the heart of Tirana, and witness the city’s many hues through our eyes.

But, before we delve into the things to do in Albania, let’s check a few crucial things before you get there.

How To Get To Tirana 

To get to Tirana, you’ve got a few options. If you’re flying in, the Rinas International Airport is your best bet. It’s about 17 kilometers northwest of the city and has flights from various European cities.

Once you land, you can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to the center of Tirana.

Now, if you prefer to travel by bus, there are several international bus lines that connect Tirana to cities in neighboring countries like Greece, Montenegro, and Kosovo. The central bus station is conveniently located near the city center, making it easy to explore Tirana once you arrive.

Lastly, if you’re up for an adventure, you can take a train to Tirana. The main train station is situated near the city center, and the train network connects Tirana to other cities in Albania.

Whichever option you choose, just make sure to plan your journey in advance and check the schedules to have a smooth trip to Tirana.

How To get Around Tirana

Here’s how you get around Tirana.

First off, walking is always a good option. The city center is pretty compact, so you can easily explore on foot. Plus, it’s a great way to take in all the sights and sounds of the city.

If you’re feeling a bit lazy or want to cover more ground, hop on one of the city buses.

They’re cheap and will take you to most major attractions. Just make sure to have some small change handy. Now, if you really want to feel like a local, hop on a furgon. These mini-vans can get you just about anywhere and they’re a hoot to ride.

They might be a bit cramped, but the experience is worth it. And if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike! Tirana is becoming more bike-friendly and it’s a fun and eco-friendly way to get around.

So, grab your walking shoes or jump on a furgon and start exploring the vibrant streets of Tirana!

Where is Tirana Located?  

Tirana is located in the central part of Albania. It is situated in a plain surrounded by mountains, making it an ideal location for a capital city.

Tirana lies approximately 30 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, providing easy access to the coast and its stunning beaches. The city is also well-connected to other major cities in the region, with regular flights and bus services available.

Best Time To Visit Tirana

The best time to visit Tirana, is during the spring and autumn months.

From April to June and September to October, the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

During these seasons, the city is less crowded with tourists and you can explore its attractions comfortably.

Spring brings colorful flowers and blossoms, making the city look even more beautiful. Autumn, on the other hand, offers stunning foliage with picturesque views.

Additionally, during these months, you can also take part in various festivals and cultural events that take place in Tirana, giving you a chance to experience the local culture and traditions.

So, plan your visit to Tirana during spring or autumn to make the most of your trip.

Ok so we have the basics in, let’s check out the things to do!

Stroll Through Skanderbeg Square

Plaza Tirana, Sheshi Skender Beu, Tirana 1001, Albania || every day open 24 hours

skanderbeg square

Skanderbeg Square in Tirana is one of the most iconic sites in this capital city.

Named after the Albanian national hero, George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, this historic square is located at the center of Tirana and serves as a tribute to his legacy.

The square was built and named in honor of Skanderbeg in 1968 during the Hoxha communist regime. It is surrounded by many important buildings and monuments, such as King Zog’s Palace, government ministries, universities, museums, and theaters.

On top of the monument stands a statue depicting Skanderbeg on horseback with arms raised high above his head which symbolizes freedom for all Albanians.

The area around Skanderbeg Square has been home to many different people over centuries from all walks of life.

3 fun facts about Skanderbeg square

  • First and foremost, the square was originally designed by Italian architects Gherardo Bosio and Giulio Magli in 1930 during the reign of King Zog I.
  • It has since been renovated several times over the years to keep up with changing trends and modernize its look.
  • The impressive statue of Albanian national hero Skanderbeg stands at an impressive 12 metres tall in the centre of it all!

Visit Mountain Dajti (Top Things To Do)

9W52+JV2, Tirana, Albania

Dajti Tirana is an area of central Albania that has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Located just eight miles from the city of Tirana, the area is renowned for its stunning views and diverse wildlife.

