EVERYDAY BY REQUEST
EVERYDAY BY REQUEST
Lively, colourful Tirana is the beating heart of Albania, where this tiny nation’s hopes and dreams coalesce into a vibrant whirl of traffic, brash consumerism and unfettered fun. Having undergone a transformation of extraordinary proportions since awaking from its communist slumber in the early 1990s, Tirana’s centre is now unrecognisable, with buildings painted in primary colours, and public squares and pedestrianised streets that are a pleasure to wander.
Tirana is unquestionably the dynamic center of Albania thanks in part to its lively nightlife, comprised of theaters, restaurants and clubs. There are a variety of places to entertain you and most of them stay open all night. Bars and clubs can be found throughout town, particularly in the “Blok” area, playing all kinds of live music, including jazz, house, funk, Latin, etc. You can choose to go to the Murphy’s Irish pub or to an American-style bar playing hard rock music. Tirana is home to the Opera House, the National Theater and many other galleries and museums, which in recent years have hosted many artists and world-famous performers. Tirana also offers a wide range of cocktail bars, where you can enjoy some of the best cocktails while listening to music from the best DJs.
Albanian culture is an exotic blend of traditions that have evolved over thousands of years. … In the Kanun (a set of traditional Albanian laws), Besa is described as the highest authority, so essential to personal and familial standing as to be virtually a cult. The Land of the Eagles is famous for its uncanny hospitality, generosity and kindness.
Tirama is one of the most colorful cities you’ll see in the Balkans. Strolling through the town, you’ll see painted facades, street art graffiti and murals that add brightness to this already lively town. One of the best ways to admire the colors of Tirana is to walk through the Blloku area to Pazari i Ri. This plaza is the new market of the town and has terrific colorful geometric patterns.
One of the best ways to experience the authentic spirit of Tirana is to spend some time in a café. The capital city of Albania has no shortage of gorgeous cafés. Just choose one, order a kafe turke (Turkish coffee) or an espresso and a pastry, and settle in for a chat with some locals, or watch the world go about its day through the window.
The main tourist hub of Tirana is the majestic Sheshi Skanderbeg, the largest square in Albania, named after the national hero of the country. Today the square is a pedestrian space surrounded by some of the most important buildings in town, such as the National Historical Museum, Et’Hem Bey Mosque, the National Library and the city’s opera house.
Tirana has its own pyramid. Ok, we aren’t talking about an Egyptian pyramid, but it is a pyramid-shaped structure nonetheless. You can find it within a short walk from Skanderbeg Square in front of the Lana river. This monument was built in 1987 by the daughter of Enver Hoxha (Albania’s communist dictator), as a mausoleum for her father. Today the pyramid is mostly frequented by young skaters and families with children.
Blloku, The Block, is where Enver Hoxha lived and was once off limits to all but the Communist party’s inner circle. Now it’s the epicentre for Tirana’s beautiful people. Today you’ll find expensive hotels, designer cafés, restaurants and shops. Take in the contemporary glitz from Sky Club, a rotating bar high in the air offering 360-degree views across the city.
Tirana is undoubtedly one of the liveliest towns in the Balkan Peninsula. The city’s nightlife scene is mainly focused in the Blloku district, the former restricted area that used to be closed to most people during the communist era. Today Blloku is open to everyone and is the coolest neighborhood in Tirana with plenty of clubs, cafés and bars frequented by locals, as well as tourists.
This large, wooded park is where many of Tirana’s citizens head for a bit of time out, whether it’s fishing in the artificial lake, picnicking on the lawns or kicking-back in one of the many café-bars. Considering how oppressive Tirana’s traffic can get, this park allows the city’s Mediterranean ambience to shine.
If you want a break from the city centre, head to Mount Dajti National Park, popular with Tirana’s residents for fresh air and countryside walks. You can either take an Austrian-built cable car (expensive) or the city bus (cheap) and once there you’ll find hotels, guest-houses and restaurants if you feel like staying overnight.
Tirana is strategically located in the centre of Albania, so there are plenty of options for pleasant day trips from the capital city. Within less than an hour, you can reach Kruja, the town of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, or Durrës, the main coastal port town of the country. Within two hours, you can visit Shkodra, the country’s main town in the north, or cross the border and visit Prizren, the cultural capital of Kosovo, or Ohrid, the most romantic town in Macedonia and the Balkans. Your choice.