Tirana: the great starting point of Albania

In June 2022, I went to Albania for a week. Tirana is a starting point for this trip, as a trailer of a movie, you will be knowledged the history and culture of Albania. Breaking the ice between this country and me, I understood more about Albania, meanwhile, I enjoyed so much on this trip.

It is the best trip I have had in 2022 so far.

Tirana, Albania

Tirana, as the capital city of Albania, there are many things to see and do, one day is totally not enough for visiting. However, if you got a limited schedule for your trip to Albania, and Tirana is the first place you landed, it would be a good choice to choose a city center hotel and take a walk around.

History is the best mark of this city, although you can see many modern buildings are under construction, I am sure Albania is going to be a tourism and commercial place well known shortly.

There are many places to visit for 1-2 days stay in Tirana, and the places I recommended are all within walking distance.

skaderbeg square

Skanderbeg Square

As the main attraction of Tirana, you can resist taking pictures here. It is a huge open space with various different facets on its periphery – gardens, statues, monuments, etc.

The Clock Tower, Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg Statue, Bank of Albania, Palace of Culture, and National Museum of History are all the main attraction that is just right on the square. In the square you can use free Wi-Fi hence locals tend to hang around. Going from the square, pedestrian streets are full of historical buildings and very worth taking a walk.

By the way, pop in one of the cafe in the Palace of Culture, checking out the sight of the square while enjoying the drinks is a MUST.

500 Leks

National Historical Museum

In June 2022, the outside is under renovation, although you cannot see the real mosaic above the main entrance of the museum. But the picture which is covered is very likely. This mosaic called ‘The Albanians’ is a story of Albanians who fought against invasion throughout the centuries, it was devastating to go through so many wars and occupations.

Housing the most important historical collection in the country, it was opened in 1981, collection from the Paleolithic era to communist times. At the National History Museum, you will embark on a great and fascinating exploration of the history and the culture of this nation.

500 Leks

Bunk’Art 2

There was a rumor that Albania got 700,000 bunkers, but the government officials said 173,000. Today, though many bunkers have collapsed or been destroyed. Many are abandoned, which you can find on the path to the mountain or by the coastline. Some are repurposed and converted into restaurants, cafes, stores, and museums.

Bunk’Art 2 is an ex-nuclear bunker that was transformed into a museum. A very interesting historic place in the heart of Tirana – mostly about “Sigurimi” the brutal police of the communist dictator. It preserved an insightful and painful look into the lives of Albanians under the rule of Enver Hoxha.

Temporarily Closed

Pyramid of Tirana

The Pyramid (previously called: Enver Hoxha Pyramid) was designed as a museum by the late Albanian communist leader’s daughter. It is to show Enver Hoxha’s power and to maintain his legacy. After the fall of Communism, this unique monument became a symbol of the previous era and was repurposed multiple times, until it lost its appeal.

Dutch-architecture studio MVRDV is set to convert the 11,835-square-metre pyramid in central Tirana into a “people’s monument” that contains cafes, studios, workshops, and classrooms where free lessons will be available to young Albanians.

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