Visitors can explore high mountain ranges, deep valleys, and thick forests in this beautiful part of the country.

One of the major attractions at Dajti Tirana is Mount Dajt, National Park. This park covers over fourteen thousand hectares and has a wide range of activities on offer.

From trekking to horse riding, visitors will find plenty to do while enjoying breathtaking views of both urban and rural landscapes. For those keen to observe nature, there are many rare species to be spotted such as brown bears, wild boars, and eagles.

3 fun facts about the mountain Dajti

  • Dajti Tirana was once home to one of the oldest mosques in the world.
  • Built-in 1469, the Et’hem Bey Mosque still stands today as a reminder of its historical significance.
  • Tourists can also find many examples of Ottoman architecture around the city, including several ancient bathhouses and bridges.

Climb The Clock Tower Of Tirana

 Rruga “28 Nëntori“, TiranaAlbania || from Monday to Friday 9 AM – 6 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 2 PM, Sunday closed

clock tower tirana

The Clock Tower in Tirana is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Located in the center of Skanderbeg Square, this clock tower has a rich history filled with fascinating stories and legends.

Built between 1822 and 1828 by local master mason Hil Mosi, the Clock Tower was originally intended to serve as a cultural symbol of Turkish rule in Albania.

The Clock Tower was initially constructed using stone blocks from an abandoned medieval fortress, but it was later reconstructed using marble during the Ottoman Empire period. Standing 35 meters tall, it is one of the tallest structures in Tirana today.

The Clock Tower has also served as a point of reference for many centuries, playing an important role during World War II when German forces used it as a landmark while bombing Tirana in April 1941.

3 fun facts about the Clock tower of Tirana

  • First, the clock was crafted by hand in Vienna before being shipped to Tirana for installation.
  • It was originally powered by weights but later retrofitted with electricity so it could be lit up at night like a beacon throughout the city center.
  • Second, it has become something of a cultural institution that holds special significance for local residents as well as visitors from around the world who come to see its grandeur up close.

The Bunker of Tirana

Rruga Fadil Deliu, Tiranë 1001, Albania || Monday and Tuesday closed, from Wednesday to Sunday 9:30 AM–4 PM 

tirana bunker

Bunker Tirana is an underground shelter. Constructed during the Cold War, this underground bunker was designed to protect citizens from nuclear and chemical warfare and other forms of attack.

The bunker is currently open to the public as a museum, providing visitors with a unique peek into Albania’s past.

Located beneath Tirana Castle, Bunker Tirana was built in 1978 as part of an extensive air-defense system for the city.

Described by local guides as “the largest civil defense structure ever built,” it contains 3 stories with multiple rooms and tunnels that can accommodate up to 6500 people at once. Visitors today can explore its hallways and experience what life was like for those who lived in fear during the Cold War Era.

3 fun facts about Bunker of Tirana

  • Built during the 1940s under dictator Enver Hoxha, Bunker Tirana was constructed to protect military personnel from potential attacks.
  • As one of the only surviving bunkers, it stands as a reminder of Albania’s communist past.
  • Today, Bunker Tirana has been transformed into an interactive museum dedicated to preserving its history and educating visitors about its significance. Visitors can explore the museum’s many exhibits which include original documents from the era as well as photographs and artifacts from World War II.

Ride The Dajti Ekspres Cable Car (One of the best things to do)

Tirana, Albania || from Monday to Saturday 9 AM–5:30 PM, Sunday 9 AM–6  PM

dajti cable car

The city of Tirana is home to an incredible cable car system that provides a unique way to explore the country’s capital.

This modern transportation option allows visitors and locals alike to appreciate the beauty of the city from a bird’s eye view. The cable car line was opened in 2010 and has become a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.

The cable car system consists of two lines – one running from Dajti Mountain all the way down into downtown Tirana, while the other line runs from Rinia Park up through the Blloku district.

