Tirana, the capital of Albania, might be considered a small city compared to larger capital cities like London or Manhattan. However, there are so many activities you can do here and so many things to see – from the interesting history packed museums to the crazy nightlife even on weekdays.
First of all, you should know one important thing: Albanians love having guests and hospitality is one of their strongest and best qualities, so if you’re a tourist, you will probably be treated like a celebrity here!
Now let us continue to the ~fun~ things.
A few reasons why you are going to love the food in Albania:
Traditional food is sacred in Albania. You will have to try byrek (Albanian pie), fërgesë summer stew), trileçe (milk and caramel cream cake), tarator (cold yogurt appetizer), ashure (dessert porridge of grains, sometimes combined with fruits and nuts), tavë kosi (baked lamb in yogurt), petulla (fried dough), etc.
There are so many restaurants that there is no way you cannot find something you will enjoy eating. From sushi to seafood, to American fast food, to Italian pizza and pasta or Turkish delights – You will literally find everything!
But you haven’t heard the best part: The prices are extremely low for the type of food and the service you get. It’s a win-win, whatever you go!
Okay, now that we ate and we feel a bit bloated but energized, let’s continue with some cool activities to do. Ready?
To organize your plans better, we’ve decided to separate the information into 3 main groups: Entertainment & Sports, Culture, and Night Life! Which one should we start with? Hmm…we’re thinking sports and entertainment. Ready to burn those calories you gained?
Entertainment & Sports
1. Movie Under The Stars
Open Air Tirana is an outdoor cinema showing the very greatest vintage films, but not only. This amazing and very romantic opportunity is also very inexpensive. Do not miss it for a thing! it is located at the Liqeni Artificial in Tirana.
2. Mount Dajti – Dajti Express Cable Car
Tirana is towered over by Mount Dajti. A 1-kilometer cable car that travels to the summit 800 meters above sea level in under 15 minutes. A network of hiking routes, a fantastic traditional Albanian restaurant, and a hotel are all located at the peak. This climb to the summit is worthwhile for the views.
“Dajti Ekspres” offers its guests an outstanding experience. Enjoy the stunning views of the city as you travel up Dajti Mountain on the longest cableway in the Balkans. At the top, unwind, take in the scenery as you stroll and take in the surroundings!
3. Rock Climbing Center in Tirana
Rock Tirana is growing a community of climbers who serve as role models for how to live fearlessly in the face of life’s challenges. Are you adventurous enough to try it?
Looking for a nice place to stay on a budget in the center of Tirana? Try: TAM Luxury Tirana Center Apartment No4, Tirana, Albania
4. Virtual Reality Games
If you are into tech, VR Games is the place to be. Try a new experience with specially designated VR rooms and HTC Vive headsets. One great thing is that these games are available for all ages. It seems so real!
5. Paintball Zone in Mëzez
If you’re travelling as a group, you should try paintball in Tirana. This “war” will bring out your competitive side, but even if you lose – at least you will end up having a good time.
6. Zipline Albania
Did you know that the longest zipline in the Balkans is found in Tirana? The adrenaline rush you will experience is amazing! Albania’s first zipline. the tenth longest Zipline in Europe is located in Petrela Castle.
7. Hiking – Mount Dajti
If you love sports and especially hiking, we got you. The trip usually starts with a panoramic cable car ride to the National Park, followed by a trail through the oak forest, until you reach the peak of Tujani. A trip to the Dajti National Park is a fantastic opportunity to spend the day in a picturesque mountainous setting outside of the city and actually “above” it.
The result? A breath-taking view you are going to fall in love with.
Book a Mount Dajti hiking tour!
1. Tirana Castle & Murat Toptani Street
Make sure to visit Tirana Castle (sometimes called the Kalaja or the Fortress of Justinian). Its history dates back before 1300 and is a remnant of the Byzantine era. Now, it’s a place of souvenirs and amazing bars and restaurants. A great mix between the past and the present.
2. Et’hem Bey Mosque
For Albania’s Muslim majority, this modest mosque near Skanderbeg Square is a significant place of devotion. It was finished in the 19th century but was not utilized during the Communist era because all forms of religion were outlawed. We had the good fortune to meet the local imam and hear first-hand from him about how life has altered and improved in Albania. The mosque is worth visiting, especially for the murals.
3. Bunk’Art 1
You will probably leave Bunk’Art speechless.
The country was unstable after World War II because it had been trampled by the Axis Powers. The nation suffered during Enver Hoxha’s authoritarian communist rule as a result of his paranoia. He built tens of thousands of bunkers all around the nation to defend it from an invasion that would never happen from an imaginary foe. Since April 2016, Bunk’Art has become a permanent installation that will serve as a singular tourism destination in the area by depicting life in Albania throughout the 45 years of communism.
Book a Tirana walking tour.
The anti-nuclear bunker constructed by the communist government was made public following Enver Hoxha’s inauguration in June 1978. A five-story underground castle with 106 chambers and an assembly hall has been transformed into “Bunk’Art,” a historical and art center. The corridors, the spaces designated for Army General Staff meetings in case of war, the bedrooms where communist exile Enver Hoxha and the former Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu were rumoured to have slept in case of a nuclear attack, the enormous room designated for Political Bureau meetings that also contains an Albanian traditional Buffe, are all transformed into a video museum exhibition and works of art.
4. Bunk’Art 2
The Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs history from 1912 to 1991 is reconstructed in Bunk’art 2 along with the inner workings of the “Sigurimi,” the political police that served as Enver Hoxha’s ruthless persecution tool. The first significant video museum show honoring the victims of communist tyranny is called Bunk’art 2.
If you like museums check out these top picks: 14 Must-Visit Museums in Albania.
5. House of Leaves
In Tirana, Albania, there is a also historical museum called the Museum of Secret Surveillance, also referred to as the House of Leaves. On May 23, 2017, it made its debut at the structure that housed the Sigurimi’s headquarters during the Soviet era.
Ugh, we made it to the nightlife section. Finally! Do you know what Albanians say? “Ëmbëlsira për në fund” – which translates kind as “Dessert in the end”, meaning that the sweetest things come last, but the wait is worth it!
pubs, stores, and eateries. The elite of the city has long resided in this region. High-ranking party officials all owned homes here during the Communist era. Tirana now comes to the Block to celebrate and party hard.
A hip neighborhood in southwest Tirana, The Block (or Blloku), is home to a variety of Young Albanians and foreigners dressed to the nines fill every space. If you want to see and be seen (wink emoji), come to The Block. Don’t forget to do something Albanians love to do on every occasion: Dress to impress!
Stay in Blloku: Big Ben Luxury Bllok Apartment, Tirana, Albania
There’s literally a Shisha Lounge, almost in every neighborhood
Good music, shisha, a few cocktails, and chit-chat with friends. Not to mention that your photos are going to look amazing!
That’s it? There’s so much more, it would take forever to tell you in detail. Why not come to Albania and find for yourself?
Other places you can visit include Skanderbeg Square, Grand Park (Parku i Madh), National History Museum, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, The New Bazaar, Skanderbeg Statue, National Gallery of Art, Et`hem Bey Mosque, Enver Hoxha Pyramid, Clock Tower, Reja “The Cloud”, Youth Park (Parku Rinia), Saint Paul Cathedral, Great Mosque of Tirana, etc