Things To Do in Tirana: Ultimate Top 11
There is no doubt that Tirana, Albania, offers a perfect blend of rich history, contemporary culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or an adventure seeker, Tirana has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will explore the top things to do in Tirana that should be on your itinerary when visiting. So, let’s dive in and discover the best of what this fascinating city has to offer!
I must admit that I always wanted to visit Albania. Their history and all that it represents always made me curious to discover more about this country. When I finally was able to visit the country in December 2022, I wanted to gather this list of the top things to do in Tirana.
One of the top things to do in Tirana is to explore Skanderbeg Square, the city’s beating heart. Named after the national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, this expansive square is surrounded by important landmarks, including the National History Museum, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, and the Clock Tower. Take a stroll, admire the impressive statue of Skanderbeg, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this central hub.
See more of Skanderbeg Square on TripAdvisor.
Bunk Art 1:
To understand why Bunk Art 1 and 2 are important, we must know that there are more than 150,000 bunkers all around Albania. Dictator Enver Hoxha thought it was a good idea to have those bunkers to protect the country from foreign attacks. Bunk Art 1 and 2 are a memorial to the victims of the regime.
In Bunker 1, you will step back in time and uncover Albania’s turbulent past. Located on the outskirts of Tirana, this former top-secret bunker has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery. Through exhibits and multimedia installations, you’ll gain insight into the regime’s impact on the Albanian people. Bunk Art 1 provides a thought-provoking and educational experience that is one of the top things to do in Tirana.
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Bunk Art 2:
I was immersed in Albania’s history with a visit to Bunk Art 2. Housed in an underground bunker in the center, this museum offers a unique perspective on the country’s communist era. You will live the contrast of the fusion of art and history as you explore the various exhibitions showcasing both local and international artists. Bunk Art 2 provides a captivating insight into Albania’s past while celebrating its present art scene. These 2 Bunkers are some of the most important things to do in Tirana when you visit.
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Blloku was once a restricted area for high-ranking officials and where the house of dictator Enver Hoxha can still be found. Nowadays, Blloku is now a bustling neighborhood known for its trendy cafes, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Take a stroll through its streets, lined with colorful buildings and boutique shops. Indulge in delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants, or unwind with a cup of coffee in a stylish cafe. Blloku offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere that will leave you wanting to come back for more things to do in Tirana.
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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on an unforgettable adventure to Mount Dajti. Hop on the Dajti Ekspress cable car and ascend to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Tirana and the surrounding landscapes. If you suffer from vertigo or are afraid of heights, I advise you to give it a second thought. I suffer from heights phobia, but I decided to get in this cable car as a challenge. It was a worthy experience, to be honest. Dajti Ekspress is a rejuvenating experience and a chance to connect with Albania’s natural beauty and one of the top things to do in Tirana.
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House of Leaves:
Delve into the intriguing world of espionage at the House of Leaves. This museum, housed in the former Sigurimi headquarters, offers an immersive journey into Albania’s surveillance and secret police history. Through interactive exhibits and personal stories, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the surveillance methods employed during the communist regime. The House of Leaves is one of the top things to do in Tirana for history buffs and those interested in Cold War history.
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Grand Park of Tirana:
Escape the urban landscape and immerse yourself in nature at the Grand Park of Tirana. Spanning over 230 hectares, this green oasis offers a tranquil retreat from the city center. Take a stroll along the tree-lined paths, rent a bicycle, or enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake. The park also houses the beautiful Presidential Palace and the Tirana Zoo, making it one of the best things to do in Tirana for families and nature lovers alike.
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Discover the remnants of Tirana’s past at the Tirana Castles, especially the Toptani Castle that you can find in the center and have different restaurants. Explore the ancient ruins of the Fortress of Justinian and the Petrela Castle, both of which provide a glimpse into Albania’s medieval history. Climb the fortifications, admire the panoramic views, and imagine the stories that these castles hold. These historical sites offer a captivating window into Tirana’s past and are a testament to its enduring heritage.
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Pazari i Ri:
Pazari i Ri (The New Bazaar) in Tirana is a vibrant marketplace blending tradition and modernity. Explore colorful stalls filled with fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Shop for clothing, accessories, and traditional crafts. Enjoy authentic Albanian cuisine at cozy cafes and restaurants. The market hosts events and performances, adding to its cultural appeal. Pazari i Ri offers an authentic and enriching experience in the heart of Tirana.
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Explore Bars and Cafes:
Tirana’s vibrant social scene is best experienced by exploring the plethora of bars and cafes scattered throughout the city. From trendy rooftop bars with stunning city views to cozy cafes nestled in charming alleys, there is something to suit every taste. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, try local beverages, and savor delicious Albanian cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to unwind and connect with the city’s vibrant energy at these popular establishments.
Discover more of Tirana’s Bars on TripAdvisor
Conclusion on the things to do in Tirana:
Tirana, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and captivating attractions, offers a memorable experience for every traveler. From exploring Skanderbeg Square and immersing yourself in the country’s complex past at Bunk Art 1 and Bunk Art 2 to indulging in the city’s dynamic nightlife and connecting with nature at the Grand Park, Tirana has an abundance of activities to offer. So, pack your bags, set off on an adventure, and let Tirana’s charm captivate you as you explore these nine must-visit places and experiences in the Albanian capital.