Both lines offer breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding areas, allowing passengers to spot landmarks such as Skanderbeg Square, Et’hem Bey Mosque, and even Tirana Lake during their journey.

Cable cars have been part of Tirana’s history since the early 1970s. The first cable car was constructed in 1971 and connected the city center to Mount Dajti, providing citizens with easy access to the mountain’s recreational areas.

Although initially used only for leisure, the cable car soon became a popular means of commuting between Tirana and its nearby suburbs during rush hour.

The original cable car line was replaced by a new system in 2011 that could transport up to 1,400 passengers per hour.

3 fun facts about the cable car

  • The cable car in Tirana was opened in 2010 and runs from Lana River to Dajti Mountain
  • It is one of the longest cableways in Europe and its length is 2,252 meters (7,388 ft).
  • The entire trip takes about 15 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the city below. On clear days, visitors can even catch a glimpse of Mount Shpirag!

Blloku Distrikt

blloku district

Tirana is home to the iconic Blloku district. This lively area of the capital is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The Blloku neighborhood consists of bustling nightlife venues, high-end stores and restaurants, and chic cafés that make it one of the trendiest areas in town. It’s also home to several historical landmarks like beautifully preserved Ottoman-era houses, ancient mosques, and churches, as well as an abundance of green parks that offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle below.

Visitors can also explore the myriad art galleries throughout this creative district or take part in various cultural events hosted by local organizations.

Whether you’re looking to experience Tirana’s nightlife or its latest fashion trends, Blloku has something for everyone.

Blloku was initially developed as a residential area for communist leaders during the rule of Enver Hoxha from 1944 to 1991. During this period it was heavily guarded by military forces and separated from the rest of Tirana by a tall wall.

After Hoxha’s death and Albania’s transition to democracy in 1991, Blloku became accessible to all citizens and transformed into one of Tirana’s most popular areas with its array of fancy restaurants and nightclubs frequented by locals and tourists alike.

The House of Leaves

8RG8+MHG, Tirana, Albania || Monday closed, Tuesday to Saturday 9 AM – 4 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM

house of leaves

The House of Leaves Tirana is an architectural gem. A neoclassical structure built in the late 19th century, it stands as a reminder of Tirana’s rich history and culture.

Originally designed by architect Gjergj Alushaj, the building has served many purposes throughout its lifetime, from being a stately palace to a well-known theater.

Today, the House of Leaves serves as both a tourist attraction and an important historical landmark in Tirana.

On the outside, visitors can admire its white marble columns and intricate stonework façade; inside, they can explore its grand halls and courtyards filled with sculptures and paintings that depict various aspects of Albanian life. Visitors will also find collections of rare books, manuscripts, and documents that speak to the past of the country.

It was initially built by an Ottoman family as a private residence and would later become the residence of Tirana’s Royal Family during the country’s monarchy period.

The National History Museum Of Tirana

Sheshi Skënderbej 7, Tirana 1001, Albania || Monday closed, Tuesday to Saturday 9 AM–4 PM, Sunday10 AM–3 PM

national museum of albania

The National History Museum of Tirana is a fascinating and educational collection of artifacts that chronicle the nation’s past. Established in 1981, this museum offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich history and its people over many centuries.

The museum houses an impressive array of archaeological objects and artifacts from different civilizations such as Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian.

It also features artwork from Albanian artists throughout time, along with sculptures created by renowned sculptors.

The museum traces its roots back to the early 1950s when it was created as part of a larger project by the communist regime under Enver Hoxha.

The Presidential Palace of Tirana

9XJ7+R3F, Tirana, Albania || opened only on weekends, from 9 AM to 4 PM 

external view of the presidential palace albania

The Presidential Palace in Tirana is a grand and majestic structure that stands as a symbol of Albania’s strength. Located in the city center, this iconic building was constructed in the 1930s during King Zog’s reign.

It has since become one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of the country, having hosted several important state occasions over the years.

