A day is not enough to admire every detail that the Albanian capital city offers its visitors, but in 24 hours it’s still possible to visit the landmarks of Tirana and enjoy its lively and vibrant atmosphere. Read our tips if you want to spend a gorgeous day in one of the coolest capitals of Europe.
Start your tour with a coffee and muffin. Where? Mon Cheri is maybe the best choice. Why? It offers excellent espresso and chocolate pastries. Sit at one of the red tables located outside the bar and sip your coffee while watching the street scenes of Tirana.
Mon Cheri, , +355 68 203 0955
Reach Skanderbeg Square, the heart of the city and a majestic square recently renewed. Here, there are the main buildings of Tirana: the Opera, National Library, Mosque, and Skanderbeg Statue, dedicated to the most important Albanian hero of all-time, and the National Historical Museum. Don’t miss the chance to visit it, to learn something more about the history of the country.
Skanderbeg Square, Tirana, Albania, +355 4 222 3446
For a quick lunch go straight to Pazari i Ri, the new market of Tirana, a cool area that reminds of La Boqueria of Barcelona. Here you’ll not find only fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, raki, and typical souvenirs, but also excellent fish restaurants. Sit here and order linguine with sea fruits and grilled fish, and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of the district.
Pazari i Ri, Sheshi Avni Rustemi, Tirana, Albania, +355 4 226 9136
After lunch, there is nothing better than strolling through the Pedonalja, a nice pedestrian street lined with trees, cafés, theatres and cinemas. During the warm summer days of Tirana, it is one of the most frequented areas of the town because the trees form a shadow path and it is a great place to escape from the hot temperatures of the capital city.
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Grab a cab and reach the outskirts of Tirana to admire the majestic and creepy Bunk’Art, one of the most important museums of the town built inside an anti-nuclear bunker. The museum shows the modern history of Albania, from the Italian occupation until the Communist-era. Bunk’Art hosts also a beautiful theatre inside, which is sometimes used as a location for jazz concerts.
Bunk’Art, Rruga Fadil Deliu, Tirana, Albania, +355 67 207 2905
Come back to town and visit the abandoned Pyramid of Tirana, one of the greatest landmarks. The daughter and son-in-law of Enver Hoxha designed it as a mausoleum in his honor. Today, the pyramid is not in use and is covered with graffiti, but remains a place frequented by Albanians who come here to relax, admire beautiful panoramas over the city and play with children. Then stroll through the Lana river and reach Ura e Tabakeve, an ancient Ottoman-era bridge perfectly conserved in the city center of Tirana.
One of the best places in town to eat typical Albanian food is Oda, a cozy familiar restaurant located between Pazari i Ri and Skanderbeg Square. It is one of the last places in town where you can eat old Albanian delicacies, and offers a great selection of veggie options, such as peppers with cheese or stuffed eggplants. Oda not only serves excellent food at cheap prices, but also has traditional Albanian furniture and decoration.
Oda, Luigj Gurakuqi, Tirana, Albania, +355 69 966 8881
Tirana used to be a grey city, but a few years ago things changed. Most of the palaces in the city center have been colored with stunning graffiti and the town has plenty of gorgeous murals. The majority are located in Blloku, the coolest area of Tirana with plenty of cafés, pubs and restaurants. During the Communist-era, Blloku was forbidden to ordinary people, but today it has been turned into the most vibrant area of the town, perfect to spend a gorgeous night out chatting with locals. The district is full of places to go, but we strongly suggest you to head into Nouvelle Vague, maybe the most beautiful pub in town, to sip excellent fruit cocktails and listen to good music.
Nouvelle Vague, Rruga Pjetër Bogdani, Tirana, Albania, +355 69 933 3622
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