Today, visitors to Tirana can take guided tours through the palace’s many rooms and hallways, which feature picturesque artworks and decorations from past eras. They can also marvel at its impressive architecture, with its grand columns standing tall and proud at each corner of the building.

The Presidential Palace is an integral part of Albanian identity and culture, representing not just an architectural wonder but also a strong sense of national pride.

The construction of the original building was completed in 1920 by local craftsmen using mainly traditional materials such as stone and wood. During this time, it served as a residential palace for King Zog I and his court. Following World War II, the palace was nationalized by Enver Hoxha’s communist regime and used for various state functions including hosting foreign dignitaries. Communism…

These are the things we managed to see in our time in Tirana. But, along the way, we met alot of tourists that kept asking us questions about Tirana that we didn’t have a clue on what to say.

So, we did a bit of a research and came up with some indepth answers.

Hans, this is for you and thank you for the Peja beers you bought us.

How can I spend 2 days in Tirana?

If you have two days to spend in Tirana, there are plenty of things to see and do. Start by exploring the city’s main square, Skanderbeg Square, and admire the various statues and the iconic Et’hem Bey Mosque nearby.

Take a stroll along the vibrant Blloku neighborhood, known for its trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. Visit the National Museum of History and the Bunk’Art 2 museum to learn more about Albania’s history.

We’d suggest checking out some of these guided tours. Great tour guides and even greater experience:


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the colorful and lively Pazari i Ri, the city’s central market, where you can find fresh produce and local products. Finally, take a hike to Mount Dajti National Park for panoramic views of the city.

How many days are enough for Tirana?

Tirana has a lot to offer visitors. With its colorful buildings, bustling markets, and eclectic mix of Ottoman, Italian, and communist-era architecture, there is something to see at every turn.

However, when planning a trip to Tirana, it is important to consider how many days are enough to truly experience this lively city. While it is possible to get a taste of Tirana in just a day or two, to fully immerse yourself in its culture and explore the surrounding areas, three to four days is recommended.

This will allow you to visit the historical landmarks, such as the Skanderbeg Square and Et’hem Bey Mosque, as well as discover the local cuisine, visit the National Museum, and take a day trip to nearby attractions like the Dajti Mountain or the ancient city of Apollonia.

So, don’t rush through Tirana – take your time and enjoy everything this city has to offer!

What is special about Tirana?

What sets Tirana apart is its vibrant atmosphere and colorful buildings that line the streets. One of the special features is the Skanderbeg Square, the central square of the city, which is a hub of activity and a great spot to relax and people watch.

Tirana is also known for its impressive architecture, with a mix of Ottoman-era buildings and modern structures. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including the Dajti Mountain, which offers panoramic views of Tirana and the Adriatic Sea. Additionally, Tirana boasts a lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants to explore.

Is Tirana Albania worth visiting?

One of the unique aspects of Tirana is its rich history, reflected through its diverse architecture. The city is a blend of Ottoman, Italian, and Communist-era buildings, creating a fascinating landscape.

Tirana is also known for its vibrant art scene, with numerous galleries and street art spread throughout the city. The energy and liveliness of the locals contribute to its special atmosphere, making it an enjoyable place to explore.

Moreover, the city’s central square, Skanderbeg Square, is a hub of activity, surrounded by shops, cafes, and important landmarks. With its mix of history, art, and lively ambiance, Tirana offers a distinctly unique experience to its visitors.

Do’s and dont’s in Albania?

When visiting Albania, there are certain dos and dont’s to keep in mind.

Do try the local cuisine, as Albania offers a variety of delicious traditional dishes like byrek and tave kosi. Additionally, do explore the stunning natural beauty of this country, with its picturesque mountains, lakes, and beaches.

However, don’t litter as it is considered disrespectful and harmful to the environment. Also, when visiting religious sites, it is important to dress modestly and behave respectfully.

Furthermore, don’t forget to greet people with a handshake and maintain eye contact during conversations, as this is a sign of respect in Albanian culture.

Finally, do take the time to learn a few basic Albanian phrases to show appreciation for the locals’ language.

How expensive is Tirana?

Tirana is generally considered to be an affordable destination for travelers.

Compared to other European cities, Tirana offers lower prices for accommodation, food, and transportation. Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels, with prices varying depending on the location and quality.

Tip: You want to try and get these Albanian rice balls in a local restaurant.

Eating out at local restaurants can also be reasonably priced, with a variety of traditional Albanian dishes to savor. Public transportation within the city is affordable, with buses and taxis readily available. However, it’s worth noting that prices for certain goods, services, and tourist activities may be more expensive compared to other parts of Albania.

Is Tirana dangerous?

Tirana, the capital city of Albania, may have a reputation for being dangerous, but in reality, it is relatively safe for travelers.

Like any other city, there are areas that one should avoid, especially at night. Petty theft and pick-pocketing can occur, so it’s important to be cautious and keep your belongings secure.

The Albanian government has made great efforts to improve security in recent years, resulting in a significant decrease in crime rates. It is always advisable to use common sense and stay vigilant while exploring the city.

Where is the Grand Park of Tirana located?

A: The Grand Park of Tirana is located in the center of the city. It is a large green space where locals and tourists alike can relax, go for walks, and enjoy various recreational activities.

How can I reach the top of Mount Dajti?

To reach the top of Mount Dajti, you can take the Dajti Ekspres cable car. The cable car ride offers stunning views of the city and takes you to the summit of the mountain, where you can enjoy panoramic views and explore the Dajti National Park.

What can I see at the Grand Park of Tirana?

The Grand Park of Tirana is a beautiful green space that offers a range of attractions. Inside the park, you can find the Artificial Lake, several walking paths, sports facilities, a zoo, amusement park rides, and various cafes and restaurants.

What is the significance of the Clock Tower in Tirana?

The Clock Tower is one of Tirana’s most iconic landmarks. It stands in the center of the city and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The tower has historical significance and is a popular tourist attraction.

Can I visit Enver Hoxha’s former home in Tirana?

Yes, you can visit Enver Hoxha’s former home in Tirana. Known as the “Blloku,” this area used to be restricted to top Communist officials during the Communist era. Today, it is filled with trendy bars, restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Are there any good restaurants in Tirana?

Yes, Tirana is home to a wide range of restaurants serving both traditional Albanian cuisine and international dishes. Some popular options include Oda, Mullixhiu, Era, and Serendipity.

What are some fun things to do in Tirana?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Tirana, such as exploring the vibrant Blloku neighborhood, taking a boat ride on the Artificial Lake, visiting the amusement park in the Grand Park, and experiencing the city’s lively nightlife.

Things To See In Tirana: Conclusion

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is a vibrant city full of energy and interesting sights to explore. From its ancient churches and monuments to its bustling nightlife, Tirana has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just some relaxation time, these are some incredible things to do while in Tirana.

Visit the Skanderbeg Square in the heart of Tirana to check out some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as Et’hem Bey Mosque and the National History Museum. The nearby Bunk’Art offers an insightful look at Albania’s past through interactive exhibits and art installations. Then take a leisurely stroll along one of the many beautiful boulevards that line Tirana’s historic center.

More Resources

Check out our Nature Guide To Albania and experience the Alps in the Balkans.

Or if you’re traveling around the Balkans, have a look at some of our other experiences there:

If you’re traveling to Belgrade, check out our things to do in Belgrade article!

Traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria instead? Here’s an in-depth guide to the best things to do in Sofia!

Or planning on going north to Montenegro? Check the best things to do in Podgorica.

Going even northern to Zagreb? Check our list for the best things to do in Zagreb or our Digital Nomad Guide To Croatia

Thinking about going to Slovenia? Check our guide on the things to do in Ljubljana or our Digital Nomad Guide To Slovenia.

Last but not least, our guide on the best things to do in Sarajevo!


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